Starter Motor Question

After a little help please before I call my mechanic.

My starter is not turning over (1966 Series 1 4.2 FHC). Battery is good and their is a distinct click coming from the engine bay but nothing else. Is there anything I need to check before looking at replacing the starter?

Jumps starts fine.

Thank you,


I suppose my first question would be - what makes you think the battery is good?

Almost any auto parts store can load test your battery as it sits in the car.

Only a load test is valid here - the mere fact that the battery voltage is good or that it lights up the headlamps is no indication of whether it is strong enough to crank the engine.

If it jump starts its not likely the starter, your just adding another
battery right? I would remove the battery cables and clean those
terminals, a bad battery connection can give you those symptoms. Another
clue, turn on the headlights, what happens when you hit the starter? If
they go out its the battery terminals, if they don’t then you do have
another issue but would start by cleaning terminals.

Just had the same problem. My expensive battery charger/tester showed battery A-OK, However after doing a load test…it was a bad battery. Good Luck !

I agree, the first thing to check is your battery. The clicking of the starter solenoid without cranking the engine tells you you’re not getting enough juice to the starter. If it’s OK, check the terminals at the battery post; make sure that they’re clean and corrosion-free. Then check for the ground strap to the body. Finally, it sure wouldn’t hurt to run another battery cable (get it at your FLAPS) from the negative post on the battery to a solid connection on the engine block. You can’t have too much ground.

Hi Tom,

My E-Type suffered a similar problem some years ago.

If your battery is good, it’s likely to be worn contacts in the solenoid that sits on top of the starter motor. The clicking sound you hear is the solenoid operating and closing these contacts in order to energise the starter motor but because of their poor state no current will flow.

You may find that if you give the top of the solenoid a sharp tap with a heavy spanner or something similar it will shock the contacts into working. That just proves it’s the problem I’ve described.

Solution is to replace the starter motor and its integral solenoid.


Could be, but his statement that it “Jumps starts fine” seems to suggest that the system is basically sound.

Battery terminal connections, battery and finally, starter. Simples.:wink:

I’m with you Geo. If it jump starts fine, I’m not sure why anyone is talking about anything except the battery, or the charging system causing the battery state to be bad. Without knowing exactly how the jump start was done, there could be a problem with some other part of the system I suppose. For example, if the jump wasn’t done to the battery terminals directly, but with the ground jump connection to the car body, the issue could be a poor ground connection to the battery. Likewise if the hot jump wire went directly to the starter motor bypassing the solenoid. More details would help…


The headlight trick will give you a quick and easy clue. Turn them on, hit the starter, if the lights go out its a battery cable/connection problem if not then the solenoid or cable to it is more suspect.

Visitor opines:

The starter in my lump and the one in my Jeep are somewhat similar to the Jaguar unit in my shed.

  1. The Jeep unit just plumb tuckered out after a whole lot of miles. It quit in a parking lot about 23 miles away. I got one more successful crank from it by a good whack from topside. Go home, Did just that. Replaced and all is well.

  2. I had more complex issues with the starter on the SBC AC DELCO on the LT1 SBC in my XJ. Jumping 12 v to the solenoid can resolve one issue. Jumping 12 v to the starter
    it self another.

Either or both can mean a no crank situation.

The isolation method of diagnosis.


Your probably due for a new starter solonoid, so its best to replace the whole

But when he jumps the car it starts fine. That kind of means the starter and solenoid are OK.


Well…all I can say is I had the same issue…changed the starter…same problem. Old battery load tested at a local parts store…said it was bad. Took battery back to where I bought it and they said it was low on charge…charged it, supposedly load tested it and they said it was fine. Re-installed battery…same result…click, then nothing.

Changed out the starter (a rebuilt one that I had purchased and installed when I was doing the clutch…this was a real PITA. Luckily I had not re-installed the interior after the clutch replacement yet. Same result…supposedly a good load tested battery and “promised” to be good…did not crank the engine!!

Bought a brand new battery (650 CCA), works great now…sigh.

Good luck,


Thank you gents. The In battery light said it was ok, my battery conditioner said it was good, auto shop tested the battery and said the battery was good. As a final check I thought I would pull out my XJ battery at try that in the E Type . E Type started straight up. So simple battery problem :blush: Looks like I’ll make it to cars and coffee tomorrow morning! :thumbsup:

Thanks for the replies.

Simples is best.

I learned a long time ago, start at the beginning and work through, that way you will always find the problem and also have a better understanding of how a system works.
If you jump in looking for the most difficult then it becomes costly and you are forever chasing your backside.

Glad you’re back up and running again.:smiley:

Fantastic…Easy fix !!!

Its all good!!!

Or start with the easiest, or start with the cheapest.

But you are correct, a methodical approach may seem slow and tedious but it is almost always the quickest route to a solution.

Glad the problem could be resolved with something as simple as a battery.

Ok. So its not a battery problem after all …

This morning at Cars and Coffee the E-Type would’t start to head home (brand new battery). Same issue. Click, click, click No movement in the starter motor.

Luckily i’d made friends with the early 911/912 and 356 guys so I was able to get a push start. Of course all the kids were there with their cameras to get the pictures of the Porsche guys (in their Porsche hats and jackets ) pushing the Jag! I’m sure they are all over Facebook by now.

Get home. Turn it off and then tried to restart to restart … click , click click

So I retrieve the original E-Type battery which I though was dead and put it into the XJ6. She starts straight up and I do a lap around the block.

Get back home put and pull the E-Type Battery out of the XJ6 and but it back in the E-Type. E-Type starts straight back up first time.

What am I missing here? What is my E-Type doing to the batteries which then stops them turning over the E-Type Starter, but doesn’t effect them being used in the XJ6

What’s my XJ6 do to the battery which them ‘fixes’ them to be used to start the E-Type?

Confused in Australia. Tom.