Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Vintage Cars & Classics in India


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 25th August 2008, 11:50   #16
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,083
Thanked: 252 Times
Default

Anjan, to answer your question first: Yes, cranking handles were very effective for starting those old cars.
Seldom took more than a good half turn upwards to start the car.

The last time I hand-cranked our old Landmaster was sometime in 1997.
In fact it was SOP that a new battery was installed only when the fitted one failed to turn the starter motor.
At times we merrily hand cranked the car for many days before getting a new battery fitted!
anupmathur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2008, 20:15   #17
Distinguished - BHPian
 
anjan_c2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: India
Posts: 5,546
Thanked: 4,764 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prabal View Post
The first start of the day, especially in the morning, robs a battery of maximum juice, especially in the older gen machines, since the engine had greater moving parts, batteries had lower voltage and amperage, and the metal was more pure!
The cranking handle also helped build up oil circulation before the engine fired and started running dry initially. Obviously not as much a running engine would do, but some help nonetheless, as it would also squeeze out some oil sleeping between the scarper rings. Older cranks had little scoops/spoons that splashed on the oil, so we are not getting into the oil pump's momentum here, either, but talking of some primary lubrication as well.
On a tangent, we've had cars in the family whose batteries lasted for 6-7 years (before re-conditioning), if not more, because the elders believed in cranking it up first!!
Nice information Prabal.But I pity the British Sahebs who used to own the cars way back then. In India's tropical climate these Sahebs must have dropped lots of sweat while cranking. Imagine them wearing a suit and tie and cranking up the Ford Model"A" or an Austin 7 ?
In the early days some equipment needed cranking up like the old gramophone(there was no electricity needed, as these ran mechanically) and cars. Even the kick starters of two wheelers make us do nothing else but cranking. Here the self starter is also coming in handy these days apart from the kick.
Ram --Amusing to see the cranking mobile charger and the cranking radio here. There are cranked torches too!
anupmathur thanks for the nice trivia

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 25th August 2008 at 20:26.
anjan_c2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2008, 21:09   #18
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,083
Thanked: 252 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
But I pity the British Sahebs who used to own the cars way back then. In India's tropical climate these Sahebs must have dropped lots of sweat while cranking. Imagine them wearing a suit and tie and cranking up the Ford Model"A" or an Austin 7 ?
LOL, Anjan, there is the inevitable conflict of era and locale here!
The British Sahebs never cranked their cars when in India; there was the Driver (not Chauffeur!) always available to do that for them!

BTW, ALL the engines turned Clockwise (looking into them from the front).

Last edited by anupmathur : 25th August 2008 at 21:12.
anupmathur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th March 2011, 23:23   #19
Senior - BHPian
 
IQBAL VEERJI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SAAT BUNGLA, BAMBAI.
Posts: 1,040
Thanked: 282 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
We had cranking handles for many old cars made till the late 1950's. The Ambassador Mark II was the last car to be available in India with a cranking handle till the 1960's. Fiat and Standard had bid goodbye to this mode of starting the engine in the late 1950's.The Herald and the Fiat 1100 Millicento came with no such handles.
How good are these handles for our old cars? I think these must be kept in old cars to aid their starting as they respond quite well to such cranking starts sometimes.How do you feel about it? Now a days its rare to see vintage and classic car lovers using these handles to jump start their jalopies.
This says something about the Model T Ford
Source MoneyCNN.com
Attachment 41512
Cadillac had been offering cars with push-button starters since 1912. But this was no Cadillac. For most T owners, their right arm was the starter motor.
While various car companies had experimented with electric starters for gasoline-powered cars, Cadillac was first with a really workable solution in 1912. The Henry Ford Museum's 1914 Model T was retrofitted with an electric starter for convenience, but it can still be cranked up the old fashioned way.
Before cranking up a Model T, there are a few steps you have to take, lest you risk serious injury or death. Not that anyone's trying to scare you.
First, you reach into the car's cabin and put in the key. (All Model T's were made with identical keys. Auto theft wasn't popular in those days, but it would have been a cinch.) Then you adjust the a lever next to the steering wheel. Next make very, very sure that the parking brake is all the way on, for obvious reasons.
Next, you go up front and pull out the metal ring connected to a small chain coming out of the grill.
Then you grab the crank handle. Make sure that your thumb is out of the way in case the crank bucks back, or else you can forget about counting past nine.
Now, you don't crank in a circle like you might have seen in the movies. You pull up a little bit, then push the crank handle in towards the car, then you give it one hard pull up to the top kind of like starting a lawnmower. That should do it.
If it doesn't, let the crank fall down the other side and try again. (Never, ever, push down while cranking. If you haven't guessed, you could get hurt.)
The engine should be puttering along. Reach into cab and push the lever back down and adjust the throttle - on the other side of the steering wheel - to its lowest speed.
Got it?
Now get in. You have to walk around the car because there's no front door on the driver's side.
Our AMBY of 1965 Mark2 had socket on the pulley for attatching a starting handle, although it had self starter, this handle was very useful to start the car with drained battery and no one to push start the car.
At times I myself have started this our car with dad on the wheel, Iwas just11 yrs old then.
That handle came with the tool kit in the car we brought on 18.01 1965. from National Garage Bhulabhai Desai Rd. I was in 4th standard in the school.that time
IQBAL VEERJI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2011, 22:56   #20
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: .
Posts: 486
Thanked: 121 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

Our Amby had this diamond hole for just that. Too bad I never got to see someone start it with that handle. That has to have been some exercise, imagine possessing the 'bicep' of Arnold.
YaeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2011, 23:24   #21
Senior - BHPian
 
SuperSelect's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mumbai.
Posts: 1,806
Thanked: 221 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

