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  #1  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:04 AM
JimRice JimRice is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 92
Default Bendix Kicking Out after 2 Blades

I recently began experiencing an issue with my starter on my O-320D1A on my RV-4. It is a regular Prestolite (IIRC) starter (not Sky-Tec or other lightweight starter).

It always seems to crank fine cold on first start of the day, but on subsequent starts, the prop will only turn two blades and the Bendix will kickout/disengage. I let it spin down, try again with same results. My battery (Power Sonic) is less than 2 years old and stays on a Battery Tender when in the hangar.

I'm going to dig into this this weekend but wanted to inquire here first for some ideas where to check first.

Since it always starts well after coming off the battery charger without kicking out, I'm leaning towards this being a battery, relay or grounding issue. I don't think it is a problem with the starter or ring gear, but will definitely be looking at them too.

I am thinking there is sufficient voltage for first start due to battery being topped off by Battery Tender, but it loses charge after sitting even a couple of hours without being charged. When it first happened, once I got it started and flew home, once I landed I shut it down and immediately tried starting and it started just fine. Three times. At that point I thought I might be having a switch issue (Typical keyed switch with starter position). The next time, I went to fly, it started well for first flight, but after sitting at a buddy's strip for 2-3 hours, it did the 2 blades and kicked out again. Once again, I was able to finally get it started, trying two blades at a time and flew home. Once again, when I got home, it started just fine.

My plan tomorrow is to open it up and begin inspecting/troubleshooting. I think first thing will be checking voltage drop at the starter...I may go out and take the charger off overnight so it won't be freshly charged. If it isn't the battery, I suspect the relay may be going bad. I'll also be checking the grounds as I've seen a poor ground cause lots of different problems.

My alternator appears to be charging properly as it shows a short charge after starting and a discharge when I turn on landing lights but comes right back up...though occasionally, I have had the "waving ammeter needle"...again intermittently which I've been unable to track down.

So, I'm open to whatever suggestions folks might have on possible problems and where to start.
__________________
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

US Army Retired (still working to pay for flying)

When my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport.

Last edited by JimRice : 10-13-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:25 AM
lr172 lr172 is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 3,117
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Do a load test on your battery. You can buy an inexpensive carbon pile load tester at HF. Experience has shown that SLA/AGM batteries, like the odyssey and power sonic, do not do well with constant trickle charges. The charger has likely destroyed your batteries capacity. It starts well when just off the charger, but is not recharging properly with just the alternator. The trickle charging is masking the capacity issue. The trickle charge get the battery up to a decent level, but it loses it quickly, as the core capacity is not there to hold a charge.

the power sonic has a VERY low internal discharge rate and there is no upside, but plenty of downside, to using a trickle charger. If your battery sits for more than 6 months, just top it off with a traditional battery charger. These are not the same a flooded lead acid batteries.

You may be able to bring back some life a few deep cycle discharge/charge cycles with a proper battery charger.

Does your starter have a solenoid that pulls the bendix drive into engagement? If so, that also could be failing and heat is making it worse. If it is an inertial bendix, I would not expect problems only with heat. I would expect the opposite.

Larry
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RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
RV-10 in progress

Last edited by lr172 : 10-13-2017 at 10:36 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:30 AM
JimRice JimRice is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 92
Default

I'm not the builder so I'm not sure about the Bendix.

THanks for info about battery. May pull it this evening and see about doing a discharge/charge and see if that makes a difference. Though the pain to pull my battery might be cause for simply replacing the battery!
__________________
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

US Army Retired (still working to pay for flying)

When my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:41 AM
Tracer 10 Tracer 10 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 85
Default “Battery Tenders”

Using a battery tender is the quickest way to ruin a battery. What happens is that the battery develops a “memory factor”; and slowly loses its amperage capacity. Even though a charger may indicate the battery is fully charged; it will actually be at 20-25% of full charge & not be able to start the engine. It may crank over when the engine is cold (lower compression & less internal friction); and will fail to when the engine is hot. And that may not be at your home Airport; leaving you stranded.
We are just now replacing our Concorde battery in our RV6; and it was installed in 2004. This battery has never been on a “Battery Tender”. It was only charged for 1-2 hours; if we had not flown for 30 days—which was not often.
Invest in a charger specifically designed for these batteries—Vans sells them.
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CW4 (Retired) U.S. Army
A&P: I pay double dues (it's worth it)
Oregon RV-6
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:00 PM
170 driver 170 driver is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Walterboro SC
Posts: 148
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If you have an edrive starter, the early models of this had a dropout circuit in them and would quit when the voltage dropped too low, I had this problem, sent it back to them and they fixed it free. That's been a few years back now so things may have changed.
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Jim Poe
RV9 First Flight 2/23/09
s/n 91416
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:06 PM
JimRice JimRice is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer 10 View Post
Using a battery tender is the quickest way to ruin a battery.
Tracer 10/Chief, thanks. I guess some things never change. I've been retired from the Army 14 years myself. Seems I still need wise CWO advice from time to time. I was a RedLeg and worked with a bunch of CWOs in Maintenance and Target Acquisition. Were you an aviator? I was FSO attached to 11th Avn Regt for a couple of months in TF Hawk/Albania.
__________________
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

US Army Retired (still working to pay for flying)

When my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport.

Last edited by JimRice : 10-13-2017 at 12:17 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2017, 09:27 AM
JimRice JimRice is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 92
Default New Battery

The stars finally aligned and I finally had all the following; battery (vendor sent wrong one first time), free time and tolerable weather.

I replaced the battery yesterday. Cold start was fine, but hot starting while improved still wasn't 100%. When I was restarting after fueling up at a nearby airport, it turned a couple of blades, fired (kicking the bendix out) but didn't catch. On next attempt, it turned 2 blades and kicked out like before. I let the starter wind down and waited a couple of minutes and tried again. It turned twice and kicked out and then on next attempt, turned like normal and started up.

So, the battery, wasn't the sold culprit. I assume it wasn't putting out quite optimum power, which coupled with other issues, caused the problem. Consequently, I've ordered new Master and Starter solenoids and diodes for each. I'm going to replace everything since I'm about to begin the Condition Inspection anyway. Seems the inconsistent performance could be due to a relay contactor arcing/not making good contact. All the new parts cost less than $70 and the originals have over 1000 hours. I'll have to also check the resistance of all my battery cables/starter cables as well to make sure they aren't the problem, but visually, they all look fine. All grounds/attachments also checked good, but will be double checked during replacement of solenoids.

The starter appears to be fine given it cranks normally most of the time...when it gets sufficient power.

I was able to resuscitate old Power Sonic battery by significantly discharging and recharging a couple of times. It now checks as well as the new battery when both are fully charged. Still, given the cheap price and pain to change, I went ahead and installed the new battery. I don't trust the old one. It will likely end up on my lawn mower.
__________________
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

US Army Retired (still working to pay for flying)

When my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2018, 08:01 PM
bob888 bob888 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 205
Default Starter problem

Jim: I have a used Skytec 149-12PM starter you can have for $150 plus shipping. Perfectly operational. If it will work for you and you are interested send me a PM or email to happ@comcast.net.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2018, 08:55 PM
JimRice JimRice is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 92
Default Reviewing Everything and Found this today.

Pulled starter back off today and while I was underneath decided to take another look at the ring gear using a very bright light as well as feeling. Previously looking from above in ambient light, I failed to see this. Today, I noted the rear corner of several teeth had been knocked down/chipped off? It is a small area. Is this enough alone to be cause of my problem. Still, I am ordering a new ring gear to replace this one. I am assuming it contributes as it makes two blades and kicks out almost every time.







And yes, I feel like an idiot for having missed this the first time I looked before tackling the electrical and starter track.
__________________
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

US Army Retired (still working to pay for flying)

When my ship comes in, I'll probably be at the airport.

Last edited by JimRice : 03-04-2018 at 09:15 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2018, 05:56 AM
Planecrazy232's Avatar
Planecrazy232 Planecrazy232 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 231
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Looking at your pictures it looks like the starter gear is contacting the back of the ring gear and not even engaging the teeth. Look closely at the alignment of the starter.
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Thanks,

Anthony

RV6-A "Aluminum Mistress"
Too many hobbies- not enough time.
2016, 2017 donor and happy to do it.
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