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Old 02-09-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
RobertB
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Default New 31 wont start

OK...get ready to laugh at the newbie. I tried taking the 31 SWTS out of the garage this morning...getting ready to change out the tires.

After maybe five minutes of trying off and on to start it...the starter quit turning the engine over and when I press the starter switch it sounds like the starter was turning, but the bendix was not engaging the flywheel.

I searched the past discussions and decided the bendix must be stuck, so I pulled the starter loose and it was sliding back and forth on the shaft with no problem.

Re-installed the starter and still no joy...sounds like the starter drive gear is turning but not engaging. The teeth on the fly wheel were fine too.

By the way, sometime in the middle of this I realized I had forgotten to turn the fuel on! But still, the starter is not working now. I had to enlist the wife and grand daughter to push it back into the garage.

So do I order a new starter?

RBH
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:06 PM   #2
RonC
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

Was the starter spring broken?
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:27 PM   #3
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

If the battery is weak, if the oil is gummed up on the drive, if the starter is dragging, oil on the starter brushes ---all these will give you the problem you are having

What is the battery voltage?, what is the battery voltage when the starter is turned on? ---it could be just the battery is low on charge.

Have you tried the hand crank?, it has always worked for me when the battery was low and the starter wouldn't work
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #4
jm29henry
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

I agree sounds like a broken spring .you could pull the top of the distributor cap and see if the motor is turning over. hope this help .if you have no luck please let us know so we can keep helping
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:16 PM   #5
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

Charge the battery and try it again. Lead/acid batteries should be kept at a full charge. Long term storage at a low charge shortens the battery's life.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:46 PM   #6
RobertB
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

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I'll charge the battery and try again. I used my multi meter and it showed 6.8 volts at the starter switch terminal.

When I unbolted the starter, I did not take it completely out of the car. I'll do that next and bench check it. That should show me it the bendix is moving correctly, no?

Thanks for the responses. It will probably be the weekend before I can get at it again.

RBH
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

My vote is oil on the helix of the starter drive. I've had this happen on my 31 sedan. Remove the starter and clean with lacquer thinner the grooves (helix) that the bendix turns back and forth on. Even the lightest oil will attract clutch dust and won't let the gear spin to meet the flywheel ring gear. when this happens, you can hear the starter hum and turn like an electric motor but the bendix won't engage. If one of the bendix bolts has fallen off it will have the same effect, this is common. If you didn't completely remove the starter you may not have noticed the bendix bolts, especially if you aren't familiar with model A starters.

Last edited by Purdy Swoft; 02-10-2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: addinfo
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
Patrick L.
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Default Re: New 31 wont start

As long as the starter motor is running then I agree with the dirty/gummy starter drive or a broken retainer. If its a broken bolt, get the piece out. Drives are easily cleaned and new ones are readily available. But, anyway, once the starter is out I think you'll see the problem.
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