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  • Electrical: Starter Problem on Champ

    I planned on attending the York Swap Meet on Friday. I jumped in my Champ, turned the key, and all I got was a whirring noise from the starter. It will not turn the engine over. I charged the battery really well and even tried to jump it. I replaced the voltage regulator 2 weeks ago and it started and drove fine. Is there any chance I may have goofed something up replacing the regulator? Could it be the solenoid? Pulling the starter looks fairly simple? Where should I begin? Thank you.

  • #2
    If the "whirring" noise is the starter that eliminates the solenoid. That would indicate the starter motor working but not engaging which points to the starter bendix drive. The voltage regulator would have no bearing on the starter. Take the starter out & have it checked by a local, reputable electrical shop.


    P.S. Make sure you have the correct bolts holding the starter. They are specific & unique to Studebakers.
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
    64 Zip Van
    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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    • #3
      I pulled the starter out and discovered that the teeth on the starter's gear are shattered. I found about 1/2 of the starter's gear. I fished around inside around the flywheel and did not discover the rest of the gear. Should this be worrisome? Should I take the starter to someone to rebuild it? Is this something I should outsource or can someone local handle it? I pulled apart a riding mower starter once and that was a royal pain to put back together. Thank you for your help.


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      • #4
        if you are extremely lucky, you might not have any flywheel teeth damage.... but I doubt it. Its hard to believe you didn't have starter symptoms before this failure. Anyway, you'll need to rotate the flywheel/torque converter (worse yet) and see the condition of those teeth.

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        • #5
          Lastly, make sure you have the special bolts holding the starter on. Ordinary hardware store bolts will not be sufficient. They must have a "beefier" or wider shoulder that fits snug into the holes on the bell housing & starter itself. It may be the problem that caused your starter to shed the gears.
          59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
          60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
          61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
          62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
          62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
          62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
          63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
          63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
          64 Zip Van
          66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
          66 Cruiser V-8 auto

          Comment


          • #6
            I've read up on how to check the flywheel teeth. It is a two person job. I will check the mounting bolts as well. What should I do about the starter? Thank you.

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            • #7
              Some of the gear might still be inside the starter, if you haven't found all the pieces of it anywhere else.

              Unfortunately, starter/generator repair is the most dicey of all the rebuild services. Quality is all over the map and most of it is pretty poor. If anyone has a good used one to sell, that might be a better bet.

              Starters for manual transmissions are different than those for automatics.
              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

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              • #8
                Dave Thiebeault in Mass. repairs starters. I found his name searching old threads on starters. I shook the starter but did not hear anything bouncing around inside. Thanks for your help, guys. Y'all are awesome.

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                • #9
                  Not knowing the history of your engine, but there is very limited clearence between the starter drive and the flywheel, if the bolts were improper, bushings warn and if the bell housing was ever changed and not dialed in could add up to a fiew thousandths and cause improper alignment. Over the years a little bit of gear teeth is shaved off until it finally fails. Dave British Columbia

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                  • #10
                    I had my starter rebuilt and it has been installed and operating fine for a month or more. Now it seems my problem is returning. Every once in awhile when I turn the ignition the starter will whir. I will then return the key to the off position and try it again and the starter will kick in and turn the engine over. Does it sound like my problem is returning or is it something new? Thank you.
                    Last edited by Stevel Knievel; 05-18-2014, 07:48 AM.

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                    • #11
                      BTW - I have the correct bolts for the starter.

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                      • #12
                        the fact that you confirmed 1-2 months of good function tells me you got a "less than best" rebuild.....take it back to the electric shop...

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                        • #13
                          This was Dave Thibeault in Massachusetts. I heard from this forum he was the best. I am about to order another from him to have as a spare.

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                          • #14
                            Silly question:

                            Are these bolts still available?

                            Every Lark I have ever scrapped was missing the starter and said bolts.

                            Jeff T.
                            \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
                            The Replacements.

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