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Old 07-25-2021, 06:50 PM   #1
Lee Mitch
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Default Why won't it start?

'39 mostly stock pickup. It had a 12V conversion before I bought it. Has started fine since I have owned it (2 yrs) but now won't start. Has a brand new battery. Leads are clean. Starter seems to be turning, but not engaging flywheel. I removed starter and checked Bendix. Rear bolt gone out of spring so I replaced it and was able to fish the old one out along with a couple others. Ha. Replaced starter with fixed Bendix, still nothing. It just whines/spines when I hit the starter button.


Could this be a starter issue? Spinning but not sufficient to engage Bendix?

I should add that I placed it in gear and "bumped" the starter and it engaged the flywheel (moved the pickup).
I would appreciate your suggestions.

Last edited by Lee Mitch; 07-25-2021 at 10:02 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

A 6volt starter will turn twice as fast under 12volts. Might be why you are experiencing some issues with the Bendix. Maybe replace the whole bendix. It's truthfully been done for yrs to run a 6volt starter on 12v. It's just a momentary electrical connection. But it will be hard on the starter as it's spinning twice as fast.


Maybe you have a flywheel ring gear that needs replacement if you push the car in gear and the starter engages then. I'm not sure if this is what you are describing. But maybe. Best of luck.

Last edited by Tinker; 07-25-2021 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Spin your motor with a wrench and look at the ring gear make sure you donít have any missing teeth. I had a Ď50 coupe the had a loose ring gear and every once in a while it would slip on the flywheel, being a teenager I had a shop put a couple of beads of weld in several spots around the gear, it worked but I only keep the car for about a year after that.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

I experienced a bad spot on the ring gear, worn or broken teeth. Every once in awhile the engine would stop on that dead spot. Put the car in second and hand push it a few feet. Then try to start it.
I eventually installed a new ring gear but this frustrating band aid approach worked until I was ready to open it up and fix it properly. Ring fears are reasonably priced but it is a job to pull the tranny, clutch and flywheel to do the install.
I also ran a 6vt starter on 12vt for 12 years and did have to replace the Bendix a couple of times. Chap
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:45 AM   #5
Lee Mitch
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Thank you for your suggestions. Why would I be able to "bump", as I call it, the starter, and move the pickup a few feet if it were bad ring gear teeth? Doesn't that mean the starter/bendix is engaging? After I do this, still nothing. I may not be thinking through this completely.
Also, I did turn the engine over with a crank to find another spot on the ring gear. Still nothing.


Thank you.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

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It sounds like it’s turning over , do you have gas and spark ?
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Could be a bad starter button.
Bad ground from engine to frame and/or body.
Loose or bad connection on battery, cables, or solenoid.

Take one jumper cable (make sure vehicle is in neutral) and make a
connection from Positive post down to the post on starter.




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Old 07-26-2021, 05:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Mitch View Post
Thank you for your suggestions. Why would I be able to "bump", as I call it, the starter, and move the pickup a few feet if it were bad ring gear teeth? Doesn't that mean the starter/bendix is engaging? After I do this, still nothing. I may not be thinking through this completely.
Also, I did turn the engine over with a crank to find another spot on the ring gear. Still nothing.


Thank you.

Lee, have you looked to make sure the engine is turning while trying to start it? If the truck tries to move, the starter is working and the drive is too...but maybe the engine has a problem like a timing gear with missing teeth causing a no compression,no spark problem since the crankshaft would be turning but not the camshaft. The engine would sound like it has no compression but would still be rotating with the starter. Just thinking about the symptoms and the possible scenarios....


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Old 07-26-2021, 05:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Spinning the 6 volt starter with 12 volt will spin it faster and the low compression flatheads sound almost without compression.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Being this motor was running before. Take the starter off and put a couple nuts on end starter bolts to keep it together. Hook up a jumper cable off a battery and see if it spins. If the starter spins then look at the new Bendix or the ring gear. It's just a process of elimination.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

"Thank you for your suggestions. Why would I be able to "bump", as I call it, the starter, and move the pickup a few feet if it were bad ring gear teeth? Doesn't that mean the starter/bendix is engaging? After I do this, still nothing. I may not be thinking through this completely.
Also, I did turn the engine over with a crank to find another spot on the ring gear. Still nothing.


Thank you."




You might want to take it out of gear when trying to start it or push in the clutch.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:20 PM   #12
Lee Mitch
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Thanks for the suggestions fellas. As often happens, when you sleep on a problem, you wake up with "new eyes."

It just didn't make sense to me, so my first step in the morning was to make sure that the engine wasn't turning over with the starter. It was after all. I was so focused on the starter issue (the broken bendix that I had fixed), that I wasn't even considering a second problem.
I checked and cleaned all electrical connections and when removing plug wires, one plug came apart. I replaced all plugs and it started right up. So simple and I made it so complex.
Thank you all. I see that some of you were WAY ahead of me in determining the problem. I am thankful for FordBarners
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Great!
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:09 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

You caught the rabbit you have been chasing. Great news. Thanks for reminding us all that sometimes the rabbit is in plain site. These vehicles are simple and humbling and well worth the frustration and the adventure. Enjoy the adventure... Chap
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why won't it start?

Glad you were able to find the cause of the problem. There are lots of very knowledgeable people here and normally there is no problem that hasn't been encountered before and can normally be sorted out. If the person with the problem can describe it adequately, it's normally possible to offer good advice.
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