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Old 12-17-2017, 09:20 PM   #11
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It is not mentioned here yet but I think it is your override ( one way) clutch that is slipping. This clutch ensures that the starter motor is not driven by the flywheel if something is hanging. If the bendix would be broken then your starter does not speed up since the bendix also closes the main contact for full starter current.

good luck, later, J
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:01 AM   #12
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Like said prior, the bendix gear is likely your culprit with the starter. You can see how it works here. Most starters are capable of being rebuilt, it's just the parts won't be on the shelf at the local auto store. You can purchase and install the bendix, and if you choose that route, I'd rebuild the solenoid as well. Those 2 things are usually the common failure points in a starter motor.

As far as your alternator goes, the only way belt tension would be a player is if there ISN'T enough tension on it and the belt is slipping. Otherwise it's likely the regulator cutting in and out causing your issues. Check and make sure the terminals are all clean and tight first.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:18 AM   #13
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For common engines, a starter/alternator rebuild shop probably has one on the shelf. They'll swap you for yours and you'll be out the door in 10 minutes instead of waiting for yours to be rebuilt, and they'll sell it to the next guy. I've had great success with rebuilders.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
For common engines, a starter/alternator rebuild shop probably has one on the shelf. They'll swap you for yours and you'll be out the door in 10 minutes instead of waiting for yours to be rebuilt, and they'll sell it to the next guy. I've had great success with rebuilders.
Rebuilt is usually a much better bet than new Chinese.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:24 PM   #15
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The starter needs replacing or rebuilding. The only way it would be "connected" to the alternator problem is if there is a bad short in the starter, and then it would get hot and possibly smoke, and probably kill your battery when the motor is not running.

The negative/positive on the ammeter is not battery voltage, it shows whether the battery is being charged or drained, and how fast. It should always show charging (+ I think) when the motor is running, and drop to (-) when starting, as the starter is pulling lots of amps, and the alternator is not yet spinning fast enough to produce current.

If you have a large load (giant spotlights, 3x5000W audio amplifiers, etc.) the alternator may not produce enough current and your ammeter may then show (-) with the motor running.

Fix the starter, then focus on the alternator, if your ammeter is still showing wonky. I think it and the wiring is OK, or it would go from charging (+) to neutral (in the center, as when the vehicle is off). It is not a rocket-science instrument, just a simple electromagnet.
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:57 PM   #16
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Just wondering how this issue is turf. Any difference in situation?
A belt too tight like yours might do some skipping when it is under load and be fine when you ease up. Loosen it off a touch.
Are you sure there isn't a problem in your headlights themselves?
Let us know,

John
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:18 PM   #17
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i'll have to move the bus again this weekend so i'll have a chance to start it up and see if the electric gremlins stike again.

i very much appreciate all the feed back on what to look for and how it works.... you guys rock!

i had no idea the solenoid moved the starter gear, i thought it was only a high amp switch.

in a quick look at the starter as i was banging it with a hammer last weekend and my impression was that it was relatively new. it was cleaner and it had alan head bolts securing to the flywheel, when i would have expected a regular hex head fastener.
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:05 PM   #18
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are our starters like that one picutred??? thats a GMC style starter with an integrated solenoid.. THAT type of solenoid moves the gear... if your solemnoid is external then no the solenoid doesnt movde the gear.. those are just a big switch and inertia moves the gear out to engage the fly wheel.
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:48 PM   #19
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You are close,"drop to (-) when starting, as the starter is pulling lots of amps" But the battery (+) power goes right to the big stud on the starter where another lead is also landed that goes to the ammeter and then to fuses/breakers and loads downline. The current that spins the starter does not go through the ammeter.The reason that the ammeter dips negative while cranking is due to the tremendous load being put on the battery taking away from the power being used by accesories while cranking.
My money is still on a hinky starter (Bad or devoid of grease Bendix and /or worn out solenoid and contacs or just plain old poor connections. The ammeter just sounds like something is rattling around the case and ocassionally grounding out.
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:52 PM   #20
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the ammeter on my red bus is Shunted.. it doesnt have monster wires going to it so there is a shunt somewhere that is feeding a voltage back to the dash gauge.. sure sounds like somethiung loose...
-Christopher
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