Pushing the starter, and all I get is a loud click

Hi-torque starter in my 420G is around 10 yrs old. It worked last time, about 3 weeks ago. Battery is very strong.
What has happenedP

Check and clean battery connections, check and clean wiring connections to starter and check and clean the ground connection between the body and engine block. If all that’s good the starter solenoid is bad.


On my Xk140 automatic i had the same issue with my high torq starter. After removing the starter i found that the front bearing house was broken! The material is way to thin there. So I went back to a original starter.
Regards, Peter Jan

Thanks, as always. All connections are rock solid, with very thick cables and rock solid earth.
Removing is by the usual 2 nuts and bolts, working from both the top and underneath, I presume…
And just order another one from SNG, or anything to be picky about here?

I just lerned from SNG that their producer, of the hi torque starter, has stopped making them. Wonder why?
Butbefore replying she asked me if the car is manual or automatic…?
Why would that matter?
Are there other makers/vendors that have it?

When you hear the loud click, is the concomitant current draw consistent with that of the solenoid or that of the solenoid plus locked starter motor? The latter would seriously dim a cabin light whilst starting, the former not so much.

Often the solenoid can fail to transfer power to the starter motor. The motor itself in that case is probably fine. IMHO.

1 Like

I can see the needle on the Amps gauge move into D territory, and the interior lights dim a mere fraction

I have also tried the old trick of tapping on the starter with a 20” extension rod. That did not helpmeither

shorting all 3 terminals together with ignition on will tell you if its the starter or solenoid
(small solenoid, large solenoid, starter)…it will start if its the solenoid

dont know if your unit has a replaceable solenoid though

new or ebuilt Jaguar reduction starters can be purchased on Ebay

I recently when thru a situation of starter motor removal, dismantling, installing, swapping etc, on some reduction starters…one frustrating issue I found was the units would work if taken out and tested, but fail under full load…the cause was the solenoid.

I do not find them more reliable than a Lucas, and have the later XJ6 M100 fitted instead
Would not use the original LM45, its a huge heavy beast of a thing

afaic, a starter that fits an XJ will bolt right up to a 420G (did on mine)

Here you see how thin the bearing house metal is, probebly why it broke.
And only the starter for the autobox has this extension.
The manual starter is very different.

Peter Jan

my auto electrician showed me one the same, and suggested rebuilding an M100 was the cheaper and better option. I noticed they have one on UK Ebay atm.

Are the Reduction Starters that are sold brand new items, or are they rebuilt ?
Have seen conflicting info on this

Reduction starters are normally brand new, never seen rebuild versions yet.
Mine broke after 6 month use, but since I bought it 2 years ago warranty was expired.

Peter Jan

There are a couple of different makers of these. I have an XK 140 with a starter by Fosseway, who make many improved parts for E-types and XKs. And yet a third, where I cant read the name.
The now failing one has an orange name plate, with about 5 larger letters.
I tried to jump start it with ignition on, and a large screw driver between the feed line screw on contact, and the smaller contact box from the activator cable. Lots of sparks but not the vaguest attempt by the starter to turn…:cold_sweat:

Very interesting that I too am having a VERY similar problem with my MK2. My car does have the high torque starter and I have cleaned ALL of the terminals except the hot line going to the starter itself. I can not for the life of me figure out how to get to that nut/bolt off to clean the terminal. We got frustrated after an hour of mucking about and even went so far as to take the battery in for a load test. (It passed).

When I press the starter button I hear a “donk” and sometimes a hum sound. I can do this once, twice, and sometimes four times before the starter will actually engage with full energy. It cranks very well once the starter is engaged. I fear I will get stuck in traffic and not be able to get the engine started so we are in full mechanic mode! We have a ranger Bend Pak lift so I was able to get under the car and felt the “donk” sound with the body of the starter. Nothing is wrong with the firewall solenoid.

Local mechanic suggested I replace the battery cables as a matter of good practice as corrosion can sometimes be hidden with the sheaths.

Several questions arise from this problem:

1). Are there TWO bolts holding the starter to the bell housing? I did not build this engine package.

2). How can I get to the lower bolt to remove the starter if necessary?

3). Do I bring the starter down, backwards or upwards. Each one presents its own array of complex challenges ranging from removing the spin on oil filter kit to pulling all of the carburetors.

Starter is about 10 years old and has never failed before.

Gerard in Loveland, Colorado USA

I have the same intermittent no start problem i.e. press starter button and solenoid just gives a click/thud. The problem is the solenoid activation terminal. This is an image of solenoid from when I was dismantling. I have since fitted and soldered a new terminal onto the wire. However I still have the same problem only occasionally when engine is hot. Can overcome every time by just moving terminal slightly. So might have to go back and clean contacts or replace terminal again. The way to check is place a screw driver or wire across solenoid activation terminal and positive terminal on solenoid ( highlighted in image).

With a high torq starter this solenoid is not used anymore.
The activation terminal can be connected to the starter itself.
And the battery wire should be connected the the starter directly.

Peter Jan

Yes, there are two bolts. It comes down, and the bolts are a biatch to get to.

The battery wire directly to the starter is prolly dirty and needs wire brushing. Problem being I can not get to it!!

I am giving thought to cutting a panel out in the inner fender so I can not access the starter and then mig welding with panel shut. I recall having to do something like this on my MK10 many years ago as the starter was completely inaccessible. Maybe I can put louvers in this cut out panel for cooling.!


Can these starters be easily tested at the local auto parts stores?


Yes: they are simple devices.