Archived Message
Starting nightmare!!

I have a 1994 Woodcote Green RV8, ever since I bought it I have had starting problems. So far I have taken it to 3 different MG repair workshops and done:
Cleaned terminals
Checked earth
Changed solenoid
Changed starter motor

It is real pain and makes the car unusable. Even on a fully charged battery you can turn it over and it will fire up properly, turn the car off, start it again and it sounds like a dying asthmatic (I am asthmatic, hay fever and all). The latest place I took it, no names mentioned, put a spacer in the starter motor? They said the flywheel will have to be replaced at £500 to fix the issue. Can anyone help and advice I don't want to get rid of RV8 as I love it, as much as my MG TF 135? Thanks,
Richard Gogin
18/06/2012 @  17:22
Under topic: RV8
Archived Reply(ies) received for this Message
Starting nightmare!!
First suggestion is you change the fuel filters,the cost is not great and there is quite a chance that is irregular fuel supply which is causing the misfiring. If the engine is cranked by the starter I cannot see why replacing the flywheel will make any difference.
Richard Withington
19/06/2012 @  04:23
Starting nightmare!!
If you only love your RV8 as much as a MG TF 135; no wonder itís playing hard to get. 

It is not clear to me if the engine is cranking but not starting or starting but not running correctly. You mention it will start with a fully charged battery, presumably when the engine is cold Ė but does it then run properly?

The garages obviously suspect the starting system, starter motor and flywheel but that doesnít seem to relate to your description of the problem. As Richard says, if the starter motor cranks the engine and it starts there canít be much wrong with it.

How many miles has the engine covered by the way?
Geoff King
19/06/2012 @  05:25
Starting nightmare!!
Thank you for the replies.

I will change the fuel filter as suggested. When the car is running it runs well, smoothly and as you would expect. Is it a strange issue, when you start it from cold the starter motor turns over fast and the car starts with no problem. I drive it, 5 miles or 100 miles, turn it off, have a meal/drink. I then try to start the car and the starter sounds like it is very slow turning over and does not start. Sometimes I turn the car off, turn it on, wait for the fuel pump etc to initialise then it might start up again, very hit and miss . . . .
Richard Gogin
19/06/2012 @  06:00
Starting nightmare!!


Yes, my car is a BGT V8 with a geared starter but original exhaust set up. I have retained a heat shield, now an RV8 one as these are superior to the originals being made of a composite material that doesn't corrode and having superior heat shielding - and being available! I retained it with the smaller geared starter as I thought it would still do some good and at least do no harm.

As you say, with the RV8 arrangement the exhaust is further away so one would expect heat from that to be less of a problem. But the RV8 designers clearly felt that a heat shield was necessary, for whatever reason. The heat transfer from the exhaust could be radiant plus heated air flow when on the move. I wouldn't have thought heat soak from the block was a major factor but that is just my feeling and I could very easily be wrong (as my wife points out to me often enough....). But proof of the pudding etc, so it will be interesting to hear the eventual outcome.
Bob Owen
19/06/2012 @  18:31
Starting nightmare!!
What is puzzling, Richard is your comment that when the engine is warm, the starter turns the engine over sluggishly. I'm wondering whether the battery is being charged, if at all thus I would initially check the dynamo. The next thing to check, which would be on the list, is the functioning of your starter but I note that this has already been changed. If the filters are blocked up, as has already been mentioned by Richard, you would also experience these symptoms but then the car would not develop full power under load. There may well be a faulty connection i.e. battery terminals or starter terminals which would account for the slow turning over of the engine when starting up.
Peter Garton
19/06/2012 @  14:37
Starting nightmare!!
Applying Occam's Razor (the simplest solution is the most likely) this sounds like a starter problem. The solenoid fails to engage the second phase of starting of the pre-engaged starter (when windings are switched in parallel and the high speed crank begins). This may explain the spacer insertion - the diagnosis was a mechanical cause. The most likely cause is a hot starter due to a missing heat shield. Is your heat shield intact? If not, get one from Clive Wheatley. It fixes by a single bolt into the block infront and slightly above the starter.
Bob Owen
19/06/2012 @  14:56
Starting nightmare!!

