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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 719
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 - 04:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Prior to my recent recommissioning efforts on several neglected vehicles, a '59 Cloud I was my daily driver and over more than a year functioned flawlessly. However today while moving cars around and the periodic starting of engines, et cetera, it would not start. Starter spins, but does not engage the ring gear. Sounds like a solenoid issue to me. Looks like I will need to get it up onto jack stands and have a look-see from below.
Any suggestions as to what I might be looking for in the process of pulling the starter and solenoid?

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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1771
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 - 05:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Check battery fully charged and good connections all ok then suspect starter bendix sticking.
Remove starter and clean.
Is the car manual or automatic, if manual could be dust from clutch wear.
Easy temp fix a tap to the starter while someone turns the key.
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 720
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 - 06:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Patrick...
Yes, Full battery, Automatic transmission. No manual on RR/B chassis after about circa 1954 for Silver Dawn, Bentley R Type, Silver Wraith, etc. All Clouds automatic. I can believe sticking bendix, but was thinking a solenoid contacts issue. Any way to test by jumping battery hot wire somewhere? Seems to me in the past when fussing with Bobcat skidsteer loaders, jumping to one terminal causes bendix to engage but not spin and jumping to another terminal causes starter to spin but not engage, but I am vague on that due to age!

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Paul Yorke
Grand Master
Username: paul_yorke

Post Number: 2012
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 - 08:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian, your vague memories are correct but unfortunately not your type starter motor.



You are thinking of PRE-ENGAGED type starter motors.

They throw the gear in first and then spin the motor.

Yours is an INERTIA type. Spinning the motor 'screws' the gear into the ring gear. The engine starting spins the gear in the other direction (relative to shaft) and screws it back out again.

Hopefully that spiral is sticky. There's a lot of other parts that can fail in there. But they usually give notice to quit. Fingers crossed.

There is also a oil level plug in the drive gearbox which is a service item.

https://www.facebook.com/BentleyWales/photos/rpp.137933226242858/1615720405130792/?type=3&theater
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 721
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 - 08:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Paul...
Thanks, but service item? Me bad! Never happened. Guess I should go back and study the owner manual a bit closer and follow those instructions. Ever the optimist...maybe the drive just needs some lubrication. Hope springs eternally!
Now...where did I leave that manual?? I really should have two...one for the glove box, and one for home where I can misplace it!
Time to check the forum tech library, eh?

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 722
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Wednesday, 21 February, 2018 - 03:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

When I took the MPW into ACME today to have the master cylinder swapped out and the brake fluid reservoir cleaned out (yes, there was enough "growth grunge" in there that it would have been derelict to not attend to it but fortunately the filters were in excellent shape) lo and behold, Mark just happened to have a Cloud I starter (the strange beast) out and on a work table!! If it is still there tomorrow when I go back to collect the MPW, I will take a photo. Unfortunately it appears that the oil lubrication is only for the reduction gears and not related to the "engagement can" that is on the spiral shaft so it looks like the starter needs to be removed in order to examine it more closely. While not on the immediate "to do" list, it will have to be done soon and before I can move the Cloud I or get to the Freestone & Webb "Empress" Silver Dawn parked behind it...so it is, in practical fact, rather important. When I can get to it, will update this thread.

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 725
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2018 - 03:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Here is what the unique monster looks like from its outside. Paul's information shows that its a complicated mess from the inside! I'll get a better handle on what's going on once I can get it out. Will keep the thread updated...

Cloud I Starter

Cloud I Starter 2

Cloud I Starter 3

Cloud I Starter 4

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David Balfour
Frequent User
Username: sidchrome

Post Number: 88
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2018 - 06:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but surely that's a starter that only a mother could love.
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Bill Heath
New User
Username: bill_heath

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2018 - 08:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

It might be possible to free the Bendix through the round inspection panel. Here a clearer picture of the starter. There is also a torque-limiting clutch to the rear of the assembly, so easy on the oil!

