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Old 06-07-2018, 02:11 PM   #1
marty in Ohio
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Default Crank start

I had my car out today on a beautiful spring day in northern Ohio. I got home and thought about crank starting the car. I've driven it for 25 years and have never cranked it. The car was warm and so I dug the crank out from under the seat and gave it a try. Wow, a quarter turn and she was running. What great cars these model A Fords are !!
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:50 PM   #2
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Crank start

I was getting a breakfast bagel, a guy came out of the next store, asked if it was "one of them cars you have to crank--- I was just going to step on the starter switch--- I picked up the crank and offered it to him, he took a couple of steps back an held up his hands and refused--- I got out all the while talking to him, gave it a crank and went to get back in and he asked if I was going to start it--- I told him it was already running (idles slow and quiet)--- he couldn't believe it was so easy
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
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Marty, it sounds like you are not too far from Berlin, oh. In July, our club, Oakleaf will be down there. We seem to go every two years. You should stop by and have dinner with us. Jack
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Crank start

Just make sure the timing is set to fire after top dead center and make sure the lever is up. While it can be done, I would not suggest trying with a B distributor that is set to fire before top dead center. While the starter can power past the timing set to BTDC, your arm maybe not so much.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Crank start

I crank start my Model T all the time, but decided to try crank starting my Model A sedan a couple years ago. I was so startled when it started on the first crank I stood up and cut my nose on the headlight eyebrows. Needed stitches at the ER after feeling very proud of myself and bleeding all over the driveway...
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Crank start

I made a short video awhile ago, crank starting my Helen.

https://youtu.be/3nqxBT-VTQw?list=PL_J0eqBPY5k-XP34gpsGitGOfFxTS61UN

They are amazing cars.
I'm in Cincinnati Ohio
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Crank start

For several yrs. I had a 4 cyl.1911 EMF 30. I had no choice but to use a crank. It had a magneto & four 1-1/2 volt dry cell batts. which provided 6 volts for the ignition. Sometimes it could be frustrating trying to get it running & other times it would fire right up.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Crank start

I was at an Elementary School yesterday morning and was showing the kids now to crank start my Cabriolet, something I had never done before. Nobody was more surprised then me when it started on the second pull. The teachers and kids were impressed!
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Crank start

I thought it was such a unique thing to do I modified my crank and leave it hanging adding character. It was fun for the first few years at gas stations and such, even saved me a couple times.

Then I added the High Comp. head... cranking over.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Crank start

I can hand crank mine and it has a 5.9 BF high compression head . I get it up on compression stroke and just lift up on the crank and it cranks instantly. Its really not that hard to do .
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Crank start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
I can hand crank mine and it has a 5.9 BF high compression head . I get it up on compression stroke and just lift up on the crank and it cranks instantly. Its really not that hard to do .
I have the same setup - Brumfield 5.9. I recently hand cranked mine for the first time and it started right up. The car wasn't even warm from previously running. I have heard it can be difficult to hand crank, but the couple of times I did it, it started right up . Made my day!
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Crank start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
I can hand crank mine and it has a 5.9 BF high compression head . I get it up on compression stroke and just lift up on the crank and it cranks instantly. Its really not that hard to do .
Thanks Purdy for the tip! I have a 6.0 head and have not even thought of trying to hand crank it.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:31 PM   #13
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Crank start

As long as the timing is right on and the spark is fully retarded it shouldn't be a problem . When you lift up on the hand crank , the engine doesn't have to turn hardly a quarter of a turn and the engine starts right up. If the engine is cold you will most likely need to choke it once with the switch off . I made a choking device from a piece of 1/16 mild steel welding rod. I run the welding rod through the fins of the radiator at the level of the carburetor . I bend a hook on the rod and slip it through the hole at the bottom of the choke lever on the carb. I bend a loop on the facing end of the rod to pull by when I first pull up on the crank to choke the engine .The 1/16 welding rod is easy to bend and remove or it can be left in place , it is hardly noticeable .
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Crank start

If it won't start, and you get a blister.

Maybe try some "Start Ya Basted" sold in this country.

