Just curious

21,700

Asked by Dec 27, 2012 at 07:39 AM about the 1996 Ford F-150 XL LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Since the mid 50's when I slid under my first car, one of the methods used to check for a defective starter or solenoid was to take a hammar and tap on it.  If the car then started the problem was with the starter of solenoid.  The question is; What was I accomplishing that would make the vehicle start.  The procedure wasn't 100 percent by was up there in the 90's.

3 Answers

103,935

The starter is a big DC motor. It has a pair of brushes that ride on a commutator and send the amps to the rotor. After years of use, the brushes become short from wear. The short brushes hang up in the brush holders. When you tap on the starter with a blunt object, the brushes break free, regain contact with the commutator and the engine spins. If the starter would spin but not engage the flywheel, the solenoid mounted on the side would be suspect. It has a device called a Bendix spring which moves the gear into the flywheel teeth.

Best Answer Mark helpful
21,700

Thanks tenspeed. All my previously owned electrocution hazard carpentry tools from the 50's had brushes. When the tool stopped working I would give it a bang. If it started, I pulled a replacement set of brushes out of the drawer and loosened the screwed on the side to replace the brushes. When I pulled a 16 year old starter out of the neighbors car yesterday I suspected as much. I momentarily contemplated dismantiling the thing to replace the brushes. Then realized I'm well into my sixties, it wasn't my car, the neighbor was paying for the parts, my fingers are getting fat, and most important, my patience isn't what it use to be. Again thanks.

103,935

We're of the same age OJ. Years ago I would have filed and sanded brushes to fit. If you think about it, you can get a re-manufactured starter that has all new everything. Use percussion maintenance on starters, fuel pumps and blower motors to get them working long enough to get you to the auto parts store for replacements. Save the rebuilding skills for the the easy, expensive stuff like lawn tractor parts.

Your Answer

F-150

Looking for a Used F-150 in your area?

CarGurus has 226,289 nationwide F-150 listings starting at $1,250.

ZIP:

Ford F-150 Experts

  • #1
    OJ
    Reputation
    9,750
  • #2
    dandyoun
    Reputation
    4,670
  • #3
    tennisshoes
    Reputation
    3,380
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Sierra 1500
1,233 Great Deals out of 63,047 listings starting at $1,200
Used Dodge Ram 1500
373 Great Deals out of 11,016 listings starting at $1,699
Used Toyota Tacoma
648 Great Deals out of 40,817 listings starting at $2,000
Used Ford Mustang
437 Great Deals out of 42,794 listings starting at $1,488
Used Ford F-250
416 listings starting at $2,900
Used Ford Explorer
1,166 Great Deals out of 64,671 listings starting at $1,200
Used Ford Ranger
154 Great Deals out of 5,230 listings starting at $999

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Ford F-150 XL LB For Sale
510 listings starting at $21,490
2017 Ford F-150 XL LB For Sale
33 listings starting at $21,572
2016 Ford F-150 XL LB For Sale
17 listings starting at $18,995
2015 Ford F-150 XL LB For Sale
5 listings starting at $11,990
2014 Ford F-150 XL LB For Sale
83 listings starting at $9,880

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.