View Full Version : Starter help for bugeye please

05-13-2011, 05:47 PM
I finally got a chance to take my wife out in our newly restored Bugeye for a date. The Bugeye started fine. We cruised to the gas station and it drove like a dream. I went to start it up at the gas station and....nothing. I pushed started it, and it started right up. My questions is what would cause a starter to fail suddenly, or is this a matter of the starter switch not working? (The starter switch is brand new.) Couldn't I just run a continuity tester for the starter switch to rule it out? I could also pull out the starter and hook it up with jumper cables to see if it works too. Any other ideas on what I should check?

05-13-2011, 07:32 PM
Yes, you can try all those items. Make sure to take the starter solenoid off before testing it with the continuity checker. But I would check first....grounds, grounds, grounds....and Kevin you have been down this road before.
Check that the ground strap on the transmission, or where ever it is, is tight and making good contact, then check the grounding connection to the firewall, and the battery connections while you are at it. Good luck,
Scott in CA.

05-13-2011, 11:26 PM
Kevin, when you pull the starter cable, you are making connection between the two large lugs on the solenoid. You can eliminate the solenoid from the question by simply crossing the 2 lugs from the outside. Peel back the rubber boots, and WITH THE CAR IN NEUTRAL, touch both terminals at once with a heavy screwdriver. There'll be sparks, but if the starter spins, the start is fine and you should look at the mechanical end of the solenoid.... like the cable,; is it pulling out far enough, etc.

Peter C

05-14-2011, 12:30 PM
Kevin, On worn starters there sometimes is an issue where the Bendix Gear hangs up and doesn't spin back out of the way when the engine starts. On the end of the starter is a square 1/4 drive sticking out. I keep a very small adjustable box wrench in the package shelf just in case this happens again to me. Simply put the wrench on the end of the 1/4" drive and it will easily spin back in. Walk around turn key and engine magically comes back to life. You need one of those cheap shorty adjustable box wrenches and it is just the ticket.

Take a look under the hood at the starter when it seems to be working properly so you have a referece point. When the Bendix hangs up the 1/4" drive will be sticking out between 1/2-3/4". Knock on wood issue has not happened to me since starter was replaced but I'd have it happen once or twice per year with the old starter in Bugsy.

05-14-2011, 12:31 PM
Starters pull a huge amount of current, so even the slightest resistance--i.e., any flaw, even a tiny one--in the wiring connections can stop 'em dead. Of course, it's possible that the starter has failed, but more likely it's just a loose connection, cruddy connection, or something similar. Remember, that bad connection could be the ground strap as well as the "hot" wiring.

05-14-2011, 10:24 PM
I found out the switch is good. When I removed the starter, I found that the plate had lost a screw and was loose. Put everything back together, and found that when I pulled the starter switch, no starter action, but there was a huge draw on electricity, with the lights going dim. I know I have a spare somewhere. I will have to try it and see what happens.

05-14-2011, 11:35 PM
I finally found my spare starter and installed it. Car started right up. Not sure what the problem was with my old starter. I will have to find someone to rebuild it. Any suggestions on someone to rebuild these?

05-15-2011, 03:36 PM
Swap for a new one at your friendly auto store. They will want a core. Price about 50 to 80 bucks.

05-15-2011, 04:51 PM
Sound like something got shorted when you put it back together. It's easy to do.

05-17-2011, 09:25 AM
I finally found my spare starter and installed it. Car started right up. Not sure what the problem was with my old starter. I will have to find someone to rebuild it. Any suggestions on someone to rebuild these?
Hi Kevin,
Most likely your starter came to a rest after it's last start on a "dead spot" on the armature. One of the armature segments has high resistance (usually caused by crud from the brushes and maybe some oil). If that happens again, turn the rotor a little like someone previously mentioned with a wrench to get it off that "spot". you shouldn't need a complete rebuild on the starter; Just remove the rotor and clean it with some fine sand paper or take it to any auto electric rebuild shop and have them turn the armature on their lathe
Good luck