Morgan Wright

1918 E-49 starter/generator restoration job

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Morgan,

 

I had the SG same problem with my '18. Wouldnt always motor. Turned out to be a bad commutator segment connection on the generator part. I replaced it.

Regardless, the starter should crank the engine once the gears are engaged and the starter brushes dropped.

You shouldnt need to remove the distributor to change the timing. Loosening the screw in the center of the points cam should make the point cam totally loose to rotate.

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You replaced the commutator segment, or replaced the whole generator? How does one go about replacing a commutator segment?  Or maybe you mean you replaced the brush.

 

This morning I got the timing right. Today I'm cleaning "mica".

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I wasnt very clear. I should have said that I replaced the Armature.

 

I actually was able to get the original armature generating and starting again by shorting the dead segment to one adjacent to it by soldering it.  Crude but effective and I was just doing the so I'd have a spare in a pinch.

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Morgan, 

    I know your SG unit is similar to mine although different.  Here is a picture of the mica cut out on mine.  I did the Starter commutator as well (the larger brushes), but I read later that you do not need to remove the mica on the Starter commutator because the brushes are bronze type and will take care of themselves.   The generator brushes are carbon so they require the mica cleaning.  Also a note about not getting any paint on the metal that grounds the brush holder, and that the SG unit base needs a good ground as well by not having any paint on it.   The block attachment has no paint also.  Follow your wiring diagram and bench test the unit for both motoring and cranking.  To do the cranking operation, use a wood dowel to lift the generator brushes and allow the starter brushes to drop in.  You can do this on the floor or on the work bench.  It beats lugging the 60 lb unit in and out.  It should have 100% repeatability.  

 

Hugh

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Now the generator motors solid every time!!! 100% repeatability!

 

I took the motor generator back out, I find it easier to work on the bench, taking it out is not hard.

 

I have a tiny file no bigger than a nail file. Only 0.050" thick, just thick enough to gouge out that "mica" between copper segments. Then I turned the generator with a WD-40 soaked rag on it, then spun it with the file on the copper to remove any copper burrs or scratches, which would quickly destroy the brushes. Then used Q-tips and compressed air to remove anything loose. Lots of mica came out.

 

I took all 3 generator brushes out and filed them with a fine-tooth half-round file, big enough so the radius of curvature of the round part of the file is around 3 inches, same as the commutator. I wanted the entire brush to meet plumb with the commutator, and I did a perfect fit, even on the "third brush"

 

Back in the car again, bolts in, wires back on, distributor cap on, new spark plug wires in place......I even drove the taper pin in the water pump shaft so it's in for good now. Now when it "motors" I get the clicking from the clutch. I understand that a few years later Buick clutches were silent, but the 1918 model clicks. Also now, when it motors, the distributor doesn't turn anymore because it's held by the shaft. Hence the clutch clicking.

 

I still have to replace the starter foot pedal gears and cross shaft and tie up a few more loose ends before putting gas in the tank and starting the car. 

.

 

 

DSCN2660.JPG

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There is a one way clutch in that sliding gear. That keeps the flywheel from spinning the generato too fast should the gears not disengage when the engine starts.

 

Make sure that clutch is working. If not you could destroy the SG armature from over revving

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Looking Good Morgan.  Did you get any oil up to the "windmill" on the dash?

The condense  is inside the coil at the bottom. Cannot be changed

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You might not believe it, but I got oil in my windmill months ago from hand cranking. I saw the oil, so I asked my wife to look at the dial when I hand-cranked. She said it spun like a whirling dervish at a Pentecostal revival on Christmas during a tornado. She tends to understate things, so I figure it spun.

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Awesome Morgan.  Thanks for posting that video. Good job on the starter generator!  I hope to be at the same point  some day before too long.

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When I was checking bearing clearances on my car a couple of years ago, on reassembly I went to start the car. The engine spun very fast...I had forgot to install the plugs (thus making it unlikely it would start).

I was surprised at how quickly that little oil pump got oil to the dash oil gage. I let it spin for a while so I would get oil into the troughs under the rods.

In retrospect, I though that turned out to be a good idea.

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I'm going to do another compression test, the last one I did was by hand cranking and the compressions were lousy. Hope they are better using the starter motor. I plan to do it with all the plugs out so I'm sure it will crank very fast. Certainly enough to fill the troughs in the oil pan if they aren't filled already. 

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Here are the compressions by hand crank last year and with starter today

 

cyl...........hand..........starter with throttle open and choke off

 

1...............58................80

2...............49................75

3...............35................60

4...............35................65

5...............31................46

6...............44................53

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2 minutes ago, Morgan Wright said:

Here are the compressions by hand crank last year and with starter today

 

cyl...........hand..........starter with throttle open and choke off

 

1...............58................80

2...............49................75

3...............35................60

4...............35................65

5...............31................46

6...............44................53

 

If the valves have been done, then you need rings.  More than 10% difference from the highest to the lowest.  If neither have been done, put about three squirts of oil in the cylinders and redo the compression check.  If it stays the same, then valves.  If it goes up, then rings.

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Last year when I was hand cranking, cylinder 5 had the same compression as the others, and then suddenly dropped to 31. It happened so suddenly I'm thinking the valve cage seal still needs to be seated properly. Today I'm taking off the rocker on 5, and seeing if I can tighten the cage nuts a little more. If not, then I have to do a ring job. These numbers suck.

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No dice. The cage nuts were tighter than a Kansas storm cellar during a Wizard of Oz rotation.

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As I am thinking of soon starting reworking my starter/gen, I am looking for the page out of a Delco Service Manual for 1922 model 45.  Would you have this to copy Morgan?

 

Thanks,

Mark

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I tested for spark and the distributor is making a nice hot spark on the spark plug I pulled. However.........

 

Something is wrong with cylinder 5. The compression is getting WORSE again, down to 31. If it's a wrist pin gouging against the cylinder wall I have to stop before I totally destroy the cylinder wall. I'm taking the piston out this week. And some other pistons as well......maybe just 5 and 6, but definitely 5.

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Mark,

 

Our friend, Rod Wise, from down under saved the day with his copy of the pages from the Delco Manual.  Morgan is right, I do have this material, I just couldn't put my hands on it right now.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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He sure did.  You guys are amazing on this forum.  Thank you Rod 

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I dropped the oil pan and looked up........all the cotter pins that hold the piston pins are fine. There is no gouging on any of the cylinder walls.

 

I'm going to fix the rings by smearing some JB weld on them.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

I'm going to fix the rings by smearing some JB weld on them.

.

How does that work? Would like to see pictures.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)

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