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Old 11-09-2018, 12:00 PM   #1
Corley
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Battle Ground WA
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Default Modern Starter Design vs stock

Just bought a used starter for a Range Rover, to use on my'63 Olds 215 aluminum block engine in my '26 'T' Roaster hot rod I'm building. The stock starter was rather large in comparison to the space available, and the Rover starter is much smaller in diameter. I knew the Rover starter would fit the engine, because the Rover engine of that vintage is a GM designed Buick 215 in disguise, and the 215 Olds is just a different version of that engine. But I digress...


I took the starter apart to check it out since it was used, and found it to have several newer design features, which I think would be great on a model A starter if some bright guy could integrate them. First, it uses a permanent magnet motor, instead of field coils. This translates to a lot less current requirement. Next, the actual motor takes up about 1/2 of the space in the case, the other half is a 4:1 planetary gear setup. This means that the motor can be really small, and still produce lot's of torque through the gears. It's like being in low gear. Yes, it turns a bit slower, but plenty fast enough for engine starting (Actually, I could not tell any difference in speed between the two starters in tests). AND, this also means a less powerful motor is used, so again, less current is consumed. Really a win-win design.


But, here is the rub. This starter uses a solenoid to engage the gear teeth, instead of the model A's old crash gear setup known as a Bendix. Yes, that is a very good thing, but no it is not so good on an A, since it is going to be trying to engage the teeth from the front side of the flywheel instead of the back side, as in the A setup. Now if someone were to build this type of starter, (which I believe is superior to the spur gear versions widely used in modern cars), with a longer output shaft and Bendix drive for the A, we'd be in fat city. Better yet, if they could figure out a way to use a Solenoid engagement, but from the rear side of the ring gear, we'd be even more in fat city.


Anyone up to this task? Just think, you could easily get by with a little garden tractor battery, 12v of course, with much smaller cables, (though a 6v version could be built). It would be much easier on the gears, and oh yeah, we needed a good 12v starter option anyway, right? (This would probably consume about 1/4th the current that a 6v starter running on 12v consumes, and not break things in it's operation.) This would be worth a few $$ to lot's of people!
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:27 PM   #2
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Modern Starter Design vs stock

There are already "modern" starters available that fit directly on the Model A. I don't know if they have all the features that you talk about but they seem to have a good reputation. Having the gear mesh with the flywheel gear from the front is a good thing because the stock starter has been known to move the flywheel gear forward instead of against the lip at the rear. These use a solenoid mounted to the starter. If you can't locate one, PM me and I'll find a source for you.
p.s., nice choice of engines for your hot rod!
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:45 PM   #3
Corley
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Default Re: Modern Starter Design vs stock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Brierley View Post
There are already "modern" starters available that fit directly on the Model A. I don't know if they have all the features that you talk about but they seem to have a good reputation. Having the gear mesh with the flywheel gear from the front is a good thing because the stock starter has been known to move the flywheel gear forward instead of against the lip at the rear. These use a solenoid mounted to the starter. If you can't locate one, PM me and I'll find a source for you.
p.s., nice choice of engines for your hot rod!

I'm aware of the spur gear modern starters that are available, but no, having the starter gear engage from the front side is not a good thing, unless you are willing to reverse the ring gear. Ring gears have tapered teeth on one side only, and on the model A, it is on the back side. If you reverse the ring gear, then yes, engagement from the front side is the correct side. Also, I really prefer the design of the planetary gear to the spur gear setup, but that is mostly personal preference I suppose.


PS Jim, I'll be driving through your area next month, look for an old "classic" GMC towing a Mini Cooper S.
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