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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I just bought a 1993 Land Rover County 3.9 a month ago, and we are really excited about it, but it has had continual starting problems. First it wouldn't turn over, and $900 later we replaced the roller button, distributer pickup and amp module. Then a few days later it just made one click noise, and we had to dump $140 on a battery. I'm running out of money (bought it to be more reliable than the wife's KIA!!!) and it won't start once again, just makes one click. The AAA tow guy (we hang out a lot now :) ) says that its the starter, and I went ahead and bought one. The old starter has allen (hex) head screws and there are a fair number of parts in the way. I dont' want to remove anything critically tuned or otherwise important, but can't seem to get any leverage. Do any of you have advice on these problems? I would appreciate any help. I want to enjoy my Rover as much as most of you do, but now my wife is threatening mutiny. Please help!
 

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Solenoid

Hi,
could be a couple of things,first have you checked all your starter connections are in good order and tight,also is your engine earth to the battery up to the job (very common fault),It could be the starter is jammed give it a few taps with a hammer shaft on the body of the starter.
If you are'nt sure about the condition of you earth buy a new one and fit it from the battery earth straight to the engine.

When rangie starters fail they sound slow an gritty,It could be the solenoid is playing up but they dont normally fail as you describe.

Cheers onz
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Solenoid

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. So, I bought the Rover shop manual hoping it would tell me where all this stuff is and how to remove it, etc., and it has so far been rather worthless (instructions like 1- remove, 2-replace). The car would start in less than a second every time we turned the key until it didn't start at all, just that click. It didn't seem to fail intermittently, but then again, we did have the two previous problems associated with not starting. We tapped the starter and nothing improved. As far as the earth ground, where is it? Again, it isn't in the manual. Does it come off a different side of the battery as the +/- terminals? Could it break while sitting in the driveway? Again, thanks for the help, and I appreciate any more ideas.
 

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The earth ground is the - cable (black) on the battery. Just follow it to where it attaches to the body. Un-bolt, clean, & rebolt. Also check that the both terminals are tight on the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great help guys!

This is some great advice, thanks a bunch. So here's where I am now. I have cleaned all the leads and made sure they are all tight. Here is what I have to report:

Across battery: 12.48 Volts
Positive terminal to ground 12.4 Volts
Negative terminal to ground 0.1 volts
Positive terminal to starter solenoid lead 0.1 Volts.

So I then tried to start the car again thinking that all the voltages checked out, but again nothing but a single click. I then had my wife try to start it while I tapped on the starter....no dice. I am thinking that I have to replace the starter...unless anyone else has ideas. That other thread will be great help, provided I have enough juice to get the bottom bolt off :).

I do have another question though...One of the bolt heads of my right front tire has been lopped off somehow, and only the thread portion remains. Any ideas how to get that off with common tools? I am thinking about drilling through, tapping and pulling it out, but I don't have a tap set, and I am not sure it would be strong enough for that material. Course it may be that I can slide the wheel off with the bolt remaining, but that might not be a great permanent fix. Anyone have any thoughts on that too?

I'll let you all know how it turns out when I go at it tomorrow.

JButcher
 

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Defender

When the solenoid on my starter went on my defender it sounded much like the problems you described. The price of a starter her in OZ was quoted at around 1300Au inc fitting. When asked if the solenoid could be fixed the dealer said that it was sealed unit. Before forking out the money I removed the old starter and found that the solenoid could be opened, with encouragement. what I found was that the small copper plate on one side of the solenoid was worn (from high curent) on the oposite side the matching coper plate was fine. After a quick trip to the auto electricians and 2 dollars later a replacement part was found. 3 hours work 2 dollars and a few beers later all is back to normal. :clap:
Adam
 

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Replacing starter

Yes, I had a solenoid pack up with a click too. It was a new starter as well.

When replacing, to get those allen bolts out, I use an allen / socket bit and loads of extension bars so that it comes right out the front where you can get a nice breaker bar on the end. This works for that nasty little top one too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, what now?

