Topic: starter grounding and dont know where to go

materguru    -- 03-20-2021 @ 9:08 AM
  I have a 32 Ford that I'm trying to keep original and I'm having a hard time doing that. first the engine is newly rebuilt and seems tight and a 6volt battery wont turn it fast enough. I have 6.3 to 6.5 volts going to starter with 6 volt battery and had to use a 12volt and firing right up and was doing good with the 12 volt starting it but now the starter seems to when it engages the flywheel, ground and stay and not come out of the starting position and when I try to hit starter again its grounded. I have had to replace the gear and that whole thing from the worm driven part to the part that the spring screws screw into. replaced all outside but spring on end. why isn't the gear coming back out and lastly, I had a friend rebuild the starter but I see ford script brushes and doesn't seem new or new stuff. I can take the starter off and bench test it and it does fine. its when I put in car and try to start it that the gear will engage the flywheel and stay there and as a result will be grounded??? So when i try to hit the starter again it wont do anything cause it grounded. i test the brass screw that the cable is on and now it will be grounded. when i take the starter cable off and test the cable its not grounded so the starter is grounding and i assume from noise and the action is grounding out. any help would be appreciated as i would like it stay as Henry built it.

ford38v8    -- 03-20-2021 @ 11:45 AM
  This is just an opinion, so consider the source... I think the problem is the engine rebuild itself. I can see the first time starting may be that tight, but it should quickly break in to the point that a good 6v battery would have no trouble kicking it over. Being so tight that the bendix locks up on you is just not right. Perhaps the main caps were switched, which would certainly cause the binding, but in any case, your rebuilder needs to be brought into the picture, as it sounds like he's the man responsible for the problem. The only other thing I can think of is that your flywheel may have been tweeked during the rebuild, causing the Bendix to lock up, but again, the rebuilder is the man to see.


materguru    -- 03-20-2021 @ 11:54 AM
  i think that the engine is good. I can take the starter out and futch with it a little and put back in and turns good when trying to start then it does the same thing after a few starts. I'm the engine builder so I am involved and I'm not saying there's nothing wrong motor wise but i think its outside the motor so to say. the problem is whatever spins the gear back out when l let off the starter ain't doing its job and thats what I'm trying to address, but thanks for the input. anyone else??

materguru    -- 03-20-2021 @ 12:04 PM
  btw Alan to further think its not engine. ive had it running several times to tune and such and it runs sweet. i guess i should have said that too for insight. sorry

ford38v8    -- 03-20-2021 @ 12:48 PM
  So Don, what I'm understanding now is that it isn't so tight anymore to require a 12 v battery, but sometimes locks up. The Bendix, the flywheel gear, or both may have been damaged when it WAS that tight to begin with. A single broken tooth on the flywheel could jam up the Bendix. They are not bulletproof, and the initial need for the 12 v battery may have done the dirty deed. When it happens, do you try a mallet on it, does it free up with a clunk? Do you rock it in gear to free it up? All that points to the Bendix and flywheel gear.


carcrazy    -- 03-20-2021 @ 2:31 PM
  The flywheel ring gear may have too much runout, or is not mounted fully home on the flywheel.

3w2    -- 03-20-2021 @ 2:35 PM
  Another less likely cause for the Bendix gear to hang up randomly could be a slight bend in the starter armature shaft such as might occur if the starter was accidentally dropped earlier in its existence.

carcrazy    -- 03-20-2021 @ 2:36 PM
  Are your battery and starter cables big enough to handle the current required to crank the engine over?

materguru    -- 03-20-2021 @ 5:05 PM
  for some reason the power from starter cable is 6.3 when hit starter so enough power but soon as i put the starter back on, the brass screw that the starter cable is attached to on the starter become grounded and the power is nil. I'm at a loss. I'm going to get a new starter and try it out thinking that something is grounding in old starter but would like to keep all Ford and original. lastly, i restate. the brass thread that the cable goes on becomes grounded as soon as i install the starter. by the way, do i assume that at the moment any starter on these flatheads engage with the flywheel the whole thing is grounded until the release of starter?

