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23 Buick Starter


carmover
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My 23 Buick is not motoring and I am wondering if the brushes that control the motoring can be cleaned,adjusted or replaced without removing the start Generator.If not how much different is the 23 S/G to remove than on the 25?

Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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Yes.

 

Commutator should be bright.  Pushing on the back of a brush with a non conducting dowel to increase contact pressure will prove windings are good, just poor brush or contact.  Does it start to motor (with ignition on) when you push down on one?

 

As the brushes wear they get shorter and lose contact pressure from the spring.  The back side brush is the tough one to get to.  Take the bottom brush plate off to gain access to the 3rd brush.  For the top brush, disconnect the brush operating link from the insulated post.  How does that insulator look?  Many are bad or missing causing a ground out.  Swing the top brush arm toward you once you have the link off this insulator to access the brush screws.  Top and bottom brushes are a bit thicker than the third brush.  The two really big brushes are the starter brushes.

 

Do you have the pic of the S/G in the 1923 Ref Book to follow along?

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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Mine didn't motor unless I gave it a push. I cleaned off the commutator and used a nail or pick to scrape out the carbon from in between the sections of copper on it, on the face that the graphite brushes contact. That fixed it perfectly.

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If carbon builds up in between the sections on the commutator, that is graphite and it conducts electricity as well as the copper, and will short circuit the segments of copper to each other. I had to do the same thing to my horn, the motor in the horn had gotten crudded up with carbon (graphite)

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Ron, 

    A pet peeve first.  Determine definitively what year your motor is.  Do you have an engine tag so that we can look up the engine number relative to the year?  Even though your car is a 1923, if you have another year motor and you are posting regarding anything related to that engine, refer to it as your 1922 Buick, or just your 1922 engine.  It adds a lot of confusion otherwise because of so many changes that Buick made each year and we end up going down different rabbit holes.   

 

The generator brushes are carbon, and the starter brushes are bronze (or atleast harder) since they have to handle so much amperage.  The manual states to clean the commutator (where the brushes ride on the generator ) with a cut off hack saw blade.  The gap between the brass section fills with spent carbon and that will effect the motoring.  You do not need to do this for the starter brushes.  Scratching the slots out really well with a hack saw blade is good maintenance when the SG is removed.  I suspect that you may be able to use a pick and scratch out some of this build up with the unit in place and that will get you by.  Disconnect the battery before starting.     

 

So I am also wondering as I read this if the issue is more about wear of the commutator and if you wear down to the mica (the insulator) then it definitely will not motor.  Attached is the procedure.  You will not be able to fix the problem entirely without removing the SG unit.  You may be able to clean it up enough in place to get you by.  You have to be careful with finding the correct width hack saw blade or grinding it a little because I noticed that I had a couple that were the correct width and some that were a little too wide.  A finer tooth hack saw blade is usually narrower.  

 

Hugh

    700204611_SlottingMica.thumb.JPG.78bc69e3821fa770d94af640a2623f6e.JPG

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Is the 3rd brush the motoring brush? The engine will turn over when starter pedal is depressed and it seams to be charging fine but you have to keep stomping on the starter pedal and it will eventually go down and I am not hearing it motoring.

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It motors pretty quietly.  Pull the cover off next to the distributer to watch.  Also, once the engine is running, you can check to see that the armature is spinning and thus the clutch is holding like it should.

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As soon as you turn the key, you should see an amp draw on the ammeter and hear the Starter Generator turning.  The 3rd brush is what adjust the amount of voltage produced while generating electricity.  I imagine the range is 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 volts - in that neighborhood if you were to adjust the third brush from CW stop to CCW stop.  Yes, without motoring you will do a lot of stomping because the gears have no help with meshing.        

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The car is leaving here next Weekend and heading for California.The 25 Buick left here last Weekend.I need to get this car as right as I can but don't have a lot of time.I am just wondering which brush I need to mess with.

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Posted (edited)

Here are the lower brushes.They are showing a lot of ware and the commutator is shiny.and it is definitely not motoring. are these the ones that control the motoring.The springs are pulling the brushes up to the stops which is as far as they are allowed to go.I wonder if I can find and replace these 2 brushes it will fix my problem.The top brush is standing off of the comm and I am thinking this must be the start brush.As I stated before the engine turns over fine once I get it to mesh.

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Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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I don't think it is a brush issue.  I think it is a commutator issue.  The question is if you can reach the commutator with the SG still in place.   Two photos of the 1925 Starter Generator.  The narrow spaced commutator is for the generator.  This is the only one you need to clean.   In the 2nd photo, just the cover was removed, but you can get to the generator commutator and clean it.  Notice how black it is.  You may be able to remove the lower brushes and get to the commutator as well.      

 

Can you remove your cover and take a picture as I am not entirely familiar with your style SG unit?  

 

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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4 minutes ago, Hubert_25-25 said:

I don't think it is a brush issue.  I think it is a commutator issue.  The question is if you can reach the commutator with the SG still in place.   Two photos of the 1925 Starter Generator.  The narrow spaced commutator is for the generator.  This is the only one you need to clean.   In the 2nd photo, just the cover was removed, but you can get to the generator commutator and clean it.  Notice how black it is.  You may be able to remove the lower brushes and get to the commutator as well.      

 

Can you remove your cover and take a picture as I am not entirely familiar with your style SG unit?  

 

IMG_5809.thumb.JPG.3dbdd9d694e6b6fb79189ecc2e67e935.JPG452119139_masterstarter.jpg.73b955b7f08fdb8363877b301a5a4393.jpg

Thanks Hugh I will get you one right now.I wish this one was as easy as the 25 style.

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Ron, 

   It looks like the only way to access cleaning the commutator is thru the hole for the lower brushes.  Better access with the later model units.  Can you tell if the Mica is still below the surface of the brass on the generator?  Can you run any light sandpaper on the commutator thru that bottom hole to shine up the brass for a better connection?    Hugh

 

  

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Hugh Is there any way to turn the armature so I can clean the back side of the commutator.I may be able to cut a strip of sandpaper and use it like a belt around the commutator but if i can't turn it I can't clean the Mica out of the grooves on the back of it.I have an xacto knife that I believe will work to clean out the grooves. The commutator looks better in person than in the picture it is still pretty shiny but has some black on it.

Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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I looked a little more closely and the small commutator is more up in the housing and is not going to be too easy to get to. You can't really see it in the pictures but the housing covers over half of the smaller commutator.

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If i am seeing the pic correctly, the model you appear to have is a real bear to get apart - if it comes to that- as the armature shaft has to slide through the bearing in the distributor end. you can't get the bearing out with the armature in the way.  And it may not want to come out. so whatever you can do with it together hopefully will make it work. those end castings have to be treated gently. 

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Rod, 

    There are 3 wires that go to your starter generator.  The Large battery cable, a Field wire, and an Armature wire.  When I look inside my unit, I can see the A and the F markings.  If you put 6 volts on the A terminal, the generator should motor.  So I am wondering if you are getting 6 volts to the A terminal when you switch on your ignition switch.  That would say that the problem is in the ignition switch and not the SG.  Can you apply 6 volts with a jumper wire, or use a volt meter to test for voltage when the ignition is on?  The bench test for the operation of the generator is to ground the case and put voltage to the A terminal to initiate motoring.

Can you also tell if you have sufficient spring pressure on your brushes.  Just as a check that they are not hanging up.  Sounds like you may be able to clean the commutator some.   Hugh    

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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