Starter Specs

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Starter Specs
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Dailledouze on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 07:44 pm:

A while back someone posted a chart with specs of the Model T starter. I am seeking the starter's horsepower rating as well as it's RPM under normal starting conditions. Last as I am simply curious what is the current draw during the start on a broken in motor under normal and correct conditions.

I ask as I am going to build an electric (standard 110 volt) Model T engine starter/breakin for newly babbitted and tight motors.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken - SAT on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 08:22 pm:

Ron can probably roll those figures off his tongue but I'd have to look them up. I believe it's around 1200W for cranking and about 150W free spinning. Ford used a might big motor to spin new engines. Given the size of the motor and age of the picture, it was probably around 10hp. That's not something you'll get out of a 110v circuit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 08:35 pm:

No I was hoping to spin it by reducing gear ratios. But gee if it takes 10 HP...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 08:58 pm:

Chris,A engine rebuilder i know uses a very large heavy duty el drill !!!!!! No i never tryed it but i seen it!!!!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 10:47 am:

Chris
Here are the Model T Ford starter specs:
Free Running, 70 amps, 5.5 Volts (approx 400 Watts), 4000 RPM
Cranking Engine, 150-160 Amps, 5 volts (approx 800 Watts), 150 RPM
Lock Torque, 450 Amps, 3-4 Volts (approx 1800 Watts) , 12 Foot Pounds of Torque
A rebuilt Model T starter will barely turn over a newly rebuilt tight engine until it has been run for a few hours. As Ken pointed out Ford rotated the engine with a large motor to a point where it was loosened up. Running the engine till it reached a specific load on the motor was the criteria.
Your gonna need quite a contraption to continuously rotate a newly rebuilt Model T engine.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grady Puryear on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 10:48 am:

A local friend and old time T mechanic has one of the old huge machines for running in rebuilt engines. He got it from a retired engine rebuilder here, and no, he is not interested in selling it, he has already been asked. The electric motor that was used to operate this monstrosity was equally big, it was removed long ago so I don't know what HP and etc. it was, but he thinks it was three phase and way up there HP wise. I can take some pictures of the machine if anyone is interested, I wish he would dispose of it through one of you folks, it needs a good home and needs to be used in our hobby, but he is pretty hard headed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:01 am:

Grady
Your friend likely has a K.R. Wilson Model W-55 Electric Dynameter. It was a 220Volt 15HP motor driven machine to "run in" and to test the efficiency of newly rebuilt Model T motors.
There are photos of this machine in the 1926 KRW tool catalog page 54.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:03 am:

"A rebuilt Model T starter will barely turn over a newly rebuilt tight engine until it has been run for a few hours."

I'm not trying to start a fight here, but if a rebuilt starter connected to a good battery with the proper cables and switch won't turn over a rebuilt T engine, something is very wrong.

And here is the proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l1_pIClA2Q

Brand new engine, brand new starter, no trick photography involved.

And here is more proof, less than two hours on this engine and I hand cranked it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9lxPfjBSOs

If your starter won't turn your engine over, I'll sell you one that will - with a full one year warranty to back up my bragging.

If my starter won't turn over your new engine, you probably can't crank it over by hand either. This means that the process of fitting your babbitt bearings was not done properly. This is something else we do here, and I stand behind my work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joseph Wayne Rudzik on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:20 am:

You could also jack up one rear wheel and properly chock the front wheels, put the car in high gear and start the engine that way. The rear wheel acts as an extra flywheel and there is less drag on the engine.
Dad did this when he overhauled T engines and they started with the engine starter that was original and not overhauled.
Dad would put a hose in the radiator and trickle water in as he trickled some out the drain plug, ran the engine for a half-hour and never had a problem with engines starting by starter or by hand.
Hope this helps ya.

Joe R.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Halpin on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:50 am:

My new engine started the same way the one on the test stand did, straight out of the crate (with a little bit of choke).
I guess it should though, it IS the one on the test stand.
Something else you might notice in that video, the pair of vice grips on the "gas tank", and the lack of vibration.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:53 am:

I agree with Tim on this one. I have 5 T engines rebuilt by Tony Verschoore of Skokie, IL. ALL of them could be hand crank started right from the first engagement of the crank. Not one of them has yet to have a shim taken out of them. 2 of the 5 have a ton of miles on them already. If properly set up - there is really no good reason to have an engine set up tight. There is no advantage to "wearing in" of the babbit bearings in my opinion.

