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Replacing starter brushes??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by uglysteve, May 13, 2013.

  1. Me and a buddy are working on a 54' ford customline and today we went to start it up and just got clicking from the solenoid. Battery has a full charge. we just replaced the solenoid. So we're thinking maybe its the starter. i read a couple other threads and they suggested changing the starter brushes. So we started pulling it apart and ordered a set of brushes.

    Neither of us have taken a starter apart before and are wondering how to get a couple of these brushes off. I got the 2 that just have screws off but the other 2 are different. Any advice on what to do? do we just pry these clamp looking things open and clamp the new ones in? do i need to solder the new ones? sorry if these are dumb questions. like i said i've never pulled apart a starter before and i dont want to ruin it. I'm honestly not even sure if the brushes are that worn or not.

    Here's pictures.

    Attached Files:

  2. wood470
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 226


    Usually when the brushes are worn out more rebuilding is called for. The commutator should be turned round again and the insulation between the bars should be cut down below the surface of the commutator. Probably worth the money to by a rebuilt unless you are reshoot broke or want to do it for the experience
  3. while you have it apart you should test the armature on a's been a while since i've used one of those. check the field coils too
  4. mikes51
    Joined: Oct 4, 2001
    Posts: 2,195


    I worked at a generator starter shop many many years ago. Posters are right, commutator shoud be turned, coils checked etc. Unless you have the equipment to borrow, you're better off buying a rebuild one.

    You could try the old fix it in a dirt field approach, we all tried it first, maybe save a few bucks. Sand the commutator so all the old brush material is gone and copper shows, scrap out the slots in between. Probably should order the gear or bendix I think it's called that meshes with your flywheel.

    Sorry, can't help you with the brushes. Everyone I remember had a wire coming out the back, you just screwed that back in place. Find the spring and make sure it's pushing the brushes towards the center. edit just saw your pics looks to me like you pry the tab up and solder on the two wires from the brush. They look soldered in the photo.

    BTW 40 years ago you had to be desperate for a job if you ran the lathe turning commutators on generators and starters. The lathe never stopped spinning, there was a big handle, called a quick release chuck. You threw the armature into the spinning chuck and pulled the handle to grab the part. You turned the commutator, then if you hit the handle at the right speed, the armature flew out of the chuck (spinning) and you caught the thing in midair. Needless to say your hands were taped up each morning as if you were entering a boxing ring.
    Last edited: May 14, 2013

  5. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,054

    from Hawaii

    Agreed. The result may well be alot cheaper than you might think. Those brushes don't look bad at all, do you have a picture of the commutator? Sometimes just removing and cleaning the field coils (remove, wash and then heat in the oven at 200 degrees for a couple of hours; not recommended alongside the wife's cake:eek:) and replacing the insulators gives big smiles. Cleaning and electrical isolation ain't that hard to do. Uglysteve I hope you'll follow up with 1947knuck.
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  6. Awesome thanks for all the info so far guys. Sounds like a good option is to have the thing rebuilt. We were tryin to go a cheap route but if there's one thing I've learned 99% of the time it's better to spend the money and get things done right. 1947knuck ill send you a pm right now.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  7. Holy shit! That sounds pretty intense.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad

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