Now, my car wont start

Hallo everbody,
your help and experience is really wanted.

Problem: engine does not start –
Car: Rover 3500S NADA
Car is a daily driver.

I read the very helpful topics about „non-starting engine“
for 4 days, I tried the things which were explained in the topics – as far as I could and as far as I understood it. :)

Background info:
In the last 2 weeks it was harder and harder to start the engine, sometimes it took about 20 attempts to start, sometimes it worked with (quick) first attempt.
After starting and driving about a few minutes – parking a few minutes and restarting the car – the engine did not start – again it took a long time to a successful starting, (20 min to about 1 hour)
Sometimes, the starter/motor sounds rough.
3 times – after a restart – the IGN lamp did not go out – it glows during the drive – the engine sounded terrible (like 4 cylinders) , the RPM was dropping down – ( I had to stay on brake pedal and acc pedal by red traffic light to hold the RPM high).

But it also happened 2times, that the battery (with IGN light on) went under 12,5 V. so there was no chance for a restart on the traffic light.
This Battery problem happens only in combination with the red glowing IGN light during t he drive.
Now, for a week now, the car even does NOT to try to start the engine. The only thing I can hear ist the sound of the startermotor – howling.

Technical info:,
aprox. 66 Ah, Alternator 2 years old ,
3AW relay and 4TR Box are disconnected since 2 years, because of new alternator -
Steering ignition/keys from BRITAX still original, 40+ years old
6RA relay , round-style (1,2,3,4)
ignition coil from Intermotor– minimum 11 years old ),
solenoid and starter seems to be the original ones
battery: Banner battery aprox. 69 Ah, 4 years old – always working correct
Status now:
turn key - soft click , OIL and IGN lamp on –
turn key to start- click, starter motor howling – but it did not fire the spark plugs / engine – fan belt of alternator did not move.

I checked :
1.) Battery – ok – full charged
2.) Fuses – ok
3.) Wire on Brake Fluid cap (black one was a little bit loose) put it back
4.) tried to replace 6RA Relay
Rover 6RA relay (marked with 1, 2, 3, 4,) changed to new one with W1, W2, C2, C3) . as I put the plus-cable back to the battery pole, the car tried to start – sparks on plus-pole of battery . – (because the new 6 RA relay does not have a C1 terminal…..only a C2 and C3 terminal)

(I hope someone can explain me how to connect the W1, W2, C2, C3 Relay correct?) Why is the C1 terminal missing? the 6RA in my Rover is marked with 1,2,3,4,
(I have the electric circuit schema of the car and a Lucas fault diagnosis map to look for wires and wire colours.)

5.) Solenoid starter wire – (one was a little bit loose and the plastic cover is cracked) – I put it back
6.) Punched with hammer (not too hard) on the solenoid/starter motor
7.) checked the plugs on ditributor cap – there seem all to be connected
8.) controlled the fan belt if tighten enough – OK

Not checked until now:
AMP shunt behind dashboard – do not know how to check.
Ignition coil – do not how to check with multimeter - no experience with this.
Steering Ignition /Steering lock//keys – do not know how to check.
It would be very kind if you can help to localisize the problem and find a solution

thank you
kind regards
-sage green, Austria,


Now then Graeme! No need for such jolity just yet!

Hallo Richard

I think the first question is whether your car has a manual choke (ie pull a knob and cable inside the car to make the fuel mixture strong for starting) or whether your car still has the original equipment AED (automatic enrichment device). This is an electrical device mounted close to each of the carburettors. NADA's very often have it removed and replaced with a maual set up, but your car, having stayed in Europe, could still have it. They are known to be unreliable, but you can now get new ones which are much better. If you have this I will hand over to Nick Dunning, whose car also has them! Here are some pictures of an AED:

And this a link to where you can buy them, also has a good picture:

Clearly, with the many unsuccessful attempts to start, your battery and starter motor have been suffering. The starter motor running at high speed, but not engaging the engine, could well simply be low battery volts after too many start attempts. Likewise the poor running. I'd want to get the engine to start reliably first before diverting attention to the battery/starter/alternator. However it is extremely possible that a 4 year old battery may have been finally destroyed by the experience of so many failed starts. So I would want to do any subsequent attempts with a second slave battery coupled in. Then once the starting is OK you can assess how damaged the old battery is and whether a new one is required.

Let us know whether you have the AED or a manual choke and we will go from there.




