1916 T but w/ 1926 Engine (I can confirm with number, but don't think that's a big deal for this question.
With full 6 volts measured at starter motor, I get only that rapid clicking noise that in a modern car says "starter problem".
The starter motor is Delco Remy. It's proportioned differently from the after market Model T Starter motors I see at Lang's / Texas T's etc. It's proportioned more like an alternator rather than the longer, more cylindrical ones I see that are common.
I've also been told by a friend that the clicking is a bad solenoid.
My big question here as I troubleshoot is from many posts cautioning about the bendix gear / mag issues when removing the starter. I'm not sure if removing the motor actually requires removal of the bendix gear?
You are showing a picture of a alternator mounted in place of the generator. The starter is on the other side of the motor and to the rear.
Jim - THANK YOU very much for the clarification (and I feel the need to add that this is NOT a sarcastic comment). I legitimately posted an alternator photo thinking it was a starter.
At least I did have a suspicion that this might not be the starter at all. The car is on the other side of town and I did my research after taking photos and then coming home. I would like to think that if I could run from my computer out to my garage easily that I might have sorted it out.
So, although the photos are wrong, I still have the clicking starter sound. A mechanic friend says solenoid. Something tells me that solenoid issues are better than motor problems. Thoughts anyone?
- signed - embarrassed but happy to be closing in on what to do.
Charlie, a stock T does not have a solenoid. Show us your starter switch. Someone may have added a solenoid.
Maybe someone in the past has added a starter solenoid between the starter and battery. It would look like a small garbage can with two heavy leads and one small wire going to it. Your starter may be locked up and the solenoid is clicking.
A more "educated" inspection and what's mounted appears to be a very normal Model T starter. No sign of a solenoid.
Any thoughts about the rapid clicking sound? Is this the death sound of a shot starter or is there hope?
If I do need to replace the motor, is this an overly complicated process? I've replaced starters on boats and cars (but modern vehicles). Something tells me this is different.
You are wise to suspect that "something is different"!
Before you remove the starter, try cleaning (brushing to bright metal) all of the electrical connections to the starter, starter switch, and the battery, including both ends of the battery ground cable and its attachment to the frame. It could be that you have so much voltage drop in the connections that there isn't enough left to start the car.
If that doesn't help and you want to remove the starter, be sure to remove the Bendix cover and the Bendix first. Be careful not to let anything drop into the hole in the crankcase! The starter shaft has a small key that fits into a slot in the head of the Bendix. That key has an annoying tendency top pop out and get lost when the Bendix is removed. Sometimes the Bendix slides off the shaft with hand pressure after the bolt has been removed, other times it takes a small puller to get it off the shaft.
If you try to remove the starter without removing the Bendix first, you stand a good chance of damaging the magneto coil ring.
If you don't already have one, I suggest you get a reprint of the Ford service manual:
Mark - Thank you very much. Tropical Storm approaching here. This sounds like a good "rainy day" garage project. I'm going to review all very carefully before proceeding.
Charlie, put the car in high and see if you can roll it. The Bendix may be stuck engaged and in a bind. If it were mine, I would give it some sharp taps with s hammer on the cast parts before I would start tearing things apart. If this has already been discussed above, sorry for repeat
Charlie, you could still have solenoid problems. It is not uncommon for the somewhat troublesome T foot operated starter button to be replaced by a separate switch routed through a solenoid. Does your foot operated switch still do the work, or have you something different.
Allan from down under.
Make sure that your battery is good and has a full charge.
Charlie you got a battery charger with boost? Roll that over there and give 'er a jolt.I like the idea that the damn thing is just stuck.Smack it with hammer. Hope storm leaves you unscathed.
How OLD is the starter switch? Years ago there were some BAD switches.
Be very careful if you remove the battery cable connection on the starter itself. When replacing it and tightening the nut, if you allow the terminal to twist inside the starter you will damage it.
If you have 6 volts at the starter terminal, when you press the starter switch, you need a better ground cable.
The solenoid only clicks when there is not enough current available to engage it.
Perhaps only the solenoid needs a better ground terminal.
You should have less than 6 volts at the starter, if all your cables are good.
The lower the voltage the weaker the battery or the worse the cables.
Dear incredibly active / supportive / helpful and non-judgmental forum participants:
I'm going to dive into this shortly. This was my uncle's car. He owned dozens of antiques over throughout his life including many T's, but fire trucks, tractors, airplane etc. Antique / piston engine was the common thread. He was also a fan of usability over pure authenticity. The starter is a modern button that sits beneath the front seat. I am pretty sure that when I lift off the front seat and floor boards,, I will find a solenoid switch. I'm going to print out this forum and use it as my primary reference as I step cautiously through the most non-invasive recommendations and scale up from there. I'm hopeful. The last time I had ignition problems, I ended up finding a loose wire. I'm so optimistic that loose wire is my current problem.
And the crystal clear, blue sky today indicates that Hermine is not going to stop me from what I hope is a nice drive in my T.
Signed - Eternally Appreciative
I managed to get over to have a better look. The setup is a solenoid switch under the front seat. Exactly as described. 2 large posts on either side and a small wire on top. When the starter button is depressed, I get a rapid clicking from the solenoid.
I checked some voltages. When I put my meter on one of the large leads to the solenoid and the small one on top, I'm getting about 8 volts (I have a battery charger attached to the battery). When I check the output side of the solenoid, obviously nothing until I depress the starter. Then I'm only getting 2-3 volts out the other side.
Can anyone confirm my suspicion that the solenoid is bad and needs to be replaced? And if so, is this a Lang's type purchase or might I find one in a local auto parts store?
Either the solenoid is bad or the connections to and from it need a good cleaning. If you decide to replace it, there are many sources:
Disconnect the battery charger. They do not have enough current capacity to start the car. What is the condition of the battery? Try using a jumper cable from the battery + terminal to the starter.
you might have a bad battery.
If I understand you right, you say you get 6v at the starter and 2-3v at the solenoid output. If you are truly getting 6v at the starter and 2-3v at the solenoid output, something is wired wrong, or you are not measuring what you think you are. Remember, voltage is measured from hot (+) to ground. If you are measuring between the 2 large output terminals of the solenoid under load, you are measuring solenoid contact leakage, and this could be your problem. Under load, voltage between large output connections on solenoid should be close to 0v. If you measure voltage at battery terminals under load, a good battery certainly shouldn't drop below 4-5v. 2-3v would indicate a weak Battery. Solenoid clicking usually indicates a weak Battery.
"Solenoid clicking usually indicates a weak Battery. "
Ditto, either charge or replace the battery.
Ditto, dead battery.