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Electrical issue #605993
02/12/19 10:06 PM
02/12/19 10:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 40
Amberley, OH, USA
NelsonG Offline OP
Just Getting Started
NelsonG  Offline OP
Just Getting Started

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 40
Amberley, OH, USA
Hello all, need your thoughts. My car won’t start.

Lovely 67 RHD plus 4. When I picked up the car 4 yrs ago I drove it all the way from Copake NY to Long Island, 45 min into the trip we stopped at a gas station and it wouldn’t restart. eventually got it going again, after a call to Larry Eckler, nothing I did really just tried a whole bunch of times. Got it home, worried about something electrical. Since then I’ve replaced the battery, starter solenoid, plugs, plug cables, coil, completely rebuilt the distributor (ran electronic for a while till the British Vacuum Unit guy convinced me to go back to points), running great for 4 years.

We move to Cincinnati, and I take it for new title. Drive 12 miles there, no issue. Go to pull it to front to get ‘inspected’ won’t start. Cranks, won’t catch. Eventually I get it started but must keep key gently torqued towards starting position or it dies. I make it home. I assume it’s the ignition switch, order one from Morgan Spares, install it. Now car won’t even crank. Gen light comes on, turn further and nothing. When I turn on and use solenoid button I get a loud click and then nothing. I took care to put wires back on exactly as I took them off. Pic attached (if I can get that to work).
Image
[img]https://www.dropbox.com/s/losob5ll28s566w/MorganIgnSwitch2.jpg?dl=0[/img]

I continuity tested the white/red (to solenoid), white/green (to fuse box), White (to coil) and brown/blue (also regulator). All in continuity. (Old GoMog wiring diagrams say white but mine are all yellow, not sure if it’s age or if they started out yellow). The 5th wire on my switch goes from a shared lug with the white cables direct to the heater.

Any ideas what I should be looking at? Thoughts much appreciated. Deadlined at the moment.


- Nelson

1966 Plus 4 RHD
Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #605994
02/12/19 10:10 PM
02/12/19 10:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 40
Amberley, OH, USA
NelsonG Offline OP
Just Getting Started
NelsonG  Offline OP
Just Getting Started

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 40
Amberley, OH, USA
Forgot to mention, I have a solid state voltage regulator (in the old Lucas case), and am still running (and hopefully always will) on a generator.

Checked fuses too, nothing blown. Not that any of these lines are fused, but was worth checking. I also checked continuity on generator lines, all ok.


- Nelson

1966 Plus 4 RHD
Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #605995
02/12/19 10:21 PM
02/12/19 10:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,486
Solihull
Spanner Juggler Offline
Talk Morgan Expert
Spanner Juggler  Offline
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,486
Solihull
Hi Nelson

OK let’s get it cranking first. Please rig up a feed from battery terminal live (should be + that year) and looking at the solenoid remove the small gauge wire from the side terminal, it should be white with a red trace. Flash the feed wire you rigged up to that and car should turn over. If it does you have a starter open circuit on the solenoid switch wire. Suspect dislodged wire in column multi block/bad ignition switch kind of thing (new does not = fault free) and you need to test up to the switch and down to the solenoid with a test lamp or multi meter for feed.

Once you have reliable engine cranking use this direct battery feed wire and connect to switch side of coil, marked SW or +, and try cranking, if car fires you have the same problem with the ignition feed to coil.

The good news (there is some) is diagnostics are much easier with multiple faults that have a common link and yours points to a highly suspect ignition switch and/or open circuit block connection. It’s not at all unknown for a fault to be induced when you push the block connector together that one or more ‘blades’ are pushed back and either open circuit or intermittent fail.

Good luck and please list your findings.


BR Colin
Who used to be a Spanner Juggler
Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #606002
03/12/19 12:46 AM
03/12/19 12:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,369
West of Seattle, USA
LightSpeed Offline
Has a lot to Say!
LightSpeed  Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,369
West of Seattle, USA
I have found wire that looked good, even new wires, that had the conductor broken in the manufacturing process and sometimes it would make connection and sometime not.
A one week old new Triumph left me stranded in the middle of a major toll bridge during midday traffic. It turned out to be the primary wire going to the coil. Fortunately I was on the downhill slope of the bridge (Oakland bay bridge) and could roll off the bridge and park.
The entire incident left me very suspect of automotive wiring in general. Since electronics was my trade I owned a good ohm meter and found the conductor in question. I removed the wire and gave a big pull on each end of the wire and as if by magic there was a middle section that stretched like taffy. Problem solved.

