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  • Electrical: Starter idiot?

    So I have raised a few questions about my starter. Finally Bob {Roscomacaw} sold me a good one he had tested at his place. I got it from UPS next day. I did not throw a battery on it and check anything because I trust Bob implicitly.

    It was a different nose cone and and bendix drive but the starter case and armature were the same.

    I pull the nose off and disassemble the bendix and swap them out with mine with no drama, easy swap. It all goes back together easy peasy.

    I take it out to my back yard and throw a set of jumper cables from a known good battery, red cable on the terminal post on the starter, other end to the positive post on the battery. Black cable to the nose cone steel body, put a hand on the case to stabilize it, and touch the other end of the black jumper cable to the battery negative terminal expecting and nice hard jump, extension of the bendix and and fast rotation.....

    Instead, I get the exact same thing as my old starter! A very slow rotation, no ejecting of the bendix and no jump.

    What am I doing wrong?

    I know it is me now and not likely the starter since I am sure Bob tested it and it looked to be in virtually new condition with no visible marks on the bendix gear.

    I have disassembled many starters. I was very careful and methodical on the on the R&R of the nose cone and the bendix on all aspects like washer placements and brush retracting to reinstall the armature.

    What is wrong with me? Am I doing something wrong? Simple connection. I worked for a number of years at a real auto parts store and we tested hundreds of starters and alternators/generators and this is how we have always hooked them up to test. I feel like some kind of idiot here because I can not figure this out!

    At least going into this knowing I am an idiot already makes it easy to accept any ultimate revelation you all help me have.
    Last edited by kmac530; 11-23-2011, 09:52 AM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    Just a wild guess. What happens if you put the positive lead to ground of the starter and negative to terminal?
    I am not sure what year Stude you are working on and when and if they went to negative ground. I'm not even sure if it would make a difference.

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    • #3
      I do not put power to a started sitting out as I was told it can hurt the bendix, when the started is in place it takes the power of the engine catching hold and sending the bendix gear back into place, that is what I have been told in the past , might be right or wrong but sound like it might be right to me, so I never put power to a free standing starter.
      Candbstudebakers
      Castro Valley,
      California


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      • #4
        Polarity does not affect direction of rotation, I use a '55 6 volt pos grd starter in my '55, converted to 12 volt neg grd. It turns the correct way, starting the car every time.

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        • #5
          I had to go to my AP store today so I took my starter in to test on their bench tester. It worked perfectly. BIG relief. Now I wonder if the old one was fine.

          So now I am guessing the cheapo battery cables may be bad because when I tested the first starter I also tried it on my Jeep battery just to verify that the back yard battery was not bad. It could still be bad, I will check before I try anything else on it, but because I tried the same cable on a known good battery that started my Jeep everyday until I sold it a month ago, the only common denominator is the cables...stinkin Walmart crap.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by candbstudebakers View Post
            I do not put power to a started sitting out as I was told it can hurt the bendix, when the started is in place it takes the power of the engine catching hold and sending the bendix gear back into place, that is what I have been told in the past , might be right or wrong but sound like it might be right to me, so I never put power to a free standing starter.
            Bob, I have heard this same thing over the years, but my AP store has a machine that specifically is for testing starters and there is a setting for all starters including the bendix gear style. I seriously doubt that this company would open up such liability to themselves if it really was that hazardous to the starter drive. I am not saying it is impossible, just not likely. I have been testing starters for 20+ years this way and never personally had a problem, and learned this method from my dad who never had a problem he told me about.

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            • #7
              I was going to suggest maybe a weak battery or bad cables! But you have that covered

              Jim
              "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

              We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


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              • #8
                The "bendix" on a Studebaker starter, ay least the ones we are dealing with here, is known as a "Folo-Thru" drive (trade name). Spinning it unloaded causes the pinion to kick out and lock in the extended position. It's supposed to do that. Not to worry; just install it that way, and first crank-up it will get kicked back to rest position when the engine starts. The idea behind it is that the pinion is positively engaged with the ring gear from the time cranking is first initiated until such time as the engine over-speeds the starter.

                The only downside to installing it with the pinion extended is that maybe you will have to wiggle it a bit to get the pinion to mesh while installing it.
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                • #9
                  Gord, That is how the bendix looks on the starter Rosco sent me. I had to change out the bendix and nose cone to my older style one where the cone itself is shorter but the neck part is longer.

                  Thanks for that info though, as it may help me if I end up needing to use this other cone for some reason.

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                  • #10
                    my ring gear was chewed up a bit on my barn find, so I'm over cautious...I put in a new bendix drive but it looks like the spring keeps it in the engaged (w/ring gear) position. I've read that the centrifugal force of the spinning flywheel forces the bendix back into the starter.
                    My question is: is the normal, at rest position of the bendix in the extended position?
                    Gallivan
                    57 Golden Hawk
                    Golden, CO

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