Series Land Rover (U.S.A./Canada)
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October 2012 Homepage
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Problem Starting a Cold Engine on a Series Land Rover - Part 3

This is part 3 of a 3-part guide to solving the problem of why a cold Series Land Rover engine may not start. It focusses upon when the engine will either not turn over at all or only very slowly. Part I focusses upon the situation where the engine (petrol or diesel) can turn over and fire but will not actually run. Part 2 focusses upon the situation where the engine (petrol or diesel) can turn over but will not fire at all.

As in any fault finding situation, do not rule out the possibility of multiple causes. You may need to check suggestions in Parts 1 and 2 if the solution is not found here.

The most obvious reason of course is that the battery is overdue for recycling. There will have been a recent history of reluctance for the engine to turn over. The effect can appear to happen quite suddenly if the first really cold night of the year was the previous night and you are attempting an early morning start.

If the battery is less than 2 years old then you should not get this problem. Perhaps in that case an electrical device has been left switched on and drained the battery. The battery may not have been re-charged sufficiently due to a slipping fanbelt or faulty dynamo/alternator. The wiring on Series Land Rovers is often modified by various owners and a short circuit may have been introduced in error. With the ignition and all anciliaries switched off, you can test for a short by disconnecting the earth terminal on the battery and then touching it again to the earth battery terminal. if there is a small spark then you have a short circuit somewhere that is draining the battery. This test is most effectively done at night.

Dirty and corroded battery terminals will seriously limit the available starting current, as will earth connections to the chassis.

The starter motor brushes may be very worn and/or become dislodged. Giving the starter motor body a smart tap with a light hammer often re-settles the brushes and will get a Series Land Rover going again until you can change the brushes.

Part II (on the AUS page)           Part I (on the UK page)

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Fascinating facts
(No.120)

Windscreen washers became an option in 1961

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