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Old 03-01-2019, 11:00 PM   #1
rhoadesm64
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Default New to Model A and Starter Question

So I got the chance to purchase a 1928 open cab truck from a friend whose father had the A and then passed on due to cancer, so guess what? I bought it. The truck did run and drove ok without any issues. The po did put a new wiring harness in it I just had to finish it, hook up stoplight switch and taillight. He had already converted to a alternator.

So I went to start it and it turns over very slow and takes a bit before it will actually start. After engaging the starter a few times it gave just a grinding sound, let off, try again, grinding sound again, let off, tried again and got nothing, no click or anything.

I removed the started and noticed 2 things,

#1 - the starter switch has no threads to screw in the starter rod, all the switches I have seen have threads.

#2 - the contact on the start is not a flat contact, it is raised and at an angle. All the starters I have seen this contact is flat. I have attached a pic for your viewing pleasure. I hooked the start up to a battery and it did turn but not real fast.

I my friend found another starter in his dad's things, he brought it to me and I plan on putting it on the truck, it spun over quite a but faster than mine did. I purchased a new starter switch along with a few nuts and bolts and a safety fuse to go along with it.

My big question is why is the starter and starter switch different than all the others I have seen on parts web sites and in the videos I have found.

I am sure I will have more question as my Model A years go on and on. I am excited to get the truck on the road again.

Hopefully I got the pics to post.

Thanks,
Michael
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File Type: jpg truck.jpg (68.1 KB, 202 views)
File Type: jpg starter.jpg (41.1 KB, 263 views)
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:04 PM   #2
F.M.
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

That is a mid to late 1928 starter.. The rod to the switch does not have threads, straight rod, (Unless you have the Very Early one) and cotter keyed together. The starter you show has the Early type contact and was changed to the flat type you speak of in Oct.1928. Also showing on it is the smaller brush cover band as to the wide one on the Early ones..

Last edited by F.M.; 03-02-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:51 AM   #3
al's28/33
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

That looks like the EARLY starter copper contact and you may have the early starter motor for your '28 if it has a 1/2" shaft. The mid/late starter motors have a thicker shaft and flat copper contact for the later style switch.


Get a copy of the Judging Standards and the two books by Les Andrews, they will show you what to look for and how to remove the starter motor to check and confirm what you have.


NICE TRUCK!!!!
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:16 AM   #4
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

If the truck has the 1928 multiplate clutch, then you need to use the 1/2" starter with the correct early drive.
The later starters have 5/8" shaft and the Bendix drive spring has a bolt head that will hit the multiplate flywheel and do damage.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Good looking Roadster Pickup.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:41 AM   #6
Joe K
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Quote:
So I went to start it and it turns over very slow and takes a bit before it will actually start. After engaging the starter a few times it gave just a grinding sound, let off, try again, grinding sound again, let off, tried again and got nothing, no click or anything.
Pretty dead battery? Might be the case if the starter has jammed previously for the former owner. The early starters ARE prone to jamming - more so as they get older.

Others have said it. You have a moderately rarer Model A, one possibly worth keeping original - if you can. The current crop of ring gears are aimed at the later starter and won't work on the early Abell.

A trick you may employ: engines when they stop tend to stop in one of two positions each 180 degrees apart. If you can remove the ring gear (can be done with a punch and carefully "walking" it off the flywheel) and turn it 90 degrees relative to original position. This brings "better" teeth into contact at the two positions where the engine stops and can reduce jamming.

Yes, pretty good looker. When I drive my closed cab pickup to the dump, the attendant says "you can leave this junk over there" (pointing.)

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Old 03-04-2019, 10:16 PM   #7
rhoadesm64
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

When I purchased the truck I was told that it does not have the multiplate clutch by the mechanic that had been working on it. The bendix drive looks to be the same as what is on the other starter that I have and plan to install.

I do not think it is a battery issue as I have the battery on a maintainer, not to say that it could not still be the battery though.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:51 PM   #8
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Have you hooked up the starter directly to the battery. Either polarity, it doesn’t matter.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:12 AM   #9
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

6 volt cars generally crank a little slower than a 12 volt car, but that's fine and how it's designed.
The engine doesn't need to crank fast to start, or they could never be hand cranked.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Welcome and nice truck! Also, don't forget you have to have a solid ground or the the starter will turn slowly as well.

Mike
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Concerning taking a bit to start - If this is your 1st A, are you familiar with proper starting settings/technique?
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:46 PM   #12
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Check your battery cables AND connections. You need correct 6 volt cables AND clean bare metal grounding points.
Paul in CT
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:22 PM   #13
john in illinois
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Also good to put an extra ground cable from frame ground to transmission or engine.
This gives a better ground for starter.

