Serious starter problem!

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MikesDexta
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Serious starter problem!

Post by MikesDexta »

Hi all, it's been a long time but my Dexta has been performing well, I've ploughed and cultivated a nettle infested paddock and topped my fields several times since, all without issues. However (and please bear with me as this is a bit long winded) last Friday I needed to top a small 1/2 acre paddock that had become very over grown and again the Dexta performed well and I stopped it whilst I went in for a drink. I returned, tried to start it and the starter just permanently span making a startlingly din but not engaging; I could only stop it by disconnecting the battery. This has happened to me before and I concluded then that it was the starter lever rod fouling on the wiring harness but this time there was no sign of this. I thought the solenoid must have shorted so replaced it but on trying o start it again the ignition lights went out and didn't come back on. After hours of circuit testing I concluded the battery was dead despite metering out at 12.25v, as every time I turned the ignition key the battery output fell to zero. I took it to a local place that had a battery load tester and they said it had zero output under load and had failed.

I bought a new 85Ah battery fitted it and tried again; the lights came on (good) and the solenoid clicked so I thought the starter motor must be faulty so went to disconnect the battery and the earth lead was smoking slightly and very hot! After a day working out in the hot sun (the tractor is stuck in a field) I was totally fed up so packed my stuff away, had a shower and had a pint of cider under the shade of our veranda.

Moving forward, I have another starter motor (the original Lucas) that I paid a small fortune to have restored by a specialist (I've been keeping it for the 2nd phase - paintwork restoration). so I am very nervous about fitting it so my plan is to try again tomorrow with the old starter disconnected and if that isn't the problem start disconnecting other parts of the circuit. Meanwhile if there is any advice you could give I would be immensely grateful as would my wife who is having to deal with a grizzly old bear in the house...
1959 Dexta
I'm not retired just re-deployed

Emiel
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by Emiel »

Hi,

We had hot battery leads as well with a worn out starter. The cure was : new cables, good battery, clean connections and a good solenoid.

Sticking solenoid can be a problem with bad battery, to less volts creates problems.

You can measure the voltage drop over every connection under load to find the bad spot, but often it is bad cables and bad connections. With to little volts an electric motor Will wear faster.
Best regards

Emiel

N 1937, E27N 1948, 8N 1949, E27N 1950, E1A Diesel 1953, E1ADKN PP 1956, Dexta 1959, NH Clayson M103 1964

Billy26F5
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by Billy26F5 »

Inspect the original solenoid and try it again, the new one might be shorted to earth directly (repro parts can be as bad as that), I also recommend you try connecting a battery directly to the starter to see how it works and look for hot points elsewhere in case you find what shorted out. Do ensure you have good clean tight connections at all times. Don't refit the original starter yet, make sure everything else is in good condition before you put it there as you'll then know that there's no trouble likely to ruin the original starter.
Sandy
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MikesDexta
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by MikesDexta »

Thanks Sandy will do
1959 Dexta
I'm not retired just re-deployed

MikesDexta
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by MikesDexta »

Emiel thanks for your suggestions, I wrote a comprehensive reply but for some bizarre reason it hasn't appeared after I pressed submit :cry:
1959 Dexta
I'm not retired just re-deployed

MikesDexta
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Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:32 pm

Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by MikesDexta »

Well I've been going round in circles today, I fitted a new earth lead having first cleaned the chassis connection point to bright metal. The earth terminal isn't getting hot at all now but the oil and charge lamps are still not coming on when I switch the ignition on. I removed the starter power cable and tested the continuity of the starter switch. I tested the new solenoid in situ with a lead but still no clicking and a continuity test across the posts revealed it was stuck closed and a sharp tap freed it but it still wouldn't work. Something is also dragging the battery voltage right down stopping the lamps from coming on and I'm beginning to suspect the regulator/control box. It is the older style 5 terminal type with a removable lid. There's no obvious visible issues and the contacts are not welded. Could someone tell me what the output of terminals A and A1 should be with the ignition switched on then off please?
1959 Dexta
I'm not retired just re-deployed

Billy26F5
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by Billy26F5 »

Could you charge the battery first? It could be that all this is because the battery has drained because of the stuck solenoid.
Sandy
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MikesDexta
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by MikesDexta »

Yes I did Billy, but the new and newly charged battery couldn't operate the restored starter (that I've never fitted in the tractor) on a simple bench test (+ve to starter body, -ve to live post), At this point I contacted a mate who had a battery load tester and a known good battery, we tested the both the old and the new batteries and both were absolutely dead. We then tested the unused starter and the old solenoid and both worked fine using his good battery!

Although I very briefly connected the new battery to the Dexta it certainly wasn't long enough to destroy it, so I think I'm the victim of a freak event where the new battery is as bad as the old one. Now just to add some further evidence to my conclusion, when the supplier of the new battery tested my old one and declared it dead, he went to the back of the shop and produced a battery that I've never heard of, had their own label stuck over the manufacturers and (I subsequently discovered) had someone's initials engraved rather crudely on the case. So I think I have been sold a dud. I would add that I've dealt with this company for years and don't believe they knowingly sold me a dud and charged me £90 for it which isn't far off a battery from Halfords. The worry is that they may say the battery was destroyed by my tractor, which I cannot understand, so I may have to be firm with them tomorrow. My backstop will be to ask them for a loan of a known good but used battery that they don't mind losing if it could be the tractor. But my mate is coming over on Monday to help check over the rest of the circuit although all that is left to check is the harness and regulator, both of which look visually fine, no obvious melting).

At the moment I'm just relieved that the restored and unused Lucas starter are still good. I'll write the cost of the solenoid down to experience, at least I now have a spare.
1959 Dexta
I'm not retired just re-deployed

Billy26F5
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by Billy26F5 »

Good to see the starter and solenoid are fine, I'm just wondering if the new battery might have suffered damage from neglect, as a battery allowed to sit will lose charge and it will also lose the ability to accept charge, also increasing the internal resistance and eventually causing the battery to die (I'm assuming the battery was stored wet, a dry battery is quite a different matter, although I don't think there are any dry sealed batteries around). Ford specified at least 36 hours charging to fill a battery, so you might manage to save it yet. I think the rest of the wiring will be ok.
Sandy
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MikesDexta
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by MikesDexta »

Well they replaced the battery without a problem, stating only that it was unusual. I'm going to bench test the new starter, which I know is good, then test the old starter (disconnected, just bolted in) just to determine whether it spins or not. I'm not going to try and start her up until me and my mate have checked everything over on Monday but I'm starting to think that the problem has been a failed battery all along causing the solenoid to stick and the starter to continuously spin then compounded by a dud new one that sent me going around in circles (unlike the starter I might add..). For anyone interested the clue was that disconnected the battery read 12.2V but when connected up and the ignition switched there was enough load in the panel lights to pull the voltage down to zero. I'll update you on Monday.
1959 Dexta
I'm not retired just re-deployed

Billy26F5
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Posts: 1330
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:01 am
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Re: Serious starter problem!

Post by Billy26F5 »

Good idea about the starter, hopefully everything should be ok now.
Sandy
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