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MG TD TF 1500 - Charged battery/starter fried

The headlights are getting dimmer when approaching stop signs at night. I charged the battery last night as a first step in seeing what is wrong. Stopped the charger before going to bed and disconnected it. My pull on the starter cable this morning was greeted with smoke from the starter and it did not engage. Is there a risk of frying the starter when charging the battery or on the first start thereafter?
C. Eastman

It appears that you have a short to ground somewhere, or the starter gear is stuck in the flywheel ring....
Charging the battery should have no effect on the starter.
Disconnect the cables from both sides of the starter switch, and put an ohm meter across the terminals...
There should be no reading until you pull the starter cable...Then the meter should go to "O".
If the starter switch is o.k., then , with the starter cable disconnected, remove the two bolts holding the starter, and carefully remove it (it should come out pretty easily). The shaft is fairly long, so it has to back out several inches.
Use a twelve volt power source, like a battery or charger, to test the starter....Remember, the case is positive, and the cable is negative. It has a lot of torque, so be prepared to have someone hold it on the bench when you test it.
If it is o.k., then the gear was stuck in the flywheel, and you should move the car in gear, a few inches, to change the position of the flywheel...Then (after putting it in neutral, of course), replace the starter, and try it again.
Good luck, and hope this helps.
E.B. Wesson

Did you check the polarity of the battery before charging it. I've never done it, but wondering what would happen in a positive ground car with a completely dead battery if I was to connect the battery charger as if I were charging an American car with negative ground.
David Werblow

The starter is not polarity sensitive, so there is no problem there if the battery was charged the wrong way. If you are not comfortable with trying to work on the starter yourself, I would suggest taking it to a local auto electric shop and have them check it out and what it would cost to repair it.

Unless you are running some super bright halagon headlights that putting out a gazilion candle power, you should not have a battery discharging when running with the headlights on. You might also take the generator to the same auto electric shop and get it checked out. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

As mentioned many times before in this Forum,,, if you do in fact find that you need a new starter,, a starter from an MG midget works just fine, is a lot less expensive and is readily available at your FLAPS....


The worst case scenario for a starter is a low battery-
voltage is low and it draws WAY more current than normal. And, if it doesn't spin, it behaves just like a heating element. Sounds like battery voltage is still down and hopefully there's nothing wrong with the starter, they can take a bit of abuse.

Make sure your battery is good and you might even leave the charger on to test the starter.

Usually, upon hooking up a charger on the wrong polarity, it'll let you know with a nasty spark. One can hook up a charger backwards on a dead battery and reverse charge it. Not nice on the modern day car, but fortunately, not a horrible issue with old generators, regulators & starters.

Good Luck!
Jim Northrup

This thread was discussed between 12/07/2012 and 13/07/2012

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