Lotus Elan

Starter motor fault check list

PostPost by: fatboyoz » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:06 am

Hi Geoff,
It may be worthwhile using a vernier to measure the depth of the flywheel from the fitting face. Also, if you put 12 volts onto the spade connector, on the starter, the gear and shaft will extend, but will not turn. Measure the before and after and you have the throw of the starter. With these measurements, you should be able to ascertain what depth engagement you are getting between the pinion teeth and ringgear.
When I came to fit my Hi-Torque starter, I was only getting 3 mm of engagement over a 9 mm wide ringgear.
The easiest fix was to swap the pinion with a pinion with teeth that were 6 mm longer. I then had total engagement.
I see that Wosp (wosperformance.co.uk) sells a longer pinion for the Denso style starter. Part number: LMPK0929L.
Cheers,
Colin.




quote="Geoffers71"]Well I'm stuck as to what to do next. :? This hi-torque starter motor from SJ doesn't seem to be meshing properly although, of course, it's supposed to be pre- engaged. The noise from it when starting is alarming, a sort of graunching (is there such a word?) as if the pinion is not, as I said, meshing properly. It does start the car alright though. It LOOKS as if the body of the motor is flush and secure against the bell housing, but I can't be 100% sure as it's so difficult to see. I was initially worried that the pinion teeth, there ARE 9 of them, were not much more than a couple of cms long and might not be long enough to engage fully with the flywheel teeth, but it does have a label on it that says it's for a twin cam. I've loosened the securing bolts right off so that the motor is loose and wiggled it around to bed it in as well as I can considering I'm lying on my back and can't see anything. I tried to support it on a block of wood while tightening the bolts as I can't do both. Really fed up with it now, I think I'm going to find a local friendly garage who can have a look at it for me. Unless of course any of you bright souls have any suggestions :roll: :D :D[/quote]
'68 S4 DHC
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:11 am

Perhaps posting a video or sound file would help those who have one provide comment.
I would expect marginal engagement to be noisier as the interface could easily be on tapered faces.
Measuring the throw makes sense.

As you've bought from a lotus specialist one would expect it be correct.
But occasionally things do get missupplied, I had to take a sprint friction plate back to SJ with the original before I got the right one!

Hi torque starters are a Marmite subject.
Lets face It- modern engines have pre engaged starters so they must have something going for them!
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:23 am

As suggest by Colin I'd check the engagement of the pinion. I'd suggest un wiring the starter from the car and using a separate power source to just the spade connector to engage the pinion. With the start cover remove from the gearbox side you should have a good view to see if the engagement is good or not.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:59 am

Geoffers,
I agree with all of the above, clearly there is something wrong.
It should engage smoothly and quietly.
If you put the motor back on the bench and energise just the solenoid, you will be able to measure the extension of the pinion. This can then be compared with the dimensions on the engine.
This is just a repeat of what others have said, but I want to know something else.
When energised and extended does the pinion rotate under low power to allow the teeth to move into full engagement if the pinion tooth has contacted the side of the starter ring tooth and not the chamfered part?
Only then do the internal contacts close and apply full power to the motor.
This was implied in a Haynes car electrics manual which I was browsing in a charity shop. I didn`t buy it!
Previously I have not understood how they work on the unchamfered side of the ring but the manufacturers of my Powerlite motor say that chamfers are not necessary without explaining why.
Hopefully we keep learning.
Keep going, it will be worth it when it`s right
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:08 pm

Really grateful for all the helpful suggestions. Clearly something is wrong, but I don't know what. I spoke to the parts guy at SJ this morning and he said they hadn't had any issues with this motor before. It isn't a proprietary brand, but made for them by.......somebody :roll: All I've checked electrically speaking that there is 12.5 V at the starter power stud. Anyway I've given up with it. :shock: I can't be a***d to play around anymore so it's parcelled up ready to go back for a full refund. Think I'll go back to the original Lucas style motor, although I understand the modern versions are not particular good quality. Unless anyone has any other better suggestions.
1965 Elan S2 (26/4726)
2002 Elise S2 (now sold :-()
1970 Scimitar GTE
"The older I get the better I was !"
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:30 pm

Powerlite RAC 472 fitted to my S3 OK.
It was recommended and supplied by our local Lotus specialist.
Also fitted to a friends S4, Two screws and one wire, half an hour and no issues.
Otherwise so be it, you have put a lot of work into that and it is a shame that it resulted in failure.
Regards
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:03 pm

Whilst the old starter may look bad it may well be repairable by a specialist at a surprisingly competitive price.
It's worth checking if you have someone local who can look at it.
That was the successful resolution just before you resurrected this thread.


Edited for spelling
Last edited by MarkDa on Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:07 pm

You know, I used to be a real ditherer, but these days I'm not so sure :mrgreen: The thought of something like a Powerlite motor appeals, but what if my problem wasn't the motor and it was something else to do with it's supply, :? ? Although I can't think what that could be. I don't want to fit a modern Lucas STYLE motor only to find it's quality is poor and I have to go through this all again. Then again I could try to get the old one restored as Mark suggests. :? :? :? A few beers in the pub and a nights sleep and I'm sure it will all become clear in the morning :lol:

BTW sincere apologies to the original poster, I seem to have commandeered his post. ...Sorry
1965 Elan S2 (26/4726)
2002 Elise S2 (now sold :-()
1970 Scimitar GTE
"The older I get the better I was !"
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:56 pm

All I can say is that the Powerlite RAC 472 motor is made, or possibly adapted, specifically for the lotus Elan.
Look at there website. There are 17 pages of starter motors and a list of area distributors. They seem to know what they are doing.
If they have confidence in their product perhaps you can explain your doubts and get a guarantee that it will work.
I have had mine for five years now.
Best of luck
Eric
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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:56 pm

I know you'll all be on the edge of your seats waiting to know how it all turned out, so without further ado :D :D
I decided to take my old starter to our local starter motor specialists with a view to them perhaps refurbishing it as Mark suggested, but as I suspected it was beyond economical repair. However they did have in stock one of the modern identical equivalents. They dismissed my argument that these were inferior and poor quality and persuaded me to buy one. At About 1/3 the cost of the SJ one I thought what the hell. After finally fitting it and after a not insignificant struggle I apprehensively turned the key and.......wunderbar!!! It spins the engine beautifully without a hint of a graunch. Lovely, I'm so relieved and chuffed. Thanks again to all who helped. :wink:
1965 Elan S2 (26/4726)
2002 Elise S2 (now sold :-()
1970 Scimitar GTE
"The older I get the better I was !"
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Pleased to hear that you are a happy chappy at last!
Yes the old starters are heavy and cumbersome to fit single handed.
All that preliminary circuit and connection checking has paid dividends in providing a good solid energy supply.
You should be good for many years now with a bit of luck.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:34 pm

Well, that`s a result.
You got the answer you needed and paid less than you expected to have to, when did that last happen.?
Eric in Burnley
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