Jack Absalom "How to start a manual car by hand"

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:13
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Just finished reading an article in R.M.Williams Outback magazine where Jack Absalom gives some bush advise on how to start a manual car by hand.
Apparently you jack up one of the drive wheels put the vehicle in top gear and give the wheel a spin by hand.
Any one tried this and does it really work?
Cheers Ray
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:18

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:18
Ray

Yes. Better to use a piece of rope or snatch strap and start it like a lawnmower. Third gear is a good gear to use. Don't forget to switch the ignition on.


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Poppy (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:24

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:24
Hi Willem
So it really works then and are you speaking from experience LOL

Ray
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:30

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:30
YES!
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Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 16:54

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 16:54
So, what happens when the car/truck starts, in gear, with wheel jacked up. There is still another wheel on the ground. Do you run after it when it takes off. I just picture it in my mind Cheers
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Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 19:38

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 19:38
Oh dear George, oh dear. How old are you?....lol

Most cars have slip diffs. Remember how when you got bogged and one wheel turned while the other was stationary? i.e. not spinning. Same principle applies when wheel is off the ground...or are you trying to wind me up :-)


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2009 at 00:14

Sunday, Jan 11, 2009 at 00:14
Just testing. No not trying to wind you up Willem. I was just looking at the funny side of things if you happen to forget that your car has a limited slip diff. My imagination was getting away from me Cheers
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Reply By: Louie the fly (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:28

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:28
I saw him do it on his TV show when I was a kid.

Louie.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:29

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:29
Ray,

Can't remember using this method on a manual car, but we did use the principle on a Dodge truck, with a Perkins diesel engine.

Truck had flat batteries, so jacked up one of the rear duals, wrapped a long rope around it, and hooked end of rope to a ute. The ute did the pulling, and think someone worked the clutch, so that the wheel/driveline got up some momentum, before dropping the clutch.

Think it took a couple of attempts to synchronise clutch, with spinning transmission, but it did work.

Don't know what would happen with car with LSD?

Regards,
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:33

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:33
Hi Bob

I wasn't going to suggest starting a diesel by hand....LOL

But two of us pushed a Landcruiser diesel once to get it going. The engine was quite hot though so that made things a tad easier.


Regards

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 22:21

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 22:21
Someone mentioned below that you would need to jack up both wheels on a LSD.

For a modern diesel you would have to find a way to get the fuel shut off solenoid to stay open, Apparently 2 of the old "Dolphin torch" square 6v batteries will do it.

I'd hate to be needing to do this. I think I may even accept a tow from a Toymota in such a desperate situation.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 22:36

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 22:36
Willem,

Probably a few skinned knuckles trying to start a diesel by hand, eh?

The L/C HJ75's, with 2H motor, were a dog to start at times, If you were able to push them and if you were able to get into the cab quick enough, you also had to remember to turn the key onto "start' to engage the EDIC, as you engaged the clutch.

Always handy to have an HF to call for help.....on long as the battery had enough kick.

We've ended up with 154mm for the week, Willem. We all resemble the Cheshire Cat LOL

Regards,
Bob.
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Follow Up By: Ray - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 00:49

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 00:49
Had an old 2h at one time. The solinoid cacked it and the replacement cost was very high. I fitted a choke cable to stop the engine just like in the old days.
Some one mentioned starting handles a few days ago. I can remember taking out the spark plugs in an old Land Rover some time ago and using the starting handle to get out of a bog.
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Follow Up By: Member - Malcolm C (QLD) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44
When I was on Twins Stn (SA) we used the old double decker buses for outback camp. Kitchen downstairs, sleep up top.

I think these things had a Gardner diesel. We tried tow starting it from cold with a one ton jeep in low range. Stopped the jeep in its tracks ! Never did get it started that way :-)

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Follow Up By: furph - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 08:47

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 08:47
Malcolm.
Would those double decker bus camps have been anything to do with Reg Sprigg, the geologist, on his oil search surveys?
cheers. furph
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Follow Up By: Member - Malcolm C (QLD) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:07

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:07
Hi furph

I don't think so. IIRC Darryl bought three of them in Adelaide. One each for Twins, McDouall Peak and Ingomar and then converted them when they arrived.

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Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:31

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:31
Depending on terrain, it'd be quicker just to clutch start it.

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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:35

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:35
Yeah yeah...I want to see you do that ole fella.....hahahaha

Even a plurry Suzuki is hard to push on a flat road surface.


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:39

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:39
LOL you know how much I love jacking up cars.

