Starter Stopped!

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Starter Stopped!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 11:27 am:

Trying to turn over a car not run in a long while. Without oil, but no gas, just trying to see it turn over, and go from there. New battery in, wheels off the ground, it turned over fine 3 or 4 seperate times. Then, nothing. Voltage at the starter post is still about 6.3 volts. What could have happened - is the battery already run down? Is there a way to check the starter before pulling the bendix and removing the starter?

PS: Does all the oil need to come out before pulling the bendix cover?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 11:39 am:

Can you turn the engine with the hand crank? Sometimes a starter will lock against the flywheel. In that case the engine will not turn over with the crank. If it turns over with the crank the starter is not locked.

If you have a battery charger, try charging the battery. A regular volt meter will not give a true test of the battery. You would need to check the voltage under load. It could read 6.3 volts when not in use, but still need charging.

If the starter is locked, you can leave the parking break lever forward in the high gear and try pushing the car backward. Rock the car back and forth and that will usually unlock the starter.

If the starter motor spins very fast without turning the engine, you have a broken bendix.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By samuel pine on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 11:53 am:

Mine all of a sudden took a dump. so I took off
the cover (band) sprayed carb cleaner on the
brushes commutator blow dry with air, so it dont
blow up hit with hammer it did turn but not good.
so its time. no need to drain oil but you need a
container cause there is oil in the bendex cover
to soak you. Then a trip to my ole barn, found a
starter that ain't been moved for 55yrs put there
by me when a kid. sprayed this one thats about it.
even right now as fast as i hit the button its
running just like a V8 flathead. I find my starter
amarture is bent I cant get it out of the housing.
why? wife no= my kids yes! starting with the spark
advanced that will kill em every time... Matter
of fact at this time I just ran it one turn no
choke March 14. I run this atleast 3 or 4 times
a week. today heat wave 35 and rain but still got
4 feet of snow infront of the door and I aint shoveling it. sam

Oh'a momma wheres you shovel


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 11:59 am:

A voltage check after then battery has set idle for a day is a very good test for battery condition. Here is a chart.


Another thing to check is for good connections from the battery to the starter.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 12:05 pm:

Good advice> The engine does turn ok with the crank. Right now, it's on a charger, see if that's it. But if not, can that cover (farthest from the bendix) be removed with the starter still installed?

And so far as the bendix cover, i don't have to drain the oil down (just prepare for the drips?).

Thanks all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 12:13 pm:

Henry h,

You posted:

"Trying to turn over a car not run in a long while. Without oil, but no gas..."

just trying to understand - are you saying that there is no oil in the engine?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 12:27 pm:

CAUTION: Do not remove the starter without first taking the Bendix off of the armature. This will damage the magneto, and give you a world of hurt.

It is not necessary to drain the oil to remove the starter. You'll get a little drip, but that's all.

To remove the Bendix, remove the "can" that covers it. The screws that hold the can are an odd size and thread, so don't lose them. Then, remove the bolt at the end of the armature, and slide off the Bendix. then you can remove the starter.

Having said all that, it's not clear from your description that the starter needs to come off. Maybe, but maybe not. I'd suggest trying the things suggested above first - mainly, turning the engine over with the crank, and charging the battery.

By the way, re-installing the "can" is a headache because one of the screws is snuggled up against the transmission, and hard to get to. Some sort of screw-holding screwdriver is your best bet, and you'll need a good light and some patience - and either a new gasket or some silicone gasket maker.

Don't run the engine with the "can" or starter removed. You can't believe the amount of oil that would gush out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 12:41 pm:

I should try typing slower. Car is with oil, and without gas. I have been taking it one step at a time. I will wait for the full charge before taking the steps above. I already reinstalled the bendix cover and a new gasket as it was missing. That was a fun day.

Can that starter end cover be removed as Samual suggests with the starter still in.?

And the bendix would come out before trying to remove the starter. That's clear.

Thanks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 01:44 pm:

There is a band around the rear end of the starter, held in place by a single screw, sort of like a hose clamp. It can be removed without disturbing anything else, and doing so will give you access to the brushes and armature (sort of). You could spray cleaner, check the brushes for clear operation, and probably see any burnt-up wires. That's about all.

