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How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 05, 2017 05:57AM

For those of you that like to tinker with your parts here is something for you. I have heard many people say that my starter spins but won't engage the engine. You replace the solenoid and the same issue is still there! Why? Because IF the starter spins electrically the solenoid is working! The other issues that can cause the non engage situation like a bad starter drive, a bad flywheel, worn out ring gear teeth and maybe more but NOT the solenoid.

So below is what I do when I rebuild starters. I'll include assy pics as I get there. This pile is actually for 3 starters with not all the parts shown.


Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: December 05, 2017 08:24AM

Not that much...

Replace the starter drive - if no engagement

Replace brushes if worn.

Maybe polish the area the brushes ride on

Replace the lever if too worn. (My Corvair mechanic of yore sometimes flipped the lever 180 degrees to use the other side - depends on which lever the starter has.)

Only replaced the solenoid once or twice in 40+ years.

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: December 05, 2017 08:40AM

I should add - my post concerns a (previously) working starter; not a pile of parts in a bin in a humid area where surface rust is possible.

I should add - beware replacing the "paper" washer at the end.

I did that once - the replacement part in the rebuild kit was way too thick and the starter would not turn over.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2017 08:42AM by RobertC.

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 05, 2017 06:34PM

Since the "LEATHER" washer was mentioned it is pretty thick! Unless you don't take out the old one there should be no issues.



One of the things that you need to do is replace the bushings. While they may feel tight that little bit of play adds up.



One of the other things that people think you can get away with is the commutator. I will show you one that looks good. I could just polish it and let it go! Think again, look at the below pictures and you tell me how round the commutators are.



While the out of round doesn't look like much what it does do is make the brushes lose partial contact and cause arcing. This arcing wears the brushes and the commutator and also reduces the starter performance and longevity.
I probably only took off about .007" but think of the speed the starter turns and then think of the bumps as a jump ramp.


This is finished cutting the commutator but is not the final product. I will show more later.


Below is the setup so I can turn the commutator. the thing on the shaft of the starter is called a steady rest and has brass rubbing blocks to keep the long end of the shaft steady and not wobble around. I am only holding on by about 3/16" on the chuck for cutter clearances.


Then you need to make things pretty and to slow down rust. You will notice the inside is NOT painted!



As I progress I'll post a few more pictures.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Date: December 05, 2017 09:15PM

Looks good Ken - Starters are a real problem because of the price of copper if your field or armature needs to be replaced the price suddenly shoots up.

I've gotten to where I prefer to use the hi-torque racing starters - also no nose to break.

Lon Wall
www.corvairunderground.com
503-434-1648

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: December 05, 2017 09:32PM

OK, Ken, why no paint inside? It does not effect magnetic fields. Just clean the spots where grounds are bolted to the case.

I just use the tail stock to hold the other end of the armature when making a light cut on the commutator. Most time I just use a wide file/slow speed turn instead of actual lathe bit/holder. Learned this from motor repair shop. Now, if it needs correction of copper, then it gets a real turn.

I keep picking starters up when people are throwing them away. Lots of spare parts! I've never seen one of these Hi-torque starters. The OEM style works fine.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: ken ()
Date: December 06, 2017 03:35AM

Not worth messing with when the local shop will do it for $50 . I don't do starters , alts, exhaust and upholstery but I will tackle everything else .

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 06, 2017 05:02AM

Frank DuVal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, Ken, why no paint inside? It does not effect
> magnetic fields. Just clean the spots where
> grounds are bolted to the case.
>
> I just use the tail stock to hold the other end of
> the armature when making a light cut on the
> commutator. Most time I just use a wide file/slow
> speed turn instead of actual lathe bit/holder.
> Learned this from motor repair shop. Now, if it
> needs correction of copper, then it gets a real
> turn.
>
> I keep picking starters up when people are
> throwing them away. Lots of spare parts! I've
> never seen one of these Hi-torque starters. The
> OEM style works fine.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

With a wide file you will be relatively flat but I bet not round! Check one on a lathe after you file it. While that is quick and dirty and will work but is not optimal. The pictures I showed could have been originally done with a file!

Paint does affect magnetic fields because it puts a gap between the shoes and the housing creating a ripple in the magnetic field. I have done both ways painted and not on the inside. The non painted ones always spin up faster than painted ones. Until you do that side by side you wouldn't know the difference. I heard a discernible difference in rpm.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: December 06, 2017 07:19AM

Oh, holding file against bed rails for square while turning armature on lathe! Not just filing while holding armature in your hand.winking smiley Yes, that will be out of round in a second... Not that filing even with a lathe is ideal, just quick....

You are right, round IS important. Jumping brushes are arcs.

Now you want me to try both painted and unpainted for a scientific test. Sounds like a winter project. I accept!

I would not put a heavy coat of paint inside the case anyway, as just to keep the pole piece close to the case for clearance to the armature.

I would ask my local rebuilder how he painted his, but he died several years ago... Now the inner city building is a restaurant.eye popping smiley I suspect he usually did not remove the pole pieces, just used another case if the field coils were bad.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: Mark Pietz ()
Date: December 06, 2017 08:26AM

Where are the pics?

