Starter motor clean up, new year gig

With easy access to the starter motor I quickly discovered the intermittent starting problems were almost certainly due to the loose connection to the positive input (combined with the poor crimp on the ‘switch’ terminal). It turned out the nut wasn’t even finger-tight and held in place with dried-on mud. It seemed a bit daft not to remove it for inspection so I unbolted it and retreated from the lashing rain to the comparative comfort of the shed. Radio 4, coffee, roll-ups, lovely! There were also the remnants of the Quality Street tin, alas, only the long yellow ones and the flat yellow ones that no one likes, those that rip out your teeth without a careful chewing technique, but better than nothing…

The starter motor in my vehicle is manufactured by Valeo.

I scraped off the mud, dismantled the solenoid and starter housing and cleaned everything in meths just to complete my favourite Sunday afternoon mixture of aromas.

I was very pleased to see that although the inside was caked in carbon dust, the commutator was in excellent condition and the brushes as long as could be, years of life left in them. I had expected them to be badly worn as the outer insulation of the heavy cable to the solenoid was in a poor state. This was easily remedied with a length of red heat shrink.

The solenoid plunger was sticky and seemed to have a residue of grease, maybe a graphite-based substance judging by the colour. I cleaned this off and have reassembled it dry (hope this is correct).

After a dusting with a soft brush I hoovered out the stator assembly. Just for show, but maybe some added protection I painted the casing with black and chrome spray and Monday lunch-time reassembled it ready for fitting. Not the best paint job but at least it now looks refurbished even from the outside.

So, not much to show for a Sunday afternoon but another little job ticked off the long list and I enjoyed myself.

Previous state of the terminals
Previous state of the terminals
Remove the starter motor
Remove the starter motor
In the vice, cleaning the commutator
In the vice, cleaning the commutator
Cleaned up parts
Cleaned up parts
Complete and ready for refitting
Complete and ready for refitting

New Year’s Eve gig 2015

I enjoyed a lovely gig, depping on bass with Kenny and the Motives at The William Burt Centre, Westwinch, Kings Lynn. The house was packed with dancers wanting to have fun and it was such an enjoyable night it flew by, very often the last gig of the year is a hard slog, this was easy, and the only night of the year where you walk away with a week’s wages at the end. There were some lovely middle-aged ladies to look at and dream about, with a few impressive cleavages doing their, er, cleaving.

DW transparent drum kit

A highlight was Marty’s new drum kit. It was delivered that day and despite him working until 2pm he had it tuned and ready to go, on the stage by 6pm. It’s a fantastic looking and sounding drum-kit but he has decided to continue using his 1968 Ludwig snare as the DW seems to lack a bit of that crack from hitting hard close to the rim. Marty is well-pleased with his self-Christmas present and even on this tiny stage it looked the part.

Marty's new DW transparent acrylic kit
Marty’s new DW transparent acrylic kit

Thanks for reading and happy new year to all.




    • Thanks Ian, it’s a frustrating time at the moment, having to devote any spare time to some quite pressing jobs on the house (floorboards up everywhere and sleeping on the sofa) while Dilly stands outside looking neglected and SORNed. I’m not sure about the RSS feed or how reliable it is, my reader (Liferea) seems to show new posts OK. I am using the hosted version for my blog, and have considered hosting it myself to give me more flexibility and the ability to improve things like this, but that would seem more like work than fun so maybe not. I really enjoyed your latest ‘freebie’ Airfix project. Keep up the good work, spring is on the way…


      • I have similar problems with Ciggy, just frustrating to be stuck indoors and not working on the vehicle. At least the model making is very relaxing. We also went through 5 years of renovation work on our old house during which time I didn’t have any money to spend on Land Rovers. I don’t mind the DIY indoors but for me, my favourite part was landscaping the garden. I need to do that again now because 10 years later the garden looks a bit of a mess and our usage habits changed. My wife also wants the veg garden extending with some better raised beds. Too many jobs and not enough time! 😉


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