ZX Diesel - Turn the Key - Nothing Happens

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eddiebarge
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ZX Diesel - Turn the Key - Nothing Happens

Postby eddiebarge » Mon Jun 03, 2002 10:58 pm

I parked my son's 1992 ZX diesel on the drive on Friday, and now when I turn the key all the right ignition lights etc come on but nothing happens, except that the battery light goes out on the final key turn to start it.
I thought it was the battery but this is fully charged and the terminals clean and tight. There is a clicking noise in the little plastic box bolted on to the fuse/spare bulb plastic box just in front of the battery. I opened this and there is a printed circuit board, a brass plate (which makes the clicking noise), a braid of copper wire and live and neg terminals. No sign of any damage or wear.
Starter motor connections are all fine, I put a screwdriver across the starter motor terminals and got a whirry sound but no engaged starting sound.
Tried the usual rocking the car in gear etc, nothing. Normally if the starter motor is on the way out you'd get tell tale glitches leading up to a failure. What is causing the problem? The little black box, or is it a dead starter motor?
Ed
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Dave Burns
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Postby Dave Burns » Tue Jun 04, 2002 12:29 am

Hi Ed, check the earth lead bolted to the engine/gearbox.
The ZX will have a pre-engaged starter, I suspect you bypassed the solenoid with the screwdriver, that is, went from the battery in to the starter out terminals on the solenoid.
This will spin the motor sure enough, but without energising the solenoid the starter pinion wont be engaged with the flywheel gear.
Try going to the small lead on the solenoid, aswell as pushing the pinion along it also switches the main motor current.
If that pans out your ignition switch may be duff.
Dave
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eddiebarge
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Postby eddiebarge » Tue Jun 04, 2002 4:54 pm

Thanks for the advice I'll have another look today. I did wonder about the ignition switch, but I'll check everything else you suggested first.
Ed
Ed
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eddiebarge
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Postby eddiebarge » Tue Jun 04, 2002 9:23 pm

As I was all clean and dressed up to go out today, I decided to check out the ignition switch while waiting for my better half to get ready, rather than get all grubby groping around under the bonnet.
I took the alloy cap off the end of the barrel and the little black plastic insert where the key fits in, and played around with the key turning mechanism with the key in, and whoom! It started!
I tried it again and again and it was fine. The car is going to France in two weeks so I don't want to risk a repeat failure and not be able to get it working again, so a new one is essential really.
Now the big question is, the existing one is obviously worn at 10 years old, but if I get a new ignition switch/barrel to replace it, how easy are they to fit?
I am reluctant to go to my local Citroen dealer because apart from being very expensive, from past experience I know that they're not very good at doing things right first time! If I do it myself it may take longer but at least it will be done carefully and everything put back and done up correctly.
Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Ed
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NiSk
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Postby NiSk » Wed Jun 05, 2002 1:09 pm

Hi eddie,
You don't have to replace the entire unit, the switch assembly dismatles quite easily from the end of the keylock and it's that that need replacing. You could probably pick one up cheap from a scrappy.
//NiSk
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eddiebarge
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Postby eddiebarge » Wed Jun 05, 2002 2:39 pm

Thanks for the advice. I will probably go for a new switch assembly in case one from a scrapped car is as worn as the existing one.
The car is 10 years old but has only covered 72,000 miles (my own ZX covered 138,000 miles before being written off by a deer), and so even if my son decides to part with it in favour of something sporty, we want to keep the ZX as it has been so reliable and cheap on running costs. Therefore a new switch assembly will probably last the remaining life of the car.
Thanks
Ed
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