starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

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pyrodork
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starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by pyrodork » March 4th, 2015, 6:18 am

i realize fordbarn may be a better overall shot at this (in regards to the number of viewers), but i'm already here.

my aa is not yet roadworthy, but in my process to get there, i'm trying to get it running well. it's been about 2 years since i was last able to attempt starting it. i remember the timing was off then and even though it had started before, it did not start when i left it.

in the past couple weeks, between snow drifts, i've been trying to crank it over again. it was cranking really good until suddenly it barely turned at all. good battery, good charge. i put marvel oil in the plug holes, removed the starter, disassembled/cleaned/reassembled/reinstalled the starter, polished the ground connection and the starter-to-bellhousing connection. the dash light is nice and bright, but the starter just barely cranks. when i had it disassembled, i noticed the starter gear was stuck. i loosened that and gave it a dab of lube. brushes look fairly well. i do hear what may be a vacuum hissing noise, but it should be sealed up good.

i noticed that (since my tranny doesn't like shifting), i got slightly better results when pushing in the clutch. when i did not push in the clutch, the right rear wheel turned, but the left did not. is that an issue, too?! i hijacked another transmission tower post about my sloppy shifter, but i would think that if the tranny was smooth and free, everything else should spin, too.


it would be great if someone could point me in the right direction. thanks in advance.
Rumored to be an Early '30 AA...

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-- Scotty "It-Only-Sounds-Like-I-Know-What-I'm-Doing" Petersen, Esquire.

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gunmetal 2
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by gunmetal 2 » March 4th, 2015, 6:51 am

if your truck is in neutral you should not have to push in the clutch. The rear wheel souldn't move. It sounds like your flywheel and clutch are touching each other that means the starter is trying to turn the engine and transmission and rear end. The starter only sould turn the motor to start it. That is why the starter is bearly turning over.

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1crosscut
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by 1crosscut » March 4th, 2015, 11:11 am

If you have a battery cut off switch take it off. Mine caused slow cranking. Got rid of it and all is good.
------------
Dave

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Brady
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by Brady » March 4th, 2015, 11:24 am

My rig sits idle for long times, and the clutch plate sticks to the flywheel. I put it in third or fourth gear and rock it fore and aft till it breaks loose. I've read that spraying some WD-40 on the disc helps prevents this situation.

KimVanOrder
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by KimVanOrder » March 4th, 2015, 4:51 pm

Like others said. Be sure it is in Neutral so the wheels don't have to turn. Also you mentioned a "hissing" noise? As in the starter switch not connecting well and arcing?

I had the sticking clutch issue and ended up pulling the engine to get is seperated.

KVO
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Dec. '28 AA

SHELBY MESSER
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by SHELBY MESSER » March 4th, 2015, 6:25 pm

paint could be your problem , If clutch is stuck go through the clutch inspection hole and loosen the bolts that wholes the pressure plate to the flywheel If truck runs start it in second gear holding the clutch down drive the truck around have plenty of turning room and be ready to turn off the ign switch you will know when the clutch comes loose tighten the bolts and you are ready to drive way :) Shelby, Louisiana.

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pyrodork
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by pyrodork » March 4th, 2015, 10:32 pm

I don't think it's the flywheel stuck to the clutch. My transmission tower is messed up and the gears just got in the wrong spot. I removed the tower and slid the gears over so they don't engage the drive. Still cranks slow, but without the rear wheel turning (I have the rear on jackstands). Only one wheel should turn while in gear, correct?

After thinking, I'm more apt to lean towards the starter. How would I (correctly) bench test it? Or could my ammeter be the culprit? The needle never moved much, even when the engine ran. I also never knew if I required the 20 amp or 30 amp. I have a 20 installed.

The hissing sound sounds more like a snake than electrical. I hear it when the starter slows down. I have a wolf whistle near the starter, but the lines are tight. I haven't had anyone over to pinpoint the location.

If time and weather permit, I'll try to shoot a video and put it on YouTube.
Rumored to be an Early '30 AA...

"Pics or it didn't happen."



-- Scotty "It-Only-Sounds-Like-I-Know-What-I'm-Doing" Petersen, Esquire.

KimVanOrder
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by KimVanOrder » March 5th, 2015, 5:28 pm

Pull the starter out, dissasemble, clean, lube, reassemble and try it on the bench. That "hiss" sound could be the shaft chatering in the bushing(s).

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elfox
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by elfox » March 6th, 2015, 4:54 pm

You mentioned that you were working in the snow... Is there a chance that water accumulated in your exhaust which has now become a freeze plug? The hissing noise could be a pressurized exhaust, and your starter is basically trying to crank over a big air compressor.
Dave
Port Orchard, WA

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pyrodork
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by pyrodork » March 6th, 2015, 9:50 pm

elfox wrote:You mentioned that you were working in the snow... Is there a chance that water accumulated in your exhaust which has now become a freeze plug? The hissing noise could be a pressurized exhaust, and your starter is basically trying to crank over a big air compressor.

