Lotus Elan

New Starter Solenoid(s) not working.

PostPost by: M.J.S » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:43 pm

Okay guys, what the hell am I doing wrong?

1972 Elan+2S with ballast ignition.

Starter solenoid playing up so purchased a brand new one. Compared on the bench with the old, absolutely identical. Did a straight swap with the wires, ignition on, crank starter - nothing - no starter.

Put the old one back on, fired up first time. Guess the new solenoid is faulty out the box. Contacted supplier and he sent me a new one.

Compared that one, it too identical. Fitted it on - the same - no starter. Tried swapping wires to the other side. No difference.

I can't see what could possibly be wrong. This is such a straight forward job, swapping like for like.

Any suggestions please?

:? :? :?
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img_20180719_172054.jpg and
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:48 pm

I can't tell from picture, is the earth fitted ?
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:11 pm

wotsisname wrote:I can't tell from picture, is the earth fitted ?


+1 One of the mounting screws usually has an earth wire grounding the case...
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PostPost by: M.J.S » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:27 pm

Yes, there is an earth wire on the right hand screw into the bulkhead.
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PostPost by: elated » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:55 pm

?Made in China?
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:18 pm

Use an ohm-meter between the activating connector and the case to see in the internal solenoid coil is actually connected.
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:19 pm

Look for the coil resistance between the white/red wire connection and the metal body of the solenoid compare to old unit.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:58 pm

Then hot wire the solenoid on the bench to see that it operates, if it does test the contact resistance when engaged, should be close to zero ohms.

Editted, the clue to the problem is probably in your posting "solenoid playing up"...............................

Bench test both the old and the new.
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PostPost by: NIGELAN » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:10 pm

I have had problems with 2 failing the same as you.

My current one still occasionally fails and the high tech solution is to wack it with something solid, this seems to 'unstick' it and next turn of the key it works for a few weeks and then fails again requiring another wack.

I think it is poor manufacturing.

Pathetic fix I agree, but worth a try.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:25 pm

That was always the first diagnostic fix back in the day, the quality was pretty awfull back then but we knew no different, 50 years of manufacturing progress and everything on a newer vehicle performs like it has had 500 years of evolution, for a modern low volume manufacturer to produce even crappier stuff than Lucas really deserves an ovation for their dedication to originality :lol:
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:22 am

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:48 am

There were a few versions of that solenoid all very similar looking. You may have been given a 24V one by mistake. Check the coil resistance against your old one to confirm either way.

https://www.durite.co.uk/s/c/replacemen ... s/starters
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:23 am

I know you said there is an earth wire to one of the Solenoid body fixing screws. But i suggest you try a jumper wire from the solenoid body to one of the Camcover screws to be 100% sure of good earth.
I've had this problem many times on different Lotus.
Only a 5 minutes job to be sure :wink:
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PostPost by: Apx » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:44 am

Sounds like faulty manufacturing to me. Had the same with Durite last year, it refused to work from new. They replaced it and i have had no problems since, they paid to have the old one returned to the for testing and it was faulty.
IF EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE GOING WELL, YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY OVERLOOKED
SOMETHING.
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