Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

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rrich1
Posts: 27
Joined: December 29th, 2018, 4:02 am
Model Year: 1931

Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » June 4th, 2019, 10:39 pm

I'm hoping it is just the starter and nothing more.

While waiting for a carb rebuild kit to come I sprayed carb cleaner in the carb to see if that would help with my starting issue. I have been able to start it but it will not stay running for more than a few seconds, at the most 30 seconds. Yesterday I tried it a few times getting it to start. On the last attempt the truck just abruptly stopped turning over. Pressed the starter pedal and nothing. No sound. I went to try and crank the engine by hand and it won't crank at all. I previously set the timing with the indicator pin and was able to do it one handed. Now nothing. 


I had planned to change the oil today and drop the pan. After dropping the pan everything in that area looked fine. 

I next took out the starter. Having never messed with a starter (electrical and I don't normally get along). Having watched one video online it shows the Bendix being able to at least spin. Mine does not and looks to be binded. There is also a hole that I found in the case. 

Also when I went to crank it the crank shaft pulley seems wobbly. Is that normal? 

I have attached pics. 
​​​​​​​ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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KimVanOrder
Posts: 597
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by KimVanOrder » June 5th, 2019, 3:52 pm

Can the engine be turned over by hand with the starter on the bench? If so then it is a starter issue.
Will the starter run on the bench using jumper cables to power it? If so then starter is OK. Check for good grounding at all places starter mounts to engine.
Take the starter switch off and try jumping power directly to the brass post that is contacted when the starter button is pushed. If so starter switch is bad. If so , file contact area clean and try again. If not, take the band off the starter, and see if there is anything that is burned at the hole area. Pix looks like just a rust hole. No big deal. Will run with no band on.

If no luck with any of this, let us know and we can try to walk you thru a rebuild..


Good luck.. KVO
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

KimVanOrder
Posts: 597
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by KimVanOrder » June 5th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Oh! and the crank will be sloppy in the hole it passes thru. No big deal..
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

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1crosscut
Posts: 816
Joined: December 25th, 2010, 7:22 pm
Body Type: 82-A
Model Year: 1929
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by 1crosscut » June 5th, 2019, 4:40 pm

If the starter will not spin sitting on the bench using jumper cables pull the switch apart and see if something is amiss there. Jump directly to the contact as suggested. If that doesn't work take it to your local starter and alternator repair shop and have them check it out.

The pulley itself should not be wobbly.
------------
Dave

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rrich1
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Model Year: 1931

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » June 5th, 2019, 8:17 pm

Thanks for the replies. A little update:

I was able to use the fan belt and spin the engine by hand so the engine is not seized.

The battery was replaced last month by the previous owner. The truck has not ran in the past two years per him. I was able to get it started but it would stall and die after a max of 30 seconds. I have a feeling that I attempted to start the engine too many times and not able to keep it running I possibly ran the battery down. I borrowed a 6v charger and have the battery on it right now. After about 30 min I used jumper cables and hooked the negative cable to the copper post and the positive to the area where it bolts to the flywheel housing. I got nothing. But that could also be the battery didnt have enough juice yet. The charger doesn't say but i believe it is a trickle charger.

I will soak the front gasket for the pan tonight in oil and hope to get it installed tomorrow night after I get the kids to bed.

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1crosscut
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Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by 1crosscut » June 6th, 2019, 5:26 pm

You can try it with your battery charger directly. Polarity doesn't matter but usually the negative would go to the post on the battery and the positive to ground.

To make sure that it isn't the switch that is causing you troubles remove it and touch the negative to the flat post that you will find when you remove the switch.
All it takes is 4 screws to remove the switch from the starter. Could just be that the contacts in the switch need to be cleaned.

As for the starting and dying right away hook up a small temporary gas tank to your carburetor. Something like a lawn mower tank. Do not allow the fuel line to sag. I find that the Model A engine likes its fuel flowing down hill all the way from the tank to the carburetor. Check the tube shaped screen inside the carburetor while you are at it.
This way you know that the fuel flow from the tank is not an issue.

Do you have one of the one gallon can carburetor cleaning kits? Soaking a disassembled carburetor overnight will do wonders for getting them cleaned up. Wash well and blow out with pressurized air afterwards.

