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Old 17-02-2016, 02:13   #1
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Gardner Starter Motor

Of those who have some experience with Gardner engines, is anyone able to tell me how I could determine if my starter motor (OEM CAV) is wound for 12V ot 24V without risking burning it? Looking at the electrical setup in the boat, I suspect that it has been wound for 24V but is only being fed 12V. My reasons for suspecting this are:

* The battery tray has been setup for 2 starter batteries. I suspect previous owner simply decided to take a shortcut and downgrade to 12V to save a few $$ last time the batteries were replaced.
* On 12V, the starter motor turns over the engine quite happily so long as it is still warm or I lift the decompression levers. From cold with full compression, it usually doesn't have enough oomph.
* It is my understanding that the default was 24V and 12V starter motors are unusual on the LW engines... Could be mistaken here.
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Old 17-02-2016, 02:44   #2
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Re: Gardner Starter Motor

Drop them a line, they are good people (sadly not making engines any more, and I hope that changes at some point, but they do full engine reconditioning as well - eta: actually full engine remanufacturing to original factory standards).

Gardner Marine Diesel Engines -

I'm a bit envious that you have a Gardner tbh.
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Old 17-02-2016, 05:22   #3
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Re: Gardner Starter Motor

Even if it is a 12V starter, it may work perfectly well at 24V.
I say this as there were many, many Ford tractors and old cars that were converted to 12V, but the original 6V starter was left installed.

I'd think you check by measuring the resistance of the windings with a multi-meter?
I believe an overhaul manual may give you those values?
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Old 17-02-2016, 15:53   #4
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Re: Gardner Starter Motor

99% of LW Series are 24v. Voltage rating is stamped in to the casing. What voltage generator is fitted? Has a separate solenoid been fitted ? A 12v will run on 24v in a pleasure boat situation should not cause any issues, many do it in the fishing industry.
Having said that if you do not know the units service take it to a auto sparky they can do a field resistance check to determine voltage and refresh the unit, it will then complement the motors expected longevity. Remember, its not a Kmart engine.
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Old 17-02-2016, 22:07   #5
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Re: Gardner Starter Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Even if it is a 12V starter, it may work perfectly well at 24V.
I say this as there were many, many Ford tractors and old cars that were converted to 12V, but the original 6V starter was left installed.

I'd think you check by measuring the resistance of the windings with a multi-meter?
I believe an overhaul manual may give you those values?
Yep, I want to be careful on this though. As shakey doug says, this is no KMart engine. A replacement starter motor is $2k + freight.
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