my baby is poorly

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my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:28 pm

here's hoping some of you clever people out ther can help. my baby is ill some times when i turn the key she turns over slowly but will start. some times not even a click so i hit the starter with my tusty hammer and she turns slowly and starts. then tonight whilst driving home i turned the heater on and the battery light came on and would not go out untill i turned the heater of. so what do you think_smiley_46 ? battery,alternator,starter motor, or a combination of all 3 ?: confused0
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by Dutto on Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:51 pm

OUCH!!!

That sounds expensive!

I know more about the dark side of the moon than about vehicle electrics but it does sound like you have a £1 problem (e.g. wire rubbed bare that needs a bit of insulation tape) that will cost £100 to fix!

Best of luck!
drinksallround

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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:06 pm

cheers dutto i only hope it is that simple. but with dark mornings and dark nights she will have to battle on till next week, when i finish work till the new year then i can have a proper look at her handshake
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by modelman on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:25 pm

Could be several things,
1, battery going duff, but whacking the starter with a hammer wouldn't affect the battery!
2, red light on dash points to the alternator not putting out enough voltage, (if any) so it may have failed.
3, bad connection to starter the red (pos) cable from the battery goes straight to one of the motor terminals, whacking it MIGHT connect it enough to make the contact.
4, I've had the starter go slow on the Transit, the beginning of its failure.
5, check ALL the battery cables for cleanliness & tightness, as we[l as the smaller ign/solenoid wires.
6, unlikely to be the fanbelt as this usually results in a loud 'screeching' as the alternator tries to put out the amps!
I'd tend to look at the condition of the battery first, then the cable tightness from the battery to starter, then look at the alternator wires.
Check that lot first, if still no joy, then we'll have to try something else!!

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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:48 pm

thanks modelman that is going to be the first thing i do when i break up from work when i will be able to see what i am doing. going to take battery off and fully charge for a couple of days as i think i have totally discharged it last time i was out in it. now it only gets about 6 miles a day to work and back. no sqeaking from the belts i was guessing a loose connection somewhere but may need a new battery. thanks for the insight and tips .john
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by roli on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:34 am

Hitting the starter with a hammer is the old method of unjamming a stuck starter bendix. If you remove the starter and examine you may find the teeth worn and depending on the age of the starter replace the bendix gear. If you are uncertain of the starters age just get an exchange starter to rule out any s/motor faults.

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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by Johno on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:19 pm

Hi Bedford 1984

It may be worthwhile checking the main battery negative to chassis-earth connection could possibly be corroded causing high resistance at the point of contact with the vehicle bodywork.

John.
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:34 pm

thanks for all the tips. johno i had the same thought as when i tighten the terminals up atfer having the battery off the negative seems a bit dodgy. gonna get two new terminal clamps and work back from there and keep my fingers crossed that it cures it. thanks everyone.
john
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by roli on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:49 pm

I know your van is a CF but they are welcome in the 101 owners club which seems to include the various CFmodels, I mention this as they are a good source of information and where spares can be obtained

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poorly baby

Post by murph on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:18 pm

When checking wires dont forget the earth lead(s) to the engine a bad contact here could cause the symtoms you have, if the starter is short of power due to a bad contact, or any other reason, slight wear on the drive is more likley to cause it to stick and this may acount for it freeing when you hit it with a hammer.

Brian
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by eggnog on Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:36 pm

I can't remember when pre-engaged starters became the rule. But it must be before 1984. And at that point, whacking the end of the starter to clear the bendix gear ceased to be the poor boy's help it was to me when I was young and poor. (Still poor, just not still young.) However, if a whack helps, then the implication is that there is a poor connection somewhere that the whacking is fettleing, if only for the moment.

