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  • 1964 Thunderbird starter

    Hey guys,

    My wife inherited a '64 Thunderbird from her grandfather a few years ago and we've made the decsion to sell it as I do not really have the time or the money to finish fixing it, I wish I did though. It will be a few years before I can start fixing it up, but I know its condition will worsen as I do not really have a good place of storing it until then.

    This is the car:


    We had the car running, however it always started slowly. Like the starter didnt have enough torque to turn the fly wheel. However with a charged battery we could get it to start a number of times until last week. We had it running eariler in the day, but after working on it some we tryed to start it again but had no luck. I just heard clicking from the solenoid/contactor or perhaps the starter itself. We tried jumping it but it was still the same, still clicking. I replaced the solenoid, but that did not fix the problem.

    This is the starter:


    I've never seen the bendix on this starter before. As you know, Im sure, most starters have the bendix inside the housing and it pops out when starting a car. But it seems that this starter retracts toward the end of the shaft when the starter dis-engages from the flywheel. So it's basically opposite of the way starters are now.

    My question is if the bendix can break and lock itself in the engaged position and never disengage from the flywheel? If thats the case, then it would cause the flywheel to never pick up enough speed to be able to operate properly. I looked around some part stores locally and none of them carry the bendix. Most had never seen a bendix like this.

    I assume the starter is probably bad and I need to replace it. Is there somewhere, that you guys know of, that I can buy the whole thing as a assembly or where I can buy the bendix parts? Most part stores seem to have the starter in a wearhouse, just not the bendix.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I'm thinking by the symptoms you describe that the starter needs to be rebuilt. Most of the time the brushes are worn to the point where there's not enough power to turn the flywheel. Or the springs are rusted and broken which is very common. They aren't that difficult to repair. The springs, brushes and bushings are very inexpensive and readily available. If you aren't comfortable doing it yourself then there are machine shops that will usually do it for less money then buying a new one. The bendix drives are available but they are about $60-65. I really don't think that's your problem though. If you hook it up to a battery you should be able to see if the drive is retracting.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      1964 Thunderbird starter

      The subject of rebuilding a starter was just covered on the Squarebirds Forum. Here is a link to it. The information in the link "Click Here" will probably help you a lot if you decide to rebuild it yourself. It also might help you understand more about the Bendix, etc.. Check Post #7 in this thread below.

      http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ad.php?t=15270

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
      "It's Hip To Be Square"
      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by muffinman View Post
        Hey guys,
        I assume the starter is probably bad and I need to replace it. Is there somewhere, that you guys know of, that I can buy the whole thing as a assembly or where I can buy the bendix parts? Most part stores seem to have the starter in a wearhouse, just not the bendix.

        Let me know your thoughts.

        Thanks
        Make sure your battery and ground leads are properly secure where they connect (including the starter solenoid) and make sure they have a good clean connection.

        Likewise the lead that bolts to the starter.
        A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

        Comment


        • #5
          rockauto.com has only one left for your '64 Tbird so you better hurry:

          REMY Part # 25214 Premium; Remanufactured (Only 1 Remaining) * Stocked in outlying warehouse--shipping delayed up to 2 business days.

          When you call, find out if this motor comes with a Bendix gear. Sometimes they don't.
          Here are starter drives for that motor ranging from $61-$65:
          STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # SDN11
          AIRTEX Part # 2K1016

          $45.79 -starter motor
          $15.00 -core
          $60.79 -total
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

          Comment


          • #6
            almost same a muffinman

            Hi everyone- newbie here...

            I have the almost the same as Muffinman- Dad inherited his pop's 1964 T and he's 81 and I'm an oldie too..and we are going to sell car to a good home...Dad has kept car in garage..great condition inside and out...one little tiny problem...hasn't driven it in years...about 13...that's how long we were caring for my mom- 13 years of dementia-at home. She passed last yr and dad and I are too old and have health issues..so we have great mechanics that my friend who is part of the Chicago Thunderbird Club suggested and they've been going through the steps to get her to run again...so far so good...until...the starter. Got a new one...mechanics were ready to put it on..and oops...where's the gear? The what? The gear-flywheel? So yep...we ordered the flywheel from SMP same product number as listed below. Back come the mechanics ready to put it together and well....they couldn't get the pin on the top of the flywheel to fit into the pin hole because the pin hole is a half a circle instead of a full circle.
            They worked on it and worked on it...like Rubic's cube to no avail. Bumper to Bumper where we ordered it from called SMP and they were sort of helpful...but not totally....they got the
            thing half way dismantled except for the pin situation. Chicago Thunderbird Club members said one of the best site is here so jump on and someone should be able to assist. I've looked at the threads and photos...alas...none really explain how to get that pin in the pinhole. Help..anyone?

            Comment


            • #7
              I've seen many starters and drives for a 1962-64 T-Bird but I've never seen one with a half moon hole. Which part has the half moon hole, the drive or the starter shaft. These pictures are the one's listed on Rockauto. They appear to be correct. You have to put the end of the drive in a vise and push on it to make the entire hole visible so you can get the pin in.

