Starter Motors

If you’re anything like me you take your starter motor for granted and only give it some TLC when it plays up terminally, usually at an inconvenient or awkward time!

 There were 3 basic types of starter motor fitted to Austin Seven during its life;

* A geared motor mounted in a housing which is bolted to the top of the flywheel housing. This is affectionately known as the “Bacon Slicer and was fitted up to 1929. There is a foot operated switch incorporated in the housing.

* A forward facing motor mounted in a housing again bolted to top of the flywheel housing. This differs from the previous type in that it directly operates on the teeth on the flywheel. It is operated by a floor mounted push switch. This type was fitted from 1929 until 1932.

* The last and most common starter fitted for the rest of the Seven’s production was the rear facing motor which was fitted in the engine compartment, necessitating a revised design of crankcase. This type also acted directly on the flywheel. The starter switch was mounted on top of the motor and was hand operated by a cable from inside the car.

It is worth noting that starter motors are generally very reliable and seldom “give up the Ghost” overnight. They tend to become less effective and turn the engine over more slowly over a long period of time before finally failing to start the engine, usually on a cold morning!

If your failure falls into the “overnight”  category before you start changing or replacing your starter check that you have;

ü a good, fully charged battery.

ü good connections between the starter cables and their end fittings, particularly when the ends are clamped to the cables by screw fixings.

ü a good connection between the battery earth and the car body.

ü a good connection between battery clamps and the battery posts.

If you are in any doubt break the appropriate joint, clean the surfaces and reassemble.  A smear of Vaseline or similar will prevent future corrosion at that point.

If when you have carried out these checks you still have a problem then your short term solution is to use the starting handle that Stanley so thoughtfully provided.


This article, written by Anon, originally appeared in CA7C Seven Focus December 2000,p14.


See also:

Starter Motor Repairs

Starter Motor Servicing