silver shadow 1 1973
john miller

Dudley, UK

#1 Sep 24, 2012
my car wont start from the key, the ignition comes on but wont crank the engine. i called the previous owner and he told me the car has a problem, to over come this he bridged the starter motor ( linked the thick live cable with the small one in the middle). i have just bought the car, any ideas. thanks.
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#2 Sep 25, 2012
This is a common fault if the rocker cover gaskets have dried out and started to leak engine oil down the side of the block. It then drips onto the terminals of the starter solenoid making the resistance too high for the current to pass through.If you disconnect the battery you can safely unbolt the terminals and clean them. After that it's just possible to wrap some plastic sheeting over them so the oil can't get at them again as a short term measure.

Under no circumstances should you tighten down the rocker covers in an attempt to stop them leaking. It won't work! By the time they start to leak the cork gaskets will be long past their useful lifespan and tightening the screws will just make them collapse even further and leak more.

Replacements of the same standard (cork) can be obtained from the usual suspects for around 9 each plus postage.
john miller

Dudley, UK

#3 Sep 25, 2012
thanks jan, got the car up on stands, and had a good look around the starter and yes i see some oil on the terminals, i shall take them of tomorrow an clean them. there is a red wire scotched on to a thin starter cable and comes up to the coil but is not attached to anything, do you know what this is for.
sorry to be a pest but also when the car is in the park position there is a clicking noise coming from the engine bay, this goes away if you move the gear lever.could this be the fault of non cranking..?
to put you in the picture, this shadow was driven in to a garage to get new pads all round, the old ones were removed but not replaced, the wheels where put back on and it was put in a corner for 4 years, and now it is it hasent been started all this time.....
once again jan, thanks for your help

Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#4 Sep 25, 2012
My best guess for the scotchlocked wire is that a previous owner started to add a separate cable assuming that the fault was in the car's original wiring.

There are safety interlocks in the gearbox to prevent the car starting in any gear position other than Park or Neutral. Usually I associate such clicking as an indication that insufficient current is being seen by the starter solenoid. Although oil on the solenoid contacts can cause this an old or poorly charged battery can often result in the same symptoms.

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