Question Mini Woes - Chasing No Start Issue

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by HillbillyChili, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. HillbillyChili

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    #1 HillbillyChili, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
    My Fellow Miniacs, come gather round, listen to my tale of woe so you may avoid such circumstances for yourselves. I promise much strife and discouragement without a respite in sight. Not for myself, not for ol' red.

    My story begins as many such stories begin, a beautiful day for motoring but alas, twas not to be my fate.

    I hopped in my 2004 Mini R53 to take her out for a spin after she sat for 3 weeks while I was working out kinks in the Jeep. Open the door and turn the key to "On" position, all lights and sounds are regular. Turn to start and she turns over slower that molasses going uphill in January, except this was in October. Chugs over 2-3 times then nothing, slight electrical burning smell in cabin but nothing too crazy thought I had blown a fuse. Checked all them and no issue, inside or underhood box. Decide to jump the battery, no dice, not even a single turnover. No dash lights, no hints, harder to crack than a codex.

    Next step, replace 6 year old battery with brand new Optima Red Top, tested at 1000CCA before leaving auto store. Drop her in and turn the key, nothing, not even one chug. It is at this point I guessed the electrical burning smell was the fuse box in the interior, read somewhere that it has relays soldered on the back that could have burned out. So come beginning of November I order a fuse block from Ebay, get it all set in and turn the key. Silence.

    At this point I was wondering if it was the clutch switch, I depress clutch still hear distinctive "click" sounds good to me and it did turn over a couple times. This is when I replace ignition switch assuming this is the issue here, maybe contacts on the inside are corroded. Plug new one in and turn the key, nothing.

    Now, I thought maybe there was an issue with ignition, plugs and wires are all only about 8k miles old, never had an issue before. I clean contacts on ignition coil, especially #3. Still no turnover. I had replaced fuel pump and filter about 15k ago so those should still be good and I can hear pump. Besides that would cause only cranking but no fire. Decide to clean ground straps and tighten at battery and underhood, no turnover.

    Come December, I buy a new starter, I exhausted my other options and follow along with Mod Mini's starter replacement video. Much cursing and many beers later, get it all plugged in and set up, twice because I forgot to connect one of the power cables on the new starter. Jump in turn key and nada... same old story. I take battery to Advance to test, comes back O CCAs, I had never seen that before. They charge it up and I take it home and drop her in #22 (my MC40). Turn the key she chugs over once, twice, then stops. I take battery back to Advance, fuggin dead, not completely but just about. Have them charge it up and buy battery tender then head home to drop her in.

    We are well into January at this point, I have battery fully charged, testing full on multimeter too. I decide to jump starter directly to solenoid with screwdriver. Chugs over once and then stop. At this point I think something else must be wrong and worried I will burn up this starter if I keep trying. And this is where we are current day.

    At this time, I assume one of the pulleys is frozen on the belt allowing it to only turn over very slowly and burning up my starters. My next bet is to take of the belt and try turning each pulley individually. Haven't gotten to this point yet, will have to buy a serpentine belt tool to accomplish this. Shameless ask here for anyone who has one gathering dust.

    Now you have heard my sorry story, I now come to you, the great Mini gods of the interweb with my hat in hands. Does thou have'st an idea that may end my misery, or possibly some empathy for a fellow comrade?

    May your arrows fly straight and your aim be true, Motor On,

    -HC
     
  2. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Can the car move with the clutch in?
    Check the SC for movement.

    Sorry, can't think of anything else.
     
  3. HillbillyChili

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    She still rolls with the clutch in, will be testing the supercharger pulley once I get this dang belt off and can report back.

    Appreciate the help!
     
  4. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Bad ground?
     
  5. HillbillyChili

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    I cleaned and tightened ground straps at battery and by the hydraulic engine mount, still got nothing. Not sure if I am missing one somewhere, those are the main ones I have found
     
  6. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN CUPCAKE!:D






    Long shot but.......Check all the fluids are any low? Pull the plug make sure that you somehow did not have a bad head gasket that allowed water into the cylinders causing it to hydro lock. Pull the the valve cover and make sure that the timing chain is not broken. Can you turn the engine over by hand?
    Almost forgot check and see how many amps the starter is pulling.

    Let us know what you find.
     
  7. HillbillyChili

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    This is the most fun I've had with my pants on :D

    Fluids are good, checked oil (looked clean, still amber-ish from oil change before she quit), brake fluid is still full so no leaking slave cylinder, PS and coolant both good. No transmission fluid leaks.

    Plugs looked used but not burnt up in the slightest, I pulled all 4 to be safe.

    I haven't pulled valve cover yet, good idea there, maybe I should dump oil anyway to see if there are any parts floating around in it.

