Forklift Starters and Alternators - Today's starter motor is normally a permanent-magnet composition or a series-parallel wound direct current electrical motor together with a starter solenoid installed on it. When current from the starting battery is applied to the solenoid, basically through a key-operated switch, the solenoid engages a lever which pushes out the drive pinion which is situated on the driveshaft and meshes the pinion with the starter ring gear which is seen on the flywheel of the engine.
The solenoid closes the high-current contacts for the starter motor, which starts to turn. When the engine starts, the key operated switch is opened and a spring inside the solenoid assembly pulls the pinion gear away from the ring gear. This action causes the starter motor to stop. The starter's pinion is clutched to its driveshaft by an overrunning clutch. This allows the pinion to transmit drive in only a single direction. Drive is transmitted in this way via the pinion to the flywheel ring gear. The pinion remains engaged, for instance since the driver did not release the key when the engine starts or if the solenoid remains engaged since there is a short. This actually causes the pinion to spin independently of its driveshaft.
The actions discussed above will stop the engine from driving the starter. This important step stops the starter from spinning so fast that it could fly apart. Unless adjustments were made, the sprag clutch arrangement will prevent the use of the starter as a generator if it was employed in the hybrid scheme discussed prior. Normally an average starter motor is intended for intermittent utilization that would preclude it being utilized as a generator.
Therefore, the electrical parts are meant to be able to function for roughly less than thirty seconds to avoid overheating. The overheating results from too slow dissipation of heat because of ohmic losses. The electrical components are meant to save cost and weight. This is really the reason the majority of owner's manuals utilized for automobiles recommend the operator to pause for a minimum of ten seconds right after each and every ten or fifteen seconds of cranking the engine, if trying to start an engine that does not turn over immediately.
During the early 1960s, this overrunning-clutch pinion arrangement was phased onto the market. Prior to that time, a Bendix drive was utilized. The Bendix system works by placing the starter drive pinion on a helically cut driveshaft. Once the starter motor starts turning, the inertia of the drive pinion assembly allows it to ride forward on the helix, hence engaging with the ring gear. When the engine starts, the backdrive caused from the ring gear enables the pinion to go beyond the rotating speed of the starter. At this point, the drive pinion is forced back down the helical shaft and hence out of mesh with the ring gear.
During the 1930s, an intermediate development between the Bendix drive was made. The overrunning-clutch design that was made and introduced in the 1960s was the Bendix Folo-Thru drive. The Folo-Thru drive has a latching mechanism along with a set of flyweights in the body of the drive unit. This was a lot better since the typical Bendix drive used to be able to disengage from the ring as soon as the engine fired, even if it did not stay functioning.
When the starter motor is engaged and starts turning, the drive unit is forced forward on the helical shaft by inertia. It then becomes latched into the engaged position. As soon as the drive unit is spun at a speed higher than what is attained by the starter motor itself, for instance it is backdriven by the running engine, and next the flyweights pull outward in a radial manner. This releases the latch and allows the overdriven drive unit to become spun out of engagement, thus unwanted starter disengagement can be prevented before a successful engine start.
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