If you meant to ask whether the rear plate of the starter can be removed while it's in the car, I would not recommend trying that. You would have to deal with spacers falling out, and then find a way to hold the brushes retracted when you re-install it. That is essentially a starter rebuild, and it is better done with the starter on a bench with good light and the ability to turn it any-which-way.

I hope this answers your question!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 02:00 pm:

I went back to your original post, and have another idea.

You said the voltage at the starter post is 6.3. That indicates that the starter switch is pressed, and voltage is getting all the way to the post.

If the starter were locked up, I don't believe you'd measure 6.3 volts at the post when it was trying to turn but couldn't. There are several places in the circuit where there is enough resistance that the voltage would take a dive under those circumstances. A locked starter is pulling hundreds of amps!

My best guess is there is an open circuit inside the starter. That means a removal and rebuild.

But there's one other possibility. It is that the starter is getting 6.3 volts, relative to wherever your voltmeter's other lead is attached, but the starter isn't seeing a good 'ground path' back to the battery.

That can happen because the engine was painted and the starter is bolted up against paint instead of metal, or it can happen because the ground path from the engine itself to the chassis is faulty. The battery, after all, is grounded to the chassis.

I'd suggest you mentally review your process of measuring the voltage at the starter terminal. Where was the other lead of your meter? What kind of groan or moan did you hear when making that measurement?

Try the measurement again, with the negative lead of your meter somewhere on the body of the starter itself.

Then compare the voltage you get there, with the voltage you get at the posts of the battery.

If the voltage is the same, the starter isn't trying to draw any current, and that means an open circuit inside the starter.

Keep trying. You'll find it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 02:09 pm:

Check your starter button it may be bad. Try by-passing it to see if you have better luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anthonie Boer on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 02:27 pm:

Most of the time the starter terminal stud has a bad connection with the [ bridge ] between the coils or the bridge is broken .Nearly al old starters has that problem .
Toon
1195R
1726R


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anthonie Boer on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 02:40 pm:

Here the pictures , I forget to resize
Toon.
1195R
1726R


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 03:49 pm:

If it were mine the first thing I would do is verify that the starter switch was good and that the voltage was getting to the contact on the starter. Next I would take off the bendix cover and take a look. You can tell a lot about the condition of a starter by removing the bendix cover. If you do remove the cover, be sure to keep the screws. They are a size not available in today's hardware store or auto parts store, so don't lose them.

The bendix gear is on a screw which will move it toward the flywheel when the starter is engaged. That gear should move back and forth easily and the teeth on the gear should be beveled at the end toward the starter. There is a spring connected between the bendix and the starter shaft. That spring should not be bent nor broken and the bolts which hold it should be held in place with tabs on the washer to keep them from turning. Next thing is to try to rotate the shaft by hand. It should not be bent but should turn easily. I would not try to start the engine with the bendix cover off because you would lose a lot of oil. I would, however remove the bendix gear and spring from the shaft. Note there is also a woodroof key inside the keeper at the end of the shaft. Then hit the starter switch with the bendix removed. The starter should spin freely if it is in good condition. If it does not spin when the switch is engaged, you have something wrong with the starter motor and it should then be removed and either rebuilt or replaced with a rebuilt one.

Good luck.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anthonie Boer on Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 05:33 pm:

To be sure or the starter is O.K. You can test them with a bench tester. 11 - 12 foot pounds is good.
Toon
167R


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 09:45 am:

I want to check that ground connection - what is the best way? is it starter body to frame, or a resistance check (with the starter positive term unhooked) from the starter post to ground? If going from the starter post to ground, what would the resistance normally be?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Eaton on Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 03:41 pm:

Don't forget to check starter button for dirty contacts. Punch button hard a few times before you do surgery.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Eaton on Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 03:44 pm:

Sorry Dennis- didn't see your post. It could be because of the foot of blowing snow we just got dumped on us here in Atlantic Canada!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 04:17 pm:

I don't know what the resistance should be from starter terminal to ground, but it would probably be quite low - maybe too low to accurately measure with a common ohm meter.

