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Stuck Bendix Drive

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  • Stuck Bendix Drive

    Hi all,

    While starting up this morning, the almost-new "modern" Bendix drive jammed. I got the starter off of the engine and there doesn't appear to be any damage to the ring gear or the starter itself. Here's the problem: The drive is stuck in the extended position you see in the picture and I can't compress it to get to the screw to remove it. I tried to use the tool that's normally for installation/removal, but it didn't budge the drive.

    Any thoughts/tips/tricks on how to get the drive to compress? I can probably cut it but if memory serves there's a spring in the housing that will probably complicate things.

    Thanks for your help. My vacation is over after today so I won't be bugging you all with these questions as often!

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  • #2
    What I do to install and remove the new style bendix that you have there, is on the inside there is a spring clip that helps hold it together, I remove that clip and use a small C-clamp to compress the internal spring and remove the set screw. If you don't remove the clip you are fighting both of the springs making much harder to get that set screw out.

    You might be able to crack the binding loose by just removing that spring clip. Be sure to wear the safety equipment as that spring is the type that you use a screwdriver to remove!!

    You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!


    • Mitch
      Mitch commented
      Editing a comment
      Your not bugging anyone by asking questions, that is the purpose of being here

  • #3
    I see the early starter switch on a later starter. do you have a multiple plate clutch?


    • #4
      Thanks for the suggestions and the encouragement!

      I got the drive off. I couldn't get to the spring clip either, so I resorted to drilling out a little of the outer ring to get access to the screw. Came off cleanly after that. I'd love to know why it jammed - hoping it's not a recurring issue. I plan on calling Bratton's tomorrow to talk about it, as these new US-built drives are supposed to be better - just got the drive a couple of months ago and haven't used it much at all.

      Thanks again!

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      • #5
        Hi Jim,

        Not sure about the multiple plate clutch, or even what it is but I'd be happy to check it out.

        The car was built in April of 1929 and has the 5/8-inch shaft on the starter. Absolutely does have the older starter switch but my understanding was that the first generation of starters with the 5/8-inch shaft still had the older style switch - that's just based on a video I watched though so I could absolutely be wrong.

        I purchased the car about two years ago with very little history so I don't know if the starter I have now was a replacement later.

        Any guidance on where to look to find out more about the multiple plate clutch or when the starter was built?

        Thanks for the heads up.


        • #6
          put the starter in a large vise and using jumper cables to a battery give it a spin, to check for a bent shaft.
          Always be sure to have the spark fully retarded when starting to avoid bending the shaft.

          a bent shaft will play havoc with either the old or new style drive


          • #7
            "Should be better" than what?
            I've never had a problem with my original starter and drive.
            All starters after October 1928 should have the newer style switch and the 5/8" shaft.
            That is a lot of mix and match on starter and generator parts, and that adds to confusion and makes it harder to restore using correct parts.


            • #8
              Tom, there was initially a modern style drive that was made overseas which was not well made. There are now available USA made modern drives, to which he is referring


              • #9
                I am not sure where to post the following information. I have a 1931 Model A closed cab pickup and the other day when I went to start it the starter just spun and the Bendix drive did not engage. After removing the starter, I discovered that one of the Bendix spring screws had backed out and it and the lock washer, that had been improperly installed, had fallen into the flywheel housing. Not wanting to leave the loose parts in the flywheel housing as that could cause serious damage, I used a flexible magnetic pickup tool from Performance Tool P/N W25934 available at O'Reilly Auto Parts. I was able to retrieve the bolt and lock washer on the first try.
                Last edited by George B; 09-13-2018, 06:57 PM.


                • JDupuis
                  JDupuis commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Welcome to the VFF George!
                  Posting on this thread is great, as it is related to the starter bendix. . Jeff

                • DaWizard
                  DaWizard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hey George B, WELCOME to the VFF!!

                  Glad to hear you did not break the bendix and were able to gather up the loose parts.

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