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Hi  Bit of a newbie here.  I have a '57 TR3, which was running very nicely. But now seems to have no ignition. Possibly a short somewhere?

The background
The night before Gaydon, I drove part way up country to stay overnight.   All was good and fine. 

Next morning, dead battery.  I didn't give it too much thought.  Jump start, fired up immediately and off we went.    Stalled when nearly at Gaydon and had to have a jump start.  Same again when leaving Gaydon.  Knackered battery I assumed, so bought a new one on the way home.  All was good.   Parked at home in the garage.

Went to start it yesterday, it cranked over nicely. I stopped cranking to rest it, and then went to push the starter again.  Nothing. not a blip. No ignition light on the dashboard.  Tested circuits using the old two leads & lightbulb method - there's power (but is it in the right place?).  A bit of a poke about wasn't very enlightening.  I tried to bridge the ignition key terminals. Still nothing. 

Any suggestions as what could be short circuit  open circuit or just broken? 

Thanks

Karl.

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Hi Karl,

 welcome to the forum.

firstly check that the battery earth wire ir=s making very goods contact with the body - remove paint etc.

Make sure the battery power cable going to the solenoid is clean (metal to metal contact)

With the starter button pressed is there power in the White/red wire to the starter solenoid

If yes has the solenoid pulled in and is the starters spinning.  If not the solenoid could be dicky.

If there is no power on the white/red wire then there is an issue up towards the control box (maybe)

Here is a good wiring diagram that may help  http://www.advanceautowire.com/tr24a.pdf

 

Roger

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A couple of questions Karl -  

Does your car have an ammeter and if so what does it show just after starting and while normal running ?

Does the car have a dynamo or has it been converted to alternator?

(An ammeter  is a good diagnostic tool for charging problems so the readings might tell us something. )

This doesn't sound like a short-circuit, more likely a bad connection as Roger says.  If the car cranks OK one minute but does nothing the next, it doesn't sound like a battery problem.  If that happens again you could try operating the solenoid by hand (you push the end where the rubber cover is). If the starter runs then, it points to a fault with the solenoid or its wiring. 

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1 hour ago, RobH said:

Does your car have an ammeter and if so what does it show just after starting and while normal running ?

Does the car have a dynamo or has it been converted to alternator?

(An ammeter  is a good diagnostic tool for charging problems so the readings might tell us something. )

This doesn't sound like a short-circuit, more likely a bad connection as Roger says.  If the car cranks OK one minute but does nothing the next, it doesn't sound like a battery problem.  If that happens again you could try operating the solenoid by hand (you push the end where the rubber cover is). If the starter runs then, it points to a fault with the solenoid or its wiring. 

Thanks Rob

I have an alternator, and I have an ammeter - I do look at it, but for the life of me can't recall what it was at.  The last 1500 miles have all been fine, so under normal conditions, I guess that is all ok. 

It's always cranked straight off, no hesitation.  Dashboard lights all work, and vehicles lights too (normally).   

Tonight though, nothing.    I had wondered about a bad earth, but they all look good to me. At the moment, ignition on or off, I have no vehicle lights, or ignition warning light, no horn.  

Hand operating the solenoid does nothing. (ignition on or off)

More head scratching here.  And then fresh eyes and mind tomorrow.  

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That sounds awfully like a bad battery connection, either in the battery earth lead or the live feed to the solenoid. Power to everything comes from the connection at the solenoid. If voltage was getting to that point the starter would turn when you operate the switch by hand, provided the other side of the battery is securely earthed.

The horns are not powered via the ammeter so that means the connections on the ammeter and circuits downstream of it can be eliminated, as can the ignition switch. 

 

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Thanks Rob.

Why do I always look for the complicated answer first?  

Your comments about the elements that can be eliminated really helped me re-think it through.  I just put a jump lead from the battery earth lead directly to the engine block and all systems are go and she cranked and fired up straight away.  Phew!  The only thing I had changed on the car was to put a new battery on. 

I'm off out to buy a new batter clamp and a new / additional earth strap. 

Thanks for the help :-)

(PS, although my profile doesn't say it, I am a member of the Register too)

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a phew !! Moment indeed.
 

Sounds like a great result, well done everyone. And especially Rob.

I know I should know !!! But didn’t —….— was that all the elecs go via solenoid.

I really don’t understand elecs :huh:

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35 minutes ago, Karl Reilly TR3 said:

Thanks Rob.

Why do I always look for the complicated answer first?  

Your comments about the elements that can be eliminated really helped me re-think it through.  I just put a jump lead from the battery earth lead directly to the engine block and all systems are go and she cranked and fired up straight away.  Phew!  The only thing I had changed on the car was to put a new battery on. 

I'm off out to buy a new batter clamp and a new / additional earth strap. 

Thanks for the help :-)

(PS, although my profile doesn't say it, I am a member of the Register too)

Big welcome from me too, Karl.

Bit of a eureke moment for you, well done, and so satisfying when you solve a problem, and relatively simply.

Stay in touch, and if you get a chance post a photo or two of the car, always interesting.

John.

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32 minutes ago, Hamish said:

I know I should know !!! But didn’t —….— was that all the elecs go via solenoid.

The feed to the solenoid is the pick-off point for the electrics on a sidescreen car Hamish. It doesn't all go through the solenoid, it is just used as a convenient junction point. 

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13 hours ago, RogerH said:

Hi Karl,

 welcome to the forum.

firstly check that the battery earth wire ir=s making very goods contact with the body - remove paint etc.

Make sure the battery power cable going to the solenoid is clean (metal to metal contact)

With the starter button pressed is there power in the White/red wire to the starter solenoid

If yes has the solenoid pulled in and is the starters spinning.  If not the solenoid could be dicky.

If there is no power on the white/red wire then there is an issue up towards the control box (maybe)

Here is a good wiring diagram that may help  http://www.advanceautowire.com/tr24a.pdf

 

Roger

You did………!!!!!!

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Hi Karl, that is a very nice looking car, glad you got it sorted out and we still have the weather to put some serious miles on it. Welcome to the forum and club, have you met any of the Essex group yet?

Mick

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4 minutes ago, Mick Forey said:

Welcome to the forum and club, have you met any of the Essex group yet?

Thanks Mick

I met Martin at a car show a few weeks ago, and off to the pub meet tonight to hopefully meet a few more folk. 

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A very nice TR3 indeed. We have few 3s here, mainly 3As and more 2s than 3s.

 

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On 7/22/2021 at 9:15 AM, RogerH said:

I wish I had thought of the earth strap !!  :P

As an apprentice working the summer shift at Castle Donnington (East Midlands) my TR2 developed similar issues.  
Not charging poor starting.  

One of the electricians looked at my car one lunchtime and within minutes said ‘earth strap’.  He wandered off and came back with the yard long main starter cable from our Christmas Tree  AW Argosy.   ( Not the one pictured but at the same site).  That was duly fitted and and solved all the issues.   That stayed on the car for many years, screwed to the bulkhead where the battery earth terminated and running to the front engine plate.

Cheers
Peter W

image.thumb.jpeg.39b094aeb394e004bcdf6aeae42c80a8.jpeg

Edited by BlueTR3A-5EKT
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Indeed, TRiumph were a bit mean just having the two earth cables (chassis to block and battery to body) 

The extra Battery to block cable is essential in my opinion.

 

Hi Pete,

  that is a very nice photo. I have a soft spot for the Argosy.

It was built at a time when anything could or would be built - just because they could.

I believe it was designed with the help of apprentices.

It always amused me when the front loading door fell off - as it did.

 

roger

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