What was sorta interesting is that with my 1912 Delivery Car, the engine was installed and everything ready to go for that very first start. I put in some gas, pulled the choke rod and hand cranked the engine through 3 pulls of the hand crank and then went back to the coil box to turn on the ignition to the 6V hot shot battery that was hooked up. To my total surprise, the engine started on compression. Never actually cranked it over for its very first start. The engine ran sweet.

Unfortunately due to illness, Tony has not done any motors for a few years now and I hurts me to see him unable to do motors which is what he loved to do. What that tells me loud and clear is that life is short and we need to do the important things first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:57 am:

I don't rebuild engines, but know many people build them tighter.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 12:19 pm:

This freshly rebuilt engine could not be turned over with the crank or starter. We put the car in high gear with the plugs out, squirted some oil down each hole and towed it around a nearby parking lot for 30 minutes.

After that no problem. It pulls a heavy 1912 town car at a scary rate of speed these days.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwxjcxwhtfU


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 12:43 pm:

It appears to me that there are two schools of thought on engine rebuilds; tight & loose. I think we can agree that Henry set them up tight then "burned them in". My dad had an engine rebuilt "loose" some 15,000 miles ago. Haven't even removed a shim since. I've also had them set up tight with no ill affects and similar performance.

My personal view is that if you're simply freshening up, or rebuilding, an engine and using the "blue & scrape" method of fitting the rods and mains you want it a little tight. If you're boring new babbitt to fit a newly gorund crank, you want it set up loose, (.0010-.0015).

Why, because the hand scraped bearings do not have 100% contact as the bored bearing should have. With 100% contact you need room for oil. With the hand scraped bearing you have room for oil in the small areas of no contact and ultimatly want the bearing snug so that the high spots will wear down and the bearing will eventually settle in with a nice fit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 01:50 pm:

I really like youtube and the other video services. It's interesting to be able to see what other people did "first hand" and also to show off what we do. Whom-ever thought it up did a good thing.

And FYI - I don't think I'd have the nads to tow half a T through the center of town like that!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 02:02 pm:

Perhaps I should have chose my words more carefully to prevent them from being utilized to support the persistant "I can rebuild Model T's better then them" drumbeat.
I cannot speak for all Model T engine rebuilders, but I do know this: if you use a torque wrench on the crank or output shaft of a rebuilt Model T engine and it takes more than 144 foot pounds of torque to break it loose and turn it a properly rebuilt starter is going to have trouble because that is the maximum torque specification on 6 volts.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 08:55 pm:

Thanks all for your input, thanks to Ron for the information I actually asked for... :-)

I do like all of the input always fun to see all of it.

Thanks Again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By b.j. on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 09:31 pm:

would a pipe threader hooked to an engine work as a run in machine??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 10:36 pm:

Ron any idea what the actual HP of the starter would be? Very small starter gear in referance to the flywheel, I am woundering what HP is needed to turn it over with a simular ratio.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 10:52 pm:

I just hate to see people settling for sub-par work because someone they look up to as an authority on T's said it's ok if it doesn't work the first time.

If you pay big bucks to have an engine done you should get the best there is. There are many great engine builders, and probably many great starter restorers out there too. And then there are the people offering sub-standard crap. Here's an example: http://modeltengine.com/theotherguysstarters.htm

If you did the job right, your engine will start with the button on the floor. That's all I'm saying.