I remember our old '48 Wolseley being regularly cranked to start.
I even remember our driver-cum-mechanic beaming with pride when she would start at half crank ("Half-Handle" as he would call it). Very much like the pleasure we get when our Fiats start at "Half-Self" !!
SuperSelect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2011, 23:45   #22
Distinguished - BHPian
 
harit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,957
Thanked: 2,739 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

Using the handle to crank and engine into life was, well, a matter of convenience if you did not look after the battery.
A car as old as the Ford Model T did not need to be cranked if set up correctly, you just moved the advance/retard lever.
The late Amby's with that diamond slot in the bumper were hardely ever hand cranked, it just happened that Birla felt that there was no need to modify the tooling of the bumper (an expense) if the car functioned with the self starter anyway.
And, if you had starting problems, in most cases it was easier to push start a car than crank it.
And today, if you have a car with a low battery and need a little help, why not jump start with a jumper supplied from anothe battery?
What is the point of this thread, are we really helpless today to rely on a crank handle? Surely not.
A crank can kick-back just like a bike, can be dangerous too.

Cheers harit

Last edited by harit : 30th March 2011 at 23:47.
harit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2011, 00:31   #23
Senior - BHPian
 
rajeev k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Emerging Metro
Posts: 3,308
Thanked: 1,735 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

I remember Ambys of 1970 vintage had cranking provision with a hole in the central bumper piece and the cranking handle was a piece of the standard tool kit that came along.
rajeev k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2011, 12:20   #24
sat
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rajasthan..
Posts: 139
Thanked: 59 Times
Default Cranking Handles for Old Cars?

I remember having to crank up (quarter turn was enough) a ambassador (think it was a 76 model) when I was in college in Cal in the early 80's. With limited pocket money took some time to buy a new battery. I recollect I had the starter motor serviced with new carbon brushes, cost the princely sum of Rs 20/-

I was told correct way to crank was not to hook the thumb over the handle but to have the thumb in the same direction of the fingers in case of backlash.

--------------------------

ex RM Merc 1928, Model K now in Orissa would be impossible to start with the crank due to the size of 6 cyl engine (bore 98mm x 150mm stroke). The engine had close to the spark plug a push button pressure releasing valve with which I presume one could reduce the compression ratio of engine in case one needed to use the crank.
sat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2011, 18:15   #25
BHPian
 
mbz180's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 834
Thanked: 552 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

I think this should be of interest to some, though my car does not have a hole in the grille, Owners Manual shows it in a photo! Amol, do you think they were present on the very early cars and a carry over from the 170 and earlier (pre-ponton) 220 series?
mbz180 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2011, 12:40   #26
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: planet earth
Posts: 801
Thanked: 916 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

Slightly off topic but as one who works on cars I must confess that I used the cranking handle regularly when replacing fan belts ,timing the engine(bringing the piston to TDC),setting contact breaker points etc.I really miss the handles especially when you need to turn the engine and have to do so by other rather inconvienient methods as compared to the good old handle.And of course most of us did use the good old handle to start reluctant ambys when the starter solenoid played up..
Bulldogji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2011, 00:23   #27
BHPian
 
vintageman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 411
Thanked: 568 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

Sirs ,

I think Bulldogji has got it right the cranking handle is a useful tool for adjusting the ignition timing correctly as also for measuring the clearance on the contact breaker points exactly.

Other than above the cars that needed cranking had a manual advance or retard - you could retard and crank and then advance the ignition as you accelerated before coming to the optimum value. This would take care of the whiplash of the cranking handle .

Pushing / rolling the car and using the 2nd gear was the usual modus operandii to start cars where the battery had run down - though the cranking handle as a tool continued to the period when it was no longer the preferred option.

Regards
Chauhan
vintageman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2011, 01:04   #28
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N Delhi/Pune/Kolkata/Schwarzenfeld
Posts: 884
Thanked: 276 Times
Default Re: Are Cranking Handles Practical For Starting Old Cars?

The starter (cranking) handle also doubled up as a jack handle in some cars I've seen.

And two more benefits of the cranking handle that I learnt from some of my cranky elders (pardon the pun!!) while growing up were:

1. Without switching on the ignition, so that the engine wouldn't fire up, the manual cranking of the engine for a while, first thing in the morning, even with the self-starter working fine otherwise, also ensured that the oil-spoons on the crank and the oil-pump would send engine oil up to the upper reaches of the engine that would otherwise run dry on cold start for a fraction of time. We have had some really high-milers with us, so I guess the theory works!

2. The battery also loses a lot of juice at first start-up of the day. The cranking handle safeguarded against this. I've seen hard-rubber batteries of those days lasting 7 years (and I'm not fibbing!) in some of our vehicles, with plates in one or two cells changed at the most.

So much so, that when the cranking handle was being done away with in certain makes, around the late 60s, some of my clan actually got the cranking handle provisioned for again with the handle-hole punched out and dog-clutch retrofitted!!

We never needed to go to the gymn!!

What a joy it was, and still is, to hear the gurgle of one in good tune, at half-crank!
Prabal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is it necessary to wait for Glow Plug light to go off before cranking a Diesel? IndigoXLGrandDi Technical Stuff 56 25th October 2013 19:51
Steps to take before cranking (car lying idle for a year) ssjr0498 Technical Stuff 8 28th July 2008 15:04
"Magic Touch" Door Handles! SumitB Modifications & Accessories 13 4th April 2007 06:00
Door Handles Being Painted Query ? wolfinstein Technical Stuff 11 26th February 2007 19:13
Cranking the car when the engine IS currently running - What happens? dsinz Technical Stuff 18 4th November 2006 08:04


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:09.

Copyright 2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks