Talk Morgan

Poor starting?

Posted By: TBM

Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:24 AM

She struggles to start after being left a couple of days, and this morning (6.30am and cold) took a real effort to get her going.

Once warm, or a day after use she starts on the button.

To me, this points to the battery - a new one was fitted in Nov 16, but she's been mainly say around since then and done minimal mileage.

Any other thoughts?

If in agreement, any recommendations for a battery, or will one from my local motor factors be sufficient? She gets used at least two or three times a week.
Posted By: John V6

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:26 AM

Do you use a battery conditioner?
Is the alternator or dynamo generating enough volts?
Are the starter motor & coil earths OK?

I have used Halfrauds batteries in 2 of my Mogs. They both lasted over 5 years at which point I sold the car.
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:35 AM

Originally Posted By John V6
Do you use a battery conditioner?


Not at the moment (although I have a shed full of 'Optimates' for my bikes - I'll wire one up tonight and see how I get on)

Originally Posted By John V6
Is the alternator or dynamo generating enough volts?


Good call - I have my doubts about the accuracy of the ammeter, so will stick a meter on it this evening to check.

Originally Posted By John V6
Are the starter motor & coil earths OK?


Should be - I have no issues starting when warm, but I'll check them at the weekend.

Originally Posted By John V6
I have used Halfrauds batteries in 2 of my Mogs. They both lasted over 5 years at which point I sold the car.


Thank you - I think the lack of use may well have 'dulled' the battery - I've done more miles in the last two months than in the last 6 years of previous ownership - I'll wager she's not been started more that 10 times since the battery was fitted.
Posted By: Neilda

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:41 AM

I am a very long way from being an expert in such matters, but having owned a few cars I think the amount of 'cranking amps' a battery has is pretty important. The voltage can be a bit misleading as it's the 'woof' behind the volts (the cranking amps) that tends to dictate if the motor will turn.
Posted By: Jack The Lad

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:44 AM

Sounds like swmbo


Originally Posted By TBM
She struggles to start after being left a couple of days, and this morning (6.30am and cold) took a real effort to get her going.

Once warm, or a day after use she starts on the button.

To me, this points to the battery - a new one was fitted in Nov 16, but she's been mainly say around since then and done minimal mileage.

Any other thoughts?

If in agreement, any recommendations for a battery, or will one from my local motor factors be sufficient? She gets used at least two or three times a week.
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By Neilda
I am a very long way from being an expert in such matters, but having owned a few cars I think the amount of 'cranking amps' a battery has is pretty important. The voltage can be a bit misleading as it's the 'woof' behind the volts (the cranking amps) that tends to dictate if the motor will turn.


Yes - I've also had bike batteries that will read 12.8v, but drop dramatically when any load is put on them.

I'll compare the CCA numbers if I get to replace it.
Posted By: John V6

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 11:45 AM

Correct volts that jolt mils (mA) that kill.
On my mogs the gauges are at best a guide of general direction so check the voltage with a multi meter.
Posted By: sospan

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 12:59 PM

What symptoms areyou getting?
Is the engine slow turning over?
Does it turn over ok but not fire up?

Slow turnover could be the battery, or a bad earth as the common issues.
Failure to fire could be fuel or spark issues needed detailed checks.
Posted By: Paul F

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 01:12 PM

Based on the history of the car, sounds like battery to me.

Worth checking earthing just in case. If you have the steel sheathed heater control, if it is getting hot enough to burn you, that would indicate a poor earth (don’t ask how I know!). MMC fit a flimsy earth from gearbox to chassis. For what it will cost, it is worth adding an extra earth strap in the engine compartment where you can easily check it.

In your shoes, I would fit a new battery anyway. Our 1985 4/4 was never hooked to a charger and the battery lasted around 7 years. Always started easily, until the battery started to fade. The code number on the battery and a tape measure should suffice to get the correct battery. If yours is fitted under the bonnet (4 seater IIRC?) then easy to swap. More modern cars with a constant current drain through ECU and immobiliser definitely need a float charger. With your use pattern, you shouldn’t really need one.
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By sospan
What symptoms areyou getting?
Is the engine slow turning over?
Does it turn over ok but not fire up?

Slow turnover could be the battery, or a bad earth as the common issues.
Failure to fire could be fuel or spark issues needed detailed checks.


