I called a good friend of mine, Dennis, the chap who very kindly removed the rust and spayed my van, to find out what I may have possibly damaged when I charged my battery while it was connected to the van.
He said he had 30 minutes he could spar, and drove down to look at the issue. Tracing a wire from the battery to the solenoid lead he was able to tell that the battery received about 11.x volts when I turned the key, it was a tricky operation, because the starter motor is in a challenging location to work on.
The following day (Saturday) was wet and cold and I was reluctant to work under the van, so I was held off for a sunny warm day, but as it happened my good friend Mark called in late Saturday afternoon, he was bored and dropped in to see me.
I had asked if I could borrow his fibre optic scope to follow some cables which run in between from the battery and alternator, The alternator electrics run through the gap between the engine and the inlet manifold, which seems to me to be an odd place to place them.
When I explained the issue I was having with my electrics and he began to diagnose the problem I described. Mark did a great job identifying the issue.
We traced a lot of the leads and eventually we got down to the fact that it was an issue with the starter motor, he called for some spanners and we began to unbolt the starter motor.
Very soon we had it undone, it was a very tight fit, and I because I was under the van, I took careful to observe how it came out.
After a few checks it’s clearly not working correctly, although we did get the solenoid to tigger once or twice but, neither it nor the motor works properly.
It looks in good condition and may only need a good clean up because it’s covered in oil, but now that it’s out I may as well get it properly serviced.
Reconditioned with new brushes and a paint job by Scott Mountain at Mountain Auto Electrical