Check the pin, or groove between starter gearbox and bell housing that stops the assembly rotating for wear and be very careful not to overtighten the mounting clamps. They are very fragile and very expensive. Pictures of the groove on my starter after repair and broken clamps, plus machined relacement. The strap was a temporary measure.

Starter from the manual

Locating groove after repair

Mounting clamps

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 726
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Friday, 23 February, 2018 - 05:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Just to be clear, my starter is still on the car. Those photos are from one that was on a work bench at ACME Car Service. I saw the inspection hole and wondered about it but I had no business touching that starter anyway so did not investigate further. When I get under my own car, it will, however, be something that I look at.

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Chris Browne
Prolific User
Username: chrisb

Post Number: 287
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Friday, 23 February, 2018 - 06:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Christian,

As a supplement to Bill's post, I have attached a few photos of the starter motor from our 1958 Cloud 1 which we fully restored and completed about two years ago.Theres a photo of the pinion gear which is easy to check whether it is sticking. There is also a photo of the lovely reduction gears inside the housing. You will see that one of our saddles was fractured, as was Bill's. It amazed me that such a heavy lump of metal was held onto the car by two light weight and, clearly fragile fixings. It will be worth your while to remove the end cover from the motor to check the condition of the armature bushes which are easy to access and replace. I would also recommend that you remove the motor from the reduction gear housing so you can check the condition of the pinion bearing. Ours was very badly worn and if we had not changed it, serious and possibly terminal damage would have been done to the reduction gears. A new bearing from Rolls-Royce would have been £40 so we took the old one to our local bearing specialists and bought a top quality generic one for £3.00! One photo shows the filler plug marked by the red arrow. You simply fill to a slight overflow then refit the plug. Hope all this helps. If you come across any further problems during your recommissioning when a photo or two might help, just post a request on the message board as I may be able to help. During the recommissioning of our car, I took over 6,000 photographs. Sad I know but they do come in handy from time to time.









Kind regards,

Chris Browne
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Chris Browne
Prolific User
Username: chrisb

Post Number: 288
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Friday, 23 February, 2018 - 06:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian,

I forgot to mention checking the cleanliness of the earth strap where it bolts to the starter motor and chassis.Also make sure it is done up tight.

Kind regards,

Chris
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 737
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 04:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I had a chance to look at the Cloud today and it is the brackets. The rear was loose and the front was not only loose but broken at the top in the same manner as those illustrated by Bill and Chris. This allowed the starter to sag and shift forward about 1/4" such that the drive no longer engaged the ring gear. I was able to push it up and towards the rear into the approximate proper position but I also noticed that it would rotate about an inch or two as if the slot in the starter was not engaging with whatever it is supposed to engage with on the bell housing. Is there a corresponding tab on the housing that mates with the groove, or are there grooves on both sides and a woodruff key that has gone missing, and thus the rotation. It is also worth noting that the starter in the photos I posted does not seem to have the slot so I wonder if perhaps mine does not either and thus the rotation. Problem is, without the slot, it is difficult to know how to orient it.

Bill...Did your source for the machined bracket happen to make several or is he in a position to make more? Clearly I will need at least one but if I have another as a spare, karma will dictate that I will never need it which is better than needing and not having. I will probably fashion a temporary strap as did Bill while bracket(s) are sourced. Can you refer me? Thanks.

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 738
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 04:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

P.S. Two of the photos posted by Chris Browne show the slot (#2 and #7) but the slot appears quite different in each photo. The slot in #2 photo is similar to that posted by Bill Heath (not exact though) whereas Chris' photo #7 is completely different. Chris...Can you explain?

It is also worth noting that my Cloud is LHD so the engine is a mirror image and the starter is on the right side rather than on the left as in Chris' (RHD chassis) photos. This may or may not account for some variations.

