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plymouth starter/flywheel trouble

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tb33anda3rd, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. having a problem with a 1950 plymouth starter. customer installed new flywheel and overdrive tranny, but ran out of time to finish the project and brought it to me with a pile of parts both new and old [driveshaft, trunions, e-brake cable, od cable etc.... and a reman starter that i installed. crank it over once it did not sound right. cranked it over again...clunk... then sounded REAL BAD. pulled the inspection cover and found hair sized shavings, pulled the starter and it had broken the nose off the end of the starter. the flywheel looks fine and has 172 teeth. is the starter is wrong or the flywheel? has anyone seen this before? it is the original flat six, and it has been converted to 12 volts.
    customer said he has gone through a "few" starters that had ruined the flywheel [why he put a new one on.
     
  2. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Sure sounds like an incorrect starter or ring gear, causing it to bind and break the nose cone. Got a '59 in here a few years ago with a flathead six and powerflite auto trans, the PO had installed a starter with incorrect tooth count with the same results.

    ---John
     
  3. that is what i am thinking. thought someone might know which starter to order.
     
  4. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,014

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    The 6 volt and 12 volt starters don't interchange. Use a 6 volt starter with a 6 volt flywheel. Even when run on 12 volts these tough ole starters last for years.
     

  5. is that what the problem is?
     
  6. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,006

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Never did it with a Plymouth, but I sure can tell you that with a GMC you need to use the 6 volt starter with a 6 volt flywheel. The 12 volt ring gear has many more teeth than the 6 volt. I expect this is pretty universal. And yes years ago I ran a 12 volt battery in my '49 Olds and it spun that 6 volt starter really good and fast. Starters actually lasted longer since the engine started so quickly.
     
  7. i did a search here and the flywheel should be 146 tooth. i do not know what starter i have. it may be a 6 volt starter.
     
  8. hkestes
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 565

    hkestes
    Member
    from Plano, TX

  9. this appears to be the right starter for the 172 tooth wheel. 1" starter drive gear, teeth 5/16 apart. i took the starter apart and can roll the gear around the flywheel with no meshing problems. before i took it apart i put power to it and it spun true.
    could this starter have broke on it's own? i doubt it.
    could there have been something "in" the bellhousing that got caught? there are no signs of it.
    could this be the wrong bell housing?
     
  10. pictures
     

    Attached Files:

  11. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223

    F&J
    Member

    I never messed with a Mopar flat 6 that new :)


    All I can suggest; Take the drive gear out of the starter, hold it against the flywheel teeth, then see if the center of the drive gear aligns with the 2 starter mount bolt centers.

    If it was off enough in diameter to break the nose, it should be obvious if you can test align it like this.
     
  12. thanks Frank! i read some where that the first flat six bell housings had the starter in towards the flywheel 1/4 inch, but this one is not that far off. i will hold the drive gear up in the hole in the am.
     
  13. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    plym49
    Member
    from Earth

    Is the axis of the starter motor exactly parallel with the axis of the crankshaft? If not, perhaps something is not true, that might cock the starter gear when engaged and could explain a fracture like that.
     
  14. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223

    F&J
    Member

    Might have been on Duford's thread from England? He ran into starter fit problems, because the pre-34 motor did not have a water jacket on the lower half of the cylinders, so the early starter hugged the block more...I think.

    i don't recall what year motor or what year starter, but it would not clear the block, or would not quite line up as far as the snout and bolts.

    There were some experienced mopar starter guys on that problem, I believe. They knew what was wrong.
     
  15. i wonder how i can check that? i do have a bunch of old metal framing squares, i could sacrifice one, cut one end down so it will fit on the starter mounting surface then measure to the block. or?
     
  16. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    plym49
    Member
    from Earth

    You could also probably rig up something using a dial indicator. It would probably involve a lot of steps but it could be done.

    For example, with the BH off you can check the axial runout of the flywheel. Let's say it is true. Then mount the DI on the face of the flywheel and check for runout against the bellhousing flange on the block. And so on - step at a time, establish a frame of reference and keep going down the line.
     
  17. raff23089
    Joined: May 15, 2010
    Posts: 70

    raff23089
    Member

    I dropped a connecting rod in my 50 Plymouth. I bought a used motor to replace it and put the flywheel/clutch assembly from the old motor on the replacement. When I tried to start her up it sounded like the starter was grinding. It did start but the starter gear was rubbing on the flywheel. Did some research online (think I found the info here on HAMB) discovered there were two different flywheels, one is something like 1/4 inch closer to block than the other, has to do with the thickness of the crank flange I think. I assumed you could just interchange them with no problem (I was wrong as usual). Temporary solution for me was to make a spacer to move the starter away from the flywheel. Not ideal because now the nose of the starter is likely not properly seated in the register in the bellhousing. Proper solution is to take it apart and put the flywheel on that was on the used motor I bought. I didn't use the flywheel from that motor because it was rusty and pitted and figured I could save some time and a few bucks by not getting it machined. I'm still running it with the spacer but I know it's wrong and it bugs me. Looks like I'm still going to spend the few bucks and a lot more time.....oh well. Hope that helps. I'm sure someone with infinitely more knowledge than myself will chime in.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  18. hkestes
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 565

    hkestes
    Member
    from Plano, TX

    What raff is referring to is the difference between the 218 and 230 flywheels. The 230 had a thicker crank flange so the flywheel had a 3/16 recess milled into the mating face to compensate for the added flange thickness. If your customer installed a 230 flywheel on a 218 crank that could cause issues with the flywheel being too close to the nose of the starter.
     
  19. thanks Raff and hkestes. that makes sense, and will give me something else to look for. i will have an update later.
     
  20. raff23089
    Joined: May 15, 2010
    Posts: 70

    raff23089
    Member

    Both of my motors are 218's, verified by checking serial #'s, first one was a 1953 and second was a 1950. When I bought the second one it had been in a 1946 Dodge truck and had the truck bellhousing and a starter which had some sort of foot switch still attached. But having said that one of those motors could have been rebuilt at some point in the past with the 230 crank and rods. Ahh the fun of buying used parts with my limited budget. When I do get around to attempting to fix mine I'll measure the crank flanges and compare flywheels. It would probably be wise for me to try to measure the bore/stroke of the dead motor just in case that's got the 230 crank. Thanks for the info hkestes.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  21. update; with the snout, tack welded back on, i put the starter, without the field housing, back up in the bell housing. it went in fine with no binding. i turned the armature so the teeth would mesh, which they did.... but... if i rotated it back and forth, there was quite a bit of play [almost 30 degrees]. i think this 172 tooth flywheel needs the larger diameter starter drive.
     
  22. update: larger starter drive did not work, it was the proper distance from the flywheel but the different sized teeth would not allow the starter to turn.
    so with nothing to loose,i put the smaller starter drive back on and i filed the boss that fit into the bell housing to allow it to move closer to the ring gear. i left the field housing off so i could "sneak up" on the "fit". when i got to the point of, against the flywheel, but not tight, i welded along the opposite side and filed it till it slid into the bellhousing without any movement. all that was left was opening the holes so the bolts would go back in.
    motor cranked, smooth and quiet.:D
    any body see any problems with this fix?
    i am guessing this is an "odd" bellhousing?
     
  23. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223

    F&J
    Member

    done the way you say; moving the "hubcentric", it should be like new.

    ..if the gear pitch is correct.
     
  24. the starter drive gear and flywheel ring gear are a "matched set" 172 tooth ring gear, and a 1" 9 tooth starter drive gear. i rolled the drive gear around the ring gear before i put it back in the starter, it fit perfect. when i was fitting it, i was able to turn the motor by turning the armature by hand [starter installed without field housing] and i made a full revolution without any binding.
    i am happy with it.
     
  25. I'm having starter issues in my '39 Ply; '55 Dodge 230 engine/starter using the original 146 tooth flywheel, drilled to bolt up to the Dodge crank. There seem to be meshing issues as I'm experiencing some chipped teeth on the ring gear. Do I need a Dodge 146 tooth flywheel?
     
  26. read post #20
    pull the inspection cover and look up at the starter to see how it is meshing. i took the starter apart so i could rotate the armature by hand to see how it meshed. it seems like a lot of trouble but it is more trouble to change a flywheel or replace a broken starter. post pictures when you pull it apart.
     
  27. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,552

    73RR
    Member

    ...not sure what needed drilling... Most Plymouth cranks are 4 bolt but some 6 bolt have been seen, similarly, most Dodge cranks are 8 bolt but I have some 6 bolt. 6 bolts are adequate for 99.99% of all applications and there is little need to use all 8 unless they are already there.
    So, if you needed to drill the flywheel because it was a 4 bolt then this is part of the problem.

    The 146T flywheel was used up to 1957, then 57 to 62(?) used 172; 6 volt was used until 1956; so the only 12 v starter for 146T was then 1956.
    The difference in flywheels between the 201-208-218 (US engines) and the larger engines (230 +) is in the flange projection from the block face...1" on the 218 and 1.1875" on the big guys. This difference is made up in the flywheel, not the bellhousing. There are some minor difference in the flange thicknesses but it does not affect the flywheel.
    The 172 T flywheel is huge, OD wise, and you must use a compatible bellhousing.

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  28. To clarify; the motor is a '55 Dodge 230 with 8 bolt pattern on the crank. I'm using the '55 starter that came on the engine. I drilled the original 4 bolt '39 Ply (146 tooth) flywheel and am using the '39 clutch.

    "...not sure what needed drilling... Most Plymouth cranks are 4 bolt but some 6 bolt have been seen, similarly, most Dodge cranks are 8 bolt but I have some 6 bolt. 6 bolts are adequate for 99.99% of all applications and there is little need to use all 8 unless they are already there.
    So, if you needed to drill the flywheel because it was a 4 bolt then this is part of the problem".

    I'm not sure I understand why re-drilling the flywheel to fit the crank is a problem?
     

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