Well-Known Member
Indeed Chris raises a valid point with regard to your battery, I had similar non start problems at one stage which resulted in me haveing to remove the starter motor to clear up fractured and dry solder joints on the commutator due to excessive heat from prolonged winding sessions.


thank you for response.

camshaft?....:) oh...I believe i got a grey hair now :D :D
a.) well, my car is fitted with a manuel choke.....
b.) last time I tried to start, the battery was fully loaded .... (I checked it with a voltmeter)
c.) okay, batt could be a little bit dammaged from starting attempts... (I will check it)
d.) you mentioned the carbs....I had some troubles with my choke switch (can not exact lock in place - step 1 and step 2)
e.) there is also some fuel under one float chamber.....

maybe there are 2 problems together? first thought was, the ignition switch and the ignition keys are worn out, because it was still possible to start the engine.
but now, the engine did not start......maybe a second problem get around ... starter? 6RA relay?....

so, first I have to check the battery....

thank you,
-sage green nada -


You need to test the voltage while somebody attempts to start the engine, quite common for voltage to be normal until you apply a load, voltage shouldn't drop much below 11v when cranking. Also you may want to test the voltage at the starter motor, it's a long way back to the battery.

Also have you tested for a good spark while cranking ? I've got a simple spark voltage tester that is basically a variable air gap, you adjust it until the spark fails, tells you how good the spark is. Looks like a pair of compases.
Hi....just a short info...

so, on weekend I had time to test the battery...

during start process the battery showed 11,45 V on the Voltmeter.
to test the starter motor,I switched on the main light during the starting processe and ... they dimmed during they someone wrotes in a former topic.

tonight I will try to start with an other battery, a newer but never used one ..I charged the battery from time to time......I hope the batt will still work.I also will take my hamer once again to hit the startermotor...:)
the alternator and fan belt still did not move during startin process.....only the starter motor makes the howling noise.....
sparks testing? well, I have no tools or experience to test the sparks....i will try to the catch an mechanic and will kidnap him to my garage :D

I will keep you informed
thank you
OK, if the engine isn't turning, then it is your starter motor. It needs to come out and be bench tested. Check for worn or damaged teeth on the starter and ring gear and make sure the starter turns and the pinion slides. Everything else is irrelevant if the engine isn't cranking.
You can test it yourself with some jumper cables. Put the starter in a vice (or on the ground and secure it with your foot) and connect a jumper lead from battery negative to the starter body. Connect the other jumper lead from battery positive the the main power terminal on the starter. Then use a screwdriver or jump wire to connect the positive to the small trigger lead. There should be two smaller connections, a trigger and a ballast bypass. Only one will do anything when connected. The starter should operate when the smaller wire is touched to power. The pinion should slide out and the starter should spin. If not, you have a problem.
Hi KiwiRover....t
thanks for response....okay, I will try to remove the startermotor in the next few days hydraulic hoist....I hope I find all scres to dismantle

I thought about to change the LHD Britaxy ignition switch with an used RHD Low and Fletcher ignition switch to see what happens.

well, I keep informed....thank you for advice
Don't need a hydraulic hoist, the access is quite good really. Just jack up the front slightly. Disconnect the battery first, then there is the main battery cable on the starter, two smaller cables (sometimes these have a plug about 8 inches from the starter) and two bolts holding the starter onto the engine. Easy! It's quite heavy though so try not to drop it on your head!
If you turn the key and the starter makes a noise, either a whirr, howl or loud click, then the problem is not your ignition switch. It is your starter. You need to look at this first.
thanks for advice Kiwi Rover....

if it is the starter motor it would be easier (costs) to buy a new one (re-cond., used, or new high volume Rover V8-starter motor.
what do you think? there are many starter motors out there for sale....most for Range Rover classics V8, LR V8.....are there useable for the P6B and nada's?

anyway....first I will visit my car underneath...:)
keep you informed,
thank you very much
sage green- austria



Well-Known Member
sagegreen said:
what do you think? there are many starter motors out there for sale....most for Range Rover classics V8, LR V8.....are there useable for the P6B and nada's?
sage green- austria
No I am afraid not. When you look at the starter from the front of the
car the solenoid hangs at 6 o/clock, the Land Rover and Range Rover
one's are at 9 o/clock and interfere with the suspension mount.

colnerov said:

do you have an idea where i can find a new or rebuild starter motor?
maybe an used MGB V8 starter would fit?....

what about those newer high power starter motors for Rover V8 engines / Rover P6B engines (i believe JRW does these on exchange)
would be interesting to know - who the manufacturer is of those items or who sell it on www.

I just know, there is website for british classics, MG, TR, Jaguar's and a little bit of Range Rovers, they sell a high power starter motor for all Rover V8 engines.