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Bill Heath
New User
Username: bill_heath

Post Number: 7
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 07:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian, The slot on Chris Browne's starter looks just like mine. My starter (B465FD)is located by a steel pin, firmly fixed in the bellhousing, and it was this pin that damaged the groove when broken straps allowed the starter to rotate when engaged. I have been told (hearsay) that earlier starters had the pin in the gear housing, l.e., the reverse of the later arrangement and this is supported by a diagram from the workshop manual.

The mounting brackets are very fragile and I have seen numerous examples of broken or replaced brackets when trawling the web. They appear to be made of a course-grained material and are a strange departure from the Isambard Brunell style engineering of the rest of the car. Mine were made from stronger material by Billcar Engineering in Shrewsbury, UK https://www.billcar.co.uk/ as a one-off and for less than half the cost of OEM parts. Flying Spares sell brackets for much less, but I was told that they did not fit my car - I have my doubts about that as I can see only one part number listed. Anyway, I wanted stronger brackets so had them made.

A (poor) picture of the damaged slot and a screen grab from the manual.

Damage

Pin

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Bill Heath
New User
Username: bill_heath

Post Number: 8
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 07:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Worth mentioning that the mounting brackets do not fit tight-up against the bellhousing, so it would be wise not to over-tighten the new brackets and crush the gear housing.
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 740
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 07:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Bill...
Thanks for the reference. Did they make it in steel rather than aluminum (I presume) for the originals (and hence the reason they break so often)? How long ago did you have them make it?
Forgive my many questions, but if made in the recent past (years not decades) and if you have an invoice or order number, there is at least a remote possibility that they may still have the CAD drawings...he says optimistically!! The aluminum ones are available from the usual suspects (Introcar, Flying Spares, Replacement Parts, Albers) for $50 to %70, but as noted, I would prefer steel if possible and even at a premium.

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 741
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 08:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

P.S. Thanks for the tip about possibility of over tightening. I tend to be an advocate for the "snug and then just a smidgeon more" school of assembly anyway but good for the heads up! On the other hand, maybe that's why they came loose as I remember tightening them about 7 years ago when discovered loose after purchase of the Cloud.

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Bill Heath
New User
Username: bill_heath

Post Number: 9
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 08:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Billcar made my brackets from solid aluminium - not cast - and they are plenty strong enough.

Billcar Sales Invoice 2374, dated 23/08/2016. I gave them a bracket to copy.

Even stronger are these brackets I saw in the web, as they are square-shouldered (needs longer bolts). Billcar said (belatedly) that square brackets would have cost less than copying the originalsweb brackets
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 742
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 - 03:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

More info for future owners finding this thread:
There are apparently two different brackets.

The earlier style (RE18266) is used on some Dawns, Bentleys, Silver Wraiths, and Early Cloud I and has ID of 2 and 13/16".

The later style (UE1692) is used on Later Cloud I and has an ID of 2 and 15/16".

Of the four afore named supply sources, only Albers makes this clear up front not only on website, but verbally upon inquiry. FS offers the same part number for both applications, as does Replacement Parts, and Introcar, thus inadvertently supplying the wrong, rather than correct, part. Caveat Emptor.

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Chris Browne
Prolific User
Username: chrisb

Post Number: 289
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 - 10:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Christian,
Thatís very useful information for owners faced with a broken saddle or two. I wasnít aware of the differences so we were lucky that the replacement we obtained from one of the suppliers mentioned was the correct fit. Good detective work.
Kind regards,
Chris
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Norman Geeson
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 81.110.34.153
Posted on Thursday, 01 March, 2018 - 06:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian

There are in fact two Silver Cloud I starter motors, one not listed in the manuals and if I remember even the reduction gears are different. This is in addition to the early version fitted to the R Type Automatic.

Any good machine shop should be able to produce these brackets in steel.

The way to prevent breakage is to fit shims between the bracket feet and the housing, usually that amounts to about two simple plain washers under each foot.

The worse problem you might encounter is stripped threads as the bolts are threaded UNF which is very fine.

To stop the bolts coming loose use Heico wedge washers under the bolt heads, but make sure the bolt then has enough penetration but does not bottom.

(Message approved by david_gore)

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