Lotus Elan

Starter Help Post Petronix Install

PostPost by: Gorpon73 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:02 pm

Hi,

Hoping to obtain a recommendation as I've lost my starter from the ignition key switch on installation of my Petronix (1970 S4)

I've installed my new Petronix/coil/wires (btw, thanks for all the info here on that install, was very easy with the info available here). Everything went great, all buttoned up, timed out, 12 degrees static, car is running great.

Problem is that I've lost my starter on the ignition key switch. The solenoid plunger start works fine (how I got the car running to set up the timing). I'm puzzled where my issue is. Oddly, the car turned over on the key once after install, and then it disappeared.

All my accessories that are run off the ignition key switch work fine, which makes me think the switch and controller are ok? I can still start the car fine on the solenoid plunger, which makes me think the solenoid is fine? The power to the ignition key switch is hot. I tried to hot wire across the ignition switch by bridging terminals 1 and 3 and get nothing. Can't seem to pick this issue out by looking at the wiring diagram.

Hopefully missing something obvious. Any recommendations greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Gorpon73
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:29 pm

Make a jumper wire that includes an inline push button switch. Connect it between the battery's (+) terminal and the starter solenoid on the firewall. There, disconnect the wire from the ignition key, and connect the jumper wire.

Make certain the transmission is out of gear, then push the button on your jumper wire's switch.

If the starter turns over via the jumper wire, but not via the ignition switch, then there's something wrong with the wire to the ignition switch, or the ignition switch itself.

If the starter doesn't run even with a direct jumper wire connection to the battery, but it does run when you push the plunger on the solenoid, then the solenoid itself has a problem. Replace it.

Good luck,
Tim Engel
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PostPost by: Gorpon73 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:01 pm

Hi Tim,

Makes perfect sense. I'll give it a whirl. Thanks for the info.

Cheers.
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PostPost by: Gorpon73 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:17 pm

OK, popping this back up as I'm completely befuddled here.

To follow-up, I've installed both new ignition switch and solenoid. Can still start the car on the solenoid plunger, but not on the switch. All other accessories function fine. I've also confirmed that when I turn the key to the start position, current is hot at the end of ignition switch wire on the solenoid.

Not sure what I'm missing here. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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PostPost by: Craven » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:59 pm

Check earth connection to the case of the solenoid.
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PostPost by: Gorpon73 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:49 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. Apologies, I've tried to review the previous threads on this topic, but wasn't able to decipher it.

My solenoid is the three post connection type. Is this connection on the battery terminal or the starter terminal?
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PostPost by: Craven » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:08 pm

Current to operate the pull in coil of the solenoid flows from the, normally red/white wire +12v in the ignition key crank position through the internal pull in coil to chassis, via its metal case.
On a steel body car the chassis connection is made by the physical contact of the mounting plate but with a fibreglass body a separate wire is needed for this chassis connection, a black wire under the solenoid fixing screw.
To check make a temporary connection between the solenoid case and the chassis.
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PostPost by: Gorpon73 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:32 pm

Thanks for the info Craven.

Oddly, I can't find an original one, but I will test.

Thanks again.
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PostPost by: Gorpon73 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:52 pm

Well this worked. Thanks!

Strange, I'm not sure how it worked before. No wiring was changed on the solenoid. Even stranger it turned over a few times then ceased. Either way, got it taken care of.

Thanks again!
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