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Starter Types


jord
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My 1939 Lincoln has a 56 H block, and I cannot find any reference to starter type. I currently have two starters on hand one with the standard b-11350 Bendix drive and the other has the 5EH-11350 Bendix. The 5EH is about 1/2 inch longer than the other. I found an old note that mention it was used in the 47-48 years because they had a flexible flywheel. This I am curious about. It may well be that I have installed the wrong starter. Yet both behave poorly. The car starts but when hot the usual complaint , hard to start. Yes I have 4/0 cable and a new relay, also a 1/0 return ground from the starter. Does anyone have a resistance chart for the windings and armature, this may help. No record of a 56 H block also.

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This is not uncommon. Both of those gears are interchangeable because they have the same pitch. There are different length armatures to be used with each gear. Rebuilders used the same part number for every Ford flathead from 1932 to 1953 the most popular aftermarket part number was the Lester number 3103. The starters were sold minus the gear. Because they are external the bendix was considered extra. The gears are held to the armature in different ways making it easy to identify which gear goes to which armature when the gears are removed. The starter at the bottom and pointing with the bendix to the right is the correct setup from the factory. Since both starters have the same slow crank when hot my best suggestion would be to check your generator voltage charge rate. Most 6v vehicles I see in my shop with hot start issues are due to charging voltage below 7v. Some internal starter since you have them out issues can be worn bushings causing too much side to side play with the armature, missing spacers causing too much fore and aft play with the armature, loose brush holders caused by old insulators. As far as resistance measurements there are none. Checking the armature you growl test and you the 110v light bulb test. For field coils there should 2 coils they should insulated from ground, again you would use the 110v light bulb test to insure the field wrapping is good.

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Jord, as you suggested the late style starter and Bendix drive is the original fitting for the 56H engine which has the flexible flywheel. On this engine the oil pan recess for the Bendix drive is slightly longer than that on previous engines. According to the late Jake Fleming  the early type Bendix is slightly too large and will impede the  meshing of the gears. Please see the attached illustration from TWOTZ  that was one of Jake's many tech tips. Hope this helps.

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If both starters turn slow your best bet is to do a voltage drop test to make sure that all connections are performing properly. If the voltage drop from the battery to the starter terminal is 0.3V or less, the supply side connections are good. The grounded side connections voltage drop should be 0.1v or less. If all connections are performing as designed, the starter current draw test should be made. The starter should draw 150-200 amps when cranking the engine.

 

To measure the voltage drop between the battery and the starter. Engine must be at operating temperature.
1    Connect the COM or black lead to the battery NEG post and the POS or red lead to the starter connection.
2    Crank the starter and read the voltmeter.
3    Good connections will give you a reading of 0.3V or less with the starter operating.

 

To measure the voltage drop between the battery and the starter ground.
1    Connect the POS or red lead to the battery POS post and the COM or black lead to the starter case.
2    Crank the starter and read the voltmeter.
3    Good connections will give you a reading of 0.1V or less with the starter operating.

 

Before installing the starter, make sure that the mounting flange on the oil pan and on the starter are clean and free of paint. These surfaces are where the starter gets its path to ground.

 

If the starter turning slow is not your symptom, please describe your symptoms in detail.

 

 

Edited by 19tom40
add instruction (see edit history)
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Thanks Tom, I am going to clean everything up and retry. I did measure the total circuit resistance and applied ohms law which gave me a 60 amp load, theoretically. The main problem is a 2.5 volt loss at the starter terminal on cranking, that is after everything is new with cables and relay.

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Six volt circuits can  draw twice as much current as 12 volt.  Old well used 6 volt  starter solenoid " Contacts" can be  a source of high resistance creating voltage drop to starter.  I usually fit  new 6 volt starter solenoids  to  my 6 volt Fords and Lincoln Zephyrs. A final word, 8 volt batteries can help.  

Edited by 38ShortopConv. (see edit history)
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one more small item that may help-- on pg. 180 of the same parts  catalog that we all use, there is a small bracket - P/N 51A-11140. This is Ford  

# and is used on Ford flatheads as well as our HV12's. It helps keep the starter in correct alignment  with the flat surface of the pan. One more

thing that may not be a problem on your engine, it was on my '48 LC.  After purchasing the car and going over it , under it and all around I noticed the "snout" where the Bendix drive travels to was cut off and the end  of the gear was exposed to the elements. The engine may be '42,  because

the bore is 2-15/16" . So , perhaps the later ' 5EH ' was used.  The fix  for this was to cut off the bottom of a empty and cleaned out propane bottle, 

cut to  length as needed ; and soldered it on the remaining length of the "snout" , it fit perfectly !  The OD of the pan snout slid right into the ID of

propane bottle.