Good luck with your problem.


Stephen
2019 M3W

Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #606005
03/12/19 02:04 AM
03/12/19 02:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 418
L
Luddite Offline
Learner Plates Off!
Luddite  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
L

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 418
1967 was quite a while back and who knows what wiring alterations might have been made during the intervening years...

One thought was related to you holding the key past ign on to keep the engine running, past the ign position is engaging the starter..... on some old cars, the coil is a low voltage unit that operated through a RESISTOR, the resistor being by-passed while the ign key is held as you describe to apply full battery voltage to the coil....

The idea being to generate the best possible spark while the starter motor is turning the engine over and overcome the possibility of a possible/likely voltage drop from the battery due to the electrical loading while the engine is cranking.

When the ign key is released the resistor is then switched back in circuit saving the coil from overheating due to overvoltage now that the engine is running and the battery is up to voltage as the load of the starter motor is no longer in circuit.

If any of the above makes sense then if the resistor is faulty or any connection to it from the ignition switch or between the resistor and coil..... then the only time the coil will generate a spark is when the ign key is held over in the start position...

If the car is driven any distance in this situation, then the starter motor will be engaged with the flywheel and running which will cause the bearings to overheat and partially seize... To the extent that the next time you try to engage the starter it may well spin enough to engage the flywheel teeth but fail to turn the engine over...

But then that is only one of many possible scenarios, and you may not even have a ballast resistor coil set-up....?

Check the voltage available at the battery while pressing the button on the starter solenoid, could be you either have a poor connection at the battery terminal(s) or on the main earth between chassis and engine... Try turning the squared end on the starter with a spanner..... it may just free it from the flywheel if stuck..sometimes a sharp hit on the starter with a hammer can achieve the same thing...

I am off to bed now.... hope you find something of use in this ramble.... please respond as Colin requested.... he might be out of bed before me in the morning and ready to take over, if you are still trying to resolve the situation...

Good luck.

Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #606012
03/12/19 07:37 AM
03/12/19 07:37 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 681
Northants, UK
TBM Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
TBM  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 681
Northants, UK
Agree with the above. Sounds like the initial problem is the ballast resistor (usually on the inside of the wing). Had the same issue myself - fires up fine, but as soon as the key moves back to the normal position it cuts out. There is a wire that comes from the back of the Rev Counter that feeds the ballast resistor. Check that it hasn't got dislodged (as had happened to mine!).

As for the non starting, sounds like everything up to the solenoid is working fine as it's clicking. As others have said, you may have damaged the starter by holding the key....

I would do the following:

Take a jump lead from the battery directly to the starter to check if it works. If not, that's problem '1' to fix.....

Once you've got the starter working, I'd put a direct live to the input side of the ballast (the input side should have a single wire, the output side has two wires). If it then starts and runs, it's the feed to the resistor that's broken, and I would check the back of the rev counter.

If it still won't start and run, stick the live feed to the output side of the resistor. If it then starts and runs then your resistor is at fault. Don't run this way for too long, as it will overload your coil.


1972 4/4 4 seater
Too many ratty motorbikes
Re: Electrical issue [Re: Luddite] #606030
03/12/19 09:25 AM
03/12/19 09:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,486
Solihull
Spanner Juggler Offline
Talk Morgan Expert
Spanner Juggler  Offline
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,486
Solihull
Originally Posted by Luddite
1967 was quite a while back and who knows what wiring alterations might have been made during the intervening years...

One thought was related to you holding the key past ign on to keep the engine running, past the ign position is engaging the starter..... on some old cars, the coil is a low voltage unit that operated through a RESISTOR, the resistor being by-passed while the ign key is held as you describe to apply full battery voltage to the coil....

The idea being to generate the best possible spark while the starter motor is turning the engine over and overcome the possibility of a possible/likely voltage drop from the battery due to the electrical loading while the engine is cranking.

When the ign key is released the resistor is then switched back in circuit saving the coil from overheating due to overvoltage now that the engine is running and the battery is up to voltage as the load of the starter motor is no longer in circuit.

