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Driveline Mini-buggy transmission, differentials, Forward Neutral Reverse (FNR) and gearing discussions.

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Old 07-19-2009, 09:08 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Electric Reverse - Starter Motor Question

I'm finally going the route of adding the starter motor for reverse. I've got it installed, but have a few questions:

-When the engine is running and in neutral, I hit the button for reverse, and I can hear the starter engage, but the engine stalls before it'll pull backwards. Why would this be if the engine isn't in gear? Am I dropping the voltage of the battery so much the engine shuts off? (I haven't been able to volt check this b/c I'm in it at the time).

-What size battery should I be using for something like this? Is a full size car battery overkill? Can I get away with having a smaller battery and throttling up the engine to get amperage to power it?

-Is there a certain way to wire up the starter? I've got the main wire run directly from the batt to the starter, and the solenoid wire runs from the battery, through a switch to the solenoid (after I get it working, I'll run it through the neutral light so it can't accidentally be engaged).

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Russ
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:27 PM   #2 (permalink)

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Default Re: Electric Reverse - Starter Motor Question

Sound like you nailed the problem.

Still using the little motorcycle battery? The starter takes so much juice its like any computer items that make the engine run starve and cannot function. At the very least the coils may not get enough voltage to produce spark.

Your wiring sounds good and the Neutral safety is a great addition.
I would run a ground cable from the starter to the battery too. This cannot hurt. It may or may not help your stalling problem. But it will help the starter out.

A simple test would be a car battery inbetween your legs wired to the starters main feed only. This would tell you the batt you have is too small.

But it sounds like your battery is just to small. If you pop a voltage guage across it and watch it or have someone while you try to back up it prolely drops to less than ten volts or worse.

As for revving it up that will only work IF it can supply the amount of juice and it WILL tax it pretty bad I bet. If it makes it fail then your weekends done.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:19 PM   #3 (permalink)

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Default Re: Electric Reverse - Starter Motor Question

That's what I thought. I just checked it with a larger car battery I have on hand, and it seems to be working.

So what size battery should I be putting in here. Should I match it to the car the starter motor came from? I guess I can go way bigger, but space is my limiting factor here. What are you guys using?
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)

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Default Re: Electric Reverse - Starter Motor Question

The bigger the battery you can have the better BUT at a size and weight penalty. But this is one you obviously have to deal with with the starter reverse.

Option may include TWO smaller batteries and an isolator (like twin battery RV's use) One battery for the machine and one dedicated to the reverse.
Two smaller batteries may make for less weight than one big one.

The biggest battery you can fit would be best. Even with two smaller separate ones if you back up a lot the reverse battery MAY have a short life if your drawing more amps that it can easily supply. Have to test the current draw on your reverse starter and see what the battery maker says thier battery can deal with on a regular basis and go from there.

Other options may be a better reverse motor. The Chrysler starters are said to use less juice as they have built in gear reductions. Fancy ones out of race car places are also common to have this feature and tend to use less juice to crank heavy loads. If your already using one of these is it in good shape? A good starter will use far less power than a worn out one.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:43 AM   #5 (permalink)

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Default Re: Electric Reverse - Starter Motor Question

Look into the Optima line of batteries - they're well worth the little bit more you'll spend over a regular automotive/motorcycle style battery.
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