Dauphine 6V Starter Woes.
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Thread: Dauphine 6V Starter Woes.

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Default Dauphine 6V Starter Woes.

    Does anyone have any history with slow, hesitant (catches on a compression stroke?) cranking.

    I had a sparky go over it when the power plant was out about 2 years ago and he re-coed it & gave it the all clear.

    I've done all the usual stuff: new fully charged battery, all terminals & connections made shiny bright with a Dremel.

    Bear in mind it has been idle for ~35 years. Do the contacts in the solenoid ever get tarnished? After a long cranking session, I DID notice the solenoid was a bit warm but not hot by any means.

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    Today I will run an heavy auxiliary cable from the +ve battery terminal to the solenoid just to eliminate the unlikely event the factory cable isn't transmitting enough juice, but, TBH I'm clutching at straws here!
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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Check the voltage at the starter and the solenoid when cranking. Given you only have 6V, a 2V voltage drop doesn't leave you with much. Possibly the starter switch itself has a voltage drop across it limiting the voltage at the solenoid.

    I think a relay for the solenoid on these cars is a good idea, although I am yet to do it for my wife's Dauphine G that has a bit of a throw out problem with the starter. ie it doesn't fully throw out into the ring gear sometimes. I changed the starter to one I overhauled, but this hasn't sorted it.
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    Good idea. Hadn’t thought of that one. My 4CV does the same ( also a ‘sleeping beauty’ , in his case 50 years )

    I find that it usually responds to backing off and having another go, presumably as it gets to turn against a cylinder that doesnt kick back against it. I have had to roll start him once though. Am taking crank handle to Inverell.

    Thanks for the tip

    Andrew.

    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    Check the voltage at the starter and the solenoid when cranking. Given you only have 6V, a 2V voltage drop doesn't leave you with much. Possibly the starter switch itself has a voltage drop across it limiting the voltage at the solenoid.

    I think a relay for the solenoid on these cars is a good idea, although I am yet to do it for my wife's Dauphine G that has a bit of a throw out problem with the starter. ie it doesn't fully throw out into the ring gear sometimes. I changed the starter to one I overhauled, but this hasn't sorted it.

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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    Check the voltage at the starter and the solenoid when cranking. Given you only have 6V, a 2V voltage drop doesn't leave you with much. Possibly the starter switch itself has a voltage drop across it limiting the voltage at the solenoid.

    I think a relay for the solenoid on these cars is a good idea, although I am yet to do it for my wife's Dauphine G that has a bit of a throw out problem with the starter. ie it doesn't fully throw out into the ring gear sometimes. I changed the starter to one I overhauled, but this hasn't sorted it.
    Thanks Allan but I fail to see the point of a relay in so far as the solenoid ITSELF is a relay, yes?

    Do you mean a relay for the sender wire from the ignition switch that energises the solenoid? If so I don't see the point as the solenoid is a binary function; it's either on or off.
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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Just a question... If it catches or stalls on a compression stroke, it could be that the timing is too fast as well and that could sound like a flat battery even on some 12 V cars.

    Thinking a little different

    Frans.
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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post
    Thanks Allan but I fail to see the point of a relay in so far as the solenoid ITSELF is a relay, yes?

    Do you mean a relay for the sender wire from the ignition switch that energises the solenoid? If so I don't see the point as the solenoid is a binary function; it's either on or off.
    The relay would get its feed from the large starter motor wire reducing voltage drop at the solenoid, and would only use the original solenoid wire as a switch wire for the relay. The solenoid might draw 8A, the relay maybe 0.25 A, so much less voltage drop from the key switch to the relay, and given the much shorter suitably gauged run to the solenoid from the relay it is likely to have its best chance of operating properly. My father in laws high compression 4CV always had a slow output until I found that the quick circuit opening battery switch/ terminal on the battery was giving him a 1.5V drop at the starter. Once deleted , all was well.

    His car will be at the Muster, one of the 23 red cars (may be slightly over the true number) but the only one with twin carbs and a five speed combination.
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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    Check the voltage at the starter and the solenoid when cranking. Given you only have 6V, a 2V voltage drop doesn't leave you with much. Possibly the starter switch itself has a voltage drop across it limiting the voltage at the solenoid.

    I think a relay for the solenoid on these cars is a good idea, although I am yet to do it for my wife's Dauphine G that has a bit of a throw out problem with the starter. ie it doesn't fully throw out into the ring gear sometimes. I changed the starter to one I overhauled, but this hasn't sorted it.
    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    The relay would get its feed from the large starter motor wire reducing voltage drop at the solenoid, and would only use the original solenoid wire as a switch wire for the relay. The solenoid might draw 8A, the relay maybe 0.25 A, so much less voltage drop from the key switch to the relay, and given the much shorter suitably gauged run to the solenoid from the relay it is likely to have its best chance of operating properly. My father in laws high compression 4CV always had a slow output until I found that the quick circuit opening battery switch/ terminal on the battery was giving him a 1.5V drop at the starter. Once deleted , all was well.

