Total Carlton

Carlton Technical => Oily Bits => Topic started by: djbthatsme on April 15, 2018, 05:45:09 PM

Title: Starter motor
Post by: djbthatsme on April 15, 2018, 05:45:09 PM
It seems like the starter motor on the Carlton is shot.
I've been having so much trouble on getting the Carlton started that I called the RAC in on Friday 14 April. He did all the normal checks verifying that fuel was being delivered and there was a good clear spark at the plugs. The dizzy cap was removed showing that its internals were bone dry so we eventually both came to the conclusion that the starter motor seemed sluggish and was probably the cause of the problem ie. it wasn't turning the engine over quick enough for it to fire up.

However I did find a shortcoming that could contribute to the running of the car.

After the RAC guy left without remedying the situation I decided to take the battery off and charge it in the house. To my surprise whilst the earthing clamp had been positioned onto the battery pole it had not been tightened and had been in this state for quite some time. To me it also indicated that this could contribute to the car not starting because the charge being provided by the RAC vehicle was impaired.

After about 6 hours of charge I replaced the battery and tried to start the car again but unsuccessfully.

The following day I thought that I would try again - I was running out of grog and smokes - something had to be done, this was a critical situation.

I reckoned I'd have a better chance considering that it was a warmer day. The engine oil would be warmer allowing less resistance to the moving parts when trying to start the car. The battery was charged for about 6-8 hours, reconnected and lo and behold it struggled but the engine started.   

The journey was made to the grog\smoke\food supplier and the necessities were replenished.

Obviously the engine was kept running throughout so in the short term the problem had been overcome.

Now comes the problem!!

I want to buy a NEW starter motor to replace the current one.

From my investigations I have been led to believe there are numerous starter motors which are suitable yet when further questioned
some will and some won't fit my car even though they are all deemed to be suitable on the internet. One character from the London area claims that they need to know what the code number is on the current unit, otherwise they are not prepared to sell a unit to me.

Anyone else come up against this phenomena?

There as also been a benefit from the above.

Before the dizzy cap was removed the temperature gauge needle went beyond its highest mark (previous post), now it seems to have settled down and looks as if its working properly. I would guess that the gauge is OK but there is an electrical fault that needs to be found and remedied. There is also another issue.

The engine runs erratically some of the time, as if there is a short to earth in the ignition system.

Any thoughts are welcome.   


Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: Dave the Builder on April 16, 2018, 10:44:44 AM
if you have an electrical problem "short to earth " on the temp sensor,or anywhere else you will have problems starting  ;)
if your battery is tired /old /new but has a dead cell , then ,when cranking the engine to start ,voltage will drop below 12v  :'(
the ecu will go into protection mode and it won't start

the fact that you got it started with a fully charged battery says to me your starter is working  :D

how old is the battery ?

got a known good battery you can try ?

as for replacing the starter, should it be needed , remind me again what engine you have ? non cat 20SE or C20NE with cat ?
though i'm pretty sure the starter is the same for both , along with calibra,astra,cavalier 2L 4 banger engines of the era .

i've a starter here ,may take me a day or so to find it ,that i can get the oem part number off
BUT !!!!

i'd be looking at your battery and "short to earth" before pointing fingers at other costly parts of your engine  ;)
Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: Dave the Builder on April 16, 2018, 11:21:30 AM
If you buy a battery get something beefy like a 096 not 063 (the minimum)

A new starter won't cure a bad connection or short to earth/ electrical gremlin elsewhere ,but if you've money burning a hole in your pocket  ;D

