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Fried wiring

To: "MG list" <mgs@Autox.Team.Net>
Subject: Fried wiring
From: "MonteMorris" <>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 09:06:18 -0500
Good morning.
I have a little problem-maybe even a big problem:-). The 79B hasn't been
starting on the first try for months; I've had to turn the key on and off
several times to get the starter to engage. Last week the while turning into
a parking lot the car died. I tried the key and nothing. If I recall
correctly, I still had lights. Tried again and started right up and drove it
an hour home without further incidence.
Yesterday, 140 miles from home, I had to click the key more times than usual
before it started. My wife drove it for a while and let it sit then it
wouldn't start again. They pushed it and it started. Then it happened again.
No lights, nothing. Tried to push start it to no avail. A friend "looked" at
the car; I don't know what he did  (he did have a charger attached when I
arrived), but he got lights again but it still wouldn't start. My wife
called me and I found the car had all lights, good voltage to the alternator
when the switch was on, as well as voltage to the bottom fuse, but no
voltage to other fuses. I tested voltage to the starter relay and there was
none. I don't think I did (Alzheimer's), but may have put the voltage meter
test wires between two posts on the starter rely. Then smoke started rolling
from under the dash. I pulled the battery cable and found that the brown
wire between the two plastic multi-plugs beneath the steering column under
the dash had fried. I pulled back the harness tape for a few inches and
didn't see any other wires that had been damaged to the extent of bare
wires. I then jumpered a new wire in place of  the melted brown wire, put
the battery cable back on and smoke started coming from beneath the steering
column cowl (probably the ignition switch?). I unplugged the battery cable
and I'm now on my way to dolly (tow) the car back home, 280 miles round
Where should I start? Could the starter have finally died and caused this?
I'll check back this evening when I get home.

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