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Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: dolomitefan ()
Date: January 08, 2018 01:08AM

I'm new to the Corvair fraternity but not new to classic cars and my current problem seems odd.

Cold starting the GB is quite hard work but that's not the real issue. When cold sometimes the engine continues to turn over on the starter even though the ignition switch has been switched off and sometimes even when the key is removed. The problem does not occur every time and when the engine catches it does not continue to turn the starter.

Is this likely to be a switch itself or possibly could the starter motor or solenoid still somehow be energised even though the ignition switch is turned off. I rather assumed that if the switch was off then there was no way for the starter to continue turning.

Changing a switch is easy, messing with starters and solenoids is something else. It's not going to do my battery, starter or ring gear any good if it continues.

Anyone else ever had this weird problem?

---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Gibson, Staffordshire, England

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1980 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
2015 BMW 1 Series

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: Layton Curtis ()
Date: January 08, 2018 07:03AM

The starter drive may be sticking and/or the plunger in the solenoid may be sticking in the start position. In which case the latter cause may be the solenoid coil windings may be faultly. As an aside, it could be mangled teeth on the flywheel (which is not likely)

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: dolomitefan ()
Date: January 08, 2018 07:49AM

Is there a way of testing the windings and/or switch without completely dismantling? I can only assume that if the solenoid is energised it will continue to draw current and turn the starter even if the key is totally removed from the switch, surely once the switch is off it's off?

I don't know how easily the part is to get to.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Gibson, Staffordshire, England

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1980 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
2015 BMW 1 Series

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 08, 2018 08:17AM

Charge your Battery!! Voltage should read 12.6 vdc after setting overnight...





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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Date: January 08, 2018 08:38AM

dolomitefan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm new to the Corvair fraternity but not new to
> classic cars and my current problem seems odd.
>
> Cold starting the GB is quite hard work but that's
> not the real issue. When cold sometimes the engine
> continues to turn over on the starter even though
> the ignition switch has been switched off and
> sometimes even when the key is removed. The
> problem does not occur every time and when the
> engine catches it does not continue to turn the
> starter.
>
> Is this likely to be a switch itself or possibly
> could the starter motor or solenoid still somehow
> be energised even though the ignition switch is
> turned off. I rather assumed that if the switch
> was off then there was no way for the starter to
> continue turning.
>
> Changing a switch is easy, messing with starters
> and solenoids is something else. It's not going to
> do my battery, starter or ring gear any good if it
> continues.
>
> Anyone else ever had this weird problem?

The culprit is probably the solenoid on the starter, but the eliminate the possibility that the ignition switch continued to send power to the solenoid field coils, you could do the following: Remove the ignition switch and pull the wires off it. Then activate the starter by briefly touching the BAT wire to the START wire. The starter should turn, and if it EVER continues to turn after you have disconnected the BAT and START wires, you have determined that the starter solenoid is hanging up. If the starter NEVER continues to turn when you disconnect the BAT and START wires, the problem COULD be the ignition switch. However, since this is an intermittent problem, this test is only definitive if the starter sometimes continues to turn after disconnecting the BAT and START wires.

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: January 08, 2018 09:29AM

Advice so far has been good. However ---- I've learned over the years that folks get "creative" with wiring. Also some add a secondary starter relay near the engine to get around voltage drops in the ignition switch and wiring.

If all your wiring looks good, and you eliminate the igntion switch, then it's most likely the solenoid plunger is not releasing (number of causes including a broken spring) and holding the starter motor contacts closed.

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Date: January 08, 2018 11:04AM

In the engine bay, locate the connector that holds the "Start" wire and the "12v Run" wire. They come from the engine harness and go thru the metal shroud down to the starter solenoid.
The Start wire is usually Purple of a larger gauge.

Unplug that connector.
Now you can easily jump 12V + to the wire that goes down there and triggers the solenoid.
If it works the starter without the "issue", then you can further test the other side of that circuit there with someone operating the dash key switch while you have a look at the test light and see it there is a problem there.

Lot easier than pulling the dash and key switch!


Dan Davis ~ Pierce County, WA ~ CORSA Western Director + Corvairs NW + North Cascades Corvairs + Corvanatics
1966 Corsa Turbo coupe ~ ~ 1966 140 Corsa ~ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 'Vert Sierra Tan/Fawn ~ 1964 Monza 'Vert (SOLD) ~ 1960 Monza Ermine White/Red PG ++ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 Evening Orchid w/ ivory/black interior ~ 1962 Monza Wagon 102/4 ~ 1963 Rampside/Scamper ~ 1963 Red/Greenbrier ~ 1969 Ultra Van #468

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: Seth Emerson ()
Date: January 08, 2018 11:22AM

So, Maybe it isn't "Lucas" or "Delco" electricals that causes the issues. Maybe it is being in England! Lots of good advice above, Mark!

Seth Emerson

Check my new Performance Corvair Web site [www.perfvair.com]

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: dolomitefan ()
Date: January 09, 2018 02:09AM

There's some good advice to follow there. I'll be sure to have a good look this weekend when hopefully it'll be light and dry.

Lucas electrics, know all about those on the Triumph. Coincidentally I used to work in a building which made wiring looms for Lucas, very dysfunctional building with a lot of problems. Just like Lucas wiring!

Thanks everyone for their help so far.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Gibson, Staffordshire, England

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1980 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
2015 BMW 1 Series

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Re: Ignition switch/Starter Issue
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: January 09, 2018 04:55AM

The correct answer was given above.

A weak battery will make the solenoid latch and not release! It sounds impossible but I have had that situation several times on my own cars.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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