quick search on google for starters for a 4 banger

new clicky 45 inc p&P  (

used clicky 17,98 (

starter cross ref numbers

BOSCH 0001108047
BOSCH 0001108078
BOSCH 0001108079
BOSCH 0001108151
BOSCH 0001108171
BOSCH 0001108184
BOSCH 0001111106
BOSCH 0001111214
BOSCH 0986013610
BOSCH 0986013611
DELCO REMY 328014092
DELCO REMY 328015092
FRIESEN 8013610
FRIESEN 8016890
HELLA 726120001
ISKRA 11130651
MAGNETI MARELLI 943241035010
MAGNETI MARELLI 943251139010
OPEL 1202000
OPEL 1202005
OPEL 1202010
OPEL 1202125
OPEL 1202130
OPEL 1202958
OPEL 90277934
OPEL 90297846
OPEL 90348290
SAAB 4966842
SAAB 4966847
SAAB 8828238
VALEO 436034
VALEO 436056
VALEO 458222
Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: djbthatsme on April 17, 2018, 03:41:21 PM
Thank for your reply Dave the Builder,
I've taken time to reflect on the situation and come to the decision that whatever is needed in the long run the electrical fault needs to be checked over and remedied. Even when the car was running, to get the grog 2 days ago, it became apparent that engine performance was not as it should be ie. "stuttering" which clearly could not be the starter motor but could be more symptomatic to an electrical short.

I am holding fast on making any further decision until the Auto electrician has performed his analysis. He is scheduled to examine the car on Thursday afternoon further to my phone call today.

Whilst an underperforming starter motor could also be a feature of the issue it would have started today when I tried yet once again to fire up the machine. The starter motor turned over freely and easily for some time but it wasn't firing. Previously, before this problem started, this amount of energy from the starter motor would have easily started the car. This would more or less rule out the starter motor as the focus of the fault in my opinion.

The battery which is a Lucas 60ah unit was exchanged for a Varta that failed under warranty and since using the Lucas on 9 January 2017 its performed as well as I would expect. Todays attempt to start the car also suggests that the battery was adequate for the purpose intended therefore I don't believe that the Lucas battery is at fault.

Thanks Dave the Builder once again for your input it has been very useful.

By the way I've been keeping an eye out for the pics and details of the Carlton you're selling.

Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: Dave the Builder on April 18, 2018, 10:01:37 AM

I am holding fast on making any further decision until the Auto electrician has performed his analysis. He is scheduled to examine the car on Thursday afternoon further to my phone call today.

By the way I've been keeping an eye out for the pics and details of the Carlton you're selling.

Agreed ,wise to find the electrical gremlin ,
If you have a haynes manual ,it would assist the auto electrician in his quest
(there's electrical diagrams in the back)

few other things worth saying

does the oil pressure light go out after you crank for a bit ?
assume your using 20/50 mineral and not p155y 5w30 semi

a loose /poor connection on the fuel pump is common ,you'll get a squirt of fuel at the valve but not 3 bar  ;)

making sure all earth points are good is wise ,said it before , the ecu relies on signals from all over .

Sorry I've not done the pics /write up on the CDi soon for sale  :-[
still using it ,to my ankles/knees detriment  :'(
working on my brother's car (complete engine rebuild) and not swapped to the lard arse auto yet  ;)
soon hopefully  ;)

good look with the auto electrician  :)
Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: djbthatsme on April 19, 2018, 06:48:58 PM
Thanks for your reply Dave the Builder,
The auto electrician turned up today, a bit late but then this is to be excused considering his efforts.

He got straight on with the job and within about 15 minutes he was done.

First of all he tried to start the car and it fired up more or less straight away.
But then he made the comment that the starter was turning to slowly.
Then he checked out the battery with a heavy discharge tester and this was found to be in good order.
However upon further checking he maintained that the battery was poorly earthed and that I needed to run an earthing wire from the battery to the engine.

Regarding the needle shooting to the top of the water gauge when the ignition had been previously turned on, he claimed that was probably a result of a duff sensor.

After he left I started the car and travelled to Ripley where I bought the sensor which will be fitted ASAP. The earthing wire wasn't available from Romac so its coming via the net soon and will be fitted ASAP.

He suggested that once the earthing wire is fitted there should be more charge in the battery (agreed) which should improve the starting and remedy the current faults. He however said that if this doesn't remedy the problem for me to contact him and he would do the necessary.
He also rectified two other minor faults which pleased me and the price was acceptable - so hopefully we're moving forward.

