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Re: Not much chance..

Subject: Re: Not much chance..
From: Barney Gaylord <>
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 13:45:29
At 11:54 AM 12/26/99 EST, wrote:
>By remote starter I assume you mean the push button on the solonoid that
early MG's had.

Well, Rick, the stock MGA doesn't have a solenoid, just a mechanical pull
switch with heavy contacts, but you can operate it by hand from under the

>On 12/26/1999 at 3:46:36 AM PST wrote:
>>  I was reassembling the MGA's cylinder head and ancilliaries today and
was using the 'remote starter' (if you know what I mean) in the engine bay
to turn the motor over. All of a sudden the starter motor stopped working.
Dead as a dodo. Batteries are fine, ....

Sometimes the starter pinion can get stuck in a worn ring gear.  Put the
car in 4th gear and roll it a bit to turn the engine.  If it does not turn
forward roll it backward a bit to disengage the starter.

Next check for power on the big supply cables while trying to crank the
starter.  It should crank well with 9-10 volts.  Pull the switch and check
voltage at the battery hot terminal, the input to the start switch, the
output from the start switch, and the input to the starter motor.  The
first point that has low voltage would be a bad connection.

The last point to check the voltage is at the starter motor, directly on
the input stud, not on the cable end.  If there is voltage there and still
not cranking, then the starter motor is faulty (or possibly a bad chassis
ground).  Rotate it a bit by hand and try again to check for a dead spot.
Internally the starters are pretty reliable.  Brushes and bearings hold up
well because they usually only run for a few seconds at a time.  A burned
out armature is usually the result of cranking on it too long (more than 2
minutes straight) when it won't start for some other reason.

The most common problem I have found with the MGA starter is a failure of
the insulating bushing around the power input stud at the end plate.  When
this happens the power gets a direct short to ground and pulls hundreds of
amps for nothing.  When you pull the start switch the voltage at the switch
will go from 12 volts to less than 5 volts, and at the starter input it
will go to nearly zero volts.  If this happens you have a short in the
starter motor.  The forst think is to take the end plate off and
check/renew the insulator bushing around the input stud.

And if all of that fails, call back.

Barney Gaylord
1958 MGA with an attitude

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