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Intermittent starting problem - Vitesse 6


Bobtaylor
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A couple of days ago I went to go out in my Vitesse 6, it was last used a bout 2 days before and all was well. I tuned the ignition key, the warning lights came on and that's it. The engine made no attempt to start. I could start the car on the solenoid though, I ran the car for a short while turned it off and tried the ignition key - nothing. I left it for about an hour went back and it started on the key!

Everything was normal for the next  2 days, went out to start the car yesterday - nothing. Started it on the solenoid, went out for a drive, came home and turned it off and tried the key and all was well!!

Trying to find intermittent faults is tricky  I know, but any ideas?

Bob

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You've narrowed it down to the circuit between the key and the solenoid. There's intermittent power reaching the solenoid, and insufficient when cold to operate it. Check your ignition switch as the starter terminal may be corroded, and not allowing full power to flow; similarly, the solenoid may be corroded, and the heat from the engine causing components to expand overcomes this. I'd suspect this end of the circuit more than the switch.

My first instinct would be to dismantle the entire circuit, both ignition switch and solenoid, then clean all the contacts and reassemble. Second would be to try another solenoid, and see if that fixes the issue. If not, try a different ignition switch.

Now you know why my garage is full of spare items.. :)

 

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two place  the ign switch  and the solenoid .

the sweep contact in the ign switch can get weak and the rivet heads its has to contact sink, sometimes the sweep contact does not rotate enough to make contact,,  most swithes will strip down with some care, 

Colins on the case with the solenoid, they  dont last forever and again the contacts get corroded / green and become intermittent 

make sure the case is earthed ok   to the bulkhead .   easy to strip to destruction  !!!!

i relocated mine to the top of the panel as tucked down by the throttle levers is pretty tight.

Pete

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Thanks for the advice, I bought a new switch and solenoid although it was starting ok !! I have fitted the ignition switch and will wait to see if the problem happens again.

Unfortunately the solenoid is not the correct type as it does not have a button to press to start the car, so I will hold back on fitting it for now, I am a bit like Colin, thats how I end u with unused spares on the shelf in the garage.!!!

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Press button solenoids are mostly unavailable these days, the red-button versions are mostly old stock and can be hard to find, unless you go for the big round versions with the black rubber button on the front. Internally, they all work the same.

I end up with spares on my shelves because I buy first, THEN read the small print... (NOT suitable for early models etc, positive earth only, that sort of thing....)

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solenoid  selfstart buttons disppeared  from  solenoids many years ago 

i dont think you will fine a new version unless  its 50 yr old stock  and   NOS  can  come with ageism problems 

if you really need to self start keep an old screwdriver in the tool kit to jump across the two big terminals

Pete

 

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