I agree the problem is likely to be related to the solenoid or starter as the MG garages suspect. If the engine runs properly when it has been started from cold I doubt very much if is a fuel filter problem - but fuel filter seem to have replaced the stepper motor as the cause of most engine faults. :)

Do you still use a heat shield with the high torque starter motor? My new Powerlite starter should be delivered this week but I removed the heat shield when I fitted RV8 manifolds some ten years ago. The exhaust is now a long way from the starter motor so is the heat shield meant to reduce the heat soak from the engine block?
Geoff King
19/06/2012 @  16:45
Starting nightmare!!

NB Geoff et al: My 10:31 posting for some reason appears out of sequence, at least on my PC, when expanded from the list of postings...Hope this one doesn't.
I'm sure Victor will sort it!
Bob Owen
19/06/2012 @  18:43
Starting nightmare!!
Can anyone recommend somewere to take my RV8 to be fixed once and for all?

I have bought parts from Clive Weatley before, is that the way to go for me?

Richard Gogin
19/06/2012 @  19:52
Starting nightmare!!
Yes, I would take it to Clive. It seems to me that your starter, as Bob is indicating, is a possible cause of your dilemma. Why did they put in a spacer? I assume you did get hold of the original RV8 starter spec. when it was replaced. As mentioned by Bob, the heat problem is something not to be ignored in the RV8 engine compartment and so it is, in fact, a vital component.
Peter Garton
19/06/2012 @  20:20
Starting nightmare!!
Going to see if I can buy the V8 register workshop notes and start looking at it, to be fair I dont even know were the starter is mounted.

But I want to learn and try, got to start somewere :)

I am going to have a fiddle this weekend and will give you some feedback.

Richard Gogin
21/06/2012 @  23:16
Starting nightmare!!
Details of the Contents of the RV8NOTES series are available on the V8 website together with a free download of the detailed Index to the whole series I maintain and upload each time we have additional notes added to the series.

Copies of the complete series of RV8NOTES with useful spares and service tips contributed by fellow members are available in PDF format on a CD which I produce and can be purchased online via the Online V8 Shop on the V8 website. As I have been on holiday for a number of weeks in Scotland I closed the Online V8 Shop as I was not able to produce the CDs when away from home with only a netbook. This was mentioned in a note on the V8 website.
The Online V8 Shop will open again next week.

A very useful source of information on your RV8 is the collection of manuals, including the MGRV8 Repair Manual AKM7153ENG which is available on a useful CD from B&G. Details are at:
Victor Smith
22/06/2012 @  05:06
Starting nightmare!!
I had a very elusive starting problem on my MGB 1800 which was solved when the cable to the starter motor fell out of the end terminal. It had clearly been loose for some time and was not making good enough contact to pass the high current required. This had not become apparent through several changes of starter motor. Your problem could be similar, good contact when the terminal is cold, but a poor contact when it gets hot and expands slightly away from the cable.
Chris Hunt Cooke
27/06/2012 @  20:16
Advanced Search
Search for all messages for
Last 2 days
Last 7 days
Last 14 days
All Messages
Search by key word
Search by topic
V8 RV8
Spares Events
General Online auction
Include archived messages in search
When making a posting
do note the system automatically signs off your posting with your name

You are welcome to post a message
or response
It could be a technical query or clarification, a maintenance or spares tip, a report of good service from a V8 specialist, or news of an event of interest to fellow V8 enthusiasts. As we welcome new members, this service is provided on a "free and open to all" basis and is not restricted by password access.

Spares adverts
Any spares or other items advertised for sale on the V8BB will be removed and posted on the V8 Spares webpage on the V8 website.

V8 Bulletin Board aims
to attract good quality postings in terms of content subject matter and accuracy. It is not a chat box so any "grumping or flaring" or other undesirable postings will be moderated at the sole discretion of the V8 Webmaster and V8 Chairman. Periodically the postings are archived to keep the list of postings to a manageable length. Please disclose your name and email address when preparing your posting.

V8 Register - MG Car Club
Neither the MG Car Club, the V8 Register or its officers and committee members can accept legal responsibility for any of the statements contained in any posting or postings made on this bulletin board. Any material considered to be undesirable in terms of its nature, content or implication will be moderated as promptly as is reasonably possible. Should any party feel the content or claims in any posting may cause them actual or potential damage, please contact the V8 Webmaster promptly so appropriate action may be taken.

V8 Webmaster