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: December 06, 2017 11:09AM

Mark Pietz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Where are the pics?

There are some further up in the thread.

I think he is taking pictures as he does the rebuild - obviously not done yet...

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: DAVECS1 ()
Date: December 06, 2017 08:57PM

I found out through a bit of searching that the HI-Torque starter is the same drive and solenoid used on an early Toyota T100 Tundra. I have not taken the time, to figure out how different the bolt pattern is, but I was able to buy one for 70 dollars to get some needed spare parts for my Hi Torque IHI starter.

1964 Monza Convertible
110 4 speed
Peoria, IL

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 07, 2017 05:32AM

Yes, not done yet and I didn't get a chance to work on the starters yesterday. I should finish them up today. There will be more pictures as different steps are done.

LOL Frank, make sure you use your digital tachometer on the end of the starter shaft.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: December 07, 2017 10:02AM

Ken, I have one of these!:

[www.youtube.com]

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 07, 2017 11:46AM

Frank DuVal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ken, I have one of these!:
>
> [www.youtube.com]
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

LOL
I have one of those also for display! I have a digital contact type for more accurate numbers.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: Mark Pietz ()
Date: December 07, 2017 11:47AM

RobertC Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mark Pietz Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Where are the pics?
>
> There are some further up in the thread.
>
> I think he is taking pictures as he does the
> rebuild - obviously not done yet...

I don't see any pics at all, or the little boxes where they should be (if blocked for whatever reason).

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: December 07, 2017 01:09PM

Mark Pietz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I don't see any pics at all, or the little boxes
> where they should be (if blocked for whatever
> reason).

There are 12 pictures posted.

Browser / setting / app???

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 07, 2017 06:22PM

I don't know what to say about the pictures not being visible, it has to be something that you don't have enabled on your computer.

To continue on with the rebuild I had the armatures turned and ready. There are several directions to go but here I undercut the armature first. This can be done with a cut off hacksaw blade and you draw the cut to you. I have an old armature mating that has a motor and a "Growler". Before I go to far with the armature I like to test it.
The first picture shows an armature sitting on the growler doing the undercut of the commutator.


This is just a close up so you can see what is actually happening.If you look you can see that I had already done a couple of cuts.


Here is a close up of the finished cut.


Why do the undercut? The material in between the segments is mica and the segments are brass. The brass actually wears away and the mica becomes higher than the segments and the brushes will lose contact as they go across the mica and arc.
While I don't specifically have a picture of the growling process what it is is the armature sets in the "V" and you turn on the electro magnet and run the equivalent of a hacksaw blade, sitting to the right, over the armature. If it vibrates and is magnetized to the armature, the armature is no good. You also do what is called a High Pot test. There are 2 leads, draped through and hanging off the back, and you put one on the steel of the armature and the other you run around the commutator. If the little neon light, lower right corner, comes on then one of the segments are shorted and the armature is no good.


When everything checks out its time to put other things together. Since I'm on the armature I usually put the "STARTER DRIVE" on the armature. In the pictures is a tool I got from JC Whitney many years ago. It makes taking the retainer ring off and also putting it on and setting the ring in the retainer.



After that it is time to move to the case and put the brush holders in, the field coils and the brushes. Make note of the way the brushes are put in, yes it makes a difference.


Don't forget the nose bushing! Yes, I made a driver for the bushing.



Don't forget the actuator arm! I know many of you just turn it over and I have in years past and I will if one is only lightly worn. OH, I forgot to mention that the actual plunger is nickel plated!



I also have a Vairy specific way I put the plunger pivot pin in. I ALWAYS make sure the head of the pin is on the top when the starter is installed. Why? IF by chance the snap ring comes off the pin will not just fall out.
I set the nose in the vise just to hold things and then put the armature and starter drive in the nose with the actuator lever. I then set the housing with the brushes onto the armature pulling the brushes out of the way. I don't tighten the brushes until I have the housing setting like you see it.



Don't forget the leather washer! It does take some grease on it along with the bushing.


Then it's time to put the "front" (rear) cover on and tighten things down. Then the solenoid goes on. I'll test it out when I get all three finished. Believe it or not there is actually a little break-in I do. I actually let the starter spin for a few seconds. You can actually hear the rpm go up as the brushes and the bushings wear in. I let the starter run like that a few different times until I am satisfied the rpm is good. I'll see if I can't get a video of the starter running and the solenoid actuating tomorrow.


Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: December 07, 2017 09:30PM

Excellent pictures, Ken.

Good prose also.

Some rebuilders say the "mica" does not need to be undercut on starters. Generators, with soft carbon brushes, yes. The GM shop manuals for Corvairs, and other GM products of the 60s, say to undercut starter commutators 1/32", so carry on! winking smiley

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: How Far Should You Go with a Starter Rebuild?
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: December 08, 2017 03:29AM

FYI How a growler works: VIDEO

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block
86' BMW 325es
98' Dodge 2500 12v Cummins Diesel with 1200 lb torque!
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo

NFCC
Grand Island, NY

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