Posts tagged with “Starter motor”

Starter motor woes

Thursday, 5 January, 2012

By PG Jonker

Colin sent me a mail with a few suggestions regarding the problem I had (have) with my starter motor.  So I thought I’ll do a follow up on the previous story.

For quite a while I’ve had a starting hassle on my 1998 Mazda Magnum B3400 4×4 DC.  For more than a year I’ve had this occasional “hoi” from the starter when commanded to start the engine. Invariably on the second attempt the engine would start. So although I assume it was not designed to operate in this fashion, I’m rather forgiving of this old lady, given her 265 000km’s, so I was quite happy to proceed in this fashion.

But then I got invited on the Namaqua 4×4 trip, and I thought I’d better get the problem sorted. So off I went to the auto electrician to have the batter replaced.


No, sir, you’re battery is fine, but the alternator gives less than 12Volts through to the battery instead of more than 13 Volts, so that’s where the problem lies. Having run out of time by then before departure on the trip, the guys did not have time to rebuild my existing Lucas, and replaced it with an already rebuilt Bosch.

Three days later we departed on our trip. After 200km’s the new alternator developed a cannibalistic streak and ate up the new fan belt. Fortunately I was right at the turn off to Citrusdal where the local Toyota dealer was still open and managed to find a fan belt that he could more or less fit. More or less, because we had to put the bakkie in 5th gear and push it to get the crank moving so that he could get the belt on. I bought a spare. But actually I don’t do technical. It will be a lot simpler just to keep pantyhoses at hand rather than to attempt doing this job by myself.

“Hoi hoi hoi!”

OK, off we went. However, the bakkie in the meantime persisted with a “hoi” from the engine compartment. Mmm…. It was more acute when the engine worked hard.

During the course of the 4×4 trip I heard a funny kirri-ki-kirre sound which I thought might be from the transfer box. Back at home it turned out to be the pully of the alternator that was loose. Fortunately it held for the duration of the trip!


OK, but now I still have my starting problem. Back to the auto-electrician. Then started three days of fun at the workshop.

First they changed the battery to a bigger one (I knew mine is too small), but it did not solve the problem. Off came the starter [1]. A new solonoid was fitted, and it was put back on. Then it did not work at all. Off came the starter [2] and the solonoid replaced with some more reputable brand. Back on with the starter. It started the engine – but only after a merry “hoi”. Off came the starter [3]. A brand new one was ordered and put on. It made no difference. Off came the new starter [4]. Back on went the old one. No difference. Off came the starter [5].

Now they revisited the cables, reconnecting everything. Also it turned out that this starter is not the one that came with the bakkie. This one was kindly sourced from the scrapyard after my starter burnt out on a previous occasion – which was a rather interesting story for another occasion. So they added a further (armature?) winding to increase the output of the starter. Back up went the starter.

From then on it performed like clockwork – in the workshop.

So I went home. The few times I had to start it, it worked well. The next day I took a short trip with the bakkie. Upon starting it again, it said “kgggg” …