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Bob Riding

Started the wagon - burned up the bendix?

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Well, after a year of other projects, I finally got back to working on the P10 wagon and got it running on Saturday. The 218 came from a flatbed Pilothouse farm truck I bought (for the engine) a few years ago for $500. The truck isn't much - no glass or gauges, the spider gears in the pumpkin are welded together (for better traction in the mud), etc., but the motor was rebuilt by a mechanic and runs sweetly.

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I've been using a "Jump 'N Start" portable car battery starter to start the wagon, and I put the red lead to the bendix post and the black to ground. It works great, except last night the bendix stopped working - I'm not sure if the 12volt portable starter caused the problem (it was a new bendix)

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Are bendixes not able to carry higher voltages?

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Next steps after fuel tank and fuel line install is the cowl.

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Hey Bob long time no see. good to have you back. I think I would be checking the amp draw on that starter. It must be pulling a ton in order to melt that copper lug. There was just a question on the truck board regarding where the engine grounds. Perhaps with all the new paint, you have compromised the engine's ground to the frame. That might cause the starter to have to work really hard to crank the engine. Simplest thing to do would be to run a dedicated ground cable from the engine, like off a cleaned up bell housing bolt back to the battery, or check to assure that your battery cables properly sized and have clean tight connections. Also what are you using for a cable to the starter, as it doesn't show in your pics? Gotta be at minimum 1 gauge for 6V.

The other cause might be worn bushings in the starter. They can become sloppy enough to allow the armature to drag on eh field coils when the energize. This friction added to the resistance of the engine drag when cranking can heat thing up in a hurry.

Pull the sheet metal cover off the starter and take a look inside for any signs of melted solder, another indication of too much drag and heat.

But my first guess would be corrupted grounds from all that nice shiny paint.

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You mentioned that you put the red lead from your jump box onto the starter and the black to ground. It should be the other way around because the Plymouth is positive ground. I doubt if that had anything to do with your issue, but it's something to keep in mind for the future.

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Good to be back. My resolution for 2012 is to spend more time with my beloved...my wife understands!

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I am using a braided grounding strap on the tranny,but I did run the starter motor for 10-15 seconds a few times when we were messing with the timing...now that I know it will start and run, I'll switch back to the 6 volt battery. I will also check the starter motor for damage. Great advice.

Thanks!

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Per the poster in your shop, what color are you going to "Paint Your Wagon"?

That is one of my favorite movies.

Great minds think alike...It is one of my top 2 favorite movies - the other is "Little Big Man" with Dustin Hoffman, which we watched last night on blu-ray.

On a woody, it's all about the wood, so the paint color is important. This is the hardest part of this restoration, because I won't know if I got it wrong until after I do the wood.

All 1940 Plymouth woodys came with "Hampton Beige", and blond ash with light maple panels...see the ad

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- very bland as far as I'm concerned.

If you remember, it was the same color as my 1940 Dodge

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The color that I'm leaning towards this week is a 1939-40 Plymouth color called "Aviator Blue".

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I've taken the original chip page to my local custom paint guy and he was unable to use the Sherwin Williams codes to come up with anything, so he is going to try to duplicate it by hand for me. He will have a quart done next week, which I'll play with.

Here is approximately what I'm looking for, color-wise.

1940-Plymouth-Sedan-sy-1153.jpg

Didn't Plymouth carry "Aviator Blue" through 1949?

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P1010877.jpg

Are bendixes not able to carry higher voltages?

A "BENDIX" carries NO voltage. A switch or solenoid carries the voltage. What you burned up in the PIC is a SWITCH. The "BENDIX" is the drive mechinism that engages the starter motor armature to the flywheel.

Edited by fatFreddie

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From what I see in your picture, it looks like there is some pitting which is common but it looks like there is plenty of copper left to make the connection. - Am I missing something?

I would think you could just clean up the contacts and be good to go again.

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I didn't catch this the first time I looked at your pics, but it looks like that starter switch can be adjusted to vary the length of the shaft between the button & contact. I had a similar problem before, and it looked like the contacts were not meshing fully, as arc scorches were present on the contacts, as well as some of the melted slag look that you have. I cleaned up the contacts to make for flat surfaces, and turned the button to increase the length of the shaft to put the button closer to the lever. This allowed for shorter engagement of the foot pedal and more pressure on the contact surfaces, eliminating any arcing that could occur.

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That switch looks good. Maybe a little contact sanding or light file clean up. The upper copper contact floats a bit. It has two 45 degree surfaces that make electrical contact.

Look at the round plunger-it probably can be screwed in or out for adjusting plunger length. The plunger might not be pushing the upper contact tight to the lower motor contact. Not all are adjustable though.

The 12 volt jump start clamps sometimes don't make 100% good electrical connections on steel conections - on lead cables they do and all the current gets to the starter motor. I'd make sure you have excellent proper big 1 Gauge size USA made cables. Make sure your ground connection is clean and in the correct factory location on the engine and a new H-Duty 6 volt battery . Then do your start/cranking and see if all is well. If not-starter rebuild time.

I helped a guy with a P8 and same issue. The problem was small long cheap battery cables. The battery was under the seat , same as yours. Too much voltage drop over that long run.

Bob.

Edited by Dodgeb4ya

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I think you guys nailed it. I found a spare switch and it didn't look too much different from the other. I'll make some adjustments and see what happens.

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