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1915 REO starter mechanism


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I am working a 1915 REO which has been parked for about 40 years. After cleaning and prepping the car I put a battery in and pressed the starter pedal. The starter motor has a worm gear which turns a capstan gear that turns freely on a shaft that runs between the engine and the transmission. There is a smaller gear attached to the shaft. the capstan gear has a pawl that is suppose to grab onto  the smaller gear but there is a spring pulling the pawl up so it doesn't drop into the slots on the smaller gear. ( see first photo ) On the opposite side of the capstan gear the shaft of the pawl extends through the gear. ( see second photo ) There is spring that hangs down above the capstan gear but if it was connected to the pawl shaft the gear couldn't turn 360 degrees without breaking the spring. I don't understand how this is suppose to work. Am I missing a piece?   Any information about this would be greatly appreciated.


Upon closer examination, it is apparent that the dangling rusty spring is part of the starter pedal return and not part of the pawl engagement mechanism so still no idea about how the pawl gets engaged.








Edited by pughs
addition info (see edit history)
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A member of the HCCA was kind enough to send me a photo and description of a metal cable that is missing from the starter mechanism. The cable is 11" long and hooks on the dangling spring shown in a previous post and holds the grooved pulley on the shaft in place when the starter pedal is depressed. (see photo). If anyone has such a cable that they would like to sell, please let me know. Thank you to all for your help and interest.




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When the starter is engaged, the pawl on the large gear drops into a notch on the smaller gear (see first photo). When the engine starts and turns faster than the shaft, the pawl pops out of the notch as an overrun device. Maybe clutch is the wrong terminology.



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