    Will have to crank over engine, looks like a 15mm socket on engine pulley? (Will remove plug wires for safety)

    Hard to test starter when I'm a one man show, will have to have some buddies over to turn the key.

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  8. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Make sure the + power connection next to the air filter box on the left is tight. It’s under a little black cap that has a + symbol on it.
     
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  9. HillbillyChili

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    #9 HillbillyChili, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    I'll give that a shot tonight Dave!

    Other things I have checked:
    1. Checked ECU compartment and blew out with air, wasn't bad at all, no moisture or anything
    2. Double checked all wires connecting fuse blocks inside and underhood
    3. Waved key in front of ignition and made car "ding" so key is still programmed to car

    Things I know are wrong but shouldn't be causing this issue:
    1. Leaking rear main seal
    2. Bad low rad fan relay

    Things that led me to believe a pulley is seized:
    1. Electrical burning smell, over exerted on smaller gauge wires
    2. Battery dies with very few turnovers, use up all CCAs to turn a hard pulley

    I appreciate the ideas everyone, I just need more time to be turning wrenches, been slow going here.
     
  10. HillbillyChili

    Jun 14, 2017
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    UPDATE!!!! I have narrowed down the issue! I cut the serpentine belt off (didn't want to wait for tool) and she turned right over and started up!

    I was in my work clothes so I couldn't get under her and check out which pulley is seized but at least I know it's not the engine!

    But at this point I can't decide what I am hoping for, alternator? A/C compressor? Really hoping it is not the supercharger...

    Thank you for all your help, keep this in mind for the future. Still not sure how it didn't blow a fuse and let my first starter get burnt up.

    Motor On!

    -HC
     
  11. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Let us know what it is. I think I would hope for the alternator out of those three.
     
  12. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I hope it is an easy fix, but that starter motor has enough beans to crank that engine over with an alternator frozen. My guess is the supercharger, I hope I'm wrong.
     
  13. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    #13 Dave.0, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    My thought is the AC compressor is seized and causing the belt to not move. I had it happen while driving and snapped a belt in half.

    The SC and Alt will both spin if they fail. Order the one from Nissan on FCP EURO and save your self a lot of money over the OEM one. This is what I did and Helix installed it for me cheap.

    LINK; https://www.fcpeuro.com/Mini-parts/Cooper/Compressor/?year=2005&m=1&e=1138

    Also FCP EURO will warranty all parts sold for life including brake pads, rotors and oil.

    If you don’t believe me read this link. And as always F ECS Tuning.

    https://www.fcpeuro.com/page/lifetime-guarantee
     
  14. HillbillyChili

    Jun 14, 2017
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    We have ourselves a winner, well technically I'm the loser. The only pulley that won't turn is the alternator!

    All the other pulleys turn by hand, I even tried using the old belt to turn the pulley and got no where, couldn't break it loose. Now I need to take it off and see if I can break it free on the bench. Or I'll be in the market for a new alternator.

    In fact this might be a good time to pop on a new SC pulley and tensioner..... As if I haven't spent enough money already.

    Thanks for your help everyone, this one had me scratching my head! Hopefully someone in the future might find this handy. Guess now I know I can't ignore her for a few weeks, gotta drive her all the time.

    Motor on!
    -HC
     
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  15. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    It's always nice to find the problem !!
     
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  16. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Glad it is the alternator & not the SC. I had an alternator lock up once. Stored the race car for the winter & when I went to pull it out of storage it was locked up. The car started, but the belt smoked like heck as it slid over that seized pulley. Lots of smoke & cussing ensued.
     
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  17. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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  18. myles2go

    myles2go Active Member

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    The alternator replacement is pretty easy to do. Raise the front end and put it in service mode. Everything is accessible from the bottom. Note that there are plastic spacers in some of the bolt holes that you'll need to transfer to the new alternator.

    FCPeuro is great. I put that Bosch alternator on the R52 last summer.
     
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  19. HillbillyChili

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    Thanks everyone, I went ahead and got an alternator from a junkyard. Since the price was only $40 I was willing to take a chance. Especially if I can break my current one loose on the bench and have a backup. I really discount my time, will have nobody to blame but myself if this one goes bad and have to do this over again.

    Got the tensioner Dave posted, went through amazon.smile to support a local group too ;).

    Figured since I cut off the $20 belt I might as well add a $200 supercharger pulley kit that comes with a new belt, #MINILogic. Got it from Way Motor Works, I got the puller too so if anyone in Central Ohio wants to borrow that, just let me know.

    This breakdown got expensive quick. If only I had better diagnostic skills. :Banghead:
     

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