materguru    -- 03-20-2021 @ 5:28 PM
  plus to add to the discussion. i have never gotten it to start up on a 6volt even with 6.3 of 6 volt battery at the starter cable end. thats before i attached it to starter. Now with 6 volt battery in and the starter cable attached when i hit starter switch it goes down to 1 or 2

ford38v8    -- 03-20-2021 @ 5:42 PM
  Don, the Bendix is mechanical, actuated by centrifugal force, nothing electrical. The only electrical connection is the negative charged cable from the solenoid, and the positive charged mounting plate the starter bolts onto, which must not have been painted. Back to the jamming problem, the forward end of the starter should have a clip from the mounting bolt to the nearest pan bolt to prevent torqueing out of position. The grounding of the cable as you connect it to the starter indicates a solenoid issue, as it should not be hot until you hit the starter button.
As fir getting a new starter, do not buy a cr*ppy new one, there are plenty of good original starters available

This message was edited by ford38v8 on 3-20-21 @ 5:46 PM

ford38v8    -- 03-20-2021 @ 6:01 PM
  Don, your dropping voltage low while cranking is to be expected, as the starter takes so much, but perhaps not that low, so maybe you did fail to clean off the paint from the mounting surface?


materguru    -- 03-21-2021 @ 11:20 AM
  no Alan, paint is clean as a whistle around the mounting area and the area on the oil pan and the bracket. basically why would or what would make the stud on the starter cable mount to be positive ground when I bolt the starter to the motor. the cable is negative before it goes on the starter. i have tested the starter stud to see polarity and its negative or grounded when starter is mounted. If you know where i can get a good original starter let me know please

carcrazy    -- 03-21-2021 @ 12:47 PM
  You can take your starter to a good local motor or generator rebuilder and have it rebuilt. This will probably be more expensive than buying a new starter but you will be staying with the original Ford part.

Rockfla    -- 03-23-2021 @ 6:58 AM
  To start with you never responded to the previous question about battery cable size as you must remember that yes its only 6 volts BUT 6 volt systems use TWICE the amps SO you need a "O" size wire to handle the amps of your system. Common mistake is "most" people install 12V battery cables. SECOND IS have you "tested your 6V battery with a hydrometer and tested each cell of your battery??? It is possible to test them with a V/O meter and still read 6.3 Volts and have a dead or "almost" dead cell THUS cause the "slow" to "no" starter issue you are having!!! Third have you checked and cleaned ALL of your ground straps???? These would be the "FIRST" three things on your checkoff list!!!!

TomO    -- 03-24-2021 @ 8:59 AM
  To find the cause of the slow cranking, try this:

Remove all spark plug to reduce the load.

Connect your voltmeter across the battery terminals and crank the engine with the starter and the ignition off. Meter should read 5.5 Volts or higher. A lower reading indicates a battery not at full charge.

Reading OK: Connect your COM lead to the Neg battery terminal and the + lead to the starter terminal. Crank the engine with the starter and the ignition off. Meter should read 0.3 Volts. A higher reading indicates high resistance in the circuit from the battery.

Reading OK : Connect the COM lead of the meter to the case of the starter and the + lead to the POS post of the battery. Repeat cranking test. Meter should read 0.1 or lower. A higher reading indicates high resistance in the grounding circuit.

Reading OK: remove starter and have it checked for rear bushing side play, worn brushes, shorted armature, shorted or incorrect field coils (12 volt field instead of 6 volt)

To fix the failure to disengage from the fly wheel:
Check that you have the correct Bendix drive, that the spring is in good condition, that the spiral track is clean and dry from grease and dirt and that the starter shaft is not bent from trying to start with 12 volts.


40 Coupe    -- 03-26-2021 @ 5:00 AM
  I suspect your battery is bad and unable to put out enough current to turn a 6V starter. Charge the battery fully and then take it to an auto parts store to have it's output checked. You can not do this at home by checking just the voltage. The amount of amperage the battery can supply is also important that is why the battery is rated by CCA (Cold Cranking Amps)

37RAGTOPMAN    -- 04-26-2021 @ 8:04 AM
  IF you get it running, have everything ready to have it run for a while ,gas~ oil~ water
maybe a hour or more,
if it starts to overheat shut it off let it cool, when cool do it over again, till it starts easier,
monitor the temp and oil pressure,
it sounds like it needs to be broke in,
if you want to do the break in with out moving the car, used a house cooling fan on the radiator
and be sure to do it with a exhaust hose on it if in the garage,
FORD used electric motors to break in the motors, in a stationary engine stand,
when the electric draw on the motors went down to a certain point, the motor was broke in,
if you need the starter rebuilt, I used CERTIFIED AUTO ELECTRIC, 440 439 1100
new old stock USA made STARTER DRIVES, just like originals and also have high torque field coils,
my 2 cents 37Ragtopman

This message was edited by 37RAGTOPMAN on 4-26-21 @ 1:15 PM

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