So I changed my thermostat (see previous post if interested). When I came to start it up as part of the coolant refill operation, the engine turned but did not start. With hindsight this was not really surprising as (1) there was some light rain while I was working, and (2) some drips from the thermostat on to the distributor area. So probably classic damp problem caused the initial failure to start.
However before long it stopped cranking and I just got a sort of whirr and click. At that point my wife was getting tetchy so I had to leave it for a bit. A week later, the plugs and distributor appear dry. Same issue.
Reviewed other posts and the “engine does not crank” checklist. Battery checked and topped up, no problems there. No change to battery voltage when trying to crank.
On visual inspection I don’t see anything immediately wrong. There is an exposed spade connection below with nothing connected, but don’t think that is anything new. You can see this in the middle of the picture, protruding to the left under the cable. https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMPDERph6hxSNPKZvW64M5D7NiT_awOSKSv1k0B
Now, bypassing the starter relay and applying 12V, I got the whirr/click, same as with the ignition – although one time I got more than that, and it seemed to try to crank – something seemed to almost engage. But next time, whirr/click. See video.
I tried giving the starter motor a tap with a hammer (not very hard though), no change.
So before I go any further (which probably means getting it towed to the garage), appreciate any other thoughts.
XJC Series 2 4.2 (Canadian spec)