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Thread: Zetec Starter Problem... Help requested..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    36

    Default Zetec Starter Problem... Help requested..

    Hmmm, so I thought today was gonna be the day that I got my Birkin fired up for the first time.... No.

    The problem.. the engine will not turn over...( with the plugs in).... it turns over easily with the plugs removed...but the starter just seems to jam when the plugs are in??

    I have tried different batteries including one brand new one..
    I can turn over the engine with the plugs in by using a wrench on the crank bolt.... so why won’t the starter spin the engine with the plugs installed.... has me beat....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Tom Carlin says the it is usually related to grounding issue. Check battery to block ground, ECU ground, starter ground, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Kelowna BC
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    36

    Default

    I will re check those.
    Thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Kelowna BC
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    Default

    Well.... I cleaned and checked all engine and battery related grounds ... it’s not that....
    I did speak to Tom who said it’s possible that the “new” 17 year old starter might be sucking too much juice...
    So for want of any other idea I may do that and get it checked at a shop...
    I just looked and thought it would be easy to pull... but it looks like one of the bolts might be tough to get at as the footwell gets in the way... any thoughts on that from someone who might have a Zetec installed in a Birkin?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Yikes!
    So I fitted a brand new starter motor as the place I took my Old one said yes indeed it was not operating at optimum... so he sold me a new one....
    Guess what... same problem... turns over fine with no spark plugs in but the moment I add some resistance to the engine in the form of spark plugs it seems to over whelm the power of the starter motor....
    What am I missing... the engine is obviously not seized or it wouldn’t turn over at all.. I believe there are super duper powerful starter motors out of the UK.... should I be looking for one of those?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    thanks
    Clark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    3,793

    Default

    What about a push-start, just to see what happens? If it really is a weak starter, the momentum of the car should do it. I used a rope for a tow back when I was having starter issues with my X-Flow Caterham: once moving (5-10 mph), pop the clutch in 2nd, engine springs to life, hopefully. Or park on a hill? We have all been there.

    Maybe you have weak battery?
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Type R, sold
    '19 Miata Clubsport

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Thankful for the response Kitcat....hmmm I would do that but I’m still going for the first start... so don’t Really know whether the base Map etc is any good, and that’s without getting into issues of Living on a busy road...the car not being registered or insured etc.. so must find other alternatives to that for right now?
    what else do you think?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Couldn’t be anything to do with timing? With a new battery and starter motor, if you pull the fuel pump relay, your cars would still turn over like crazy right up until the time you ran your battery completely flat or melted your starter motor etc?.....
    So what gives...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    South Lyon Michigan
    Posts
    224

    Default Starter issue

    Time to get the VOM out and check the resistance on both the hot lead and grounding cables to the starter. You do have a grounding cable connected right to the engine?
    Dave W

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Kelowna BC
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    36

    Default

    Hi Dave,
    showing approx 0.2 v. On both sides when cranking... with no spark plugs in which I think is normal and shows that the cables are not the issue?....Does that sound legit? I bet it will turn out to be something simple but ... what? Is it at all possible that it’s stuck exhaust valves .... so that when I stick the spark plugs in... the starter motor cannotbover On my way! The compression?

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