              John
              Attached Files
              Last edited by jopizz; July 16th, 2014, 02:48 PM.
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jonesy View Post
                ... I've looked at the threads and photos...alas...none really explain how to get that pin in the pinhole...
                Welcome to Squarebirds.org, Jonesy. I'm from Chicago, too. Well, 6000W. (Austin Ave.) and 500N. (Chicago Ave.) in Oak Park.

                I did a full writeup on this starter motor, Yellowrose mentioned it but you could not have read it.

                Here is the site again, with 73 pictures:
                http://home.comcast.net/~Y-Block/Y-B...or/default.htm

                For the drive gear DISassembly, start at picture #40.
                For drive gear assembly, start at picture #63.

                I used no fancy vise or unusual tools. I simply set up a small workmate bench outside my garage and went at the starter motor because this is a dirty job.

                I'm sure the answer you need is there. If not, ask more questions. BTW, I have to agree with John, there are no half-round holes or pins in any Ford starter motor.



                Your Thunderbird guys use the exact same starter motor in Y-blocks and FE engines. They should be VERY familiar with this motor if they have any experience at all. We also used this motor in Flathead Ford engines. Inertia starter drives are returned by the flex plate or flywheel, spinning faster than the starter drive. - Dave
                Last edited by simplyconnected; July 16th, 2014, 04:43 PM.
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi there-

                  The drive, I believe. I was trying to send photos..but alas, I'm not that computer savvy.

                  The instruction sheet is a big help. I think this is what they will need. Thank you. I'll show this to Dad and report back tomorrow.

                  Thank you again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1964 Thunderbird starter

                    Jolene, you have some of the best techies on here helping you. Check out the link that Dave posted. As for posting pix on this Forum, please read my Welcome to you that I posted in the New Members Welcoming Forum. It tells you how to go about posting pix on this Forum... If you can't figure them out, send them to me and I can post them for you. You will see my email address in my signature element below. Dave gave you the link to the starter rebuild in the Technical Resource Library. Any time you are looking for technical information, and you can't find it, remember to look in the TRL, the link to which is always under any post that I make. Good luck with the starter.
                    Last edited by YellowRose; July 16th, 2014, 05:08 PM.

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you everyone!

                      I think Dad and the Midwest Mobile Mechanics have some reading to do tonight.

                      I will keep everyone in the loop.

                      Thank you so much.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jolene, I don't mean to bust on Mobile Mechanics but they are not familiar with classic Ford cars. This starter motor was commonly used in Ford cars, Mercury Cars, Lincoln, trucks, marine and farm engines. Maybe your guys are too young or have no exposure with any engines from Flat heads to FEs.

                        Chicagoland has shops that rebuild starters, generators and alternators, called 'Auto Electric' shops. They are very familiar with and have parts for old Ford starters. Here are a couple examples:

                        D J Auto Electric
                        3454 N Cicero Ave,
                        Chicago, IL 60641 (773) 794-2111

                        Illinois Starter & Electric
                        8017 S Kedvale Ave,
                        Chicago, IL 60652 (773) 376-7716

                        School is out and whoever you hire should already know their business instead of just learning about it. You can see from my pictures that the drive came off my starter motor by hand, meaning, using common hand tools. It's not a puzzle, but simply good old-school mechanical engineering. - Dave
                        My latest project:
                        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                        --Lee Iacocca

                        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi there-

                          No worries. I understand. They were highly recommended by a few folks in the Chicago T-Bird Club that they fixed their T-birds. And so far they've been great...also they come to you.

                          Dad didn't want it towed and that's what these guys do...they come to you....but, my dad couldn't figure it out either...of course he looked in the old manual that he has and he was missing page 9- thanks to John..he now has it. And even bumper to bumper couldn't figure it out...and dad didn't want to rebuild the starter..for reasons..I don't know.

                          So that's how I landed here..the CTbC folks said go to this forum that you all are smart, knowledgeable and a friendly bunch of folks...and will lead me down the right path. And you all have been so great...

                          Thanks for the shop info, good to have them...and they look to be not too far away..~~JJ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jonesy View Post
                            ...and dad didn't want to rebuild the starter...
                            When a starter motor fails, there are only two choices, either replace or repair.

                            From your prior posts, your mechanics took the starter motor apart as far as they knew to go. Parts for this motor are inexpensive if the old brushes haven't ruined the commutator segments on the armature. I gave you the link to my site with hopes that someone fixes the one you have rather than spend three times the money on a new rebuilt starter (if you can find one). - Dave
                            My latest project:
                            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                            --Lee Iacocca

                            From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              put together- whew

                              Hi there everyone-

                              Sorry for delay in posting...but I had dodged a bullet...biopsy stuff...whew.

                              Anyway- the good news is that we did put together the starter etc..thanks to all of your advice and photos. We actually went to our mechanic of 40 years with the photos and they did it..

                              The T-Bird wants to start but the fuel keeps getting contaminated- and we are told that we are in need of a fuel tank P/N F37A and straps P/N x2 ST 111 for a 390 c.i. Most of the places are running close to $300.

                              Any suggestions?

                              Thanks-

                              Best,

                              Jolene

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