<VV> When a Kleenex is not a kleenex ... starter drives

Chris & Bill Strickland lechevrier at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 16 22:53:51 EDT 2010

I guess some of you youngsters just aren't old enuf to understand, but 
once upon a time, a Bendix wasn't the ninth occurance of some event in 
Bend, Oregon (Bend IX), it was the invention of Vincent Bendix, it did 
away with hand crank engine starting, was first used in 1914, and they 
all had a peculiar flat wound spring.  My first automotive starter 
experiences had them -- Morris Minors and Ford 8-N tractors.

Bendix starter drives were apparently so successfull that, like Kleenex, 
the word became universal for a starter drive, but I guess many of you 
have not tried to replace a broken Bendix spring on a Bendix style 
starter drive.  The overrunning clutch starter drive on our Corvairs is 
so very much simpler to fix -- just replace the thing -- call it a 
bendix and the counter computer operator will find you one. But now, you 
too can know that it is really not a "Bendix".  Just buy the nifty 
snap-ring tool from a vendor, and it is almost a pain-free job (except 
starter removal).

1) Bendix type starter drive --A self-engaging  starter drive gear, the 
gear moves into engagement when the starter starts spinning and 
automatically disengages when the starter stops [Note: no solenoid] Also 
called an Inertia Drive.  Like on a Model T. See attachements.

2) Pre-engaged starter (the overrunning clutch starter drive) -- A 
starter motor in which the solenoid-operated pinion engages with a 
flywheel ring gear before the full electric current flows; an 
overrunning clutch enables the pinion to freewheel before disengaging, 
once the engine has fired.  Like on a Corvair.

3) Pre-engaged Bendix starter -- A peculiar combination of Bendix and 
pre-engaged starter drives. Usage unknown. <wink wink>

[definitions with help from http://www.motorera.com/dictionary/]

Bill Strickland
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