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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - clicking on starting

Hello, we have had the midget running however now it wont even turn over. All we get is 2 clicks on key turn - have replaced solenoid and ignition coil, battery is pretty new. Is it defo the starter motor we have tried banging it but nothing. If it is starter wheres best/cheapest place for new or refurbed - saw on forum moss do recons but cant see them on website


Claire Jackson

even though you are pretty sure that your battery is fine, try it again, with a charger on it, just in case it is simply low after sitting for a while

also, if that doesn't work, double check the cleanliness of your connections at the battery post, solenoid posts, starter post and the ground lead under the engine, because any one of these can prevent the necessary amount of current to flow, even if they "look ok" (give them each a good scrubbing with some emory paper before re-assembly)

Hope this helps,
Norm Kerr

If it is an inertia starter (and it probably is) it could be jammed against the flywheel. There may be a square shaft coming out the back of the starter motor. Get a spanner on it and see if you can turn it - ignition key OFF while you do this. It should turn easily. If it is jammed, turning it with the spanner should free it.
Mike Howlett

sounds like flat battery.....
David Smith

As above I would say jammed starter which can give the symptoms of a completely flat battery.

Rocking the car too and fro in gear can also free it.
JB Anderson

Brushes of the motor could be worn.
Alex G Matla

100% guarentee is jammed - the click is what gives it away... Stick it in 4th and rock it back and forth until it disengages... in the long run you will probably need to replace the bendix on your starter. This is very common... particularly if its cold and damp.
C L Carter

Check your battery earth before anything else, even if it looks ok, don't ask me how I know that! Bitter experience, twice I had everything else in bits first!
Paul MkIMkIV

And the engine earth strap.
Mike Howlett

I had similar symptoms once which were intermittent and it turned out to be a "flat spot" on the starter commutator. If I remember,an 8mm spanner just fits the visible square end of the motor shaft and an eighth of a turn was sufficient to make contact again.
M J Chapman

Thanks for all comments

Have taken battery to Kwik Fit and they have said its at about 50% charge so will charge it for me for free (which I thought was nice of them)

when we get it back and we know it's defo fully charged we will try the rocking and turning the shaft - however I wuld say that it comes from the front as it faces front of car but hey at this stage if we break the starter it was gonna be replaced anyway

will let you know
Claire Jackson

a good battery in good condition saves a lot of hassle, even if the battery isn't the cause of a fault or problem it can help when in good condition but add to the problem if not in good condition

within the next few months a lot of batteries will be replaced possibly a lot of them unecessarily and a lot much earlier than might have been necesary if they been looked after just a bit better

whilst battery is off it's agood time to check that the connection to the starter is clean and secure, careful not too overtighten on starter or it could spin, also check connections on soloniod are all clean, secure and that the solonoid is well earth to the body

batteries are still one of most common causes of breakdowns, rarely is it a faulty battery that is the cause

make sure everything is clean, secure and protect - battery posts, clamps, main leads, earths

clean fan belt isn't loose

even if it turns out not to be the battery all these checks and cleaning will help
Nigel Atkins

Echoing Nigel, connections can look perfectly normal, but be grotty inside. For example, I once discovered that corrosion extended a good couple of inches into the copper of my positive cable, under the insulation. Replacing both cables, and cleaning up all terminals, made a noticeable difference.

Best of luck with the recharged battery, but keep the connections in mind as well.

Gryf Ketcherside

Claire, in answer to your original question of where to get another starter if you need one I have found your local motor factor to be the best source. About the same price as Moss etc. and you get it straight away.

T Mason

recharged battery and cleaning and protecting cables, leads and connectors is free so that's to be checked first before looking at a recon starter

interestingly I saw this on Battery megastore

6. The use of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is not necessary on modern polypropylene batteries, but there is no disadvantage in using it. Smear lightly on the terminals. It is recommended for hard-rubber batteries. Do not use grease. -

I still think I prefer a small dab of copperease on each post between post and clamp
Nigel Atkins

I think you need to check that the engine will turn over. Either by rocking or turning by the crankshaft nut. Worst case senario could be a seized engine. Had a similar thread on the mgb forum a while ago, the owner tested the battery, starter etc, tested further with a multi meter, new battery seemed dead. He stated the engine started fine last time. I suggested make sure the engine will turn and on checking he found it had seized. Hopefully this is not the case with Claire's car. But worth a quick check - rocking the car and monitoring fan position will hopefully eliminate this possibility.Good luck. Dave
dave bignell

This thread was discussed between 30/09/2012 and 03/10/2012

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