|1999 Rover 800 820 Auto Starter Motor and Solenoid.|
Car: 1999 Rover 800 820 Auto Fastback
Colour: Charcoal Grey / Black
We have found all of our Rovers to be very reliable cars and with decent engines to match.
As with any make/model of vehicle though, sometimes things can and do go wrong, some things are obvious and straightforward to solve, whereas some things take a little longer to work out and fix/replace.
Over the years we have had Rovers, very little time (or money) seems to have been spent on repairs, when say we compare them to Fords etc., that we had owned previously. Even now we seem to spend a lot more time repairing 1 VW than we do on whatever Rovers we seem to own.
The 820 auto had developed some sort of starting problem, and on occasion was now struggling to start.
We tried the usual, and made sure the battery was topped up, we even changed it for a battery out of another vehicle to test it. As this did not solve it we took the starter motor off and took it apart to file the contacts inside it, then put it back.
Things improved, but still the problem continued, and a few days later the RAC had to come to the rescue as our own attempts to start the car had failed. With the car being an automatic it had taken away the easy options of push/jump starting the car.
We were miles away from home, and our attempts at shorting the starter wires seemed to be getting us nowhere. By the time the RAC man arrived he tried the same, eventually between us we got it running, then we said we are okay now as we will keep it running (with it being difficult to stall an auto) until we get home and then we would repair it. He said it could be the flywheel causing the problem, but we said we still thought it was the starter motor.
Anyway on removal of the starter motor (after disconnecting the cars battery first), which although difficult on this car as it is down the back of the engine, is a doddle when you have done them previously on Rover 200/400's where there is far less arm room!
There are two bolts holding the starter motor to the engine, the lower one is the easiest to see and undo. The other one has a nut on the end (so you will need an extra spanner to hold the nut while you undo the bolt). The bolt head can just be seen if you look down through the gaps of the intake/injection plenum, and the nut is to be found above the gearbox/flywheel housing.
After undoing and removing the starter motor, this and the attached solenoid were then removed. We managed to take a picture of the flywheel using a mobile phone and a torch, but to inspect it any further from above would be almost impossible. (You can see it better from the drivers wheel arch area, although we did not do this at the time).
We then went about stripping and cleaning all the parts that the starter motor was made up of, before rebuilding and refitting it to the car. (We had done this once on a Rover 220 Coupe, and it solved all the problems on that one.)
The car seemed to start the first time but this was the only time. So then we thought lets check the earths. The earth cable from the engine/gear box to the chassis and battery was removed and cleaned, but this still did not solve the problems.
We then took the starter motor off again, this time to remove and strip the solenoid, unfortunately we had not stripped one of these before so we only opened up the end with the spring and solenoid in. By the time we put it back and the car seemed to start the odd time, we checked on the internet and saw a video explaining what was inside the opposite end. So we thought we should of cleaned the contacts inside the end we had not opened.
So the starter motor came off again, this time the solenoid was de-soldered, stripped, contacts cleaned, and all reassembled/re-soldered.
This seemed to be working, and the car would now start more often than it did not. So thinking we had solved the problem, we ordered a new solenoid.
When that arrived, yes you guessed it the starter motor had to come off once more so that it could be fitted to it.
This new solenoid was no better at starting the car than the cleaned up old one was, so we decided the starting problems, must of got bad enough, that is was neither the starter motor or solenoid causing the car to fail to start, but it was in fact a combination of the two.
So we went and ordered a new starter motor, this was a factory remanufactured one from a local motor factors. The starter motor came with a solenoid already on it. So although our new solenoid was a genuine Rover/Land Rover new part, we stuck with the one that was attached to the new starter motor as this would not upset the warranty that came with the starter motor.
Of course, we had to remove the old starter motor once again, so the new one could now be fitted. By now we had mastered out how to do this and get our arms in and out the right way, really cutting down on the amount of time taken and the amount of bruises and scraped skin involved. (but like I said earlier it's much more difficult on a 220/420!).
Since the new ones have been fitted, the car has been a great starter again, the trouble is the auto gear box packed in not so long after. (but at least we were able to confirm that the flywheel teeth were all very healthy when we did get around to fitting the new auto box).
If you have to change the starter motor on a 2.0 litre then we don't envy you!
After Disconnecting the Car Battery, The Starter Motor and Solenoid was Removed.
The Flywheel is Difficult to See From Above. (This was just a point & shoot shot with mobile phone & a torch!)
The Starter Motor Taken Apart for a Clean!
The Earth to the Engine/Gearbox is Somewhere Beneath all this Muck.
The Engine Earth to Battery Cable is Removed and Given a Good Clean.
The Gear Box Casing is Cleaned and The Earth Strap Refitted.
The Old Solenoid is Taken apart, Contacts Cleaned, then Rebuilt & Refitted.
Starter Motor with Old & New Solenoids side by side.
This Time the Starter Motor is fitted with New Solenoid Attached.
After all Else Failed a New Starter Motor & Solenoid was Purchased!