Strumco Air Starter
7127-68 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6B 3T6

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#4036 4649
Macleod Trail SW
Calgary, Alberta.
Canada T2G 0A6

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Spring Starter Frequently Asked Questions

simmsSpring Starter Frequently Asked Questions

As projects are rarely the same, we believe that each customer needs a different level of support and we are happy to answer any queries or questions you have in person.

Spring starters can theoretically be used on a variety of equipment, so anything that uses a diesel engine could be fitted with a spring starter: boats, tractors, pumps, gen sets, compressors, construction equipment, mining equipment, hydraulic pumps units – the list is endless.

Below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions:

Who uses Spring starters?

We supply and maintain equipment to industries such as agriculture and irrigation, construction, marine – leisure and commercial, mining, military, hazardous industries such as oil and gas, and auxiliary power generation units.

What sort of equipment might benefit?

Anything that uses a diesel engine within our rapidly developing portfolio of applications.

How does a spring starter work?

Our Spring starters have a winding handle; push the button to engage the starter then wind the handle until the spring colour changes (viewed through the window on the body) indicating fully wound. These starters have a manual trip – all it takes is a pull of the trip handle and the stored energy is released. Click here to view a video of a spring starter in action.

Is it safe?

On all our range of spring starters the winding is separated from the starting action so it is very safe. Winding can take as long as you like, so there is no risk of strain as there is with the traditional starting handle.

Do I get rid of my electrics?

Most diesel engines will start without power from an electric circuit, so in theory you could get rid of your electrics, although some diesel engine have an electric fuel cut out and need power to start, so therefore a small battery or system modification would be needed initially.

Do I need to make any modifications to fit a spring starter?

Kineteco spring starters are designed to bolt straight on to your engine with little or no modification. Engines have many different builds and the fitting must be checked properly prior to use. You will need to have space beside the engine to stand and turn the winding handle. For friendly advice concerning applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Is there a maintenance program for a spring starter?

Unlike battery starting systems, you can leave your spring starter unused for long periods of time without any adverse effect, this is one of the great benefits for this type of starter as a back up unit. We have some storage instructions designed to maintain reliability, but when the starter is stored off the engine for standby use if the electric starter fails, but other than that spring starters are maintenance free.

Why do spring and electric starters have a different number of teeth?

The body of a spring starter can be larger than an electric starter, so to make it fit on the engine it needs to be slightly further away from the flywheel. This means a slightly larger pinion is used, which in turn means more teeth. Another reason could be down to the greater torque output of a spring starter.

What is an offset?

Many electric starters have pinions running concentrically with the engine's starter pocket. As there is often a difference in size between the bodies of spring and electric starters, spring starters sometimes need to be mounted further away from the engine block, and therefore the pinion needs to be ‘offset’ from the mounting flange to fit. Whilst this has no effect on the starting capacity, it does create another dimension for correct fitting.

What happens to a spring starter at low temperatures?

Diesel needs to achieve the temperature of 600 degrees before anything happens in terms of starting. The spring starter itself will not be affected too much by the cold, it is just the engine that doesn’t like it and that includes the lubricants too. As with other starting systems, you may need to use proprietary starting aids and special lubricants at lower temperatures.

1 Q.  What is a Startwell Mechanical Starter?
 A.  It is a manually operated engine starter powered by high energy disc springs.

2 Q.  What can it be used on?
 A.  Currently it can be used on any direct injection diesel engine between 0.5 and 12 litres capacity (2 litres per cylinder, maximum of 6 cylinders), with sufficient space to accommodate the starter. We are constantly increasing the range of applications that our starters can be used on.

3 Q.  Can it be used on indirect injection engines?
 A.  Yes, but for smaller capacity engines, and certainly as a backup starter where heater plugs can be used for a starting aid.

4 Q.  What if the engine is direct injection with eight cylinders, but the overall capacity I below 6.5 litres?
 A.  Yes, the Startwell Starter will be able to start the engine.

5 Q.  How many revolutions of the flywheel will I get with the Startwell Starter? 
 A.  That depends on the size of the engine. As a rule of thumb, a six litre multi-cylinder engine will turn through 1.5 to 2.5 revolutions and a small single or multi-cylinder engine with capacity of 0.7 to 1.5 litres will turn through 5 to 8 revolutions.

6 Q.  How does an engine start with so few revolutions? 
 A.  On a small engine the Startwell Starter rotates the engine through almost the same number of revolutions as an average electric starter (i.e. for approximately 3 seconds), but at a much higher speed, approximately three times as fast as a conventional electric starter. On larger engines it rotates the engine approximately twice as fast as an electric starter, allowing much less time for the heat to dissipate through the cylinder walls during a compression stroke, thus the engine cylinder rapidly reaches ignition point.

7 Q.  How long does it take to start an engine with the Startwell Starter?
 A.  Average time to wind and trip is 10 seconds.

8 Q.  What is the life of a Startwell Starter.
 A.  In normal usage you can expect a minimum of 5000 cycles, i.e. between three to five years of regular use. After this period some parts may require replacement. As a stand-by secondary starter,( e.g. on generators, lifeboats) the starter life may be two to three times the normal.

9 Q.  How do I start at lower temperatures? 
 A.  If the Startwell Starter is used as a standby starter on a boat, then us use the same electrical method such as thermal glow plug or sump heater. The battery may not have sufficient power to start the engine but may have enough for the starting aids. If the starter is used as a primary starter then use a reputable ether assisted starting aid such as"Start Pilot" or "Easy Starting" .

10 Q.  Could the ether assisted starting aid be damaging to the engine? 
 A.  A large amount of research has been undertaken by the engine manufacturers and most of them recommend a starting aid in certain conditions. It is, however, inadvisable to use excessive amounts of starting aid to make staring easy.

11 Q.  Can the Startwell Starter replace non electric starters, such as hydraulic or air starting systems? 
 A.  Yes, If the engine capacity falls within the Startwell Starter's capability it can replace these alternative devices, saving both space and cost.

12 Q.  Can it replace electric starters with various mounting flanges and pinions? 
 A.  Yes, the Startwell Starter range covers all the SAE mounting flange configurations and various module and fellow stub pinions.

13 Q.  How can I energize an alternator, as the Startwell Starter requires no battery?
 A.  This is a problem faced by all non electric starting systems. The easiest solution is to use a small (or second hand) battery to excite the alternator which requires very little current.