Well-Known Member
sagegreen said:
what about those newer high power starter motors for Rover V8 engines / Rover P6B engines (i believe JRW does these on exchange)
would be interesting to know - who the manufacturer is of those items or who sell it on www.

I just know, there is website for british classics, MG, TR, Jaguar's and a little bit of Range Rovers, they sell a high power starter motor for all Rover V8 engines.


Are these the geared starter motors? if so they would be a good upgrade giving higher start RPM and lower current draw off the battery.
But otherwise as KR has said any auto sparky should be able to readily repair as they are a bit of a doddle to recondition.
KiwiRover said:
Are these the geared starter motors? if so they would be a good upgrade giving higher start RPM and lower current draw off the battery.
@ Graeme: ...I will check this, I will contact LIMORA in the next daysI will ask for an english translation sheet for the high power starter and the 1,2,3 IGNITION System (Formula 1 technic) . the only I thing i know, there are very expensive (1,2,3 ign-system about 300 Euro, ) but they should live forever without service (exception distr. cap...) no coil needed etc. etc.

auto sparky ? yes, if i can not find the right starter motor i will take this solution in the meantime, because my NADA (the Duke of Luke) is my daily driver....i
:) :D :D In the meantime I got a withdrawal syndrome because I can not drive my V8-blub blubb. :D

but for the future, I will also install an electrial ignition system, a high power starter and maybe the 1,2,3 IGN system...

see the ATTACHMENT word document, i hope you can open it (DOCX) , here i found some US-starter motors which should (as the selling-company says) fit the 1969-1971 Rover 3500S NADA. there is also a MGB GT V8 starter motor. The only thing i am sceptical are the mounting-plate-holes. They show in a different direction as the original. what do you think about those starters?? hands away?

best wishes
thanks a lot
sagegreen, austria


Hello verybody,

final report:
Now, my car starts again, starts at the very first turn of the key.....,
the problem was the starter motor. the shaft and other parts inside were worn after 42 years.
now there is new (re-conditioned) starter motor fitted.
thanks for all your advices.
Now, my car wont start again

Hello again,

well, it is time to ask you again for help. I really need your help - it is impossible to find a good mechanic for ROVER P6 here in my, this guy who worked on my car for 2 months now (!!!!) was a nightmare.

my car (1970 Rover 3500S NADA Automatic) was in a garage for SU HS6 far so good. but after that, I did not have a reverse gear (Borg Wrner 35) the mechanic told me, yes yes, he filled up the Transmission fluid.....well, i drove home...after 3o min, Drive gear forwards, then, I shift back to 2 and 1, then the car drove normal, so i decided to stop. the gearkbob and shaft was, I decided to check the fluid level...what can I say, dry as the sahara desert. at this point of time, if I turned the key to start, IGNITION = YES, IS OKAY, but no starting process, nothing, no sound.....

....I waited about 20 min, filled in new at-fluid, the car starts, the D, 2, 1 gears were back again, only the reverse gear did not work. so, I drove home, carefully. yesterday. I tried to start my car to check all the fluids, (by the way, he also did not fill up the radiatior complete with water and anti-freze) but, as i mentiond above, if I turn the key to start, IGNIOTN = YES, but no starting process, nothing, no sound from the starter or the engine....

what could be the failure dear P6 Professors? :) I neeeeeed help :)

Borg warner melted down? inhibtor switch ? ignition lock? ignition coil? ignition relay? distributor? spark plug leads.
(because the guy in the garage removed the distributor and spark plug leads to do his work on the carbs, maybe he did an mistake by re-connecting it - example. he forgot to mount the retaining clip for the spark plug leads. so the leads are (laying) on the rocker cover.
INFO: (there is a new battery, a rebuild starter fitted)
the mechanic (a so called oltimer specialist Alfa Romes / MGB guy) is on holiday - so, to save his life, please help me first, otherwise I have to use my fist against his face (just kidding)

thank you, kind regards, Richard (Austria)


Well-Known Member
If you mean it doesn't crank, as opposed to doesn't start (cranks but won't fire) then that could be the inhibitor switch.
How are you checking the gearbox fluid level? IIRC the NADA's didn't have a dipstick, only a sight glass on the rear of the sump.
If you have no REVERSE, but you do get TOP gear in forward drive, then it's a rear band, or rear servo problem. If you think that's the case, then prove the point by checking whether you have engine braking in "1", if not, that confirms it as rear band related. But get the fluid level correct before getting any more involved.