Sign in to follow this  
HBergh

1923 Touring Electric Starting

Recommended Posts

Ever since I've had my 1923 Touring, the electric starter (model GA)turns the engine over v-e-r-y slowly, about 10 rpm. And this is with a fully charged battery. I would like to know from someone if this is normal? By the way, the car always starts. Thanks, Howard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 22 does that too, however it was caused by nearly burning it up after an engine rebuild as things were rather tight. It should not be that way. My other ones are not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is very slow. Mine is about 60 rpm. it seems slow and takes about 4 or 5 rotations to fire and catch. To me this seems slow as well. Is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The starter motors on a '21 I once owned and also on my '24 coupe both turned the engine at about one revolution per second. And that was with new brushes, charged battery and clean cables. Seems slow by today's standards, but things moved at that pace 100 years ago. Fortunately for us, our DBs "always" start immediately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My old '24 starter was that way until it quit, still charged but didn't start. A rebuilt one from Roy Brister fixed that. I think I remember that the starter should run at about 150 rpms with no load, no chain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On one of my '24's the starter/generator would smoke at the fuse. So I

used the crank handle and was surprised how easy the motor turned

and fired right up. That may have been a positive ground mix-up.I better straighten that out before I burn what few wires it has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is 12 volt. I removed the battery connections while giving

her the thorough" welcome to the collection" cleaning and I

may have reattached the cables backwards. I know now my

'24's are positive ground. Question 1: If I did hook the battery

up backwards wouldn't other wires have smoked or just the

starter/generator fuse? Question 2: If the battery was attached

correctly what would make starter/generator smoke at the fuse?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine turned over slowly until a friend wised me up. "Use the retard lever, DUH". It must have been firing on the upstroke, just before TDC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DBAcadia, it won't hurt any wires if hooked up backwards. Dave, or someone else correct me, but I think if the horn button is on the door it's negative? Horn on the steering wheel it's positive ground, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: John1918</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> "Use the retard lever, DUH"</div></div>

Oh, so that's why they call it that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Correct on polarity. But it won't hurt anything on these 12v starter/generators to run positive or negative. I run them either way, just need to reverse the wires on the ammeter to read correctly. Will not cause a short.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had heard that about the polarity but didn't want to assume it. Still,

what may cause the starter/generator to smoke at the fuse and barely

turn her when I know by hand turning she turns over easy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now back to the original topic. I want to thank everyone for their experiences with slow engine turn over with electric starter. I plan to check, clean and tighten all electrical cables as well as check my brushes and check turn over speed with spark plugs out. I suspect that there is some high electrical resistance in my starting circuit, thus reducing the applied voltage at the starter. So, I will be checking the voltage at the starter while pressing on the starter button.

I had to smile when someone mentioned a smoking fuse because the "fuse" in my generator is a solid piece of copper wire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should be a 10 Amp fuse..

Hook a voltmeter to the Cable terminal on the starter and to a ground . Have someone engage the starter and see if 11.5 to 12 volts is all the way to the starter /gen. If so its probly a shorted field coil in the unit..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid I must disagree with the "horn button" method of determining battery polarity. I have a late '22 (similar to a '23) that has the horn button on the steering wheel and a negative ground system. I know this to be the case because I have the original DB Book of Instruction that came with the vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont' know anything about 1923 Dodges but I'm retired from electronics. On question 1, only the wiring going to the generator or any regulator will heat up and smoke. The rest of the car's electrical system doesn't care about polarity except: the polarity of the ignition coil must be correct or the spark will suffer at the plugs and the ammeter will of course read 'backwards'.

On question 2, by hooking up the battery 'backwards' you polarized the generator to the 'new' polarity at some time before you got everything stopped and unhooked. So when you would put the battery polarity back to normal your generator is now polarized wrong again. Confusing?

You need to take a wire and momentarily connect the battery to the generator's output terminal to polarize the generator to the battery supply as it is now. This will put you back to normal/original.

If you ever muck around with a generator,even on your bench, ALWAYS make sure you 'flash' the generator terminal with the battery to prevent you from having a reversed polarized generator. The oldtime mechanics always did this as a matter of course before starting up to prevent just such a situation. The smoke and fire is really something, isn't it?

(From a purely technical point, what happens is the generator instead of being of the same polarity as the battery and OPPOSING the battery voltage,it's called 'bucking' in electrical jargon, the generator is in 'SERIES' with the battery voltage and all hell breaks loose as the battery tries,with the generator's help, to discharge itself to ground through the generator circuit.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice topic. I have only been around a few running, or need to start, older DB's. Each of them made me a bit nervous as they just kinda lazily rolled over the motor while using the starter. But, as was mentioned, they always start. I am still in process of doing a restoration of a late 1922 touring and know already what to expect. This topic is a good one to put in the memory bank...make sure of the polarity!

Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to do that "flashing" procedure with a 1962 H-D Panhead motorcycle.

My question now is, as the battery is Pos to ground for my DB touring(1924),

when you write" connect the battery" do you mean the Neg terminal to the

generator output? Is confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For everyone's information, my 1923 Touring has the battery Negative terminal connected to the chassis. However, I see in the 1923 Instruction Manual that the postive terminal is connected to ground. So somewhere in the life of my machine, its polarity apparently was switched. Besides the slow electric cranking, the necessary electrical seems to work just fine; so I think I will leave it like it is for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 12 volt DB generator is a 3 brush unit with the 3rd brush regulating output. There is no regulator to polarize. They run equally well either way. Yes you have to flash the Harley, also my 40 Ford and my 49 Dodge but not the 12 volt DB starter/generator. I do agreee with the coil polarity. Everything I have heard about 22-23 switch over to positive groud was it was ABOUT the time that they got the horn button on the wheel. ABOUT being the key word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this