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MG TD TF 1500 - Starter Issue 53 TD

Have a 53 TD and runs great. Once it get's heated up and run for a while it will not restart. There is continuity between the starter switch and voltage going to the starter but still nothing. After the car sits overnight and cools down, no issue. Pull the start cable and the starter turns over. What is happening here mechanical guros?

First of all, does it not start even if you turn it off and right away restart...or does it not start if you leave it for 10 minutes and try, or does it not restart at all for an hour or so?
The heat from the manifold can evaporate the fuel from the float bowls in about 10 minutes...then it is 'hard' to start and keep running smoothly...? If it is shut off for just 5 minutes or so, it should start right back up... It should also start up if you hear the fuel pump refill the bowls...and sometimes pull the choke a bit.
gblawson - TD#27667

Are you saying that the starter is not turning over when you try to start the car when it is hot? That is different that what Gordon is describing, where the starter is turning the engine over, but the engine doesn't start due to vapor lock. Also, your statement, "There is continuity between the starter switch and voltage going to the starter", is confusing. Are you measuring continuity betweent he starter switch and the starter terminal with a multimeter set to ohms, or are you just checking for voltage getting to the starter terminal when the starter switch is pulled? Try measuring the resistance from the starter terminal to ground when everything is hot. It is my guess that (if the starter is not turning over) there is an open circuit in the starter when it is hot. If so, remove the starter and take it to a local auto electric shop and have them overhaul it. Good luck - Dave
David DuBois

The car will not turn over because the starter doesn't do anything after it is heated up. When the car sits overnight, the next morning I can go to the garage and start the car with no issue. There is power going to the start switch, when I depress the start switch, power is transferred to the other side of it and power is present at the starter motor. As for an open circuit on the starter motor, it is a brand new starter from Moss and has worked fine since it was purchased no more than 6 months ago. The car has just been restored and I am now just able to drive it here and there and this just began.


Doug - I would find a good auto electric shop in your area and explain the problem to them. You could then get the car well heated up and take it to them and let them diagnose the problem on the spot. A brand new starter can fail just as easily as an older one. Something as simple as a sticking brush could be the cause of the problem, or a bad solder joint for ont of the field or armature windings. A good auto electric shop will be able to find those kind of problems quite easily. Good luck - Dave
David DuBois

Thermal problems can be sticky. The next time it happens try giving the starter a sharp tap with a small hammer.,,,not a 5 pound sledge hammer , a small 10 oz ball peen hammer. try to hit the starter on the side . DO NOT HIT IT ON THE END BELL.
You may have a sticking carbon brush. One of the brush holders may be tight and when the thing gets hot the carbon brush swells a bit and gets stuck.
The starter is easy to work on it is not rocket science by any means . It only has one real moving part and is held in by two bolts.
you may also have a bad ground.
To test that idea you can take a jumper cable from the POS, terminal of the batt. and clip it to the case of the starter and try again .If it goes you have a bad ground. Be careful .

Thanks to all with suggestions. I will try these suggestions and roll on!


Alan: I recently took delivery of a '53 TD. Can't really drive it yet while waiting for insurance coverage. That said, I noted the PO kept a small hammer in the tool box. Perhaps now I know why? :-))
L Karpman

Well, took the starter out of the car this week and found that the gear that rotates into the flywheel on the starter was getting jambed up because of a major burr on the internal gear. Took this apart and fixed that issue. Unfortunatly the carbs are apart being polished and are expected back tomorrow so the thermal question is still a mystery. Talked to a friend of mine that works for a NHRA (Drag Racing) team here in LA and he mentioned that a nomex, foil type wrap might help eliminate any thermal expansion that might happen. More to come later on next week. Hope I can share my experience with everyone so they to can enjoy British motoring as much as all of do!

First check the battery cable connections, then try a different battery.

If that doesn't improve things, I suggest taking the starter apart and look at everything carefully. It should work, hot or not. Sometimes it's handy to have a working spare.

This thread was discussed between 03/09/2006 and 14/09/2006

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