As far as starter ground to chassis, the way to do that would be to put your voltmeter positive lead on bare metal on the starter's body, and the negative on the chassis, and hit the button. If there is voltage between the starter and the frame, you've got a bad ground. There should be an absolute connection between the starter body and the frame.

That connection comes from two places: The starter body to the engine block, which most commonly is interrupted by paint, and the engine block to the frame, which is normally a path through the nose of the pan to the frame where the crank is, and also the engine mounting ears on either side of the transmission. Especially on a restoration, where we want everything to be spit-spot, paint can get in the way here too.

If you look at the pictures above of the interior of a starter, you'll see a "yoke" attached to the terminal bolt, that is then physically connected to the windings of the starter and then soldered.

Look at the picture of the old one laying alongside the new one, and you'll see what happens when maximum current is drawn for too long, causing enough heat to either melt the solder or melt the brass "yoke."

Or, the bolt was tightened onto a cable terminal without holding the bottom from turning, and the "yoke" twisted loose from the bolt. Look closely, and you can see that the bottom nut on the bolt should be tightened just enough to hold everything tight, then it should be held tightly and kept from turning when the top nut is tightened onto the cable terminal.

The further we get into this, the more I am convinced that's your problem. All the symptoms you describe are explained by that.

When you were turning over the motor that hadn't been turned over for a long while, there was no oil in the bearings, and probably some rust on the cylinder walls. That put maximum strain on the starter, which equals maximum current draw, which equals maximum heat generation, which equals failed electrical joints.

I'm sorry, but that's what it seems like. That's not the easiest and cheapest thing to fix, but it's a long, long way from the hardest and most expensive.

Try pulling each plug and dumping a couple of tablespoons of motor oil into each cylinder, and while the plugs are out and it's easy, spinning the engine a few turns with the crank. That won't fix your starter, but it will help you to not burn out the new one.

When you get the new (or rebuilt)one installed, with the back wheel still jacked up and the plugs still out, spin the engine with the starter for about 2 seconds, then let it rest for 120 seconds, then repeat and repeat and repeat. That will help get oil into the bearings as well as you can, which is nowhere near as well as you could if there was an oil pump. But it'll help!

Then reinstall the plugs, add some gas, and get out of the way -- there will be a huge white cloud of burnt oil when it starts!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 07:15 pm:

Thanks for some good advice. So the ground connection is fine, with an ohmeter there is no resistance starter case to ground. And with the battery hooked up, the starter switch puts battery voltage to the starter post. So i removed the bendix and pulled the starter. After pulling it, and grounding the starter case to the chassis, the starter will turn (weakly). So i opened it up. It looks kind of like the la brea tar pits. Should there should be a bushing in the middle of the armature - perhaps to seal off the oil? It's not installed. The brushes are so gummed up, they don't move. So i will try to clean that all up and see if that helps.

Perhaps a rebuild is needed, but i will fight with this one for a little while before giving up.

Thanks all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 01:02 pm:

I was able to clean up the brush end, which looks ok. Two questions though, 1st: The stud connection to the inner field bar is loose - there appears to have been very little solder. What is better here, to silver solder? Can that be done without heat-damaging the windings? Or is it better to just squeeze down the legs of the copper stud onto the bar?

2nd: The snout bushing - when the starter is installed, what rides in there - is it the starter shaft, or the tail end of the bendix?

Thanks All


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 04:06 pm:

you need a very large soldering iron to solder it. Do not try with a torch. It should be crimped and soldered.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 05:10 pm:

The starter armature should be tight in the bearings, but turn freely. Good old fashioned solder is all you need for the field bar, but like Norman said, use a large iron--like the old ones you see at garage sales (that's where I got all mine!).
Do clean the inside of the starter thoroughly while you are in there. Check for frayed insulation, and make certain any wires, like to the brushes are out of the way of the armature when it spins. Don't ask me why I know to mention that one. . .
:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By henry h on Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 02:32 pm:

An update - After a good cleaning, and resoldering the inner bus to the stud, all is well. Reinstalled, and works well.

Thanks for the help.


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