Ok, so here's the scoop. I got the old starter out! :clap: I used the 8mm Allen socket you guys suggested and a lot of pent up anger, and got all the bolts off. There were two connections to the screw on top of the solenoid, and one to a tab on the solenoid. One wire was attached to the screw on top of the starter housing. Anyway, I took it all off, and cleaned all the contacts. The screw on top of the old solenoid was loose, perhaps indicating that the connections inside were not great, but whatever, I just put in the new starter. I put the connections back and tightened everything down, checked the voltages, and tried to start her up. IT WORKED!! :buttrock: Well then I grabbed all my stuff and cleaned up and turned off the car. Just for kicks and giggles I tried to restart the car....ONE CLICK!!! :bawling: What is going on here?!? Could I have put the electrical stuff back on wrong? I doubt it if it started the first time. I thought that maybe I could have drained the battery even though it was reading 12.48 V, so I tried to jump it with my Honda, but nothing happened. Do any of you have any ideas what could be going on? I was going to be all excited about telling you my car works, but alas I have been thwarted once again. Let me know what you guys think when you get the chance. Again I appreciate the help.

Jonathan
 

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Oh dear. Now if you have a new starter and a new battery, and the new solenoid clicks when it is activated, then surely it can only be a dodgy contact problem?

In which case if it started first time showing that you have connected it up right, then it won't the second time, this is because a contact is loose and has arced or something preventing a second good contact.

The fact that the terminal in the previous solenoid was loose suggests that that was probably knackered as you suggest, so take heart there. It may have overheated due to contact problems inside.

Just make sure that the main positive connection straight from battery to solenoid is tight both ends and that the actual ring connector on the end of the wire is actually contacting the wire and is not making a dry joint, and not corroded.

I assume that the audible click is actually the solenoid and not a starter relay, suggesting that the solenoid actuating wire may be at fault?

You could then run a wire direct from battery or just a loop from the big positive solenoid connection to the solenoid actuating terminal on the solenoid directly to check the solenoid is working.

Otherwise make sure the earth is working. I think mine has an earth strap from the cylinder head at the back where you can't see it, to the body. A direct earth from engine to battery is always better than battery to body and body to engine. You could try a jump lead from the engine to the battery negative just to check continuity. Certainly it is worth installing another earth of some size to assist in any case. There have been instances of accelerator cables burning out where bad main earths have been evident,due to this being the only route to earth left, so give your cable a feel to make sure it is not getting hot!!

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mission Accomplished...for now

So, I resanded all the battery connections, as well as the grounds and leads to the starter, and restarted the car, and all systems Go :buttrock: I took the old starter back to Autozone to get the core fee back, and apparently the old starter works fine, except for the loose screw mentioned earlier that makes contact somewhat (but a lot less than I expected) intermittent. Anyway, at least I have a lifetime guaruntee on this one. Onward and upward. Thanks for all your help. I hope others can benefit from this little scenario. So until tomorrow when my car doesn't start again ;)

Jonathan
 

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MY 92 classic would be great for a week and then not start. Solution: REplaced Both Pos. & Neg. Battery cable with Marine i.e. boat cables.
Classic is great again!!
 

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Tonight I tried to start my 1991 RR Classic, 169K miles (purchased at 63K, starter never replaced). Starter motor spins nicely as it is "free running" but doesn't engage. Never had starter problems.

I've done a fair amount of work with starters from having lived in Northeast U.S. but this one has me guessing. I have seen weak batteries cause lack of full engagement intermittently. (I added a two battery in parellel, interior light dims somewhat when turning on starter but not alot.)

It sounds like the solenoid is makinh electrical contact to get juice to starter motor but not sufficient to engage starter to flywheel.

It this possible ?

Also Hayes manual refers to a 'starter relay' on the firewall. Manual shows location for older models. Where is it located on 1991 model ?
 

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I had a simmilar problem when my clamp on the positive battery cable was cracked and not holding tight enough. Changed it and it was back to normal.
 

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I got the starter rebuilt locally here in San Jose, CA for $135. I'll write up the removal, repair, replace later. The M78 (Lucas) is gear reduction type and internal plastic reduction-gear (planetary ?) was stripped of all teeth.
 
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