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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Hi-torque starter problems

I've had a tread on here for a while entitled "starting woes"
I've been trying to get to the bottom of an intermittent starting problem on my midget.
Having a relatively new hi-torque starter motor (GXE9405X) I was advised that this was the last thing to suspect.
Well, as they say, it's always the last thing you check that is at fault!
Putting a feed to the unit, all I get is a click.
Now, I bought this item to replace the inertia type starters and was very glad I did. They are expensive (160)but worth every penny I though (till now)
Are they replaceable, has anyone had a similar problem.
Please any advice would be welcomed as I had trouble convincing the gf last time that I needed it, now she is saying I wasted my money and I should have listened to her before, etc etc! lol


Hi Ben

Women always know best... just over 25 years of marriage has shown this time-after-time. Best not to tell them ANYTHING!

You should do another test on the SM to be sure: fix a good earth strap from engine block with very obviously good conenction, and repeat your direct +ve feed to the unit. (Will only take a mo).

Also - did you check he SM pinion is disengaged from the flywheel - likely it is but you should push car backwards in 4th a yard or so to be sure. Then do test again - just to be sure.

If you remove the starter, you can always power it up on the garage floor to test.

Reminds me one time when I helped my brother rebuild his diesel landy engine. We started it up on garage floor with a couple of 1/2 socket extension bars and a battery; it just sat there running away (atcually moving around the floor) until the fuel in a plastic container ran out. One of my parents' cats came in to see what the noise was and thought the engine was after it.

Anthony Cutler

Ben Ben Ben.... when will you learn? The FIRST thing you should always accept in life is that Women are ALWAYS right. Life becomes SO much easier when you have accepted this.

I was working in New Zealand some years ago, just when these high torque starters were coming on the market. I was working with Ford, Lotus and BD series engines and we adapted Honda starter motors with our own simple adaptor plate.

I believe the ones marketed today are just a more professionally presented version of the above. You just need to determine which the manufacturer the main body of the starter was supplied by and source one locally. It'll save you a fortune....

M T Boldry

I've used Power-lite before and have had no issues....
Toby Anscombe

....thought I just read in another thread a couple of days ago that these have a known problem of contact wear inside, and details were given of where to find instructions on fixing it... or am I dreaming??
David (davidDOTsmithAT stonesDOTcom)

in most towns of 50xxx or more theres always at least 1 small hole in the wall shop on the wrong side of the tracks that does starter/alt rebuilds, I cant imagine why someone like that cant have a go...around 1/3 the price of a rebuilt from the parts stores...bad news, expect 2-6 weeks for it to be fixed...but thats my town, he is vary popular with the farming crowd.

Ill get a pic of his shop and post later...It will freak you out


If you have tested the starter off the car and only get a click, it sounds like the contacts inside the starter are in need of replacement. Actually, probably only one has a step worn in it. Being lower than the other one, you won't get proper contact across the 2. When the solenoid engages, these 2 copper contacts must be shorted together to get enough current to flow to the starter motor itself. The repeated slamming of these contacts causes one to wear more than the other for some reason. Replace both just because you're in there and they come as a pair anyway.

Maybe just stop in your local auto electric shop and let them do it. We lost ours here in my town, but I watched them fix a Nippondenso in my 78 Toyota truck by brazing the step on the contact back up to level. I took the starter off in their lot and they charged me 5 bucks to fix it. I thought they were wizards. It took them about 10 minutes.

Just search (Bing just isn't as fun as Google to say, is it?) for Nippondenso starter problem or something similar. I found a complete explanation with photos to help with the repair.

I have a Nippondenso in my 94 Dodge minivan.I fixed the click/no start problem with a pair of contacts I bought on ebay for very little money. 2 years ago, still working fine.
TP Penington

This thread was discussed between 24/06/2009 and 27/06/2009

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