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One more thing which drove me crazy on my 47- be sure that the starter is correctly aligned and bolts tight before bolting the small clip to the block as it will pull the starter out of alignment when the engine is hot if the clip is not exactly the right size. Then it will not turn over to start.

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Thanks to all, I will continue with the program, lot's to check again. The darn thing it starts ok when cold but I do not want a tow truck behind me to bring it home when and if I stall it. Frustrating for sure as I want it on the road for final tune up. Car is coming along fine otherwise, still lot's do do, but the little things are what is fun.

Again big Thanks to all

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If you are measuring the voltage at the starter terminal with the COM meter lead at the starter terminal and the + meter lead on the starter case, you are measuring cranking voltage voltage. That tells you more about battery condition than starter connection condition. You should read between 4.5 -5.5 volts. A lower reading indicates a battery capacity problem. This test should be done AFTER the voltage drop test has eliminated connection problems.

 

Do the voltage drop test that I described to determine if you have a connection problem.  The connections that it tests are battery to solenoid, solenoid internal connection and solenoid to starter cable. If you have a high voltage drop, you have a connection problem. The voltage drop for each connection should not exceed 0.1V. Move the + lead back to the output side of the solenoid to determine if the solenoid or starter cable is the problem and then to the input side of the solenoid for the battery cable.

 

The voltage drop test is the first test that I do when trouble shooting a slow starter.

 

 

 

 

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Your slow crank when hot is the most common electrical issue on classic and custom vehicles I see 20-25 of these problems every summer come thru my bays and even more people come thru with a starter in hand to be tested on my test bench. I have been rebuilding for 37 years and have specialized in classic and custom electrical for 21 years. My family has been in the automotive electrical industry since the 1940's. Most people blame heat soak of the starter and install all kinds of crazy heat deflecting shields without ever putting a meter to the system. The most infamous vehicle we have had through our shop had 9 starters installed by 3 different shops to cure the original problem. Each shop just kept changing starters, blaming their supplier until the owner got tired of it and moved on to a different shop. Most likely giving the impression that the last starter they installed solved the problem. Therefore they are probably still fixing this problem the same way. There are a 3 causes for your problem.

1. Internally in the starter. I always eliminate this the moment the customer tells me that the starter has already been replaced without fixing the problem. Typically old starters with worn bushings, brushes, spacers or insulators will cause this issue.

2. Battery cables. Most commonly with 6v is undersized cables. Something that gets overlooked with cables are the terminals. When teaching a class I tell people to take a magnet with them when buying cables. To test the clamp and lug to make sure they are not attracted to the magnet. Cheap cables use steel which is the worst conductor. You want lead, copper, aluminum, brass or gold. All of which are nonmagnetic.

3. Undercharging generator or alternator. 99 out of 100 people will never even consider this and it is by far the most common flaw that I see. 6v systems need 7.2v to 7.5v rate of charge for the type of driving most owners of classic vehicles do these days. Most trips are short 30 minutes or less around town and in stop and go traffic at slow speeds. Not 2 or 3 hours at highway speeds. Generator systems have different charging characteristics then alternators so don't be so quick to make adjustments or replace parts without being very thorough in your testing. Just as you check your starting system for voltage drop you should check your charging system for voltage drop. Generator charging voltage tends to fall off at idle. So when checking your system check at idle, at normal driving speeds, lights on and lights off. Check with transmission in and out of gear.

 

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CertJeff1, I agree completely with your response. That is why I tell people to do the voltage drop test to ensure that the starter circuit does not have excessive resistance, the cranking voltage test to make sure that the battery is OK and finally the starter current draw test to make sure that the starter is OK. The current draw test will show that the starter is needs to be serviced.

 

The grounding circuit on the Ford starters is another common cause of a slow starter when hot. Restorers paint the pan and starter to make them look good and do not mask off the starter mounting surfaces creating resistance that can slow the starter.

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  • 2 months later...

 

Well it runs and starts hot. I re did everything. 1 Installed new starter and generator bushings, cleaned all the terminal connections inside and out of the starter and generator. Surprising the corrosion that we find on the inside of the generator ground connections, then went on to installing a 2/0 ground cable between the battery case and starter case. Also filed all the washers flat, this removed the edge created after the holes were punched in at the factory, just a precaution now everything is flat and secure and less resistance, this brought down my voltage losses. And to top if off I installed an ammeter to show me the charging condition ,not original, but now I know it is charging.

Thanks for all the input, got me to the finish line. Now to fine tune the engine.

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