T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

An alchemy of sparks, copper wire and earth

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dannyjwood
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T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by dannyjwood »

Hi all,

I have a 1.9 Petrol 1988 Caravelle. I started having starter issues, cleaned up all connections etc but it didn't make much of a difference, I still had an intermittently working starter.

I've since replaced the starter, all good for about 3 months now the same issue again. I've cleaned all connections again, but still an intermittent start. Battery is fine, annoyingly she started first time today after being sat for 3 weeks. Went out to do the shopping and "click" from the solenoid in Tesco carpark... rocked the van in gear, wouldn't start... tapped the starter with my "starter motor hammer", wouldn't start. After about 30 minutes of rocking and tapping she started (luckily I had no frozen food).

So since getting home I have again cleaned and checked all my connections, except for the earth which I believe goes to the gearbox? I can't see the earth. Can anyone describe where I should be looking, or better still supply a photo?

Other than the earth, does it sound like it could be anything else?

Can I buy and install a new earth to test if the earth is my issue?

Thanks

Danny :?
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by California Dreamin »

Yup...even if it doesn't turn out to be the earth it is well worth adding one between a starter bolt and chassis. Make sure its a braided flex to withstand engine movement.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by CovKid »

ignition switch
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by dannyjwood »

Thanks Martin! I will get an earth strap and attach from bottom starter bolt to engine bay or something similar.

CovKid, thanks for your suggestion, any suggestions on testing the ignition switch if I take it out?

Thanks again guys!
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by ZsZ »

In my case oxidation on the contacting aluminium surfaces (starter to bellhousing) was the cause. A new ground wire will solve that.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by CovKid »

ignition switch almost impossible to test reliably on the bench although relatively cheap and they do tend to have a high failure rate. Swapping it out may well cure the prob.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by dannyjwood »

UPDATE:

I've changed the ignition switch and put a new earth from the starter to the engine bay, but no difference, still intermittent starting.

One thing I didn't mention previously is that the current starter motor is an aftermarket one and not original. Not sure if this makes a difference, perhaps not powerful enough? That said, it did work fine for the first 3 months.

My reason for buying an aftermarket one was purely price, due to the fact I had already bought a JK refurbished starter previously that only lasted about 2 years. So I was dubious about forking out again for a refurbished one.

Any thoughts? As I am on my 3rd starter motor, could it still be something else that is causing my intermittent start?

Danny :|

New Earth from top starter main bolt to engine bay
New Earth from top starter main bolt to engine bay
3.jpg (53.74 KiB) Viewed 7125 times

New and old ignition switch
New and old ignition switch
1.jpg (29.48 KiB) Viewed 7125 times

New switch in place
New switch in place
2.jpg (34.83 KiB) Viewed 7125 times
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by CovKid »

Disconnect battery, remove starter, and undo its end cap. Check that braided wire is secure inside and brushes in good order. Make sure all connecting wires to starter are in GOOD order and clean. Beyond that, a new starter solenoid may be only answer.

I did a comprehensive write-up on replacing all the main cables should yours show sign of frayed wires at connectors or general degredation: http://wiki.club8090.co.uk/index.php/VW ... ain_cables" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The above also forms part of the backbone needed for good lights as well as efficienct charging and starting.
Last edited by CovKid on 27 Nov 2017, 13:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by dannyjwood »

Thanks CovKid

Will I need to replace the bush if I am taking the starter out? I will have a go at this and also check if I still have my old starter motor (could possibly refurb that one).

Danny
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by CovKid »

If bush was changed in living memory it should be fine but a drop of oil in there will help when you come to refit.

Never throw away a seemingly duff starter. Almost every one can be rebuilt at home. Alternators are trickier as you need a good vice for those.

Also, DO NOT test starter on the ground or on a bench. Without the bush, you can knacker the bearings. My guess is it'll be failing solenoid (about £30 new), stuck/broken/worn brushes (£8) or a poor braided wire connection. Need a big soldering iron for that :D

That said, do check state of cables that run to and from starter. Intermittent starters are VERY frustrating but the cause is usually simple even if not obvious at first.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by dannyjwood »

Cheers CovKid,

I've found my Hella starter that was previously in the van so I will refurb that one! Will also check all cables.

Thanks again.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by CovKid »

Another thought. One or two fit a relay for the starter. I can see their thinking but personally I'm against them because:

a) if the poor supply is actually resolved, a relay shouldn't even be needed. Keep it simple.
b) you introduce yet more potential failure points.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by Marmalade67 »

Got similar issue. had all the wires to the starter replaced and new connectors by reliable auto electrics place and the starter is not even two years old. Our issue seems to be when it is hot. So we will be able to start and run it but for example after 10 mins stopping for petrol and then nothing Not tried belting starter yet as I felt it was too new. Of to France in it on Wednesday and not fancying having to park on slope to bump it for two weeks.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by itchyfeet »

Marmalade67 wrote:Got similar issue. had all the wires to the starter replaced and new connectors by reliable auto electrics place and the starter is not even two years old. Our issue seems to be when it is hot. So we will be able to start and run it but for example after 10 mins stopping for petrol and then nothing Not tried belting starter yet as I felt it was too new. Of to France in it on Wednesday and not fancying having to park on slope to bump it for two weeks.

I wonder if they replaced the main starter cable or the trigger cable or both?

Did this happen before all the starter and wiring was replaced?

If you did and both cables replaced then could be:
the bush in the bellhousing worn ( starter has only one bearing the other bearing is in the gearbox bellhousing)
the earth ( this is via the belhousing which is often corroded and then via the gearbox and it's bracket to the body)
the ignition switch ( which provide the power to the solenoid and often fail)

Take it back to the reliable auto electrics place.
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Re: T25 Starter Motor Problems - Earth

Post by Marmalade67 »

itchyfeet wrote:
Marmalade67 wrote:Got similar issue. had all the wires to the starter replaced and new connectors by reliable auto electrics place and the starter is not even two years old. Our issue seems to be when it is hot. So we will be able to start and run it but for example after 10 mins stopping for petrol and then nothing Not tried belting starter yet as I felt it was too new. Of to France in it on Wednesday and not fancying having to park on slope to bump it for two weeks.

I wonder if they replaced the main starter cable or the trigger cable or both?

Did this happen before all the starter and wiring was replaced?

If you did and both cables replaced then could be:
the bush in the bellhousing worn ( starter has only one bearing the other bearing is in the gearbox bellhousing)
the earth ( this is via the belhousing which is often corroded and then via the gearbox and it's bracket to the body)
the ignition switch ( which provide the power to the solenoid and often fail)

Take it back to the reliable auto electrics place.

Yes that was why I took it in in first place.
Had ignition switch changed last year too which could be when it started. wer didnt run it much last year.
1984 1.9 DG, Petrol, Watercooled, Autosleeper Trooper, feels bigger than our old LT 28!

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