If any of the above makes sense then if the resistor is faulty or any connection to it from the ignition switch or between the resistor and coil..... then the only time the coil will generate a spark is when the ign key is held over in the start position...

If the car is driven any distance in this situation, then the starter motor will be engaged with the flywheel and running which will cause the bearings to overheat and partially seize... To the extent that the next time you try to engage the starter it may well spin enough to engage the flywheel teeth but fail to turn the engine over...

But then that is only one of many possible scenarios, and you may not even have a ballast resistor coil set-up....?

Check the voltage available at the battery while pressing the button on the starter solenoid, could be you either have a poor connection at the battery terminal(s) or on the main earth between chassis and engine... Try turning the squared end on the starter with a spanner..... it may just free it from the flywheel if stuck..sometimes a sharp hit on the starter with a hammer can achieve the same thing...

I am off to bed now.... hope you find something of use in this ramble.... please respond as Colin requested.... he might be out of bed before me in the morning and ready to take over, if you are still trying to resolve the situation...

Good luck.


Ahhh what Ford called the ‘Ballast Boost’ system. Yes it’s a good point! The coil was actually 10v and the normal running feed was via the ballast resister wire and reduced down to around 10v but for starting as you say this resister cable was by-passed and full cranking voltage (normally 9.5v upwards) is supplied just for cranking duration. It caught a lot of us out at the time and I have been on many a breakdown to
old Escorts and Cortina’s where the customer report was it starts and runs until I loose the key so worth checking. As I mentioned in my initial running a total by-pass from battery feed to coil SW to see if it runs shows the fault lies in the ignition circuit. Running fir a few minutes won’t hurt it. Get it cranking, then get it running, then when you know the system affected for sure you can start looking for the specific fault(s).


BR Colin
Who used to be a Spanner Juggler
Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #606031
03/12/19 09:30 AM
03/12/19 09:30 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 418
L
Luddite Offline
Learner Plates Off!
Luddite  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
L

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 418
Ballast resistor coil....... ? As suggested there are loads of possibilities for wiring alterations on an old vehicle. Fitting ballast resistor coils as an after-market solution to improve starting was very common in older cars, that being the case there were numerous methods of achieving the same ends.

Some coils had the resistor fitted directly to the coil, and in others (mostly Ford) the resistor was a length of wire and thus impossible to identify as being the resistor unless one knew what to look for whereas other resistors could be easily identified as they were surrounded by white porcelain to contain the heat generated while in circuit, and the resistor would be in circuit for as long as the engine was running

Also after-market wiring could installation instructions could suggest you find part of the circuit that was only live (hot) when the starter motor was engaged to connect directly to the coil by-passing the resistor. In that case it could be that START circuit for the coil could be picked up at the feed (supply)to the solenoid thus when the key is turned to fire up the starter the coil gets whatever voltage the battery can provide while the engine is cranking equating to max spark..?

When the key is allowed to return to the RUN position the resistor is then back in circuit saving the coil from overheating due to receiving higher voltage than it is designed to operate at.

Hope this makes sense.

Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #606035
03/12/19 10:16 AM
03/12/19 10:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,486
Solihull
Spanner Juggler Offline
Talk Morgan Expert
Spanner Juggler  Offline
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,486
Solihull
When you say “the resistor was a length of wire and thus impossible to identify as being the resistor unless one knew what to look for“ Ford OE was a much thicker grey cable with an inline bullet connection either end and of course you could measure it with an Ohms meter, normally clipped to the O/S inner wing and always outside of the main harness. Goodness only knows what a Morgan used or changed. Well remember the on coil resister your mentioned on cars like Vauxhalls smoking away when the ignition was left on too long... happy days.

BR
Colin


BR Colin
Who used to be a Spanner Juggler
Re: Electrical issue [Re: NelsonG] #606036
03/12/19 10:23 AM
03/12/19 10:23 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 681
Northants, UK
TBM Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
TBM  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 681
Northants, UK
Mine is like this: https://www.burtonpower.com/micro-dynamics-ballast-resistor-mdbr01.html

And is located on the drivers side (right hand) inner wing, near the coil.


1972 4/4 4 seater
Too many ratty motorbikes
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