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  • Overpriced starter motors

    After nearly dislocating my back from trying to start my bugger of a 503 engine, I decided an electric starter was the answer.

    I was surprised to find, firstly there doesn't seem to be a UK supplier and secondly the price of the GPL or M4 starters are about 500! from the USA.

    My question, isn't a motorbike starter motor just as good or even better than what's available?

    Even if it takes a little bit of jiggery pokery the parts are redly available and the savings could be immense. :idea:
    Bryan

  • #2
    Overpriced starter motors

    I would suggest you consider the percieved "problems" with the GPL starter, and the M4 starter has been obsolete for many years, if you go down that route.
    You may not be aware that the Rotax 277,377, 477 and 503 starter assemblies are all the same, The 532, 582, 618 starter assemblies are basically the same as for the 503 apart from the thickness of the "flywheel crank" spacer and are often cheaper on the "market".

    A bit of jiggery pokery to fit a motor cycle starter would be fine if you have an SSDR machine, but if a Permit Machine the MOD costs would undoubtedly be more than the cost of any starter. unless someone has "done it before"

    Comment


    • #3
      Overpriced starter motors

      Thanks Wally, yes it had crossed my mind that there would be a mod of some sort required.

      GPL does seem the only route available, i can not understand why we don't have a UK supplier though.
      Bryan

      Comment


      • #4
        Overpriced starter motors

        Just a thought Bryan, a 505 should not be a S** to start, I've flown with them for many years and any more than3 or 4 pulls is out of the ordinary , ofton 1 does the job from cold or hot anyway. Half cold can be a bit more of a pain though far from terrible, so I'd suggest that something isn't quite right and an electric starter may help conceal the problem but it will not cure it.

        The 1st thing may be starting technique, I don't know how experianced you are with 2 stroke starting technique but if you don't already know if you have on the enricher (wrongly ofton called the choke) the throttle should be shut. After a coiuple of pulls with the enricher engaged you will have built up an excess of fuel so take it off, after another pull if it doesn't start open the throttle halfway (after chocking of course). If that fails you have a different problem.

        Sorry if trying to teach you to suck eggs, but so many pilots now have never learned how to handle these brilliant little engines.

        You may find this link to Eccleston Aviation interesting

        http://ecclestonaviation.co.uk/troub...oubleshooting/

        By the way if you are convinced that all is well with your engine I have a starter and gear that I removed from a 503 that I could part with, please pm me if interested

        Comment


        • #5
          Overpriced starter motors

          bryan plunkett wrote: Thanks Wally, yes it had crossed my mind that there would be a mod of some sort required.

          GPL does seem the only route available, i can not understand why we don't have a UK supplier though.
          CFS Aero in the UK can supply a starter set. This includes spacer, toothed gear plate, starter motor, solenoid switch, mounting plate and all nuts bolts and washers necessary to replace the pull start mechanism with electric start.

          Part nos are 995925 priced at 475 or 995925(NC) priced at 432. The latter being non certified. They currently have 2 of the non certified variety in stock and the certified version is available on request but I don't know the lead time.

          I converted my Rotax 503 to electric start last August using the exact same starter set, (995925), sourced from Skydrive and the cost from them was 465.

          BMAA technical office deemed the mod a major one on my aircraft - Aerochute Dual powered parachute - but might not be on yours.

          And no I am not a salesman for CFS Aero by the way.

          Hope the info is of some use.

          Glyn Pemberton

          Attached files

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          • #6
            Overpriced starter motors

            Just to follow on Ginge's post, for some 8 years I had to pull start my 503 DCDI in the Shadow.... primarily because it was difficult to fit electric start due to physical constraints... the Rotax Kit (as shown by Glyn) put the starter through the bulkhead into the passenger compartment and using the GPL starter meant NO Flaps.:-(
            The M4 starter being obsolete meant an expensive new "E" type gearbox.

            However, it always had started on the 3rd pull... never 1st or 2nd for some reason.
            To assist this, I always had one set of plugs gaped at a tight 15 thou.. below the Rotax min (sorry Mr Inspector)
            The 503 DCDI ignition system needs well over 300 rpm to fire at 16 thou.. so it really helps.......