Figure of speech. It's been garaged, albeit the temperature has been pretty bitter lately; hence not working on it much or for very long.

I shot a video, but can't upload it until after the weekend.
Rumored to be an Early '30 AA...

"Pics or it didn't happen."



-- Scotty "It-Only-Sounds-Like-I-Know-What-I'm-Doing" Petersen, Esquire.

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spectria
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by spectria » March 6th, 2015, 11:04 pm

pyrodork wrote:
elfox wrote:You mentioned that you were working in the snow... Is there a chance that water accumulated in your exhaust which has now become a freeze plug? The hissing noise could be a pressurized exhaust, and your starter is basically trying to crank over a big air compressor.

Figure of speech. It's been garaged, albeit the temperature has been pretty bitter lately; hence not working on it much or for very long.

I shot a video, but can't upload it until after the weekend.
I think the hissing sound is the scraping of the rusty disk and pressure plate as they spin, rubbing against each other. A little like sand paper...
Dave in Quincy, Ca. I love Pics!!!! Post them All!!! :)
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by ModelAkid » March 7th, 2015, 3:40 pm

The first thing you need to do is find out where the problem is: it seems to be either the starter is not working very well, or the engine is too hard to crank. So put the hand crank on the crankshaft and turn it by hand. If you have done this before you know how much effort is required, and if the effort now has become more difficult, it indicates a problem with the engine or clutch.
If the engine turns as normal with the hand crank, take out the starter and use jumper cables to operate it from the 6 volt battery, "on the workbench". If operating normally it will spin fast with lots of torque. Otherwise you have a starter problem. It may have a shorted out field coil or armature.
One more thing: if you are trying to start the engine with 30w oil in it and zero degrees temperature, it is going to be very difficult to turn over. My grandpa used to build a fire under the engine in the old days to get his car to start in winter.

BTW, I found out long ago that when storing cars & trucks with clutches it is a good idea to push the clutch pedal to the floor and prop it in that position with a stick going to the steering column mounting bracket or anything else that will hold it in place. Without the pressure from the pressure plate on the clutch disk it is very unlikely to get stuck.

KimVanOrder
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by KimVanOrder » March 8th, 2015, 5:15 pm

BTW, I found out long ago that when storing cars & trucks with clutches it is a good idea to push the clutch pedal to the floor and prop it in that position with a stick going to the steering column mounting bracket or anything else that will hold it in place. Without the pressure from the pressure plate on the clutch disk it is very unlikely to get stuck.[/quote]



Boy! I wish dad would have done this to then his truck. Would have saved a lot of work.

KVO
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pyrodork
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by pyrodork » March 8th, 2015, 11:56 pm

Today got into the 40's, so I put some good time in this afternoon. For the most part things went well, so perhaps the cold was affecting the cranking. I still heard the hissing from the drivers side. Disconnected the wolf whistle and capped the line at the intake, but the hissing was still there. Removed the plugs and affirmed that all the valves moved and all were getting good compression. Added more marvel oil and hand-cranked a bit. I've never hand-cranked before, so I can't judge the ease of turning. Removed the starter and bench tested it. It spins well, but again, I don't know how fast it should go. Reinstalled it and even though my timing is off, it cranked enough to fire for a second (a few times) and burn off some marvel.

After cranking well occasionally, the starter would cut power completely. Dash light was still working, but no power from the starter. Using the all-american way, I smacked the starter with a hammer and all was well again. After a couple cranks, no power again. After more corporal punishment, it would crank a bit, then no power. I did not notice the hissing at this point.

It appears I've pinpointed the source to the starter... but what part of the starter? I did shoot video of my bench test... haven't uploaded it yet. It would be nice to try a known-working starter. I'll check with my local Model A club meeting this week.

A couple specific tech questions... is there an easy way to pull back all the brushes at once when installing the armature? I've been doing them individually. And then I'd like to know how I can test my ammeter for accuracy/proper functioning. My tech books only assume it works correctly.

I'll post video links when they're uploaded.

Thanks!
Rumored to be an Early '30 AA...

"Pics or it didn't happen."



-- Scotty "It-Only-Sounds-Like-I-Know-What-I'm-Doing" Petersen, Esquire.

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1crosscut
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Re: starter was cranking strong, now barely at all!

Post by 1crosscut » March 9th, 2015, 6:40 am

40 degrees shouldn't slow cranking too much at all.
Since you know that your timing is wrong take the time now to get it set right. No sense trying to start an engine with the timing wrong when setting it is such a simple thing to do.
Have you tried standing along side the engine to engage the starter by hand to better listen for the hiss?

At this point if your having to hit the starter with a hammer I would take the starter in to a shop that repairs them and have it tested.
------------
Dave

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