Unpacking and Working on the Van Problems

Sunday November 3, 2013 Guerneville CA.

The Plan for the day

I planned to do some unpacking of the van and see what I could do about the van starter problem and the van exhaust leak I developed on the way home. Then in the afternoon, go down to the river and do some kayaking.

I started out with some unpacking for  a bit then got some wrenches out and tried tightening the three nuts where the exhaust was leaking. They would only tighten a little before bottoming out, so I would have to get a new doughnut gasket at the parts house.

I took a break, of course, and then went back under the van and removed the starter from the engine, noting where all the wires went before I started.

The van has a weird starter problem

When I turn the starter key, sometimes it starts right up. Other times the starter acts like it has a big drag on it and bogs the battery down and barely turns over. Turn the key off and back on and it will try again, bogging down but eventually starting. It seems to be better at starting correctly when it is cold in the morning and once I’ve been running it for awhile, it goes to the bog down mode, but may return to the good mode too?

My batteries are all changed up good and I think all the electrical connections are good, so it almost just has to be the starter, but still might be something else?

Since it was Sunday and the parts houses aren’t open, I opted to disassemble the starter and look inside to see if I could find some thing wrong with it.

I took the thing apart and looked at the brushes, almost new and all had good springs. I looked at the commutator and it was almost new looking too. No mechanical drag on the starter shaft either. The solenoid contacts also looked real  good too.

The only thing I could see was the metal laminated steel plates on the armature seemed to be discolored, blue to black, like it might be getting real hot. Maybe there is a shorted section on the armature or something?

It seems the thing to do is get a new starter and see if it fixes the problem, so tomorrow  the parts house will open and I will order a starter and doughnut gasket.

I continued to unpack my van and thought about going kayaking, but since I could see the wind was up, I decided to stay home and just be lazy for the rest of the day.

That was my day and a good one too.

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