Fun new problem: starter circuit issue
In the latest chapter in my series as a poster child of what *not* to buy in a used Defender, I've got a problem in the starting circuit.
Just last night it began: when running some errands I returned to the truck, flipping the ignition and nothing happened. I could hear the fuel pump kick in, but nothing from the starter: no solenoid click, nothing. The truck as a brand-new Optima yellow top battery & it was definitely not dead - the lights came on brightly and all accessories worked, aside from that whole starting-the-engine part.
After a helpful man and his sons gave me a push-start, I drove home a couple miles and parked in my driveway. I turned the engine off, then went to start it again and it turned right over and fired up without a problem. I did this a couple of times to confirm it was working OK.
Well, today it's not starting again. I crawled under the truck and jumped the hot wire to the starter motor and it spun up quite nicely. I could do much else without beginning some disassembly.
Any suggestions? With the pain-in-the-butt location of the solenoid, I can't really get to the other terminals to test it without removing the heat shield and perhaps taking out the starter. Since it uses huge allen head bolts, I have to go purchase some more tools to take out the starter... before I go through this I thought I'd ask here if there is something else that could be the problem.
For example: is there a switch that only lets the solenoid/starter fire up if the clutch is pushed in? Perhaps that could be bad. I looked at the (huge) fuses & they passed visual inspection...but a blown fuse wouldn't likely explain the intermittant problem I have.
I probably need to buy the tools anyway - and also pick up a set of sockets for those weird 12-pointed-start-headed bolts I see on the truck here and there. But before I dig in I thought maybe someone here could help.
When I'm done with all this repair work I'm going to post a pretty amusing (in a sad way) summary w/ photos of all the crap wrong with this truck, which was billed to me as a 'ready to be daily-driver-it-could-go-across-country-truck' before I bought it.