Sweeping Tip Clipboard

Make Sure Your Starter Bendix Disengages in Dusty, Noisy Environments

This Tip was provided by Chappie, plant manager for the Truck Hire and Rino Plant in Botswana, Africa. You may reach him via email.

When sweepers are in a very dusty environment you may have had the experience of having the bendix spring on the starter motor not want to disengage sometimes. If it is also noisy, and since the engine has now started up, the operator may not hear that the starter continues to spin even though the engine is now going. Here's an idea for a system to show if that happens:

This Tip is a way to construct an easy early warning system that the starter motor is staying meshed even though the engine has started. If you are in a noisy environment the use of this Tip will warn the operator and prevent a burnt out starter.

To install such a system simply run a length of electrical wire from the starter solenoid bridge lug [the only other lug on the solenoid is the battery feed] to a pilot warning light [install pilot light], and a second wire from pilot light to ground. When starting the machine, the light will come on indicating that the bendix is engaged. As soon as the engine fires up and the key is released, the light will go off. Or, the light will remain on if the starter sticks and the bendix has stayed engaged.

When we ran this by a senior engineer, Tony Libhart, at Schwarze Industries, Inc., he provided us with some more information on this topic. Something else to be careful about, Tony cautioned, is to be sure not to try to restart an engine that's already running. Especially on a sweeper with a water tank between the engine and the operator, it can be difficult to hear whether the auxiliary engine is going. Trying to restart an engine that's already operating is a way to need a new starter in short order.

On new auxiliary engines over 100 hp now sold in the U.S., the engines must meet what is called 'Tier 2 requirement.' Among other items, these sweeper engines involve electronic starting systems where the key must be turned off prior to restarting. Over time, that will solve the potential for restarting an engine that's already operating.

Thanks to Chappie for his online Tip. Have an idea that would be helpful to others in the industry? Please let us know what it is.

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