Have you determined if the front pulley actually is wobbly? If it is fix it before putting your pan back on.
------------
Dave

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rrich1
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Model Year: 1931

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » June 7th, 2019, 10:37 pm

1crosscut wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 5:26 pm
You can try it with your battery charger directly. Polarity doesn't matter but usually the negative would go to the post on the battery and the positive to ground.

To make sure that it isn't the switch that is causing you troubles remove it and touch the negative to the flat post that you will find when you remove the switch.
All it takes is 4 screws to remove the switch from the starter. Could just be that the contacts in the switch need to be cleaned.

As for the starting and dying right away hook up a small temporary gas tank to your carburetor. Something like a lawn mower tank. Do not allow the fuel line to sag. I find that the Model A engine likes its fuel flowing down hill all the way from the tank to the carburetor. Check the tube shaped screen inside the carburetor while you are at it.
This way you know that the fuel flow from the tank is not an issue.

Do you have one of the one gallon can carburetor cleaning kits? Soaking a disassembled carburetor overnight will do wonders for getting them cleaned up. Wash well and blow out with pressurized air afterwards.

Have you determined if the front pulley actually is wobbly? If it is fix it before putting your pan back on.
I took the starter apart and cleaned the inside. Everything looked good but the bendix is still seized on the shaft. I was able to get everything back together (remind me never to do that again).I also cleaned the connections of the switch. I hooked it up to the charger and still nothing moved. I have yet to put it back in so I can attempt to rock the truck and get the bendix free.

Fuel line to carb is free of any debris and had a good flow. I took the carb off and started to clean it. The screen was clean. I do believe one of the passages was partially blocked as when I cleaned it with a paperclip a decent amount of fluid then came out.

The crank pulley is wobbly and will be replaced.

I ordered quite a few parts from snyder's including a new two piece crank pulley, rope seals, carb gasket kit, ratchet nut, ratchet nut wrench.

With Snyder's super quick shipping I hope to get things back together this monday night or tuesday.

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Farrell In Vancouver
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Body Type: Deck
Model Year: 1931
Location: Vancouver BC Canada

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by Farrell In Vancouver » June 11th, 2019, 1:27 pm

I think you are going to want to get that bendix gear moving again. Try knocking it back with a hammer and screw driver by tapping it on the gear teeth.
If its jammed on something it may stay meshed with the engine which it won't like at all. Once you got it moving freely, clean the helix well but don't leave it greasy or oily. It would be better some dry graphite on the shaft to keep it moving and not attract dirt.
You can test the starter with a 12 volt to see if it spins. just don't run it too long.
I would also clean the Flywheel housing and starter flange where they meet as it will assist in obtaining a ground path for the starter motor.
Make sure the cables from the battery are conducting their share of the work and the battery is supplying at least 6 volts to the starter switch.
Sometimes repeated starts will heat the connections up and then the lose conductivity. Cranking with a weak battery will sometime weld the starter switch bar to the starter contact or at least fry and pit the contacts which will need to be filed and polished up again.
Good luck and let the forum know how it turns out.
Cheers!

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rrich1
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Model Year: 1931

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » June 11th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Farrell In Vancouver wrote:I think you are going to want to get that bendix gear moving again. Try knocking it back with a hammer and screw driver by tapping it on the gear teeth.
If its jammed on something it may stay meshed with the engine which it won't like at all. Once you got it moving freely, clean the helix well but don't leave it greasy or oily. It would be better some dry graphite on the shaft to keep it moving and not attract dirt.
You can test the starter with a 12 volt to see if it spins. just don't run it too long.
I would also clean the Flywheel housing and starter flange where they meet as it will assist in obtaining a ground path for the starter motor.
Make sure the cables from the battery are conducting their share of the work and the battery is supplying at least 6 volts to the starter switch.
Sometimes repeated starts will heat the connections up and then the lose conductivity. Cranking with a weak battery will sometime weld the starter switch bar to the starter contact or at least fry and pit the contacts which will need to be filed and polished up again.
Good luck and let the forum know how it turns out.
Cheers!
Between yesterday and today was pretty productive but still no truck running.

