2.5NA Starter Motor Issues - Defender Source
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Old March 18th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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Michael Dickin
1986 110 Tithonus - Now Sadly Sold
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 168
2.5NA Starter Motor Issues

So, I have just got back from a trip in the 2.5NA 110, which included its first stateside breakdown. It has been starting without a hitch since I got it, but today it decided to mess about. After stopping for about half an hour at a store in Fredrick I started the 110 up, it started well as always but this time a faint humming sound had me curious. After initially thinking it was the heater fan making noise I turned the ignition off, stopping the engine in the process, but the humming continued.

On opening the bonnet (hood for my stateside friends) it was obvious the starter was still spinning, so as quick dash round the tool kit and a half inch ring spanner to remove the earth cable. After an extensive check of all the wiring (why is it always raining, sleeting, or both when you brake down!) revealed no obvious shorts or defects I deduced that the starter itself was to blame, so in true classic Land Rover fashion I selected the largest adjustable wrench from my tool roll and gave the starter and solenoid half a dozen decent whacks. After gingerly touching the earth lead to the battery resulted in no more high current sparks or immediate spinning of the starter, I reattached the earth lead and turned the ignition key, starting the engine straight away as situation normal.

Anyone else had a similar issue? I've had the solenoid fail to engage the motor on previous Defenders, but never had the starter spin on its own before. Planning to fit a kill switch to the battery cable to enable quick electrical isolation in case something like this happens again.

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Old March 18th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Rick Newman
85 Defender 110
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Unionville, Va
Posts: 1,439
I would think solenoid. But then again...it is a Rover. I have found a local shop that actually does rewinds/rebuilds/ect. Might want to go that route if time allows. The switch is a good idea tho. Can keep from further damage.

06 L322 Range Rover "The Black Pearl"
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85 Defender 110 2.5NA "Margret"
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Old February 24th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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1960 109, w/200TDI
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I'd be careful about where you put a cutout switch. Some of the charge from the alternator may be going back thru the cable to the battery.

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Old February 24th, 2014, 12:54 PM
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Robert Davis
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 5,020
If this happens again disconnect the ground cable as before, then put a test light on the white with red lead going to the starter solenoid and the (-) battery post and see if the light glows. If it does you have a bad IG switch, otherwise the solenoid is sticking which is more likely.

Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)
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