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So-called DB automatic re-start


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I have read a lot of the articles about the DB that have appeared over the years, and noticed that some of them claimed the DB starter-generator would automatically re-start the engine if it died.  I am pretty sure that although some other contemporary makes of automobile may have had automatic re-start, the DB never did. But even today, authors of articles about the DB will rely upon this erroneous information, so the story is perpetuated. Have you ever seen articles making this claim about the DB? I can probably quote chapter and verse if you're interested. How did the story ever get started?

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The device was called STARTEX. It was an aftermarket unit but I think it did come as new equipment on some cars. I'm not sure how it operated but I believe it read the engine's vacuum. If the vacuum disappeared it engaged the starter and restarted the engine.

Edited by DodgeKCL (see edit history)
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Startex was used on Studebakers for years. I don't know how it knew the engine was not running but it worked. As an aside, I drove a 2015 V W with a manual gearbox around Ireland last year with a similar devise. I'm glad the car was so equipped as it took a while to get used to the car. Zeke

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Startix (with an "I" and no "e") was manufactured by Eclipse, later acquired by Bendix.  It was standard on Pierce-Arrows 1932-38.  It was optional on Studebaker (perhaps standard on some models), and was available in the aftermarket.

 

Turn your ignition to ON and Startix would crank your engine.  If you stalled, as when pulling away from a stop on an uphill street, Startix would automatically crank the engine. Of course, the ignition had to be ON.

 

A signal from the generator (not vacuum) deactivated the Startix and the cranking action.  So you had a problem is your generator failed! :-)  Or in my case in 2006, when the generator pulley hub separated from the belt sheaves (grooved portion) at speed and the starter tried to engage.  In such case, merely disconnect the wire to the IGN terminal on the Startix box.

 

Eleven years ago this month we lost my dear friend Frank Wilson, AKA Mr. Startix, who was the most knowledgeable person on the planet for the repair of these devices.

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Guys,

This was indeed in an old automotive electric book I have a copy somewhere in my stash but cannot recall just now where it is.. As it happens In a  chapter about Dodge Brothers N/E electric systems at the end of the article on the next page about 1/2 way down started the next article about the Startex system used on another marque (possibly Stude. or Packard) I do not recall which but the page looked like a run-on continuing rather than separate issues. Yes, confusing to some not familiar with the Dodge Brothers system but definitely NOT related. I hope that helps. I will attempt to locate the book and associated article.

Rodger "Dodger" 

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Supposedly the device activated the starter when the engine died.

 

Between the Summer of 1914 (when the DBs broke with Ford) and late 1914, when serious DB production began, there were lots of articles in the trade journals containing speculation and incorrect information about what features the DB car would have. I think the misinformation was picked up from such an article.

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My 20th edition of Dykes Automobile and Gasoline Encyclopedia has a long write up on the North East 12v motor-generator system as used on Dodge. Not clear from the text if it automatically switched from generating to motoring if the gasoline engine quit, but it looks like it might have. I'd scan the six or so pages of fine print if I thought they’d be legible but it seems unlikely.

 

The Startix was a totally different device. I happened across an ad for that in a early 1930s automotive trade magazine last night.

StartixAd.jpg

Edited by ply33
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