I would not be happy if I paid for a new engine and it arrived seized up solid as a rock - oops, I meant so say "tight". Towing or using a giant motor on the end of the crankshaft must put a huge amount of stress on the crankshaft in that first breaking free moment as mentioned above - 144 foot pounds? I wonder how many foot pounds it takes to break a good crank, or a u-joint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:19 pm:

I once had an A motor babbited for me. It was a good A friend, and he knew how particular I was/am. The bearings were set at .001, and with just the crank in the block, it took a short bar to get the crank to start turning, but then you could keep it turning it with a finger on one of the flywheel flange dowels. Once the oil adhesion was broken, she turned free. That motor is still in my a (some 25 years later) and runs fine. Once you put the pistons and rings on, it's harder to tell how well the bearings are set.
T'
David D.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jack daron-Indy. on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:31 pm:

Tim,I find it simply amazing that you are still in business. Your attitude and dismener of setting yourself up as "the only one who knows how and does it right" is a complete turnoff. Almost every post is a put down on someone else's work and an arrogant praise of your own. Other rebuilders don't run off blowing their own horn on here and they have plenty of work. Perhaps you should take lessons from them?? No reply to this post is necessary as I am not ,nor ever will be a customer.Your mileage may, and should vary.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Hass on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 12:20 am:

Well said and I concur Jack.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 12:58 am:

Jack you must have missed this: "There are many great engine builders, and probably many great starter restorers out there too." I can think of five off the top of my head. Some I have learned from, some I hope to learn from in the future. Want the list? Email me with your location and I'll find you someone GREAT nearby you that can do the job right the first time. I'd rather have you hire someone else than get ripped off with sub-par work.

If I led you to think I am the only one out there, it was un-intentional. I just know the value in hiring an expert. I don't do my own dental work, and I did use a realtor. I wouldn't settle for a house where the doors don't open the first few hours without a pry bar, why settle on a engine you can't start?

The whole point is to highlight the fact that you can get the BEST there is, if you don't get it from me, at least make sure you get it from someone - and don't settle for "so-so" work. If you pay for a rebuilt starter - it should work. I got screwed on those starters, three of them were already in customers cars when I found the problems. One of them could have burned someones house down. I'm now trying to make sure people like you have a place to go where you won't get screwed like I did.

If you pay for a rebuilt engine, it should work. First time included. If you don't have a starter, yes - you will probably have to tow it the first time unless your Hercules.

And for the record,I didn't put down anyone's work. Look for ONE post where I said "Ron the coil man's" products suck. There isn't one, I never ordered from him for the same reasons you won't order from me - my feelings towards him. I have no idea what his work is like, other than the fact that he says that his starters probably won't do the job. I hope he's mistaken, we don't need any more bad parts circulating. I assume he's doing something right because he has a following on here and highly recommended for coils. I doubt you have met me, so you're opinion of me shouldn't be complete yet. Text is a cold hard medium, no inflection to indicate intent or emotion. Keep that in mind. Come visit us and then form your opinion. If you still hate me after, so be it.

And for the record, just in case anyone gets the wrong idea, the bad starters on my web page did NOT come from Ron.

My opinion of the answer given above is that it was not correct. I'm entitled to my own opinions, just as you are. And if you knew me, you'd know that I state facts, plain and simple with no sugar coating. No malice, I have no mean bones in my body - but you won't get a compliment sandwich from me when you screw up. If you do something impressive, I'm the first one in line to sing praises too.

My apologies if I offended you or the rest of the I hate Tim fan club, but if someone is going to give advice on here to newcomers interested in the hobby -give them good advice instead of chasing them away with "A rebuilt Model T starter will barely turn over...". Sounds like a great new hobby - more stress and frustration after spending many thousands of dollars on parts and hundreds of hours putting it together.

Why not tell them the truth, that it CAN be done in a way that works. And you CAN have something you can drive off in the first time without hours of frustration and swearing?

There is a level of responsibility in posting on here. It's not a popularity contest. People look to us as "experts" on Model T's. What we tell them could be the difference between them buying one and keeping the hobby alive or saying "F this, all those guys do is bicker and the car won't start". We're all "ambassadors of the hobby". Why not show them what we're really like instead of lampooning people on here? Re-read my 11:03 posting. Cold facts, nothing more.

And Jack, I will take your comments as friendly advice and try to tone it down a little if you think I should.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 01:46 am:

The conversion from Watts to Horse Power is to divide by 746.
Therefore 400 Watts is about 1/2 HP
800 Watts is about 1 HP
and 1800 Watts is about 2.4 HP


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 08:27 am:

Tony,

That is input power, not output power. The T's starter is probably no more than about 1 horsepower.

Chris,

IMO, for "running in" engines, you had better spin the engine at least 600 rpm so that the splash system operates correctly.

