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74TR6 intermittent starting problems

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74tr6NY Gary Ganoung
Binghamton, NY, USA   USA
This has me totally stymied.
Here is the problem:

Car won't start after the initial start.

If it's been sitting a long time(ie a week) it starts normally.

If I stop to get gas, it will not restart. The starter doesn't engage and the engine won't turn over. There are no clicks or other sounds. I have other electrical function, but it doesn't turn over.

Battery is one year old and checks out fine.

Relay? Starter (it's original)? Bad connection?

Any ideas about how to figure out what's going on???

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dicta dick Taylor
Downey, Callifornia, USA   USA
In reply to # 1406236 by 74tr6NY This has me totally stymied.
Here is the problem:

Car won't start after the initial start.

If it's been sitting a long time(ie a week) it starts normally.

If I stop to get gas, it will not restart. The starter doesn't engage and the engine won't turn over. There are no clicks or other sounds. I have other electrical function, but it doesn't turn over.

Battery is one year old and checks out fine.

Relay? Starter (it's original)? Bad connection?

Any ideas about how to figure out what's going on???

When starters are on their last leg and are hot, (radiant heat from their surroundings) they fail. In my case I had the original starter rebuilt.

Dick

Born Loser Avatar
Born Loser Silver Member Matthew Taylor
Land O Lake, FL, USA   USA
A pair of jumper cables can help you sort out the problem. Start by hooking pos up to the solenoid. Then simply hook the other end of pos to the other side. If the starter spins, the solenoid or its control wiring is the problem. Still no go? Hook up pos to the starter. Hook up negative to the engine block. Now hook up the other negative to the battery. Finally, push quick and hard, the pos to the pos post on the battery (it will arc a bit). If the starter spins, you have a bad connection somewhere - clean them up!



Matthew
1960 Triumph TR3a
1970 Triumph Spitfire MK 3
2012 Mini Cooper SS Convertible
2018 Jaguar F-Pace

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poolboy Avatar
poolboy Ken D
Sandy Hook, MS, USA   USA
Sooner or later, most people who have 1974 TR6's find they have to splice together the W/O and the W/R wires that are in the Seatbelt module's 12 pin plug.
Compare the 74 and the 75's wiring schematic; you'll see what I mean.

j007 Avatar
j007 Joseph M
Madison, OH, USA   USA
Do you here a click from your starter relay? If not check and see if you are getting your 12 volts at the relay, I had a problem where the wire coming from my coil to fuse box/relay connection was bad, cleaned connection and solved problem. Good luck.



Joe
73 Triumph TR6

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1406236 by 74tr6NY This has me totally stymied.
Here is the problem:

Car won't start after the initial start.

If it's been sitting a long time(ie a week) it starts normally.

If I stop to get gas, it will not restart. The starter doesn't engage and the engine won't turn over. There are no clicks or other sounds. I have other electrical function, but it doesn't turn over.

Battery is one year old and checks out fine.

Relay? Starter (it's original)? Bad connection?

Any ideas about how to figure out what's going on???

Get your self a 24" piece of pipe, a ball peen hammer or other tool. When the starter does work, give the starter motor a few whacks on the side with your piece of pipe. If it starts up, your solenoid is sticking. Time to get the starter rebuilt. Worked a treat on my Corvette.

Sounds like your starter quits working when it gets hot. That is a relatively common failure mode.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Another technique that I have found very useful in finding intermittent problems (especially those that only show up in the grocery store parking lot or at the gas station) is to take a length of ordinary lamp cord (2 conductor) and solder on a pair of alligator clips. Connect the alligator clips to whatever you suspect (eg the side terminal on the starter solenoid to the starter body), then lead the cord out from under the hood and around into the passenger compartment. Connect either a test light or a DMM to the other end. (I actually have a pair of pin jacks that my DMM leads will plug into). Now when the problem happens, you can immediately check the light or flip on the meter, to find out what is happening.

But I would look for loose or dirty connections first, especially where Ken mentioned. Several times now I've had vintage quick connects that don't work only sometimes, and almost always at the most inconvenient moment. Couple years ago it was the TR3 starter in fact, although it would only occasionally act up, not every time. And oddly enough, beating on the starter would vibrate the connection just enough to get it working again ...



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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HuffDaddy Avatar
HuffDaddy Scott H
Charlotte, NC, USA   USA
1976 Triumph TR6 "Huff Daddy"
I just had a similar intermittent starting problem, that turned out to be the solenoid on the starter. Evidently, some spark residue or corrosion need to be cleaned up and it completely resolved the problem. Worthy cleaning up before rebuilding or replacing the starter.

74tr6NY Gary Ganoung
Binghamton, NY, USA   USA
I'm not done diagnosing the problem yet, but if it turns out that I need to replace the starter and solenoid, where do you suggest I buy it?
Moss? TRF? Or should I look for a local rebuilder? Any brand I should stay away from?
In removing the starter, is it easier to access it from top or below? (I don't have a lift)

Thanks for your help!!

