Technical Starting and charging issues

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Technical Starting and charging issues


New member
Sep 11, 2018
I am having multiple starting/charging issues with my 87 X1/9. I have installed a new starter and alternator.
1. The starter will not engage when I turn the key. I can "jump" the starter directly from the battery and get it to turn and the car will start.
2. The alternator does not appear to be supplying any power. Everything continues to draw from the battery when running and no charge to battery.

Anyone experience anything similar? I'm more concerned with the ignition aspect of the issue and how to troubleshoot. All other electric items work when key is on
Start with the basics. Do you have a good clean connection between the negative battery terminal and the front bulk head. Do you have a good earth connection to the engine, there is an earth strap from the body to the gearbox, is it in good condition. Does the battery light go out when you bootstrap the starter?

When you turn the ignition key does the starter solenoid click, the starter, battery and alternator are all directly connected, check for continuity. Check when you turn the ignition key there is 12 v to the solenoid. I had one issue on my 1500 where the wire to the solenoid was making a poor contact, check its connected.
Have you checked all the connections ? The charging issue sounds like a bad contact. Regarding the solenoid it is common for the small wire that connects with a spade connector to break or come off.
Similar issue here today after fitting the coolant hoses: I must have disturbed the solenoid wire as well as something else. Is there an earth in the vicinity?

Also, access is tight from above: is there better access if what looks like a plate is removed from below?

Cheers RDS
The solenoid wire runs very close to the main coolant hoses so yes you probably have disturbed it. Access is from underneath I’m afraid, push on spade connector. The earth is the braided strap bolted to the gearbox and chassis, rear passenger side.
In order to charge the battery the alternator it runs at a higher voltage than the battery so measure across the battery terminals when running and you should see ~14V
thanks New, I'll have a look at it this morning Cheers
Are you getting the solenoid click?

If you are them look at the big cable on the starter, otherwise as has been said check the thin spade connector.

It might also be worth thinking about running an extra cable between the starter and the alternator. This can reduce some load on the starting circuit and can make the engine spin a little easier.

With the alternator, check the voltage at the alternator and if that is ok, check it again at the battery.

Thinking about it if you get voltage at the alternator and not the battery and the starter isn't running check the wires from the alternator to the battery as they share a common circuit.

Take you time and be methodical, you will work it out
Check the ground connection on the bulkhead near the battery, and clean all spade connections. This helped my starting issues, especially upgrading the ground cable from battery