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Oil Field Engines & Related Equipment

Friction Starters


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  #1  
Old 10-22-2008, 07:32:06 PM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Friction Starters

If anyone here has some pics that they could post of friction starters that they have built and are currently using on their engines, it would be a big help to members who are considering this starting option on their own engine. I for one am interested in building one. I understand the pricipals of how they work, but like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. My questions would be: What horsepower engine is required? RPM? What size tire is used. How was the tire mounted to the engine, or if not mounted directly to the engine, how was it driven? From what my reasearch in the archives here has told me, most are using modern small gas engines with electric start and gear reductions for added power. Some use a solid rubber tire and some use and inflated tire. Would be very interesting seeing and hearing about different setups.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2008, 06:10:03 AM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Are you talking about starting a 2hp or a big oilfield engine?
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2008, 08:36:02 AM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Peter
Here is a starting unit that i built. I used a old cone style wood splitter.And removed the cone and mounted a wheel on it.We use it to start a 25hp Fairbanks and also a 60hp Chicago Pneumatic.
Rob
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:13:48 AM
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KeithW KeithW is offline
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Photo Re: Friction Starters

Here is what I built for my 7 1/2 x 10 Ajax. With a little work it also worked on my friends Harley.

http://datsunroadsterranch.com/images/ajax192.jpg

http://datsunroadsterranch.com/images/ajax193.jpg

http://datsunroadsterranch.com/images/ajax194.jpg

http://datsunroadsterranch.com/images/ajax195.jpg

http://datsunroadsterranch.com/images/ajax196.jpg

http://datsunroadsterranch.com/images/ajax197.jpg

When you hit the button the mini-bike tire runs down the flywheel pushing it into the flywheel. When the engine starts the tire is pushed back up and out of the way. The starter is a Dodge gear reduction unit with a modified Bendix. I welded a stub to it for the sprocket and spacered it out so it would not retract. Here is a video of it in action along with a tour of the Ajax.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obMMi8tp9P4

Having started the Ajax by hand I can highly reccomend something like this.

keithw
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:36:09 AM
Tremel Tremel is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Please DON'T DO THIS!!! Too often, i see these friction starters destroying engines. Or worse, hurting someone. Sometimes, rare engines are destroyed. If your big engine will not start by rolling into compression, or it won't start with air, then there is something WRONG... Weak compression is NO EXCUSE for a friction starter. New rings can be made for any size engine.

Go ahead and spam me all you want. I just don't like seeing engines or People getting destroyed. And I have seen such damage already, not to mention that I recieve one or two calls a year from someone looking for a new flywheel because they used a friction started.
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:45:21 PM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Yes you are correct about badley built friction starters. Well built starters work, I have used them for many years without a problum. Even a good compresion engine in good shape can have a bad day starting, and when you hit 50+years of age it can be somewhat diffacult to start a large engine. I use a sliding system with springs and a slip clutch for larger engines, this gives some protection for kick back. Smaller engines can use a walk up system with a converted ford starter. I would rather break a flywheel than have a cylinder head blow. There are drawbacks to each system no mater what. But like anything it is only as good as the operator. I would still like to do an air start sometime, mayby get real fancy and have a cam system to control the air blast. Your comments are well taken and any air start systems you have used would be nice to look at. THANK YOU. Phil
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:16:33 PM
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KeithW KeithW is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Any method of starting an engine has some hazards and must be done properly and carefully. I have started the Ajax by hand and may do it again, but for the most part it is beyond what I can do any more. The Ajax has the impulse spark delay on the magneto so kicking back is not really an issue. I use the same starting procedure as hand starting except that I turn the engine over with the friction drive.

A hot tube engine like a Reid that is started by turning it backwards then having it kick forwards is an entirely different problem. Starting with a friction drive would require an entirely different procedure.

A well thought out friction drive should be as safe as any other way to start one.

keithw
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:33:40 PM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

HELLO, Keithw. On the reids when using a friction starter you would spin it the normal running direction and not try to bounce it off the compression. You can open the bleed hole with a valve and spin it up then close the valve. Once turning well, you can open the gas valve. I know some people will get it spinning then release the starter, and turn on the gas. I may be wrong, but it would be good to here from Reid owners who have friction starters. Phil
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:49:45 PM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Dan: I'm talking about larger engines but I'm sure all here would be interested in info on smaller engine starters too.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:54:42 PM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Cool idea for the use of the old splitter Rob. Thanks for the pics!
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:07:00 PM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Impressive engine Keith. Nice job on setting it up on your trailer. Thanks for the pictures and movie too. Looks like a nice setup.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:17:19 PM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Point well taken Bill and I doubt that anyone is going to spam you. I certainly am not. You offer another side of the coin,,,,,,which is good information for the post. I agree with you,,,,,a bad system can and will do damage to an old engine and thats a shame. Worse case, is someone getting hurt.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2008, 06:23:07 AM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

To start my Reid I just belt it up to the tractor. Easy.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:49:07 AM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Belting to the tractor works ok if you have a tractor with a flat belt pulley, or power unit. My Reid is on a trailer and not posible to belt up with the trailer wheels in the way. I did belt it when it was sitting on its mounting base to break it in. Phil
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:16:56 PM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Here is what we use on the Big engines in the oilfield. These work good on the Antique Engines too. You step on the pedal to raise the rubber wheel.
There are companies that actually make these. But you can build them your self. You want at least a 6hp. I use a set up like this, only alot older on my 15hp Reid. I use a 6hp Honda, you just have to remember to let it slip a little untill the flywheels spinning.
But please keep in mind that if you have to crank your engine over more than 4 or 5 times to start it, you have something wrong! If they are set up right, good compression or not, any engine will start on the 2nd or 3rd time over.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:11:03 AM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Thats a nice neat looking unit Doug. How does it raise up the wheel, is it on a rocker or pivot of some sort? I agree with you 100%. If it takes more than two or three turns of the engine to start it, something is wrong. Bill Tremel made the same comment. Thanks for the pics.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:27:08 AM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

A BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO RESPONDED TO THIS POST !! If anyone else has anything to add, please feel free. It appears that more guys are using these type starters than I though and it interesting to all of us how they work. Honest opinions are good,,,,,for or against, we can all learn and benefit from the friendly debate. More pictures would be really neat too !!
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:38:45 PM
MacCutty MacCutty is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Hi Peter,
I noticed a lot of posts about friction starters, but what's wrong with a belt starter?
I purchased this Continental C-66 a couple weeks ago and am using an old Wisconsin AENL with a 4:1 geared reduction to start it. Works great. I use the clutch on the oilfield engine to isolate the Wisconsin once the Continental gets going.
I have everything bolted down to a pallet, but now that I know the C-66 is good, I'll move it to a steel frame/timbers. I think I'll stay with the AENL, but put it on a hinged base so I can take off the belts once it is running (and hook up something else).
Happy motoring,
Steve
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:46:19 AM
Walt Roys Walt Roys is offline
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Default Re: Friction Starters

Tremel,
If you are searching for info, I say let's have all the information. You have provided a different point of view and one based on valid experience. What can be more important to the info gathering process than that. It makes one cautious and that's the point. Thanks!!
Walt
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:21:12 PM
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Default Re: Friction Starters

My problem with the belt starter is getting the belt off after you get the engine started. This usually involves giving it lots of slack and flipping it off the pulley somehow. Just makes me a little nervous. Not to say I haven't done it, but it makes me nervous.

keithw
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