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Thread: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere!

  1. #11 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    Probably not the best place to run all the earths as the alloy bulkhead panel tends to be sealed with sikaflex or similar . Running a separate earth to the chassis as you suggest seems a wise move. And as DC suggests, don't forget to check engine to chassis earth
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  2. #12 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    I had a Roadster and after a short journey I had no power to anything. After a longish push home, I found the earth lead from the battery had disintegrated inside the plastic casing. New lead, no more problems in my ownership. David.
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  3. #13 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    All interesting chaps and food for thought. There are a couple of standard black plastic modern relays on the top of the O/S bulkhead top but so far I have not traced where they are feeding. You have all given meekest food for thought or things to try. Cutting out when switching to sidelights shouts an earthing issue but I'm no Sparky preferring the mechanical bits. I'll start on the earth observations, (The chassis to engine braid is present but in fairly poor condition). If no joy there, I'll give Andrew a shout and investigate the solenoid wee box of Electrical Trickery.

    Good advice chaps. Thank you.

    Scotty
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  4. #14 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    The Laws of Brown and Branson for Marlin Owners

    Sod has one, Murphy does and so do a collection of 19th century physicists so I don’t see why Andrew Brown and I shouldn’t.
    Brown’s law states that whenever an electrical component on a Marlin fails to function the reason will always be a problem with the earthing of said component.
    Branson’s law states that despite knowledge of Brown’s law and often prior demonstration of it Marlin owners will always spend time fiddling around with the live feed to a failed component before suddenly remembering Brown’s law and correcting the fault with the earth.
    I can quote examples of these laws. I well remember stopping to help Andrew at the bottom of Stoney street on the Land’s End when his headlights failed. He was well into dissembling the live wiring to the lights and I offered my meter to test for volts. When I met him later he confirmed what we both should have known that the problem was with the earth.
    The new addition to the Branson Marlin stable has had intermittent problems with its headlights. On the night before the Northern they wouldn’t work at all. I spent at least 45 minutes tracing the live feed from the switch to the fuse to the dip switch to the light until suddenly the penny dropped and I connected a jump lead from the negative pole of the battery to the headlight bar. This produced an immediate blaze of light and demonstrated Brown and Branson’s laws.
    For those of you clever clogs who think you can defy these laws I would remind you that they belong to the same class as Sod’s law of which the complete definition is ‘ A piece of bread with butter and jam on will land butter and jam side down unless required to do so to demonstrate Sod’s Law. So next time a light goes out on your Marlin and you think I’ll show those idiots with their laws. You will spend the requisite 45 minutes undoing rusty nuts, losing them under the bench, getting everything clean with wire brush and emery paper and thoroughly restore the earth you will then find that what was needed was a new bulb. Don’t even think that by testing beforehand that you may avoid all the bother because even if the bulb works at the outset by the time you have sorted the earth it won’t. Trust me I’m a doctor.
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  5. #15 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    With my car - Duncan's Dubious Device - I decided that I would simply NOT use the chassis as an earth

    I ran a separate earth wire to each thing that required power
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  6. #16 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    With Regards to earthing , I always run a braided earthing strap bolted to the bell housing and the other end directly onto the negative terminal of the battery.

    they are available in different widths and lengths e.g https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Car-Engin...MAAOSwl8VdljSE

    That type of earthing strap will help with using the starter to crank the engine, as well as improve the intensity of the spark to the plugs.

    Because they don't have insulation on here are some of the advantages:

    1) The condition of the cable can be clearly seen and monitored.

    2) They are very flexible , so provided the correct length is selected are unlikely to be damaged by engine vibration and movement.

    3) When either charging your battery or using an ignition timing light they are a handy place to use the crocodile clips on for your negative connection.


    With Regards to Scotty's car issue , as he has an intermittent fault that appears to be related to items when using the ignition, it may be possible that there is a connecting plug that joins the loom after the ignition switch possibly behind or under the dash. So that should also be checked. It may simply be a corroded connector that needs unplugging and spraying with contact cleaner considering the age of the car.

    All Marlins are individually built and how the car was wired can vary greatly, so in reality nothing can be ruled out as to the cause, but agreed earthing is the starting point.


    Interestingly when I rebuilt my Roadster it had quite a few problems with the electrics and of the 8 problems only 1 of them was earth related.

    For that earthing problem I added a smaller sized braided strap that took an M6 bolt, from the wiper motor casing to the metal body work to increase the wiper speed.
    Last edited by Ye Ol Ripper; 22-10-2020 at 08:18 AM.
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  7. #17 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member stevejgreen's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, don’t let the smoke out!
    MOC member since 05/97
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    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

    Loads of Marlin Reference can be found documents here or there.
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  8. #18 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    Replacement smoke is available part number 530433 or 530434 (pos or neg earth?) and the Churchill insertion tool 18G 548BS.
    When working with caravans in the '70s we always had a long earth lead to check the earth. Most of the time that was where the fault was. On my S1 landrover, I have a body panel that has no electrical connection with the rest of the vehicle. If you have a master switch that should also be suspect.
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  9. #19 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    I just googled that first part number. http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm I hadn't realised this was available. I could have saved myself some time with this. I just rewired my Roadster. I wish I had known about this sooner.
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  10. #20 Re: Ignition Fault.....Somewhere! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by HairyDave View Post
    Replacement smoke is available part number 530433 or 530434 (pos or neg earth?) and the Churchill insertion tool 18G 548BS.
    When working with caravans in the '70s we always had a long earth lead to check the earth. Most of the time that was where the fault was. On my S1 landrover, I have a body panel that has no electrical connection with the rest of the vehicle. If you have a master switch that should also be suspect.
    I have a long length of wire in my toolbox with a crock clip at both ends for debugging earths...
    Mk2 SWB Marina Roadster with a 2.0L Pinto built in 1986
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