I'm feeling less pessimistic now, so tomorrow I'll hopefully be going off on another grog and grub run before the weather gets to cold for the car to start.

Must get my provisions in. 

Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: Dave the Builder on April 21, 2018, 01:23:18 PM
Poor Earths and bad connections would do it
I strongly recommend you replace / beef up the earth strap that runs from alternator to the block   (cam housing bracket)
I've seen these with melted brown insulation in the past (which points to overload /heat in the cable)
clean up the earth point on the inner wing (N/S headlight area)

did the new coolant sensor cure the tempreture dial problem ?

many miles has your carlton done now ? has it had a replacement starter or alternator in the past ??

I finally finished my brother's engine rebuild ,so , hopefully get round to sorting tools / cleaning MY carlton out  ;D
Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: djbthatsme on April 24, 2018, 02:21:02 PM
Hello Dave the Builder,
I am in the process of resolving the poor earths and substandard connections.
There are still some unanswered questions that need answering to further this effort.
The earth point on the inner wing is where the battery is earthed and to clean this area the appropriate bolt would need to be at least loosened if not removed.

The question is what problems would I encounter?

This looks like it could be a 2 man job because whilst the head of the bolt is accessible through the engine compartment, the nut is located under the wing where a person would need arms longer than an orang-utan to be able to reach both at the same time. I may be odd, some say I am, but I don't have these attributes yet.

The earth strap from alternator to the block looks a bit weary worn with the insulation exposed at one end so this will need changing when I can determine the appropriate spec and acquire the same.

Tbh I have not changed the coolant sensor yet because it has settled down without my interference but I have got a new sensor ready to fit as and when.

The 2.0SE Carlton as done just under K190 where a new alternator was fitted at just under K172 and a replacement starter motor fitted about 4 years ago I think.

I'm unsure of the specs required for the earth straps so I'll probably have a word with the auto electrician to verify these aspects.

Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: chris on April 24, 2018, 07:33:45 PM
Hello djb

The earth point where the battery earth leads terminate at the inner wing is fitted to a captive nut.
I've never seen one cause any problems to remove, no need to go underneath, just whip it off with a spanner.

If you have never had it off before it probably needs it, I'd take it off, use emery to clean the body and each side of the terminals that fit there then when re-assembling cover it all with petroleum jelly (vaseline), it melts with under bonnet heat just enough to give complete coverage and prevent future corrosion but not cause any issues with contact.
Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: Dave the Builder on April 25, 2018, 10:07:49 AM
I agree with chris  ;)

earth strap for the alternator available via ebay , measure it and get one same length or a bit longer
clean up the contact areas and treat with vaseline

strap like this will do (

remember to get the correct tension on the alternator  belt .

earthing on the starter(via retaining bolts to the block) and the big 12v+ will probably have been cleaned when fitted

plus make sure battery terminals are clean (and inside the clamps )
Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: djbthatsme on April 25, 2018, 06:27:22 PM
Thanks Chris and Dave the Builder for your replies,
Chris I recognised that there could be a captive nut positioned outside the engine compartment to be part of the batteries earth but was unsure of the situation. Not having first hand experience I was checking with you guys to establish whether there were any gremlins I should be aware of. You have given me the green light  which I will follow.

Dave the fan belt is already correctly tensioned as well as the battery terminals being clean with the clamps correctly positioned.

FYI after some time driving round today I've managed to acquire an earth strap  which I've fitted between the battery and the front of the engine.
Its to early to see what difference this will make but there are of course other changes that need to be made to resolve the problem as we've discussed.

Thanks again for your input guys.

Title: Re: Starter motor
Post by: Dave the Builder on April 26, 2018, 10:02:42 AM
Dave the fan belt is already correctly tensioned as well as the battery terminals being clean with the clamps correctly positioned.

I meant correctly tension the alternator belt AFTER you have the bolt undone to fit a new earth strap between alternator and engine block (the short one i gave an ebay link to

having a decent alternator earth will charge up the battery better  ;)