30C Starter Motor troubles

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rogerdw
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Location: Australia

30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rogerdw » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:23 pm

Thanks for accepting my registration.

I'm down in South Australia and have what I believe is a 30C David Brown tractor ... in fairly average condition.

Bought it not running a bit over a year ago ... got it going and have used it to grade some tracks, shift some dirt and lift a few things with a jib on the three point linkage.

I recently bought a 4 ft slasher and have done several acres ... but a couple days ago the starter motor died.

The tractor didn't start the first or second attempt like usual and after about 5 attempts it made no effort to turn over and the volt meter went to zero whenever I pulled the starter.

The battery is only a few months old and initially I thought it had died, but didn't take long to realise the starter motor was shorted.

I removed it today and pulled it apart ... and clearly the field winding has burnt.

Sorry for the long intro ...

... so my question is ... does anyone know where I can obtain a new set of field windings.

It's a Lucas ... and the numbers on the starter motor body are ...

M45G YW5
26061A
12V → 1 55

Thanks for any help.

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cobbadog
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Location: beautiful Coopernook NSW. near Taree. NSW. Australia

Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by cobbadog » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:01 pm

Gday Roger and welcome to the Forum. There are some parts that pop up from time to time for our DB tractgors so keep an eye on the usual auction sites.
Next make time to find the David Brown Tractor Club of Australia and to join them would be good but ask them if anyone has a spare starter. I recently dropped one off for a 30D which weighed a ton but was not best suited for our 30C. I'm away on holdays for the rest of this week but when I get home I should be able to find some contatcs from the Club that maybe able to help.
Also start doing Google searches for tractor wreckers and some may evenb specialise in DB stuff so well worth a look. You can, if everything is in good working order crank start these beauties but I will leave that for the young bucks.
Are you sure that the starter motor is a wreck? Have you stripped and cleaned it all and then used a multimeter to test for continuity? These Lucas electrics are usually very reliable and strong contrary to what I get back from engine forums on Lucas magnetos. Is your tractor still running a generator or has it been converted to an altenator?The reason I ask is whethe you are still running positive earth (standard) or negative earth been changed.
Also try searching for an equivilent in an after market starter motor as well.

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db2d
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by db2d » Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:41 am

I have sent you a PM

rogerdw
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Location: Australia

Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rogerdw » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:39 am

Thanks for the welcome and the pointers guys.

I had spent some time looking for parts, but really only for field windings at this stage. I suppose I'm more likely to find a used starter motor than new field windings.

I did find a couple sets on eBay but the first one won't post to Austalia and the other set I found in the UK will cost 59 pounds freight to send out here and only 17.25 pounds for the windings.

There is no question that the motor is crook ... I have removed, stripped and cleaned it ... and one winding is melted apart.

The tractor still has a generator, though no idea if it is original or not ... but it is definitely negative earth.

If I can work out how to add some images it will be easy to see.

rogerdw
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Location: Australia

Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rogerdw » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:24 pm

Image


Image

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cobbadog
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by cobbadog » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:48 pm

You have done a nice job on cleaning it all up. Try contacting the local DB club as a source for another starter locally. Chances of finnnnding just windings here will not be impossible just harder than buying a complete unit.
We wont be back home until early next week and if you like I will try and source some DB club contacts for parts. What State are you in so I can try and find a member closest to you?

philedge
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by philedge » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:52 pm

rogerdw wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:39 am
I did find a couple sets on eBay but the first one won't post to Austalia and the other set I found in the UK will cost 59 pounds freight to send out
Royalmail online tell me its £12.95 for a 2kg parcel so even with a tenner packaging £59 is high. Might be worth asking if they can use royal mail.

Have you tried any local auto electricians or starter/alternator shops that deal in older vehicles. I think that your starter was used on alot of old cars.
'66 880 Selectamatic rat.

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rid54
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rid54 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:44 pm

The picture of the housing/stator indicates that a point (possibly a joint) in one winding strand has melted and caused a break in the circuit. Wouldn't it be possible to re-join the ends and close the break? Also, a suitably equipped workshop might be able to make a new winding instead of the one that may have overheated, after the pole-piece has been removed and handed in. If the winding is burnt enough to have lost all insulation, that may be necessary, otherwise fixing the broken circuit may be enough to get the starter OK again.

rogerdw
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Location: Australia

Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rogerdw » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:40 am

cobbadog wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:48 pm
You have done a nice job on cleaning it all up. Try contacting the local DB club as a source for another starter locally. Chances of finnnnding just windings here will not be impossible just harder than buying a complete unit.
We wont be back home until early next week and if you like I will try and source some DB club contacts for parts. What State are you in so I can try and find a member closest to you?
Thanks for the kind words and offer for finding a contact. I'm in South Australia.

philedge wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:52 pm
rogerdw wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:39 am
I did find a couple sets on eBay but the first one won't post to Austalia and the other set I found in the UK will cost 59 pounds freight to send out
Royalmail online tell me its £12.95 for a 2kg parcel so even with a tenner packaging £59 is high. Might be worth asking if they can use royal mail.

Have you tried any local auto electricians or starter/alternator shops that deal in older vehicles. I think that your starter was used on alot of old cars.
Yeah, I suspected that the freight was being pumped up but wasn't expecting by that much.

