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Thread: Warm Starting Troubles - Seems to be a common problem but what about - - -

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Question Warm Starting Troubles - Seems to be a common problem but what about - - -

    I've seen this problem discussed in other threads but no one mentions being able to 'bump start' (pushing it and 'popping' the clutch) the engine and it runs great!

    We just bought this '85 Westy with a 1.9L and the previous owner had just replaced the coil. While getting a bad coil from the parts house is uncommon it does happen.

    It would seem to me that is the temp sensor was bad it wouldn't start regardless of what we did.

    All thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks -

    doc

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    There would be two differences with 'bump' starting v's with the key.

    1. Engine might turn faster depending on speed / gear combo used so this might point to your starter as being an issue.

    2. Electrical load. When starting with the key, the starter motor is pulling a lot of amps and there is less voltage available to other components (sensors etc.). In addition, the electrical grounds become less efficient (as it is also passing the load from the starter motor) which might stop a component from operating.

    I've read a lot about cleaning grounds and that seems to be fairly productive and good preventive maintenance (if nothing else). There are various grounds on the engine block so hunting them down and cleaning them would be the best approach. If you can do it one at a time and test between cleanings then you can narrow it down to the exact one. Otherwise, clean them all and try. Don't forget the battery and battery ground. I would suggest it is not a defective component as that would cause a drivability issue as it is used more than just at start up. It is also a good idea to check the voltage available at the coil while the starter is in operation (be careful you know what you are doing as the coil can produce 40KV and up). You may have a low battery or resistance in the wiring (since the battery and engine are at opposite ends) so that is also an option.

  4. #3
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    Feb 2013
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    Thanks scotsborn for the info. It sounds like good advice.

    The failure to key start and always being able to 'bump' start the engine is certainly a head scratcher! The logic you present makes perfect sense when all the information is considered. I'm ordering the service manual and will begin the search for all grounds after I check the battery cables for good connections as well as being good cables.

    Thanks again for considering our problem and offering your input.

    doc

  5. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    I too have a warm engine starting problem. I have a 1983.5 (water cooled) Westy. When I bought it I replaced the 1.9L with a 2.1L (a rebuilt block with new heads). I replaced everything that involved cooling and fuel. Cleaned up all wiring, and installed a new battery and starter. Did this three years ago. It cranks very strong when cold. But after say a two hour drive. If I shut down then restart, it cranks very, very slowly and some times the starter will stop and I will have to turn the key to off and back to start for it to crank again.....again very slowly. It always starts quickly so at this point I'm not concerned I will get stuck. But I have never been able to figure out why this is happening. I tryed a new started but that was not the issue. The only variable change is temperature. All my grounds are fine and my battery tests okay. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening?

  6. #5
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    I just looked in the Bentley and the wiring to the starter is pretty straightforward. The battery positive cable goes to the starter and the starter is connected to the engine and the engine is grounded to the body of the vehicle. The negative cable is bolted to the body and the circuit is completed. The Ignition switch is powered from the battery and sends power to the starter solenoid which engages the starter motor. Since you have had the same experience with 2 different starter motors then we will consider the fault to be elsewhere.

    The first issue is to separate starter speed (cranking) and engine starting. If the starter cannot obtain the correct speed then the engine will not start so we need to know if the starter is spinning at the correct speed and the engine does not start or is the starter slow which causes the engine not to start. The speed of the starter is relative to the voltage available to it so that is the place to start.

    Now, although the engine starts well when cold we cannot assume all is well. Heat can affect everything and sometimes not for the better. As a general rule, if resistance goes up amperage goes down so that translates to lower amperage / lower starter speed. Resistance can be caused by loose connections, corrosion and compromised wiring. If the wiring is too small for the amount of current being passed then heat is generated. So, we need to look at grounds, wiring and connections. One easy way to eliminate the ground as an issue is to use a set of jumper cables to make a temporary ground when the issue is present. Put one end of the black lead on the engine casing and the other end on the battery negative (if it will reach) or to the body. If the engine starts normally then there is a ground issue and if the jumper cable makes no difference then the grounds are probably OK. If you have access to (and know how to use) a multi-meter then measuring the voltage at the starter is important. Anything less than battery voltage tells you there is an issue with the positive wire from the battery to the starter. That needs to be checked.

    Any connections along the way needs to be checked. If all that checks out then the ignition switch needs to be the next consideration. This passes voltage to the solenoid of the starter but if this is defective I would suspect the starter would just click; not turn slowly.

    Summary:
    - Check voltage at the starter when it is acting up
    - Check grounds on engine casing to vehicle body
    - Check wiring from battery to ground (negative) and to starter (positive)

    Let us know how it goes.

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