I found out why the hand crank wouldn't crank. The ratchet nut was completely loose and I was able to take it off by hand! This is also the reason for the wobble in the pulley. The two piece pulley I had also had way too much play between the interlocking teeth. It looks as it was modified in some way. I replaced it yesterday with a new two piece with zero play. A new ratchet nut was also I stalled. I then reinstalled the starter. I also cleaned the crab and put it back in.

Today I installed my cleaned and painted oil pan. I used the blue plastic helpers and they worked well even with the thicker cork gasket. I used Shell clean sae30 oil.

After getting the pan back on I then put the truck in 3rd and rocked it to free the bendix. This worked and the Bendix was free. I then attempted to start the truck. The truck wouldn't crank over. No sound just like before. I looked down at the pedal and noticed the starter rod when it touched the hole through the firewall started to spark like jumper cables would. I went and looked at the starter and I could see a little smoke coming out. I hit my battery disconnect and took off the starter. Using a pair of jumper cables I tried to test the starter. It turned but very slowly. I'm wondering if my battery is shot. I have a 6v charger/tender coming tomorrow. ImageImageImageImage

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Farrell In Vancouver
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Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by Farrell In Vancouver » June 12th, 2019, 11:46 am

Sound like the starter switch is allowing to ground out. Have you remove the switch for inspection? There is a card board insulator that prevents the switch copper contact from touching the switch housing. Should also be something to isolate the stater switch rod.
After reconnecting the battery to a dead short it would not take very long to kill the battery. Especially if it is only capable of holding a surface charge.

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rrich1
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Joined: December 29th, 2018, 4:02 am
Model Year: 1931

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » June 12th, 2019, 2:50 pm

Farrell In Vancouver wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 11:46 am
Sound like the starter switch is allowing to ground out. Have you remove the switch for inspection? There is a card board insulator that prevents the switch copper contact from touching the switch housing. Should also be something to isolate the stater switch rod.
After reconnecting the battery to a dead short it would not take very long to kill the battery. Especially if it is only capable of holding a surface charge.
There was no cardboard between the switch and starter. The grommet in the firewall is wore down to the metal that holds it in. i ordered a new cover plate, grommet, and bolts/rivets to install it.

flatford39
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Body Type: Express
Model Year: 1928
Location: NE Illinois

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by flatford39 » June 12th, 2019, 3:14 pm

Now that you replaced the front pulley and star nut were you able to turn it over without the starter installed??? I don't think you have a seized engine but you need to eliminate the minor stuff one at a time. If it doesn't turn in neutral with the starter out you have other problems.

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rrich1
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Model Year: 1931

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » June 12th, 2019, 3:16 pm

flatford39 wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 3:14 pm
Now that you replaced the front pulley and star nut were you able to turn it over without the starter installed??? I don't think you have a seized engine but you need to eliminate the minor stuff one at a time. If it doesn't turn in neutral with the starter out you have other problems.
the engine spins freely. i was able to move it by the belt.

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rrich1
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Model Year: 1931

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by rrich1 » July 1st, 2019, 7:42 pm

So I took my starter to the local model A club and they took it to an electrician who does their work. He replaced a field in the starter. I brought the starter back and installed it. I immediately locked the starter up again. I tried to rock it free by putting it in 3rd gear and but I have had absolutely no luck getting it free. At this point I believe I have bent the shaft of the starter.

Should I order a rebuilt starter or should I try and get a new shaft instead? the price isn't much more to buy the starter. It is incredibly frustrating to have had the truck running and do one thing and halt everything. :(

KimVanOrder
Posts: 597
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Help. I think I killed my starter. Engine won't crank

Post by KimVanOrder » July 2nd, 2019, 4:30 pm

rrich1 wrote:
July 1st, 2019, 7:42 pm
So I took my starter to the local model A club and they took it to an electrician who does their work. He replaced a field in the starter. I brought the starter back and installed it. I immediately locked the starter up again. I tried to rock it free by putting it in 3rd gear and but I have had absolutely no luck getting it free. At this point I believe I have bent the shaft of the starter.

Should I order a rebuilt starter or should I try and get a new shaft instead? the price isn't much more to buy the starter. It is incredibly frustrating to have had the truck running and do one thing and halt everything. :(
If the money isn't an issue or big difference, the new starter is the easy way out. Remember, you can always sell the old one to a 'fixer'.
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

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