I did think of contacting them and asking for it to be sent by a cheaper method, but not really hopeful. I think it is often a way of bumping up their returns more than a reflection of actual costs.

rid54 wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:44 pm
The picture of the housing/stator indicates that a point (possibly a joint) in one winding strand has melted and caused a break in the circuit. Wouldn't it be possible to re-join the ends and close the break? Also, a suitably equipped workshop might be able to make a new winding instead of the one that may have overheated, after the pole-piece has been removed and handed in. If the winding is burnt enough to have lost all insulation, that may be necessary, otherwise fixing the broken circuit may be enough to get the starter OK again.
I haven't removed the windings yet ... need to buy some new large phillips driver bits ... but I do want to investigate further.

I believe that the rear of the burnt winding must have shorted to earth ... because when it went faulty the voltmeter would drop to zero volts when I pulled the starter ... then after several attempts it changed and only dropped to 5 or 6 volts.

I suspect that was after the short caused the winding to melt, just like a fuse.

Unfortunately it did not seperate at a join ... the whole length of wire (flat strip) down the outside of that coil, is bubbled and distorted ... just like it's been covered in welding spatter.

It's also melted through the insulation, so likely it has shorted turns inside. I'll only know once I get the coil out and unwrap the first layer to see.

So thanks for the suggestion, it was certainly on my list of ideas ... I'm just actually surprised that you suggested it. So many forums I see nowadays seem to frown on any sort of DIY stuff. Refreshing to see that's not the case here.

I have plenty of experience winding coils and transformers ... but these are wound with flat ribbon copper ... approx 5mm wide by say 1mm thick. I certainly don't have any of that lying around ... though I did spot a transformer wound with that in a local junk yard yesterday.

If I get desperate I might go back and pick it up and see if I can strip some copper off it. If I can replicate the coil fairly closely, I should be able to get away with just rewinding that one coil ... it's not like I use the tractor every day.

I did try winding it over by hand ... but nowhere near enough strength or power to have a chance. Must be getting old. :D

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rid54
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rid54 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:56 am

A comment on DIY repairs: I do quite a lot of old radio repairs, so I'm not shy to makeshift solutions. However, the kind of currents handled here are of course much larger. One angle of attack, should you not be able to find copper ribbon, is to obtain a thick enamelled copper wire and make a winding with a number of strands, neatly laid out in parallel. The starter's performance is probably not depending on the winding being of the precise number of turns nor the exact resistance, so "getting close" with regard to copper area and number of turns may make the starter operational, at least.

rogerdw
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:13 am
Location: Australia

Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rogerdw » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:11 am

rid54 wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:56 am
A comment on DIY repairs: I do quite a lot of old radio repairs, so I'm not shy to makeshift solutions. However, the kind of currents handled here are of course much larger. One angle of attack, should you not be able to find copper ribbon, is to obtain a thick enamelled copper wire and make a winding with a number of strands, neatly laid out in parallel. The starter's performance is probably not depending on the winding being of the precise number of turns nor the exact resistance, so "getting close" with regard to copper area and number of turns may make the starter operational, at least.
I like how you think and agree 100% ... I could do that, I have plenty of wire to choose from ... though I think it would be worth a shot with the flat windings from the old transformer. I'll let you know how I get on.

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cobbadog
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by cobbadog » Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:36 pm

No problems here with DIY but have been frowned upon by others about not being 100% supportive of one spare parts supplier often mentioned here.
With a DIY could you measure the resistance of the good winding to give you a base number to work to to rewind the damaged field coil?
Or, go around to some auto electricians asking if they have any old Lucas starters and see if a field coil from one of them will work.
Last edited by cobbadog on Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

rogerdw
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:13 am
Location: Australia

Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by rogerdw » Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:29 pm

cobbadog wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:36 pm
No problems here with DIY but have been frowned upon by others about not being 100% supportive of one spare parts supplier often mentioned here.
With a DIY could you measure the redsistance of the good winding to give you a base number to work to to rewind the damaged field coil?
Or, go around to some auto electricians asking if the3y have any old Lucas starters and see if a field coil from one of them will work.
Aha, thanks for the warning.

For coils like these, they are going to read very low resistance. I suspect less than one ohm. I haven't unwound it yet, but each of the four coils are probably only a couple meters of 5mm wide by 1mm thick copper. That's going to be less than the resistance of my meter leads probably.

If the winding is damaged deeper than the first layer ... my thoughts are to measure it all up physically for reference and then unwind it carefully counting the turns ... then wind another one. As rid54 suggested, it is not super critical ... I just have to be able to make it fit back in place without being damaged by the armature or the field pole piece.

I have been given contact details for an auto electrician with expertise in these older devices so I will ring him. Otherwise our local guys are too young to even consider fixing something like this ... their first suggestions were to look for a replacement motor ... except they couldn't find the Lucas number in their equivalents chart!!

When I first came to town here 40 years ago there was an old school auto electrical shop across the road from my work and I bet they could have fixed it in a jiffy. Unfortunately they've been gone for many years already.

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cobbadog
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by cobbadog » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:58 am

Yes the young ons have no idea on how to fix things, only replace them. Trying to get cross refference numbers from Lucas parts is getting tricky as I have found out recently with other electrical parts for the D.B. but I think I have that side of it sorted now.
Very hard to find a tradesman who now wants to try to repair something and sometimes you can understand as tracking down parts can be tricky and if he is charging by the hour again up goes the cost so is always best to do as much as you can yourself.
We only have a few more days away then head back up the coast to home.

JimCochrane
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Re: 30C Starter Motor troubles

Post by JimCochrane » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:12 pm

do you have a sparex agent anywhere local as field winding are available .
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