It seems to turn over OK, but I notice a 'slowing' after third or fourth attempt. It's difficult to know whether it turning over fast enough. Once started it runs and ticks over beautifully, which makes me think spark/fuel is OK.

I had an old Suzuki GS that would appear to spin over at a spirited rate, but if the battery was anything but tiptop would fail to start. A new battery would have her starting in seconds. Old suzuki's are renowned for having 'interesting' electrics...
Posted By: IvorMog

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By TBM
She struggles to start after being left a couple of days, and this morning (6.30am and cold) took a real effort to get her going.

Once warm, or a day after use she starts on the button.

To me, this points to the battery - a new one was fitted in Nov 16, but she's been mainly say around since then and done minimal mileage.

Any other thoughts?

If in agreement, any recommendations for a battery, or will one from my local motor factors be sufficient? She gets used at least two or three times a week.

I don't think you have a real problem at all, just an excuse to brag about starting your Morgan at 6.30 am on a freezing cold morning when most of us were still tucked up in a nice warm bed.

I struggle to get started these days at 6.30 on a freezing cold morning.

Maybe I should plug myself into a battery conditioner overnight.
Posted By: Hamwich

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 02:30 PM

rofl
Posted By: brownbaker

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 02:46 PM

I had similar with my silver top zetec,fitted a high torque starter never had a problem since
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By IvorMog
I don't think you have a real problem at all, just an excuse to brag about starting your Morgan at 6.30 am on a freezing cold morning when most of us were still tucked up in a nice warm bed.

I struggle to get started these days at 6.30 on a freezing cold morning.

Maybe I should plug myself into a battery conditioner overnight.


Not through choice! Mrs. nicked my other car as she's having her clutch done - and it was far preferable to dragging a bike out smile
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 05:05 PM

She's charging nicely at about 14.4V, so no issues there.

Battery Voltage was showing at over 13V before I tested her (after 25mile drive home). Probaby won't drive her now till Saturday, so will check the voltage drop before I start her.

I also wonder if I'm 'over choking' her on start up? I usually try her on full choke first - I might try 1/2 to 3/4 to see if that makes a difference.
Posted By: Ray

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 05:43 PM

There's a good chance it may not need a lot of choke. Two or three pumps of the throttle pedal may be enough.
Posted By: Graham, G4FUJ

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 08:06 PM

Presumably you still have the mechanical fuel pump Phil?
My '76 would turn over very slowly if left for more than a couple of days. But you say it's turning over quickly.

Check all earth connections (I added a couple of extra ones to my '76 which eased things a little). Also fitted an electronic (321) distributor and high spec coil, doing away with the points and ballast resistor.
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 08:09 PM

Originally Posted By Graham, G4FUJ
Presumably you still have the mechanical fuel pump Phil?
My '76 would turn over very slowly if left for more than a couple of days. But you say it's turning over quickly.

Check all earth connections (I added a couple of extra ones to my '76 which eased things a little). Also fitted an electronic (321) distributor and high spec coil, doing away with the points and ballast resistor.


Yep - mechanical pump (new last year). Electronic ignition is definitely on the 'list'
Posted By: britmog

Re: Poor starting? - 09/01/19 08:33 PM

Of course you could have a small drain on the battery when it is standing. If the drives after starting are not too long then there will not be enough charge before the next small drain. A trickle charger will cure this, also if you have an immobilizer switch then turning that off would indicate if there is a drain or not. Otherwise try disconnecting the battery when not in use and see how it performs when reconnected, this will indicate if there is a naughty drain taking place.
Posted By: PHZI

Re: Poor starting? - 11/01/19 06:24 AM

Anyway if it turns out to be the battery then cheapest is on line, probably E Bay or Tanya Batteries. I always opt for the biggest (AH and CCA) the better, the only thing to check out is the physical dimensions of the battery tray/installation space available.
Posted By: TBM

Re: Poor starting? - 11/01/19 07:25 AM

Mrs. has nicked my car again. I didn't have time (or light) to check the battery voltage, but only gave her a tickle of choke and she started on the third attempt.

I had been using full choke, so I think that has been part of the problem - but I still think the starter is not spinning as productively as it could be.

Will certainly look online (although the AA is offering a 10% off Halfrauds at the moment which might bring them close).
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