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1920 K45 starter engaugement?


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Got my 1920 Buick motor running today. It was rebuilt back in 1933 and never started since then. I'm having trouble when I push in the starter foot control. Sometimes it goes right in and truns the starter but then sometimes it wont engauge.. I have to mess with it by pulling the control pedal out more and pushing it back in several times.. It seems that the gear engaugement mechanism that is on the cowl side of the starter motor won't fully enguage.  Can this item be adjusted or is something else going on?

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It could be a lubrication problem.  Is this correct that the engine was rebuilt in 1933?  That was 88 years ago and the engine has never run since then?  This is unbelievable.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

AACA Life Member #947918

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Posted (edited)

yes,  A Doctor from East St. Louis bought this car new. He retired it in 1933 and had the engine rebuilt and was going to repaint the car. After the motor was rebuilt he didn't follow up with the repaint and just bought another car.. This was sitting idle ever since.. It has went through 3 owners since and now I'm just trying to get it running.. Haven't got it lined out yet with a good idle, but was just happy to hear it start up and blow out suit from the tail pipe.

Up DATE:

AS of 7/26 we got a smoother and quieter running engine but haven't hooked up the radiator yet to get a longer run for final adjustment..  Still working on the starter / gen .. Not clicking when the ign. is turned on.. 

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Edited by Frank Wilkie (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

Is the starter motoring, in the case of a 1920, clicking, when you turn on the ignition but before you depress the starter pedal?

If it’s like the Cadillac (which I think the 20 is) you’ll hear a clunk and it won’t crank if it’s not in alignment. Release pedal and try again if that’s all that’s happening

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There are about a dozen things that could cause those symptoms. After sitting for so long oil gets sticky.

But first and foremost...drop the pan and check things out. Chances are there is a lot of sludge in spite of the engine not being run.

Very cheap insurance

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1 hour ago, DonMicheletti said:

There are about a dozen things that could cause those symptoms. After sitting for so long oil gets sticky.

But first and foremost...drop the pan and check things out. Chances are there is a lot of sludge in spite of the engine not being run.

Very cheap insurance

Are you referring to the engine oil pan.. I have done that and it was realitive clean. 

 

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Question about something else?   When I originally pulled the spark plugs I noticed that ther wasn't any spark plug gaskets?  When we finally got ready to start the motor we put back the plugs without any gaskets and it ran.  Sould ther be any plug ring gaskets or not?

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Frank:

First ...Yes there should be ring compression gaskets for the plugs.

 There is also a timing adjustment on the fork that pulls the starter brush pin out and simeltaniously engage the starter pinion to the ring gear.

DSCF8312.JPG.192e7d0fdf18fa4a95cd0029be30c324.JPGI would make sure everything is clean and lubed up first. Could be just some binding.

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Smaller fork pulls the starter pin. Larger engages the starter pinion.(sliding gear)

The inside fork is on a threaded shaft for adjustment. The outside Starter pin fork can be spun around since it is set screwed to the threaded shaft changing timing distance.

Timming..... Ignition switch on.....Starter motors..... turning starter pinion slowly.... depress starter pedal to engage pinion with flywheel. At least half of pinion engagement before starter pin is pulled and starter brushes give the high torque to turn the engine over. On my engine the starter was spining before full engagement of the pinion. This should engage with a light toe/foot pressure.

 DSCF8001.JPG.34bc631bb80d5bd85dafb9625b3b7d1a.JPGStarter pinion on top. Sliding gear assembly below with chanel for the fork. My sliding gears were pretty chewed from miss-timing.

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Where the starter tower and fork mechanisim live.

DSCF8310.JPG.63afbdde111efa101ac1ab3f454457dc.JPG   Looking from the engine compartment back. Nut that holds the inspection cover for the gears.

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Fork pivot housing looking from the passenger side toward engine. Many little places to keep oiled.

 

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Yes, I meant the engine oil pan. And good for you. I have seen several old engines ruined by guys who just changed the oil and called it good - subsequently burning bearings out from oil starvation due to sludge plugging  the oil pickup screen.

My own '38 Buick being one by the previous owner.
 

Larry covered the issue well.

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Don: :

The 4" of sludge on my 1937 taught me to do the same on my 1925s.  My 1937 was still being drivern reguarly in the 1970s and 1980s I still thought better to drop the pan and found the swampy mess to clean out. Plasticgaged the bearings and rebuilt the oil pump.The damaged timing gear on my 1925s prompted me to do the same. Trying to pick out all the crumbs of the fiber gear that gets sent thru the engine. The car had been "restored"..... more of a fix up and overhaul in the 1960s thru the 1970s. I do not know what maintainence was done afterward as the car was still being run up to 2012. I assumed I could just change out the oil.  When I dropped that pan there was only 3" of sludge!

 Good thing I did that on the Master as I found that I had to repair the screen on the oil pump pick up.DSCF8180.JPG.0932f5c6e2f893d96087dfc5d30465fa.JPG I found that the oil pump driven gear shaft coupling pin was just about to shear off!

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I made a new pin from drill rod

 At the same time I had new bushing made for the pump shaft to housing and lapped my cover plate.DSCF8172.JPG.22fe72273e99eb96def37ec798fdd8b9.JPG

 I will guarentee that the 1933 "REBUILD" on your 1920's engine was probably in the order of an overhaul. Which entailed new rings, valve job and possibly taking up the bearings. Unless documented of what machine work was done, I would assume the engine to just be overhauled. Many little Gremlis can be lurking as I have found out.

 

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On 7/18/2021 at 8:22 PM, Frank Wilkie said:

thank you very much.. 

 

What's the latest news? Did you figure out the whole "motoring the generator" thing? When you turn the ignition switch on the starter should turn very slowly and make a clicking sound.

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thanks for the inquary..  We haven't got back yet to the starter after we seen it was going to start up..  We are getting the steering column problem straightened out now and will readdress the starter..... My friend that helps me can't get back until Monday or Turesday...  

 

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Well, got most of all the big problems solved except still not getting the clicking sound from the starter/gen for it to line up..  We took the back cover off next to the distributor  and just sprayed some electrical cleaner on the comentator while turning over the engine with the crank.  Checked all wire connectins. Still not getting the clicking .. I guess I'll just live with it for now..    We have got the motor running smooth and quiet.. Remember this was the motor that was rebuilt in 1933 and was never started until now.. Adjusted the clutch and adjusted the brakes. We are going to get it off of the jack stands in a few days or so and drive it out of the building..  

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Got the starter fixed..  Simple , there was a wire missing..  We drove the old beast out of the building today. It has sat and not driven since 1933.. The motor was rebuilt in 1933 and never started..   We went throug a lot of stuff on it of course before we could even get it started.. 

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