Gary

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j007 Avatar
j007 Joseph M
Madison, OH, USA   USA
I replaced my starter in my 73, I removed both carbs together, jacked car up on passenger side and put a jack stand under it, bottom bolt comes out fairly easy, top bolt is harder, make sure you disconnect the battery. I replace mine with a rebuilt from Team Triumph in Ohio, they where close to my house. Some owners have been replacing theirs with high torque starters, have a stock engine, not needed. Good luck.



Joe
73 Triumph TR6

Perdido Avatar
Perdido Gold Member Rut Rutledge
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA   USA
Gary,
Autozone is cheap and they have a lifetime warranty!
Rut
http://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/starter/triumph/tr6?vehicleSet=true

74tr6NY Gary Ganoung
Binghamton, NY, USA   USA
PROBLEM SOLVED.
It was not the starter, not the solenoid, not the electrical connections associated with the equipment.
After the mechanic researched the problem....Google.... found the problem to be in the safety interlock system that was part of the seat belt laws that went into effect in the 1974 model year. There is a module under the dash, hidden and nearly invisible, that contains a large round plug-looking device that somehow throws logic sequence into the engine starting procedure. Every Electrical diagram I had access to, did NOT show this thing.
It connected the seat sensor (which I unplugged about a week after I bought the car in 1974) a buzzer, and lights. Honestly, I didn't even remember a buzzer or lights. Sheesh.....the epitomy of government regulation run amok!!!!
The interesting part of the history was that the system was only used for only a short period during the model run. There were so many complaints that they stopped using it.
The mechanic soldered two wires together and the car starts normally.
If anyone can confirm or deny the history, I'd be interested know.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP.
Gary

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
That is exactly what Ken mentioned in post #4 above.

This isn't the place to argue whether "providing for the general welfare" constitutes "government overreach"; but I can confirm that 1974 model year cars were required to have a seat belt-starter interlock and the requirement was softened to a warning indicator/buzzer for the next model year.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

74tr6NY Gary Ganoung
Binghamton, NY, USA   USA
Bingo - fixed! You were exactly right. In the meantime I have a new starter and solenoid.

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1414747 by 74tr6NY PROBLEM SOLVED.
It was not the starter, not the solenoid, not the electrical connections associated with the equipment.
After the mechanic researched the problem....Google.... found the problem to be in the safety interlock system that was part of the seat belt laws that went into effect in the 1974 model year. There is a module under the dash, hidden and nearly invisible, that contains a large round plug-looking device that somehow throws logic sequence into the engine starting procedure. Every Electrical diagram I had access to, did NOT show this thing.
It connected the seat sensor (which I unplugged about a week after I bought the car in 1974) a buzzer, and lights. Honestly, I didn't even remember a buzzer or lights. Sheesh.....the epitomy of government regulation run amok!!!!
The interesting part of the history was that the system was only used for only a short period during the model run. There were so many complaints that they stopped using it.
The mechanic soldered two wires together and the car starts normally.
If anyone can confirm or deny the history, I'd be interested know.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP.
Gary

Gary:

Interesting that it corrected the problem. I have a 1974 with the interlock. I simply uplugged the occupant switches under the seats, and it has worked just fine for 10+ years. Of course, the interlock module may be dead such that it could not interlock the starter even if it was hooked up. At one time it sounded a buzzer if the belt was not fastened while the car was running. Haven't tested it in years....

There is a white Molex style connector (3 pins, IIRC) in the engine compartment right next to the firewall where the wiring harness comes through next to the brake booster. I think it was used at the factory to plug in a hand held starter button to test fire the engine. After the test I am guessing that the switch was removed and the connector was mated. Anyway, on my 1974 that connector got corroded enough that it went intermittent. I removed the connector and soldered and heat shrinked the wires. Intermittent starting issue solved. Two years later I stripped the car and tossed in a new wiring harness from Moss. The same connector was there, and I left it in waiting for another failure that never happened.

I have had intermittent starting issues caused by a bad starter solenoid, a bad battery (on two different cars), and the mysterious wiring harness connector in the TR6.

BTW, the interlock was required by law because naughty motorists were not wearing seatbelts and getting killed in accidents. Despite the immediate reduction in fatalities, congress repealed the law after they received angry complaints from constituents who got stranded while grocery shopping thanks to module failures. So the no start interlock was only required for the 1974 model year. Very few people remember that, but I do (I had been driving for several years and was already into car magazines).

The starter on my TR6 would barely turn over the motor when I bought the car. As I learned later, the previous owner had installed a head gasket upside down, which then blew making the car hard to start (near 0 compression in the number 6 cylinder). Rather than fix it, he apparently would just grind away on the starter until it fired, which over heated and cooked the starter. When I had it rebuilt, the tech commented it was completely fried inside, and he could hardly believe that it worked at all. the previous owner gave up and sold the car (to me) bad starter and all.

If the problem occurs again, check that little white connector....

Cheers,

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

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