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Model G Starter Question


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Went to start the 1919 tourer and the starter was a little slow to turn (as usual) but eventually got the motor spinning. It caught and ran briefly after priming. When I went to re-start ---nothing---not even a hint of a revolution from the starter. Motor turns fine by the crank. I jumped the starter switch battery post to generator post and still nothing. Pulled out the battery charger and went directly to the posts on the rear of generator and still nothing. Fuse on the starter/generator is OK. Not even a hum or anything from the unit.

Before I pull the starter/generator out of the car is there any other tests I should do? If this is just the brushes or carbon build-up can these repairs be done with the unit in the car? I am sure someone has had this happen before and looking for some advice.


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Thanks for the advice. I took the sleeve off of the rear of the starter genernator and was checking the brushes when it finally dawned on me what I was viewing. The commutator was fouled with what looked like a combination of carbon and grease. A little starter fluid on a rag and slowly turning the engine by the crank allowed me to clean it up enough to start the car. There is still some 'residue' on the commutator. What would you recommend o get rid of the hard to remove stuff?

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Brake Cleaner is a pretty good option. I use it for spot cleaning armatures, windings or housings when I'm not doing a complete overhaul. Be careful, it takes off paint too! The nice thing is, it will dry quickly. What your seeing is common. Thats one of the problems with the old style bearings. They were always open (versus todays sealed versions) and needed lubricating. Bad part was when you lubricate the oil ends up inside the generator on the commutator and where you didn't need it. When I overhaul these, I have a fairly thorough process of cleaning, baking and re-varnishing these. Sometimes I can't believe how much oil they have soaked up in the past 90-100 years.

By the way, your already ahead of the game. Most people don't realize how much of an impact this oil and build-up can have on a starter or generator. They always look for something major. If you can or dare, take the back housing off and clean the oil from the brush holders and brushes too. Let me know if you need any parts, advice or help. I stock the brushes and a few other small parts.


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