For:

"Petrol Engines:
Old or stale fuel
Low battery condition
Poor choke operation
Cold ambient temperature
Insufficient engine cranking speed, particularly on manual start engines such as motor mowers, small motorcycles etc.
Engine has been sitting idle for a long time
Frail people who are not strong enough to pull a start cord quickly enough
Initial start after repair work"
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:06 PM   #15
marty in Ohio
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Default Re: Crank start

Jack,
Berlin, Ohio is near Millersburg and about 1 1/2 hour's drive from here. Your offer sounds interesting. When in July?
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Crank start

Marty, i sent you a PM. We will be there 7-16, 17,18, and head home on 19 th.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: Crank start

Purdy has a good point about choking. I turn my gas off while pulling in the garage and run the carb dry so it doesn't want to start without choking next time. Anybody else have tricks like Purdy to choke the engine before trying to hand crank it? How do you do it?

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Old 06-09-2018, 07:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Crank start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
I can hand crank mine and it has a 5.9 BF high compression head . I get it up on compression stroke and just lift up on the crank and it cranks instantly. Its really not that hard to do .
Yo'Bro,
I ordered a CHROME crank fer Minerva, but they sent me a PLAIN old BLACK one +*$^%#$^---WELL, I wuz too PUNY, to crank it +*$%&%$%
I "thought", "IF, someone??? who borrowed my HUGE, 3/4" drill, ever returned it, I'd make me a KLECTRIC CRANK"
I've "heard" that it's SAFE to "SPIN" a Model T, with a crank, is that TRUE???
Bro Bill
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:42 AM   #19
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Crank start

I don't know bro !!! I've never hand cranked a model T . Uncle Ray said that back in the day He would set uncle Bobs model T up on a block of wood and turn the back wheel by the wooden spoke to crank it
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:09 AM   #20
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Crank start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lona View Post
Purdy has a good point about choking. I turn my gas off while pulling in the garage and run the carb dry so it doesn't want to start without choking next time. Anybody else have tricks like Purdy to choke the engine before trying to hand crank it? How do you do it?

Glen
If my wife Deb is with me, I let her handle the choke and ignition . Deb doesn't like to do the hand crank. She says that it wouldn't look good and wouldn't be lady like . I'm pretty sure that back in the day that women would hand crank the model A in an emergency . Its really not a feat of strength . If the timing is correctly set and a person knows what they are doing it only takes a slight up lift of the hand crank .
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:31 AM   #21
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Default Re: Crank start

Love her to death, but my wife would walk a LONG way before hand cranking an A :-)
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:32 AM   #22
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Default Re: Crank start

Quote:
Originally Posted by marty in Ohio View Post
I had my car out today on a beautiful spring day in northern Ohio. I got home and thought about crank starting the car. I've driven it for 25 years and have never cranked it. The car was warm and so I dug the crank out from under the seat and gave it a try. Wow, a quarter turn and she was running. What great cars these model A Fords are !!
Marty
Can remember my dad's model A that he drove in the 40's! The battery in his, just had enough juice to run the ignition. He rigged up a way to pull the choke from standing at the Crank position, as starting a Model A from a cold start requires choking! Hot starts such as you did, I hope with the spark retarded, go pretty well. 4.2 comp ratio helps make it a relatively easy crank pull! But I do understand the fun of the accomplishment!
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:44 AM   #23
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Default Re: Crank start

I think most would agree that crank starting the Model A really adds to its charm and nostalgia but when my starter gave out in Yellowstone a few years ago and I realized that I had not hand cranked the old girl over in years and faced the daunting prospect of hand cranking the car started for the next 1000 miles until I got home...well, fortunately, my broken Bendix was replaced by a spare found under the seat. It is probably good practice while the car is safely parked in the driveway at home for owners to "hone their skills" in crank starting once in a while.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:15 PM   #24
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Default Re: Crank start

I hand crank mine quite frequently, mostly for show. I usually turn around once she starts and find six or eight people with their phones out filming me.

I, too, have a piece of brazing rod poking out front to work the choke. On Pop's advice, I did NOT run it through the radiator fins. He said that if it rattled around there long enough it would surely wear through one of the tubes. Mine slips along side of the radiator shell.

One last thing, I often have guys ask me to show them how it is done on their cars. I have one very important rule. I will NEVER hand crank a car if I didn't set up the timing myself. So, sorry buddy. I will show you on my car, or talk you through it on your car...but I will not hand start yours.

Ken
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:26 PM   #25
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Default Re: Crank start

Quote:
Originally Posted by updraught View Post
If it won't start, and you get a blister.

Maybe try some "Start Ya Basted" sold in this country.

