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Old 01-11-2019, 07:45 PM   #231
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Ok, I got new batteries installed. Threw the main breaker and the freewheeling sound started up just like before. I just turned everything off and went inside (I didn't try starting the bus).


So, now I'm really concerned. Did I break the starter?
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:55 PM   #232
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That sounds like welded contacts in the starter. With age the contact area lessens and they just weld from the heat and can't disconnect.


If you can safely crawl under with a bfh and give the starter a few whacks. Might free those contacts but likely will need removal.


John
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:55 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
That sounds like welded contacts in the starter. With age the contact area lessens and they just weld from the heat and can't disconnect.

If you can safely crawl under with a bfh and give the starter a few whacks. Might free those contacts but likely will need removal.

John

I've been researching this for over two weeks now. Nowhere on the internet is the "contacts are welded" answer. This answer makes perfect sense to me.


Thank you so very much! I don't know if I can get under it, but I have a huge davenport in the floor above the engine, so I'll see if I can get to it that way.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:38 PM   #234
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Ok, I now have a very sad face.





And of course I wanted to say some expletives.





So, after purchasing a furnace key and a 5/16" square, 2" bar stock, I finally got the floor hatch up. The engine is literally directly below the hatch. The starter is underneath a mess of wires, tubes, and the air intake (a honkin' 4" stainless? steel tube). I can't get to it from above. I can't get to the starter from the side as its all steel framing. I can't get to the starter from below 'cause I can't get under the bus.


I'm soooo really stuck now. Looks like its a tow unless the community here has some sort of incredible idea. I'm fresh out.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:15 PM   #235
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The freewheeling you describe is the starter motor turning but not turning over the engine.?
With most starters you have a large relay that delivers current to the starter solenoid. that current also gets the starter to run but it has no power at that moment. At the same second the starter starts spinning the solenoid would engage and push the now rotating starter gear in the flywheel. As soon as the starter gear is engaged with the flywheel gear it closes the main contact that allows full battery current and torque to turn the engine over.

So if you hear only freewheeling and no click when you connect the battery I would look for the smaller wire out of the starter motor and disconnect that.
Does the motor still freewheel.?
If not the likely your solenoid is stuck and does not engage the starter motor. As john mentioned a whack with a hammer can dislodge it. ( temp solution) At the same time you need to see why you have voltage on the smaller wire in the first place. Potential the starter relay is stuck in on position.
Assume you have a 24 v system.

Good luck Johan
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:44 PM   #236
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From what I understand, the solenoid that is supposed to slide the starter worm gear forward is the agent that then provides power to the actual starter motor once the worm gear has fully slid forward and engaged the engine's flywheel.



Whenever I engage the main breaker (to provide electricity to the whole system), I hear a "freewheeling motor" sound. The theory is that the contactor on the worm gear has welded to the contacts, providing power to the starter motor even though the worm gear hasn't slid forward, so the starter motor is spinning w/o being in contact with the flywheel.


All that to say that I have to physically get to the starter before I can do anything to it. Doesn't look like I can even get to the starter to even begin verifying that theory is actuality.


I'll post pics tomorrow once I get better shots from above. The pics I have are very grainy because I had very little light for the camera to work with.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:42 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
From what I understand, the solenoid that is supposed to slide the starter worm gear forward is the agent that then provides power to the actual starter motor once the worm gear has fully slid forward and engaged the engine's flywheel.



Whenever I engage the main breaker (to provide electricity to the whole system), I hear a "freewheeling motor" sound. The theory is that the contactor on the worm gear has welded to the contacts, providing power to the starter motor even though the worm gear hasn't slid forward, so the starter motor is spinning w/o being in contact with the flywheel.


All that to say that I have to physically get to the starter before I can do anything to it. Doesn't look like I can even get to the starter to even begin verifying that theory is actuality.


I'll post pics tomorrow once I get better shots from above. The pics I have are very grainy because I had very little light for the camera to work with.

Marky your thinking above is correct and well written.



Throwing the main breaker starts the starter motor running correct?



No need to even use the key or start switch correct?


You can remove the starter relay and see what happens then. I think nothing will change doing this so verify with a similar relay in that one's place. Without the relay in there no power gets to the starter solenoid period.


That takes us then to the starter solenoid itself, which should test for no power on it without the starter relay in place. A definite physical impossibility.


So the starter motor is getting full current amps from the batteries only because the internal contacts are already made without any assistance from the starter solenoid itself, powered up or not.


You have to get that bus up and get under it. Not an easy job without a wrecker lifting the backup and lots of hardwood blocking, front wheels chocked really well to old back that much weight.
If the wrecker can't get at for a lift he will have to move it to where he can safely do so.
The bus has to go up high because you won't handle the starter without some mechanical jacking to lower it if need be.

In any case you have to first get the solenoid off of it and see what is happening.

Disconnecting the small wire on that will answer if the main contactor is kaputski. The motor should stop running on upon disconnecting that wire.



I see no other way unless you tow it in for service if you aren't up to it for whatever reason.
The starter will be a struggle due to its size and weight. You only get one chance so do not let it come down on you if it has to come out.
Best of luck brother.


John
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:01 PM   #238
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Yea, I came to the same conclusion - I'm going to have to jack the bus. Getting a wrecker behind the bus will be a real trick (I don't think I have the room even if I could get a wrecker behind it because my detached garage is about 20' behind the bus). I think I'm going to have to jack the bus w/o the use of a wrecker. I've got one 20-ton jack that can be air powered. I had plans to buy another, but hadn't yet. I was also thinking of using my AC-powered air compressor to feed air into the bus to get the bags inflated to give me more ground clearance.



Towing the bus out may be nigh impossible. I live on a narrow road with a telco box on the other side of the road from my driveway, a power pole on one side of the driveway (I've already hung my bus up on it...), and front yard and mailboxes on the other side of the driveway. Its tight even to get the bus out under its own power, so getting it out with a large-ish / long-ish tow truck is going to cost some $$$ (or be impossible).


So I really don't see any other option than to jack and replace. The whole operation is going to be high-risk because I've never jacked something this big before. I've also never cribbed before. It'll definitely be interesting....
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:24 PM   #239
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Yes there are several starter motor designs. You will get familiar with them quickly. If indeed the main contact is welded then and the full battery voltage is on the starter then that will destroy in short order. The starter motor is a series design and without load it will get into a run away mode. If it is designed, as mine is, that the solenoid current is used to already bring the starter motor in motion as to improve the meshing of the gears then there is less chance on destruction. Just look at the gauge of the wires coming from the starter motor can tell you what design it is.
Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:24 AM   #240
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Thank you, JoeBlack!


I've been spending time w/ YouTube vids of jacking big rigs, changing tires, etc. I've got a good idea about how to do this now. The fun part will be getting my bottle jacks under the bus and positioned correctly under the suspension. I've got clear access for everything else (chocking, etc.).


Once I have the bus jacked I'll have a better idea about getting to the starter.


BTW, the starter is an MT42 style. The Delco Remy part has been obsoleted three times already, but I found the latest part number that should fit. The whole starter assembly is around 58lbs. and it looks like I can get a whole new one for about $300, so that's probably what I will do. However, I'll cross that bridge when I get across all the others (i.e. jacking the bus, getting to and removing the starter, etc., etc.).


If anyone else has any recommendations, history, funny stories, etc., to add, please chime in!


Thank you all!
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