John
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:24 PM   #14
rhoadesm64
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

I did hook starter straight to battery, old starter spun about twice as slow as the newer one that I have. I will check grounds as I see those cause a lot of issues, the cables look pretty new. Will also check for ground from frame to trans.

Starting technique that I know,
1. open gas valve
2. pull out choke, no turns as it seemed to run fine where it was at
3. spark advance all the way up, important in case of kick back
4. throttle level about 1/4 to 1/2 way down
5. trans in neutral
6. parking brake on
7. push start button with foot

Let me know if I am missing something.

And thanks for the complements on the truck.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:19 PM   #15
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

1-7 is good, but more info
Cold Motor starting
Most As, when starting, knob is 1 -1/2 turns open, and adjusted down to 1/8th turn to 1/2 turn as the motor warms up. Depending on how your carb is set up it could be different. But fully closed on most As is running too lean, cold or warm. But then again after thinking about this, you are in Texas, maybe it different due to warmer temps.


For most As, pull choke rod out, after 2-3 revolutions of the motor release the choke rod but keep cranking. Sometimes they flood/get too much gas if you try to wait for it to start to release the choke rod. Basically you are just trying to prime the Intake with a shot of rich fuel/air mixture.


Or leave the ignition switch off, choke rod pulled out for 2 -3 revolutions of the motor, stop cranking. Choke Rod in , ignition on, in and hit the starter again.


Should start immediately if electrical and fuel systems are in good shape and adjusted. Immediately pull the spark lever down about a quarter of the way, and adjust the GAV for smoothest running. Adjust the GAV as it warms up, typically when warmed up the knob is at 1/8th turn to 1/2 turn open.


Starting with the hand crank is basically the same procedure except you are manually turning the motor. Full choke for 2 goes on the hand crank, choke off and the next 1-2 goes on the hand crank should start the motor.


Another suggestion is to find some one familiar to give you a quick lesson. It took me awhile the first times to get the procedure down, I had a tendency to hold the choke rod out too long, had difficulties when pulled out too long getting it to start.
You actually release the choke before the engine pops/starts.


Spark advance once running
A rule of thumb is to match the spark advance to the motor speed.
For starting - all the way up
For around town lower speeds - spark advance 1/4 - 1/3 down.
For faster cruising speed - 1/2 - 3/4 down.
Flat out speeds - all the way down.


If going up hills with gas fully down and motor slows/bogs down to a speed, do not give the spark advance full down - this is hard on the Babbitt bearings.

Last edited by 30 Closed Cab PU; 03-09-2019 at 05:20 PM. Reason: edited, added turn ignition on
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Here is a pdf of a Model A instruction manual. Lots of good info, Chap

http://motormayhem.net/wp-uploads/20...ion-Manual.pdf
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Quote:
the cables look pretty new
What size are the cables? Skinny 12 volt cables? Or hefty 6 volt ones?
Quote:
Starting technique that I know,
1. open gas valve
2. pull out choke, no turns as it seemed to run fine where it was at
3. spark advance all the way up, important in case of kick back
4. throttle level about 1/4 to 1/2 way down
5. trans in neutral
6. parking brake on
7. push start button with foot

Let me know if I am missing something.
It'll start better if'n you turn the ignition switch on before you do #7.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:07 PM   #18
rhoadesm64
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

I am doing pretty good if I only missed 1 step.

But if I follow 30 Closed Cab PU advice, then it should be step 8.

'Or leave the ignition switch off, choke rod pulled out for 2 -3 revolutions of the motor, stop cranking. Choke Rod in and hit the starter again. '
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:21 PM   #19
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Sorry - should read "'Or leave the ignition switch off, choke rod pulled out for 2 -3 revolutions of the motor, stop cranking. Choke Rod in, ignition on, and hit the starter again. '
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:15 PM   #20
rhoadesm64
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Just an update.

It appears I do indeed have a single plate clutch. In fact the inspection cover is louvered, so 'March 1929 to the End' from what I can find out.

The serial number on the engine notes a July 1928 engine, I cannot get to the number on the frame to confirm.

Starter does have the smaller shaft. Going with the later starter so I will buy a new bendix to go with it.

Negative battery cable is 4ga, positive cable is a big grounding strap. Was not able to check to see if I have a ground from frame to engine or trans.

So maybe I have mid 1928 that the clutch has already been converted?

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:10 AM   #21
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

That negative battery cable is to small.


Bob
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:53 AM   #22
katy
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Default Re: New to Model A and Starter Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
That negative battery cable is to small.


Bob
Ditto,

Cables should be at least #1, preferably 1/0 (one ought) or 2/0. During cranking of a cold engine starter draw can reach around 300 amps, so you need good cables to ensure good starter performance.
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Last edited by katy; 03-13-2019 at 09:54 AM. Reason: addition for clarification
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