    His car will be at the Muster, one of the 23 red cars (may be slightly over the true number) but the only one with twin carbs and a five speed combination.
    A relay will also take the larger current away from the contacts of the starter switch and make it last a bit longer.
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    Regards Col

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    As suggested by Alan Moore, check the voltage at the starter. Also check that all the earths are clean, especially if the car has been painted - say the earth connection to a nicely painted battery box connection. And check the earth strap connections between the half shell of the axle tube, and where the strap attaches to the rear crossmember bracket, also make sure all connections are scrupulously clean - main battery lead to starter, internals of the battery clamps if original, etc.

    Also if the starter has been overheated - say whizzed by 12 volts for a period in the past - high temps can cook the commutator leading to slow starting.

    The very long main battery lead can also be subject to voltage drop (internal corrosion from moisture ingress), so may need to be renewed, or the battery placed in the engine compartment
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    A relay will also take the larger current away from the contacts of the starter switch and make it last a bit longer.

    Oh so true!

    My everyday driver in the late 80's-mid 90's was a 1958 MG Magnette ZB. Every so often the ignition would cut out for no reason then re-start after a "rest". The contacts in the ignition sw sometimes just couldn't pass enough current to feed the coil etc. I fixed that with a relay.

    Simon, thanks! I forgot about that earth strap. The body shop boys said they had to tickle it with 12V to get it going, but, I ran a 12V Karmann Ghia with the 6V starter for YEARS without any trouble.

    Allan, I get it now. Thanks! As you say the feed is really short back there and with only 6V, every bit helps.

    Frans, that's not so "out there"! Long ago, cars used to have a control to retard the ignition for starting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    As suggested by Alan Moore, check the voltage at the starter. Also check that all the earths are clean, especially if the car has been painted - say the earth connection to a nicely painted battery box connection. And check the earth strap connections between the half shell of the axle tube, and where the strap attaches to the rear crossmember bracket, also make sure all connections are scrupulously clean - main battery lead to starter, internals of the battery clamps if original, etc.

    Also if the starter has been overheated - say whizzed by 12 volts for a period in the past - high temps can cook the commutator leading to slow starting.

    The very long main battery lead can also be subject to voltage drop (internal corrosion from moisture ingress), so may need to be renewed, or the battery placed in the engine compartment
    Hi
    All very good suggestions. Plenty of work checking all these things. My suggestion would be to check the earth strap and the main battery lead end connections. The end connections would be crimped on I guess and time and weather may have corroded the fittings inside around the copper wire. You could trim them back and solder them or remove them and clean and fit new ones or ??
    Of course you may like to put a meter across the fitting while it is cranking to read the voltage drop. A half volt drop on each end of the two cables would leave you with only 4V to the starter.
    Jaahn
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  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Well, I left it alone for 2 days as I was in the sticks & the damn thing fired up 1st hit straight away when I tried it!

    I tried about 4 more times & it reverted back to the same old painful grind.

    The voltmeter read 6.4 volts across the starter when the starter spun freely but when grinding it drops to 5, so I have to start looking for the reason.

    I'll start with the ignition timing. It could be that running for a few minutes got the bores warm & the compressions up to spec & then it got too hard to crank

    BTW what is the cylinder numbering order? Is no.1 at the flywheel??
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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    When checking the voltage at the starter whilst starting, check it both at the battery connection on the starter and on the load side of the solenoid. It may be that the contact in the solenoid is intermittent , giving you an occasional normal start. The other suggestions made are also well worth investigation.

    Firing order 1342 from flywheel
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    VD testing is first IA to identify resistances.
    If battery cables/wiring has been replaced remember 6V wiring is about twice the thickness of 12V to carry the correct current demand.
    Bad grounds produce heat when cranking. Carefully feel connections.
    Eliminate grounds using a good heavy gauge jumper direct.
    Ignition too far advanced could well be a contributor.

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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post

    BTW what is the cylinder numbering order? Is no.1 at the flywheel??
    As a matter of interest, when checking your timing with a timing light or test lamp or multimeter or just by listening for the "click" when the points open with ignition on obviously, it doesn't matter where the piston on compression stroke is as long as the marks on thepulley is at 8- 10 degrees BTDC. ie. the timing light can be on no.1 or no.4 lead and you'll get the same reading.

    The only time to take firing order into consideration is when you have to get the HT leads back to there correct position spark plugs.

    Frans
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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Ignition timing was spot on.

    Further investigation has led me to announce that Allan Moore wins the cigar!

    When I bypassed the ignition switch & ran a hot line direct to the "fire her up" terminal on the solenoid, it cranked away happily at top speed.

    What I had was a repeat of the problem described above that I had with my MG Magnette: not enough juice going to the solenoid probably due to degraded contacts in the ignition switch.

    I have a further order of 6V relays on the way as I type.

    I'm starting to wonder what else needs "tickling up" apart from hi-beam, lo-beam, horn, stop lights and now the starter solenoid??
    "Pauses for audience applause......not a sausage!"....Bluebottle

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