Friday 14 July 2017

Starting issues

The Austin had an original  6V starter and a 12V low capacity race battery installed (to save weight). The problem with this setup is it presents the battery with an abnormally heavy load on starting especially when cold. The result is the engine frequently fails to start even on a fully charged battery  The problem at car  trial  events is there is a lot of stop starting and this rapidly canes the battery as you don't get enough charge on a run to replace the starting power lost.

I had a look at various starters but could not find a conventional 12V starter form another car that would fit  without modification. However there is a company called Powerlite that make a AUSTIN 7 1933-onwards BRAND NEW POWERLITE HIGH TORQUE UPGRADE STARTER MOTOR costing a little under £200 from a company called aapoldham on ebay. I have just fitted the upgrade and I am hopeful this is going to resolve some of the problems. It need less power to crank the engine at a far higher speed and is fully compatible with my 12V  race battery. The ultimate solution would be the addition of a generator/alternator conversion but nobody makes one yet. I live in hope. I found a nice starter button on CBS that looks vintage.

Fits seamlessly to the bell housing.

Plenty of room all round.

Vintage start button

Road test

I took it on a road test a total of 18 miles round trip. The car behaved very well on the trip back but I had to stop and fault find a problem with the ignition. A wire to the distributor LT points connection had come loose. After resolving that that the car behaved faultlessly. I managed an indicated 50mph at 3500 rpm. The addition of the high torque starter has transformed the driving experience and ownership. It now starts the car with no drama and hopefully charges the battery between use. I still have reservations about the use in car trials where a lot of stop starting is involved but the car is now very usable.

Here is an Index page for the build

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