One of those 6.5 horse OHV engines that Harbor Freight sells geared about 6:1 to the T's crankshaft might work just great with no plugs installed in the T's engine.

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 08:34 am:

About two years ago myself and a buddy of mine took on a member of our chapters car to get it running. It was completely worn out but the engine was freshly done before his grandad died in the 1950's. That car needed everything (except an engine). I have rebuilt starters, generators and alternators in everything from model T's to airplanes but we were running up against a deadline and we bought a starter from Ron Patterson.

I promise you it was first rate. It was not a patched up unit but rather completely gone through. When we put the engine in the car we made sure everything else was right. New battery cables of the correct size and all connections sanded bright. That car cranked over faster than most of you would believe possible on 6-volt.

I think that starter was about $100 more than one of the patched up units. Think about this, how much do each units cost to own over 5 years? The patched up one isn't up to the task of cranking the car like it is supposed to and the owner often then buys an 8 or 12 volt battery. They are now into it for the same money as they would have been in the first place had they gotten a unit that was "re-manufactured".

I just don't have the equipment to do all the checks on a model T starter (generators are a different animal) that Ron does and if I need a starter that is where it us coming from based on the past experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 02:56 pm:

Tony, Seth how odd we are staying on sunject... :-)

Thank you both and Ron for the info.

This was really an excercise to develope a machine that does multi things. Seth your 600 RPM was a good thing to consider.

We are not that overly too far from each other would love to meet up sometime. I am just North of Dallas and I read, if I remember that your in Shreveport, LA?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 03:08 pm:

And last... while I have only been at this for about 4 years, with still much to learn, I have certainly heard of many old timers including my partner with 40 years on Model T's towing a new motor to get it started.

If you referance 'Ford Methods and the Ford Shops' a book by Horace Arnold and Fay Faurote as well as other vintage Ford Model T techincal related books you will read of three things.

1) They used machines to start and run in new motors at the factories.

2) As the car was at the end of the assembly it was started on drums that spun in the floor.

3) KR Wilson had a machine that you ran the motor in until the current draw fell to a specific number. This indicating that less power was needed to spin the motor as it broke in. Almost now concerned that a motor would start too easy?

I am not making a point (OK perhaps a little) on tight, loose or too tight but if it was OK for the Ford Factory, in fact the Ford procedure, it's OK for little old Chris (note: not that old) here in my garage...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 03:36 pm:

Chris,

Exactly. Towing a Model T is the appropriate way to burnish in the babbitt prior to starting, and is the traditional way it is done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 03:46 pm:

Chris,

Yes, Shreveport. Sure, I'd like to meet you sometime as well and would be more than happy to help you develop this machine. My e-mail is sethharbuck@bellsouth.net

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 09:10 pm:

Here's one of those monster "Bearing Burn In" motor test machine stands, this one was going to its new owner at Chickasha a couple years ago. Pat date 1918

Was told it came out of an old Ford dealership, used for rebuilding Model T engines. Note the size of the pulley for the overhead drive, must have been a huge electric motor to drive this one.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 02:35 am:

Wow Dan... hmmmm can I build one of these? OK I need more metal... :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James H. Daw on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 10:40 am:

Tim,
It isn't always what you say, It is how you say it. I know that T engines were originally set up tight and it wasn't until products such as timesaver came out that this started changing. There are many many cars out there with thousands of miles on them that were set up old school and still going strong. As always I appreciate your advice and everyone elses.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 12:52 pm:

Thanks James, your right - millions of them set up tight. Many needed towing to start the first time. My grandfather did it that way until I gave him some timesaver. That was fine back then because it was the only way to do it. What was also fine back then were muddy wagon rut dirt roads, outhouses, prohibition, baths once a month, leather soled shoes, and no deodorant. None for me thanks, I'll continue choosing modern ways.

I heard this last night on the news, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - M.L. King said it. Probably not about Model T's, but I think it fits. I comment here (too passionately?) on the things that I feel are important to all of us.

Here's another relevant one:
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," - E.B. Hall


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James H. Daw on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 01:47 pm:

Tim, I know what you mean, and I prefer to set mine up so I can crank it. What I'm saying is there is more than one right way to do things and people don't like it being insinuated that they are dumb for not using modern methods.
Jim


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