And I'm willing to bet a pint that the battery, happy to soldier on throught the summer, has taken a look at the weather forecast and said to itself ' S*d this for a game of soldiers, I'm resigning'. Ho hum, but BIG batteries are very reasonably priced on Fleabay.
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by mclacr02 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:16 pm

Does it have an alternator or a generator? If the starter is turning slowly it's engaged. When starter brushes are getting to the end of their life they are shorter and the spring pressure on them is less. Coupled with carbon dust in the brush box this can make them stick and a tap wth the hammer frees them enough to make better contact. If you can see the brushes and can see the spring it shold be firmly on top of the brush. If not the brushes are worn. With a degraded starting or ignition system on an older vehicle some or all of the components can be below par so replacing one can make things better but still leaving some that are inefficient. Halfords will test your battery and I believe they will do it for nothing. If you can find someone with a Halfords trade card you will be able to get spares at a discount there. The charge light coming on means that you are taking more out of the battery than you are putting in. Could be alternator/generator fanbelt or wiring or even water ingress.Generator has a control box, always a problem on my VW. When my daughter had the same problem on her clio I told her to tap the round thing at the front of the engine. Eventually the power steering reservoir cap broke under the onslought! hairdryer

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My Baby is Poorly

Post by Auldreekie on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:15 pm

Hi John,most of the replies above are very relevent to your problem and it comes down to elimination of each item.As you have said that you are only doing short runs at this time of year , you are probably useing headlights and heater which is not leaving much of the alternator output to recharge the battery. Also the alternator brushes could be getting near to needing replaced.
Do you have the 2.3l slant engine or the 2.0l opel engine in your van?. An excellent site for Bedford CF information is Bedford-CF.Co.UK where you will get all the help and assitance in maintaining your bedford. Regards Auld reekie.
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:23 pm

hi, would like to thank everyone for their tips and advice. an update, had the battery on charge for 3 days reconnected and no change. so i decided to start at the starter motor, what a twxt on a slant engine only one bolt visable so after an hour crawling under the old girl at the side of the road the starter was out allthumbz.into the kitchen and opened it up like a rough surgeon and all the rust and muck fell out. so cleaned what i could get at and sprayed all with wd40,just about thawed out then back to her put the only bolt i could see from inside back then back to the crawl underneath with spanners and emery cloth and a good clean of all the terminals another hour later and she was back together, battery reconnected and time for a try think_smiley_46 maked sure i hadn't missed anything, got into the drivers seat and put the key in fingers crossed and with a turn ofthe key she was away sounded 100% better so thank you all you wonderful people for all the tips and advice once again. will try again tomorrow after she as stood all night and let you know the results up!
thanks again : john
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my baby is better now

Post by bedford1984 on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:23 pm

thanks everyone tried the old girl again just now and all is good again allthumbz john
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by Paulmold on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:41 pm

Great that you got it sorted for minimum cost (if any). Good feeling that isn't it?
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:55 pm

sure is a good feeling only cost was cup of washing powder to wash filthy clothes from crawling underneath hugegrins glad i did it yesterday and not today about four inches of snow today lol4
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bertb on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:09 pm

Hi John. Not seen any more posts about your problem so hope it's all tikity boo. But if not, check out the bonding strap between the chassis and gearbox. My 2003 Boxer had the same symptoms and that was my solution. The connection looks OK but under load it becomes high resistance.The bolt was burnt through and the strap welded to the casing. The cure was to move it to another bolt.
Bert
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:43 pm

baby been sat since friday. went out this morning to see if she was ok started straight up so seems the problems have gone up!
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bertb on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:51 pm

It seems like it John.
Happy holiday.
Bert
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by bedford1984 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:31 pm

and you bert, and a merry xmas and a happy new year to all allthumbz who gave me tips and advice, once again thank you all thanksverymuch
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Re: my baby is poorly

Post by SherpaSam on Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:12 am

Just a little note to anyone reading this to solve their own problems;
The "battery" light does not generally show more charge going in to the battery than coming out, but is connected to the alternator and goes out when the alternator is producing about the same voltage as the battery.
If the battery is under heavy load it could still be loosing power with the charge light out.
The light coming on when the heater was used points to an earth problem, as was suggested by various people.
Generally, any strange action like the wrong lights coming on is caused by earthing problems, assuming an idiot hasn't been at the wiring.
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