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1916 Menominee Truck won't start

Posted By D F Trucks Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:02 PM
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D F Trucks
 Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:02 PM
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I have a rare 1916 Menominee Motor Truck made by the D. F. Poyer Company.  This manufacturer was from the upper peninsula of Michigan, and was started by my great-grandfather in 1911.  This summer I purchased the truck from the previous owner.  When it first arrived we were able to pull-start the truck, but after rebuilding the magneto (BOSCH DU-4), replacing the wires and cleaning the plugs we can’t get it to start.  The engine is a Continental four-cylinder with an updraft carburetor.  It does pump gas and we do have spark, but no luck on starting even after trying the pull-start that worked before.

Has anyone ever experienced any start issues or can offer any suggestions on what to try next?

I appreciate your input.

 

Wolfcreek_Steve
 Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:22 PM
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Timing? I'm not familiar with the engine, is it possible to have the mag 1/2 a turn off?

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White9064TD
 Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:26 PM
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I would send an email to Bob McDaniels, he has a lot of experience with the early trucks.  Here is his email address hoosier@pwrtc.com  After trying to start the truck did you happen to pull the plugs to see if they are wet?  Did you try just a tad of starting fluid to see if she would aleast pop.  Did you use a spark tester, with the 1/4" gap?  What about compression? I know you said she ran before but something has happen so I would go back to the basics .

Dan:cool:
Bill White
 Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:16 AM
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It must be the Timing is off only thing it could be. Wish you luck.........Bill


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Eddy Lucast
 Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4:03 AM
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Considering it was running before it sat and before the work was done on it. I'd check two things first

1. Fresh gas, if its old gas, more than 6 months old, get rid of it from the tank to the carburator

2. Check for a spark at the plugs, if weak or no spark find out why, magneto? plug wires? plugs? timing?




Eddy Lucast

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Jeff Lakaszcyck
 Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:14 PM
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I've never played with any automotive magnetos but I have rebuilt a bunch of Bendix mags for aircraft. Since you had it apart be sure the point gap is set correctly and the internal timing is correct. A good mag should shoot sparks when spinning it by hand, at least the aircraft mags do as they are always hot until grounded by the ignition switch being off. The other possibilty is that the mag is not properly timed to the engine. Of course, this assumes that the points, condensor, and coil are good (all these should be internal to the mag). Good luck, let us know how you make out.  

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Stretch
 Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:22 PM
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If you can get your hands on a Dyke's manual, it will tell you how to set up the mag,
I like to search Google Books. They have copies of complete books if the copyrights have expired.
Bob McDaniel (Indiana...
 Posted Thursday, November 25, 2010 3:24 PM
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Old trucks like this are fun and will run only when THEY want and not when You want them to run.

I am not an expert but have worked on a few mags and got my trucks to run by pulling the plug wire off the #1 plug and set it next to a bolt head so the spark will jump and you can see it while you turn the hand crank. I am going to assume you have a mag with an impulse on it that will snap when you spin it over slow by hand which will help. Turn the engine over slow till you hear the snap and see a spark at the #1 wire and then stop. Now you need to find out if the piston is all the way up on the compression stroke in the #1 cyl. so if you can pull the plug out and poke something down the hole and feel the piston and check to see that the valves are closed you are close to getting it going. You may need to spin the engine over to tell what the piston is doing and you may want to un-hook the coupler on your mag first to keep it set at the #1 position or at least pull the cap since its a Bosch and just note the position of the rotor so you can set it back on #1 later. Sometimes its hard to see because of where your mag is mounted. Anyway, you want to get the #1 piston up on the compression stroke and just a little past center before the impulse snaps on the mag. If you get it to fire just after top dead center and have spark at all 4 plugs (you need to check this) and they are in the right order (1243 I think) it should start easy by hand. You may want to pull out all the plugs and put a small amount of gas down each hole to prime it which might also help but not much gas in each or you will flood it.

Now if this works you need to do one more thing, take some pictures of this truck and post them here so we can see it!!!!!!! :):D:exclamationmark:

Good Luck!


Bob
Click here to see my Indiana Truck web page

Or go to http://www.angelfire.com/in/Bobshome/indianamotortruck.html
Thursday, November 25, 2010 3:32 PM by Bob McDaniel (Indiana Trucks)
andyg
 Posted Saturday, November 27, 2010 4:39 AM
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Agree with the others.  You proabaly have the timing off after reinstalling the mag.  Bob gives some good tips to get it timed.  Here are a couple more.  NEVER make the mag fire without having the wires hooked to spark plugs or grounded.  That big charge of electricity needs to go somewhere or it will fry you magneto.  Since this is almost certainly the same type of mag that an old tractor has you can seek out the help of antique tractor guys in your area if you have trouble figuring it out.  Many of these old engines have timing marks on the flywheel.  Look for a hole in the bellhousing and watch the flywheel for a mark to appear.  You will still have to make sure that you are on the compression stroke.  The cylinder numbers & firing order should be cast iron numbers on the side of the block.  They are NOT all the same.

Evansville, IN
D F Trucks
 Posted Friday, May 06, 2011 5:07 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions.  We got 'er runnin'!  Seems like it was a wiring problem.  We soldered the spark plug wires to the spark plug connectors, as they were not getting enough continuity.  The magneto was fine - it was just the connection.  That seemed to give us enough spark to get it going and keep it going.  Next is replacing the original fuel tank, which had holes in it, and then off to the service bay for an oil service and brake inspection.  I'll keep you posted with any news.  After I get it cleaned up, I'll post a picture. 
Friday, May 06, 2011 5:08 PM by D F Trucks

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