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Rattle & no crank on start-up

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    Rattle & no crank on start-up

    Evening all,

    Apologies in advance if I'm showing my ignorance and wasting forum time with this. Any advice gratefully received.

    I replaced the battery on my Stag last week The old battery had gone flat, wouldn't crank with booster attached, time for a new one I decided. Bought a type 072 from GSF.

    Battery replaced, car started up better than it has for months - a couple of cranks and WOOF! I let it idle until warm (didn't drive because of other work in progress.)

    One week later: fuel pump primes, bu no crank. Instead, a rapid rattling noise coming from (I think) the rear of the engine bay. Failing starter motor? Poor earth? Or battery weakened by start + idle+ not driven?

    Battery shows 12.4v at the terminals. Even with booster attached, still no crank.

    Sorry for basic questions - haven't owned many 'analogue' cars & garage skills limited!

    Possibly solenoid not kicking the pinion into mesh?

    Possibly worn teeth on ringear?

    To rule out poor earth put a jump lead cable from battery -ve onto engine & try again.

    upload a link to a video perhaps?
    Last edited by jbuckl; 30 March 2024, 22:32.
    There are 2 secrets to staying on top :- 1. Don't give everything away.


      Sounds like solenoid not performing properly, make sure connections are clean and battery connections are clean and solid.
      If you are using jump cables or a battery booster, try to attach the negative lead directly to the engine block rather than the battery, it gives better power transfer.
      Your wife is right, size matters. 3.9RV8


        What is the voltage reading at the terminals when the starter is operating? It should be 10+ volts at least under load.. If it is much less than that, something may have discharged the battery over the week since you last tried.
        If the voltage is correct, then follow Jake's advice and make sure that the insides of the cable terminals are really clean. Also check that the negative cable is making a good connection to the engine block.


          Thanks for all these replies, much appreciated.

          Tried again just now. Maypole booster connected -ve clamped to engine. Green light on device confirmed that connection was OK.

          Fuel pump primed, turned key and same result - rapid rattling/clicking. Video linked below. Battery voltage 12.4v dropping only to 12.3v when attempting to crank the engine. From this I assume that the starter motor isn't drawing any load, so solenoid not working? Any thoughts please?

          Video inside cabin:

          Video of engine bay:


            All your warning lights flicker / go out which tends to indicate it's not the starter motor but another wiring fault somewhere in the heavy battery cables.

            You need to measure that voltage at the starter motor battery connection.


              As above, you have got a high resistance somewhere.
              This causes the voltage to drop to the point where the starter solenoid disengages, the voltage then rises enough for the solenoid to try and engage again and the cycle repeats itself.

              Could be on live or earth, you will have to check both, but a jump lead between the block and the battery terminal will improve things if it is the earth side
              TV8, efi, fast road cams and home built manifolds. 256bhp 240lbft torque


                Try this to see if ur starter motor is ok.


                  Thanks for all these helpful replies. Final (hopefully) update on this - RESOLVED

                  Battery terminal clamps removed and cleaned with degreaser. +ve clamp removed from heavy cable and cable cleaned to remove dry deposits from cable strands. All put back together and starting and running. Showing 14.2v at battery terminals at idle.

                  Many thanks everybody. As I thought, it's my lack of knowledge showing through - but now I've learned a little bit.

                  sujitroy have subbed your channel, top stuff.


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