Lotus Elan

IWiring a High torque starter

PostPost by: TonyA » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:29 pm

I have bitten the bullet and bought a WOSP starter from Sue Miller to replace and improve upon my ageing Lucas pre engaged starter.

The most basic connection method appears to be to simply connect the thick live terminal to the new starter and use the short piece of wire supplied to permanently connect the starter's solenoid to the the live feed. In this scenario all the original wires stay on the original bulkhead mounted remote solenoid , including the White/Red ignition trigger wire so that turning ignition key to "Start", the remote solenoid is activated and in turn activates starter's own solenoid. Simple but leaves two solenoids to go wrong !

I would prefer to redirect the White/ Red ignition trigger wire from the original remote solenoid to the appropriate connection on the starter's solenoid leaving all the other wires on the remote solenoid as now. In this scenario the original remote solenoid acts only as a passive connector block, saving the need to redirect the alternator connections and the other wires. It also means there is only one working solenoid to go wrong. Is this an OK method ? THANKS in anticipation.. Tony
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PostPost by: pptom » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:36 pm

That's how I did it Tony,. No problems.
Only small difference was that I bridged the 2 poles on the original bulkhead relay to give 2 permanent feeds to save loading up the one pole.

Tom
Last edited by pptom on Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: TonyA » Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:36 pm

Tom, thinking about what you said, I guess if I redirect the iWhite/Red trigger wire to the new starter's own solenoid, I MUST bridge the battery and starter contacts on the original remote solenoid, otherwise the remote solenoid's contacts won't be closed to allow current from battery to starter.! .Am I right..? Tony
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PostPost by: TonyA » Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:45 pm

Tom, thinking about what you said, I guess if I redirect the iWhite/Red trigger wire to the new starter's own solenoid, I MUST bridge the battery and starter contacts on the original remote solenoid, otherwise the remote solenoid's contacts won't be closed to allow current from battery to starter.! .Am I right..? Tony
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:11 am

Hi Tony, I think you have got that wrong.
I say keep it simple. Just connect the trigger wire to the main power terminal of the new starter motor.
Think of it as just a starter motor like the original Lucas one.
When the bulkhead solenoid closes then power goes to the motor internal solenoid via the `trigger` connection. This extends the pinion and only when the pinion is engaged with the ring gear do the internal contacts energise the motor winding, hence the name `pre engaged`.
There is no need to complicate it at all.
Mine as been like this for several years now. and is the method recommended by the manufacturers.
Another factor is that if you bridge the bulkhead solenoid to use another method then you will produce a permanently live heavy current terminal under the car which may not be such a bright idea.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: pptom » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:26 am

TonyA wrote:Tom, thinking about what you said, I guess if I redirect the iWhite/Red trigger wire to the new starter's own solenoid, I MUST bridge the battery and starter contacts on the original remote solenoid, otherwise the remote solenoid's contacts won't be closed to allow current from battery to starter.! .Am I right..? Tony


Correct, or put all of the contacts on one pole. I used a piece of copper pipe, flattened with a hammer and drilled 2 holes as a bridge.

I think the instructions with mine gave 2 options with wiring, one was conventional with the trigger to the new starter solenoid, the other was Eric's way. I just didn't want to use the 50 year old bulkhead relay.
I did also make a rubber cap from a ball cut in half for the bulkhead relay to cover the contacts to stop accidental touching.

Tom
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:53 am

I’m not too sure about what you are trying to achieve here but be aware that solenoids or relays have a “wetting current”. It you use a relay designed for switching 100amps (eg. a starter motor solenoid) in an application where it only switches 1 or 2 amps you risk the contacts becoming dirty over time and intermittent. Better to use a relay with a rating more closely aligned with the current it is switching.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:59 pm

Don't short circuit (i.e bridge) the bulkhead starter solenoid if your car has ballast-resistor ignition!!

Doing that would mess up the way the ballast resistor is used. When it is energized the bulkhead starter solenoid bridges the ballast resistor, to take it out of circuit.

A starter motor with its own solenoid should work perfectly well with the existing heavy duty wiring (including the bulkhead solenoid as is), though if the new motor has a separate small power feed to its solenoid you may require an extra wire (thin) from the trigger feed of the bulkhead solenoid to the feed of the solenoid on the new starter motor, leaving the triggering action of the bulkhead solenoid in place. Both the solenoids will work in series to feed high power to the new starter motor.
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PostPost by: TonyA » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:34 pm

Good point re ballast resistor system. Mine has this upgrade. The ballast resistor ignition was designed to help cold start with traditional starter and points. I already have electronic ignition and now with the benefit of the high torque starter's higher cranking power at less current draw, the ballast ignition is unnecessary and so I plan to remove the 1.4 Ohm coil and the 1.6 ohm ballast resistor and fit an ordinary 3 Ohm coil.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:56 pm

TonyA wrote:the ballast ignition is unnecessary


I am not sure I'd agree with that. I've re-instated my ballast system in my car with pre-engage starter and 123 Dizzy.

Previously with just the pre-engage starter I still had difficulties with cold starts after longer lay ups. It is now much improved but not sure how much of that is ballast setup, new dizzy or having improved the battery earth connection.

Personally I would leave the ballast in-place and just use the bridge wire on the new starter.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: TonyA » Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:19 pm

If I bridge the old solenoid contacts the White/ Blue feed that provided 12V direct to the coil during ignition "Start" ( remote solenoid energised) would now be pernenantly live : no good. If the coil and ballast resistor are retained with the high torque starter then the White/Blue wire will have to be relocated to the trigger contact on the new starter (with the zRed/White trigger wire...,I think..
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PostPost by: alaric » Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:08 am

Hi.

For my Brise I connected the starter built in solenoid to the switched high current feed from the bulkhead solenoid, and it worked fine.

If you bypass the bulkhead solenoid, then it sounds like you are proposing a permanent high current lead to the starter. I thought this would be dangerous, as that's connected to the battery, and will generate a lot of sparks if the insulation fails, as it may due to movement under inertia but also engine movement.

The feed to the bulkhead solenoid doesn't move, like the engine does, and can be kept in a nicer environment. So, for that reason, I kept the original solenoid switching both high current and the starter solenoid.

I realise that people have run the battery connection to their preengaged starters and have had no problems. It's just given the option, I went for safest.

Regards.

Sean.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:32 am

That`s the way to do it Sean.
I think that is the simplest and safest way to connect the new motor and is how I tried to describe it earlier in this thread.
I think your have described it better than I did.
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:12 pm

Wosp starter does NOT have the required solenoid connection for the ballast resistor arrangement you have. You will need to retain the original 4 wire solenoid.
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PostPost by: pptom » Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:26 pm

Splitting hairs a bit as it's clear that both methods work and it's pretty much down to personal preference. Make the starter fit the car or make the car fit the starter.
Got to chime in on the subject of the permanent live though, pretty much every single vehicle made since inertia starters were phased out, so maybe at least 40 or so years, have the battery live lead connected directly to the starter with the trigger to the solenoid, although I will concede that they don't all have a leaky set of carburetors above them :D
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