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Re: Midget Starter

Subject: Re: Midget Starter
From: (Denise Thorpe)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 95 10:30:47 PST
Greg "I really didn't want a project car" Reznick asked:

> I'd like to start by saying that I am a neophyte at this, so please excuse me
> if I am asking really stupid questions. The car is a 76 Midget, bought in
> September in "like new" condition. Some three weeks later I was watching the
> carb burn on the side of the freeway. 

There's a little freeze plug-like thingy on the bottom of the automatic 
choke to a Stromberg that always comes loose.  It will happen again with
your new carb if it's another Stromberg and the resulting gas leak drips
right down on the exhaust manifold.  If you ever smell gas under the hood,
deal with it immediately.  And always carry a fire extinguisher.

> Anyway, after replacing the carb the
> car ran great for a while though the accellerator cable stuck a bit. So I
> replaced it yesterday and came back from my test drive with my thumb in the
> air, signaling to my wife that all was well at last. 

Check your engine ground strap.  If the engine isn't getting ground through
the strap, it'll get it through the throttle cable.  This could also be the
cause of your starter problem.

> I pulled the car into
> the garage and turned it off. Not two minutes later I turned the key and got
> only a loud click. This behavior has continued, even after a battery recharge
> (just in case). 

I'm not sure if this is true of 1500 Midgets (or if a '76 is a 1500), but 
Midgets are notorious for having starters that jam into the ring gear.  If 
you can't turn it over by hand, this is probably the problem.  Put the car 
in gear and rock it back and forth.  If it's jammed, this will unjam it.

> The good news is that this happened in the garage, I guess.
> Anyway, my question is: Obviously the click I hear is the selenoid. Is there
> a separate relay or fuse that actually makes the starter turn? In other
> words, should I be making sure that the starter is getting power? Or is this
> an obvious starter failure, and I should just pull the thing and rebuild or
> replace it? Or is it possible that the engine is refusing to turn? Does
> anyone have a suggested diagnostic procedure for this?

To eliminate the starter solenoid as the problem, short across the two big
posts on the solenoid with a big screwdriver.  If the starter then turns 
over, the problem was the solenoid.

Welcome to MG's!  Having a car that's a project car is half the fun.

Denise Thorpe

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