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Starter issue

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oljoshman Josh D
Carrboro, NC, USA   USA
Hey guys! So Ive been working on my 1969 Spitfire for a while. Under your tutelage I replaced the clutch plate and bearing and refitted everything back on. So now a new problem. I reconnected the battery and wiring to the starter. The car cranks up fine but the starter continously runs. I think I have everything hooked up right. When I first hooked everything up and cranked it there was smoke from the starter because it wasn't making good contact. I tightened it down and then it started right up. Any help is much appreciated. I'm getting closer and closer and I just wanted to see this baby move!

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sjharris68 Stephen Harris
Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand   NZL
Hi Josh, I had exactly this issue twice over summer and both times on the hottest days you could imagine and in direct sunlight!

Turned out that the starter relay had a really bad ground contact that was only obvious in 30+ degree Celsius heat!

I only worked that out by accidentally knocking the relay while disconnecting the positive lead.

Try pulling it off and ensure you have a good metal to metal contact under neath the relay or the washers of the bolts locating it and hopefully your issue is resolved.

I replaced my starter before finding this cure, which was good as the bendix spring was completely loose and not really doing anything.

New starter cranks a lot faster too.

Best of luck

Stephen

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Sounds like the solenoid is sticking. Once there is an arch scar on the internal contacts it's reliability is lessened and sometimes they even weld shut.

Tap it next time it happens and see if it stops.

Otherwise you may have an ignition switch issue..

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oljoshman Josh D
Carrboro, NC, USA   USA
Ok. So I tried to clean up the connections and tap on the solenoid. I have some observations. If I start it in neutral it cranks but the starter still spins(Im pretty sure its the starter but not positive). If I start it with it in gear and the clutch in it will run without the starter spinning (or whatever it is) but as soon as i try to move it cuts off. Any thoughts? I've bled the clutch and replaced the plate and throwout bearing, and I think I did it correctly. Please help me!

oljoshman Josh D
Carrboro, NC, USA   USA
Another update. Now it wont shift at all. It appears as if the clutch is stuck just like it was before I replaced anything. I bled it again and still nothing. I am at a total loss...

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Modern cars include idiot proofing to prevent the car from starting in gear but those measures are not on the Spitfire.

Is the clutch master cylinder full?

oljoshman Josh D
Carrboro, NC, USA   USA
Yes the master cylinder is full. Its been bled from the slave. no bubbles, nothing. It seems to be having the same problem it did before I replaced the clutch plate. The diagnosis was that the clutch plate was frozen to the flywheel. So I replaced it. After I got it all put back together the starter was continuosly spinning but I could shift through the gears with it running and the clutch in. After fiddling with the solenoid, etc Im back to square one.

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oljoshman Josh D
Carrboro, NC, USA   USA
Also if the clutch is pressed in and working properly then its in neutral regardless of what poisition the shifter is in, right? If not than Im more confused than I thought...

Falkon Avatar
Falkon Al Martin
Appleton, WI, USA   USA
Correct, a clutch pedal to the floor disconnects the engine from the transmission.

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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Best not to sit at the light pushing in the clutch waiting for the light to change.

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1510538 by oljoshman Also if the clutch is pressed in and working properly then its in neutral regardless of what poisition the shifter is in, right? If not than Im more confused than I thought...

Josh,
Not really in neutral. The clutch being released will allow the engine to run while the car stays still. However if the shifter is in some gear and you engage the clutch the car will move. With the shifter in neutral the car will remain stationary even when you take your foot off of the clutch pedal. The clutch disconnects the gearbox from the engine. Putting the gearbox in neutral is internal to the gearbox.
All the best,
Paul

Yellowhawk Valley Avatar
walla walla, WA, USA   USA
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Walla Walla"
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Portland"
1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV "Spokane"
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Dayton"    & more
If I am understanding you correctly, you started the car and it made a sound as if the starter was still running. (I know what that sounds like in real life-it is scary) But you now sound a little skeptical about it being the starter. And, you cannot place the tranny in gear which suggests the clutch is not disengaging.
I hate to suggest it but it has a sound of a clutch disc placed in there backward. That will make a lot of noise and it will not disengage to allow shifting but will slide enough to not move the car when it is in a gear.

Dan

oljoshman Josh D
Carrboro, NC, USA   USA
So the starter continously running is intermittent so I think its probably a damaged solenoid. As far as putting the clutch plate on backwards I thought I did it right. Double /triple checked but who knows. Heres a picture of it installed.

Also before replacing the clutch plate/etc I replaced the slave and master cylinder. Is it possible one of those is faulty? the line bleeds fine but could the slave not be engaging. Thanks for all the help guys, I really want to see her on the road.


Attachments:
Triumph clutch.jpg    69.9 KB
Triumph clutch.jpg

Born Loser Avatar
Born Loser Silver Member Matthew Taylor
Land O Lake, FL, USA   USA
Be sure the bleed tube is UP on the solenoid, or the air will still be trapped, with no bubbles during the bleed.



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

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
There seems to be confusion between two possible problems, the starter and the clutch.

Can you push start the car to deturmin that the clutch issue is isolated?

It could be the starter solenoid, just how long does the starter keep running for? If the contacts stick on the solenoid, the srarter motor will run until your battery is flat, ignition on, or not.

If replacment of the solenoid is required, I would use a Ford solenoid from a 70's-80's era F150.

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