            Also a "Rapid STRONG SUDDEN" pull on the bit of string helps, rather than a half hearted long tug
            Main reason I went electric start (using a 2nd hand 582 starter)..... now SSR so I can:-)
            second reason I am now rapidly approaching my 81st Birthday:-(

            Interesting result... whereas before, it fired on the 3rd pull and continued to run sweetly, now with electric it fires and bogs down.... appearing to flood and needs to restart.
            Probably because of the way I treat it:-(

            Comment


            • #7
              Overpriced starter motors

              Thanks gents, I have tried choke and throttle combinations but still no joy. I have found if I take the plugs out clean and replace them it does sometimes start better. I think I will check it over one more time, just for peace of mind. (and my pocket!)
              Bryan

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              • #8
                Overpriced starter motors

                Bryan.. with respect if your ignition system is "up to scratch" (i believe the coils can become less than 100% effective,) it does sound as if
                a. you are not quite aggressive enough in pulling the string.
                I found that I always needed to rapidly yank the string full length as hard and as rapidly as I possibly could.. remember it has to turn over at 300+ rpm before any chance of a plug firing...
                or
                b. plug gaps are "a bit wide"

                Good "yanking"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Overpriced starter motors

                  If you can't locate the problem, honest there must be one, I recall Bob Hood of this parish sorting a starting problem on one of the Rotax types by useing iridium spark plugs. If you have a word with him I'm sure he'd be pleased to help

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Overpriced starter motors

                    Good point Ginge... I did forget that I also fitted iridiums a long time ago... also improved smoothness at "low" revs

                    I do believe that such problems are often due to the technique used... and I'm no expert

                    A colleague could rarely ever start his 503 without "busting a gut", but his syndicate partner never ever had any problems.
                    Wonder if it was the fact that the person who had problems was like me........... "short fat hairy old git", whilst the one who never had problems was a "strapping gurt lanky handsome lad"?

                    On one occasion, I had problems starting mine at a fly in and after sweating somewhat, a kind soul came along and gave it one single enormous full length tug on the string and away she went.......... could have been coincidence of course.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Overpriced starter motors

                      I've watched people struggle to start DCDI engines many times. In fact, unless the 12v battery is well charged, even electric start can be useless.
                      As an electronics type, it occurred to me that the plug 'gap' on the dual ignition types is actually twice the physical setting - it has ignition HT coils that have a plug connection at either end (rather than one end going to earth, as in single ignition systems), so two plugs are effectively in series. So Wally's setting gaps to 15 though instead of 16 makes a 2 thou improvement (and as an inspector myself, I couldn't give a stuff - the engine is merely an 'accessory').

                      So here's a novel, but possibly impractical solution. Have a shorting switch on one plug in each cylinder (you'd choose plugs on different systems, of course). So you'd short one plug on each system to earth, reducing the effective gap on each system to just 16 thou (or whatever) for starting. Once running, you'd remove the shorts and continue to benefit from a dual plug engine. The impracticality is making a shorting switch that would function at up to 25kV, and could be opened remotely after start-up. At the simplest level, it would be like the sprung metal tab used to short out an open topped plug on an old lawnmower, in order to stop it.

                      Thinking about it, another way might be to run a really close gap on one plug on each system. Say 10 thou. It wouldn't affect ignition timing as it is in series with a normally gapped plug. You'd also still have the redundancy of a second plug, even though it wasn't most efficiently gapped.

                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Overpriced starter motors

                        Dave - are the plugs of the twin lead coil really in series? This means that if one plug cap drops off, or the HT is severed (or any other HT open circuit failure occurs) then both plugs on that coil fail to fire. This is not the failure mode I would choose.
                        There is (was) a common 'dodge' for bike engines, which involves adding an extra series gap in the HT lead to raise the voltage at which the coil discharges and preventing the coil charge from leaking away across a fouled plug. Reducing the gap reduces the discharge voltage and therefore reduces the spark energy, which is crucial to cold starting when fuel form larger droplets and may wet the plug.
                        Pete T.

                        "A closed mouth gathers no feet".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Overpriced starter motors

                          Ok that's my weekend sorted.

                          Well if all else fails I can always resort to Wally's yanking method.

                          Because after all, everyone enjoys a good Yank. :lol:

                          Cheers
                          Bryan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Overpriced starter motors

                            Hi Peter, It's one of life's compromises: wide gap = lots of energy, but the risk of either the generator failing to rise to sufficient voltage to spark (usually at starting cranking revs - not such a problem with battery/coil ignition), or insulation elsewhere breaking down and diverting the energy away from the plug gap.

                            Yes, the plugs really are in series - earth-plug1-HTcoil-plug2-earth. Yes, if one cap comes off, you lose both plugs. But it's got a second independent (almost) ignition system, so there's redundancy, so who cares?
                            Used to fly with Fuji Robins that had a similar (but more robust) arrangement - but that did only have single ignition. We always had a bungee over the plug caps then...

                            Dave

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                            • #15
                              Overpriced starter motors

                              Simon used to be the agent for the M4 sys...thats what I have on my 503DI.

                              http://ecclestonaviation.co.uk/

                              Maybe worth having a chat.
                              "When once you have tasted flight...you will forever walk with your eyes turned skywards..."

                              https://www.youtube.com/user/nickjaxe/videos.

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