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Triumph TR6 - Cranking speed starter

I face a long lasting issue with my 74 TR6. Whenever the engine is hot and there is a need to temporarily stop the engine (the Netherlands counts many bridges) I have difficulties starting-up again. The cranking speed of the starter becomes extremely slow in hot conditions. The battery is oversized and in tip-top condition. All the leads are fine with good connections all around. When the engine is cold the cranking speed is at a normal pace.

I took the starter out and disassembled the motor. There are no signs of binding, the brushes and commutator are fine, no signs of arcing. Because the exhaust pipes are running just underneath the starter I have build a heat shield to isolate the starter for heat radiation from the exhaust, however no real results.

I suspect that the starter is not able to cope with the increasing compression when the engine is hot. I noticed there are after market starters around which deliver an improved torque.

Until today I have always been able to start the engine again, but sometimes the first revolution is dead slow. It is a matter of time until some other poor condition will also occur to get stranded.

If I would go for an exchange starter do I run in the same problems or are there other alternatives. If possible I prefer to stay with an original starter. Any thoughts on how I could proceed.

kind regards,
Erik Creyghton


Has your engine been recently rebuilt? It wouldn't be anything like the ring gap too tight causing binding when hot and expanded or something similar that might come along with a recently rebuilt engine?

I'll assume that it hasn't been rebuilt and everything should be fairly loose and broken in and not binding when hot. That leaves only your starter and I would think a new original type or rebuilt should solve the problem. I don't have any experience with the new high torque starters but it seems like a nice upgrade to me. Moss has them on sale once in while for around $200.00 U.S. Hopefully someone who has installed one can give an opinion.

Good luck

HP Henry Patterson

The most helpful articles I have read mention measuring voltage drop, and reading it makes my head spin, although it's probably simple once someone actually shows me exactly what's happening. So maybe your head can get around it better than mine, or an auto electric place can find the fault.

As an afterthought, maybe a heat shield is something you could try. I have experienced the same problem, and it is very frustrating on the super hot days when it happens. My solution was a new battery (the old one tested good, they didn't test it at 120 degrees F, though). If it does it again, it's gear reduction starter for me. You can save the old one for shows.

I have the exact same problem. I was going to take my starter apart this winter and check it out; but it looks like you have already tried that with no success. I guess a new starter is the only solution. If you purchase a new starter please post the results; and if in fact it did cure the problem. I would be interested in knowing.

Doug Campbell

My starter died last year, and the local shop couldn't get the right parts to rebuild it. After they gave up, I got a gear reduction starter from in NY. Bolted right in, works fine, and the price was better than the usual sources.

The only thing is it has that higher, faster spinning sound like you hear in Nissans or Toyotas. I suppose its better/modern from a technical point of view, but it took a little getting used to that coming out of a TR6.

Mark Hauser

Eric Check your ign timing as you have increased your comp ratio just a couple of degs can make a difference when hot, It sounds like you may be just a little advanced. Its worth a try to just back it off by revolving the distributor counter clockwise just a very small amount to see if it makes any difference, be carefull to make the smallest adjustment. CP
Clive P

When I first bought my TR6 in 1990, I had the same problem. Went through all the same test to check for correction. Nothing helped until I replaced with a new stock starter. Never another problem, starts right up regardless of engine temperture.
Later my TR8 developed the same problem, after numerous push starts when the engine was hot, I installed the gear reduction starter. That thing spun the motor effortlessly and always started.
Go for a new starter.
T Cofer

I tried to measure the voltage drop but this is quit a hazardous task. On my digital meter the readings are all over the place. Being sure of heavy leads en clean connectors I now assume there is no serious voltage drop.

At my local club someone suggested that the starter actually belongs to a TR4 and was meant to start a 4 cylinder in stead of a 6 engine. I know that the flywheel and ring gear are the same for the TR4 and TR6, I guess he might be right for the starter. This could explain the torque issue; by the way,I seem to be in good company with this problem.

I will wait till winter time to replace the starter.

Erik Creyghton

Today I changed the starter for an exchange refurbished stock starter (127 Euro / 152 US$).What a world of diffrence! Should have done it years ago.
Erik Creyghton

Just couldn't wait EH?
You definitely got the bug:)
Rick C
Rick Crawford

This thread was discussed between 09/08/2005 and 17/09/2005

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