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Poor earth to starter?

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At least I'm assuming that's the problem I've got... It's been slow to start recently and in some occasions just won't start at all - no clicking from the relay, just nothing when you turn the key. Strangely, rocking it back and forth in gear and trying again has got it going in the past so I was thinking that it may just be the starter on its way out. Having read some threads on here I cleaned up the earths I could easily get to about 2 weeks ago and it started fine about 7 times in a row so I thought it was fixed, but today it wouldn't start again at all.

The alternator charge light is on when you turn the ignition key, but not as bright as the oil pressure one next to it. When you turn the key, nothing. I ran a jump lead from the battery negative to the engine hoist loop and it started fine, so am I right in thinking it's just likely to be the earth strap from the chassis to the starter that's at fault, or do I need to replace every bit of earth strap I can find?

Any tips for getting to the starter earth bolt? Looks a bit tricky to get to but is it best to take part of the exhaust off and attack from below or try from above? Any tips or thoughts on the cause of the problem welcomed!


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replace or clean the engine earth cable, should be fitted from the rear face of chassis part of left engine mounting to a bolt under the alternator. photo's of my defender spec 200tdi main earth cable, plus the earth from battery to gearbox/transferbox joint might need cleaning or replacing to.




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don't forget to grease up the lugs and nuts and bolts before bolting them on, this slows down corrosion and helps the earth stay better longer.

your rocking in gear would have been moving the earth strap just enough to make that little connection it needs.

also when you unbolt the earth strap check it hasn't corroded through inside, give it a good fleeing and if it "knicks" then the wires have broken thru and you need a new one. (new is often better as you get rid of corrosion etc)

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Thanks both, I had another fiddle around earlier, loosened and re-tightened anything I could get to and it started again after a very brief hesitation. The engine to chassis strap looks okay but a bit flimsy so I'll add another one - I'm assuming that just about any large bolts from engine to chassis would be okay to use as an additional earth? It's a Disco 200TDi so there doesn't appear to be any easy way to get to the earth bolt onto the engine block without removing the turbo, which I don't really feel like doing right now.

It appears that the battery negative goes straight to the gearbox - should there also be something from there to the chassis? Is it a case of the more the merrier when it comes to earth straps?

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batt neg is correct straight to gearbox joint as in my photo above

one of the steering pump bracket to engine block bolts would do for an additional earth, I replaced my engine to chassis earth cable with a longer/thicker one ready made from Halfords, they keep them near the battery shelves in store.

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Just had EXACTLY the same thing on mine ...cleaned the earths and did improve it but not stop it completly......So added a new earth from the botom starter bolt to chasiss and direct from the batter to the chasiss as well as batery to gearbox.......But not taken the chance so new starter went on this moring ......Will see what happens

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