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If it was smoking there has to be a short. Starters are not that complicated. There should be a alternator and starter repair shop near you. As long as the bendix is alright the rest of the parts are common to many starters. A local shop worth their salt should be able to rebuild the motor.

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One question that I have is this. I was driving down the road and the engine cutoff. No sputtering or spitting or anything. Just shuts off. I pull off the road and that's when this issue started. So would this make the engine stop? In my head and everything that I know (which ain't much), I say no.

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I do not know specifics on. 29 Dictator but if it was running ok and just quits I would not think it is a starter problem. I would suspect the coil or points. If the battery was dead then you were not getting a charge from the generator so it would be a wiring problem or a short. As others have said check to see if you have power at each location so you can eliminate the switches. Again if it was running I just can’t see it being a starter problem. Good luck. 

Dave S 

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It seems to me you have two problems. It cut out and the starter smokes.

 

18 hours ago, kclark said:

No sputtering or spitting or anything. Just shuts off.

 

You say there is no resistance on turning it with the crank handle? I wonder if you have a broken cam gear? Did they have a fiber gear? I had exactly that on my 1939 one day. It just stopped dead.  Was there a dull thud knock for a while, days or weeks, before it happened?

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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I looked at my starter and it is a Delco-Remey 726-F.  What worries me about this post is that I know my bendix often sticks in the ring gear, I just quickly reach down and pull up the floor pedal to disengage. Is there a chance Mr. Clark that you could have driven with the starter stuck in the ring gear? Though I think this would have been very noisy.  The starter would act as a generator, backfeeding the electrical system and itself would eventually sustain severe mechanical damage since these models were not designed to act a generators.

 

For troubleshooting determine if any other electrical devices work, i.e. - headlamps, horn, dash lamps? As for the starter smoking, a motor is a dead short when it is not turning, the expanding and collapsing magnetic field is what provides the electrical resistance. This is what is called, locked rotor amps and they can be very very high. As SC38DLS said, points, loss of power to the coil, a short in the coil to points somewhere would be much more likely suspects for the engine dying. There is an overcurrent relay on mine mounted right beside the fuel gauge. It buzzes like crazy if I try to draw too much current. I think all of the power coming into the car goes there from the starter connection. It would be a good place to start.  

 

One last thing, the car should be a positive ground vehicle the exact opposite of a modern car, don't mess this one up. The starter doesn't care, it will run backwards, nor do the lights or coil, however I doubt your generator would survive a reverse connection long since I believe it will try to run as a motor. 

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I pulled the starter and put it on the ground and hooked it up to a spare 6 volt battery and it seems to run as it should without any smoke. But for safe measure, I'm sending it off to have it checked. When I get it back I'll go from there.

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On 4/2/2018 at 4:03 PM, Spinneyhill said:

You say there is no resistance on turning it with the crank handle?

 

I tried it again and I am getting resistance. What was going on, I was not pushing the hand crank in enough to engage the motor.

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Watch several videos on hand cranking first. It is great way to break an arm or damage a fender. I prefer push starting but yours is probably awful heavy. 

 

 

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On 4/1/2018 at 5:09 PM, rbk said:

Pull the starter and see if the bendix is jammed.

 

It wasn't jammed

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48 minutes ago, keninman said:

Watch several videos on hand cranking first. It is great way to break an arm or damage a fender. I prefer push starting but yours is probably awful heavy. 

 

 

 

Yep tried to push start it but we couldn't get it going fast enough.

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***UPDATE***

She is running again!!!

I got the starter back from the shop. There are 2 positive and 2 negative terminals inside and 2 were loose. They tightened those up and clean it up a little. Put it back in and it turned over. Now for the just turning off part. I had help from a friend mechanic who works on hot rods and older cars in general. He helped me get the starter back in. We cranked it up and it ran for a minute or two while we talked. We were discussing it cutting off and while we were talking, well it shut off. We got to looking at the distributor and coil and we weren't getting anything. We looked at the wires coming from the "key" switch and one of the wires was slightly loose. We tightened it up and that seems to be it. It even cranks up A LOT faster now.

 

I am a HAPPY camper!!! Hopefully it warms up again in a few days so I can get it out and wash it down.

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