For:

"Petrol Engines:
Old or stale fuel
Low battery condition
Poor choke operation
Cold ambient temperature
Insufficient engine cranking speed, particularly on manual start engines such as motor mowers, small motorcycles etc.
Engine has been sitting idle for a long time
Frail people who are not strong enough to pull a start cord quickly enough
Initial start after repair work"
There is a BIG danger that the engine will kick back if you use any of those volatile starter fluids. I wouldn’t do it.
Making sure that the engine fires just a tiny bit AFTER T D C is important and the reason why those in the know, set their timing with the lever a notch or two down from the top.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:36 PM   #26
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Hmmm. Occupational health and safety. Better not say anything about jacking up the back wheel then.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:58 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by updraught View Post
Hmmm. Occupational health and safety. Better not say anything about jacking up the back wheel then.
That method is OK, IF you have a SAFE JACK!
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:11 PM   #28
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Crank start

Model T's were lighter than model A's . Uncle Ray would just pick up one side of the back end while uncle Roy placed a block of unsplit firewood under the rear axle . Ray felt that it was safer cranking the model T by the back wheel than using the hand crank .
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:57 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Model T's were lighter than model A's . Uncle Ray would just pick up one side of the back end while uncle Roy placed a block of unsplit firewood under the rear axle . Ray felt that it was safer cranking the model T by the back wheel than using the hand crank .

That car had the creeps and he did not want to get run over! LOL I think it would be more un-safe to start the engine by turning the rear wheel esp as the car would be in high to do so and could really smack your hands good on the underside of the fenders when it fired off.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:27 PM   #30
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This happened way before my time . Uncle Ray never mentioned having a problem cranking the model T with the back wheel . I can't ask him now , he passed over thirty years ago . Ray did teach me how to hand crank my first model A , many years ago . I've never owned a model T .
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:45 AM   #31
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Quote:
If my wife Deb is with me, I let her handle the choke and ignition . Deb doesn't like to do the hand crank. She says that it wouldn't look good and wouldn't be lady like . I'm pretty sure that back in the day that women would hand crank the model A in an emergency.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:32 AM   #32
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I had a T before I bought my A. The electric starter had issues so I always hand cranked it. ALWAYS tuck your thumb UNDER so if it backfires the handle slips out of your hand rather than break your thumb. The buzz coils in the T make it possible to start without any cranking. When you shut off the car apply full choke, then when ready to start there is already gas in the engine so just turn on the ignition and move the spark lever until a coil buzzes, it'll usually start right up, no cranking. Supposedly the A can do that, I've tried it but never been successful.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:42 PM   #33
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Default Re: Crank start

Cranking an A is nothing! When I was in high school, growing up on a farm, Dad had a tractor imported from England with a Lucas starter. It burned out, and there was a hydraulic pump running off the front of the crankshaft. So Dad just carried a jack in the toolbox and we would jack up a back wheel, put the trans in high gear, put a clothespin on the choke and flip the back tire. As soon as it started, pull off the clothespin, reach in front of the spinning tire and pop the trans into neutral. In the winter (southern Minnesota) he put 10W oil in the trans so we could start it at 20 below. At 30 below we would build a fire under it first (corn cobs in a juice can filled with Diesel fuel). Went 2 years that way.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:27 AM   #34
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Default Re: Crank start

Anyone ever use the Hydrostart starter on a GM diesel?
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:52 AM   #35
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Teach them early:
Yep, I can see who wears the pants in that family!
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:57 AM   #36
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Similar to Purdy but different on the choke.

I mainly use it for conversation points at shows. I ran a stiff wire from the bottom of the choke, straight out and underneath the radiator, very visible in the engine compartment, and it sticks out in front of the radiator about 4" with a pull ring. I cant tell you the reactions you get when you explain you crank with the right and choke with the left pull.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:40 PM   #37
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So, here's the Ace hand starter. Cold engine, brakes set and in neutral. Turn gas on, make sure that ignition is off. Pull choke out and fasten it out with a good strong clothes pin on the passenger side of the tank. Using crank turn engine over two revolutions. Now turn on key and engage the starter dog so you are pulling up with the choke lever back in and the spark still all the way up. Gas can be down a couple of notches but not necessary usually. With open palm, pull the handle of the crank up. It probably will startle you to find your engine is running. If engine is warm, don't use the choke, just do everything else and it will probably fire with that 1/4 turn. Always pull up with open hand, never push down on crank with key on.
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