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:31

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:31
If it has a Limited Slip Differential, you will need to get both wheels of the ground and make sure 4wd is not engaged! I have an old book of his, "Safe Outback Travel", there is not too much that is relavent in it for these modern days but the basic common sense approach still works!! Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 23:18

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 23:18
Michael, You only need to jack up one rear wheel with the Toyota LSDs :-))))
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 12:34

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 12:34
Thats even better Phil but you only jack one wheel... Half the work!! Michael
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Reply By: kevanancy - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:46

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:46
A mate of mine has told me the story of how he once used this method on a F100 with a dead battery in the bottom of a steep gully , they used a rope around the wheel and removed a spsark plug (maybe 2 can't remember) .
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Reply By: V64Runner - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:50

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:50
What ever happened to the good old days when the car was fitted with a crank handle. It was inserted through a hole on the steel front bumper and engaged on the end of the crankshaft pulley. A couple of quick turns and the motor was running. I know because I once had Morris Minor 1000 that had a crank handle and thenlater a big six cylinder Austin A105 Westminster , and that was fitted with a crank handle. Came in useful on several occasions when the battery was flat the next morning due to the fact that the radio had been left on all night.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mal and Di (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 22:35

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 22:35
Yes and I remember the broken wrists that went with it as well. LOL.
M.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 23:15

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 23:15
My FJ55 LandCruiser with a 2F Motor had a crank handle - I needed it once, and was amazed how well it worked.
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Follow Up By: Dave B (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 23:17

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 23:17
I think you would have to have a big hole in your mudguard now for the crank handle, most cars are front wheel drive .

Plus the radiators are much lower now so you would need a hole in the radiator for the handle in a north south motor.

Dave
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Follow Up By: V64Runner - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 00:48

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 00:48
The broken wrists were due to people pushing down on the crank handle and not pulling up. The idea was to to pull up hard with the thumb on top of the handle - not wrapped around it - that way you saved your thumb from being broken. It was good exercise as I made a point of starting my car every morning using the crank handle, and setting the manually operated choke at the correct setting and bingo fired up every time, every day.

I guess to days generation of kids would not even know what a crank handle is let alone having ever seen one. Yup those were the good old days when cars were cars and all had their own personalities. Not like todays mass produced plastic where its hard to tell one vehicle from another.

Even the new so called Hill Assist Control on most manual new vehickles was invented by Studebaker. My late Father had two Studebakers and when parked on a hill, all he had to do was to apply the foot brake to bring the car to a halt, depress the clutch and then take his foot off the brake pedal. The car didnt move an inch. Soon as he was ready to go he accelorated in the same way we would do in todays modern manual transmission. So HAC is not new - its been around since 1948 ! Just surprised that other motor manufacturers never used the system, as it was idiot proof and never failed
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 03:29

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 03:29
I have crank started an Army, series 2 I think - it was a lot easier than I thought it would be and much better than pushing.
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 08:07

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 08:07
I had a Renault 10 for a while and they had this feature. The engine was in the rear with rear wheel drive and I found it relatively easy to start but then again it was only 1000cc!

There have been times where i wish this was still available.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: V64Runner - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:17

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:17
There have been any times when I wish the crank handle had never been replaced by all this new fangled technology. One needs to be a rocket scientist to understand how these new engines work. Open the bonnet and all you see are large plastic covers, with a few items painted in yellow. I think the days of being DIY person are becoming a thing of the past. Hence the reason I keep my Toyota V6 4Runner. Its easy to work on and although the engine bay is a bit cramped, at least I can still get to 99% of most sections . Todays mechanics are now diagnosticians - plug in the computer and it tells you wer the fault lies. NO more having to go through the procedure to check whatthe problem is or where its coming from. I`ve yet to see a modern day mechanic with dirty hands and overalls. They might as well be wearing a suit and tie. Ah yes those were the god old days where you could climb inside the engine bay and everything was easy to get to.
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Reply By: Madfisher - Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:51

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 21:51
Unfortunalty with modern efi cars you need battery power to run the injectors. Even on a long downhill run they often will not start if the battery is dead flat.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 07:08

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 07:08
Also Pete , on Patrols from at least year 2001 and I think Cruisers you need a start signal , which comes from engaging the starter motor for a split second. otherwise car will never start no matter how big the hill.


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Follow Up By: Cruiser Crazy - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 20:30

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 20:30
You might wanna try to disconnect the battery with a EFI car before you push start it.
The flat battery takes all the power from the alternator and leaves nothing for the components that need it.
Small electronics only need 5V or 3.3V. So that little bit from the alternator might just be enough to get it going.
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Sunday, Jan 11, 2009 at 22:51

Sunday, Jan 11, 2009 at 22:51
Not true. I had reason to roll-start the LC100TD recently due to dead battery. It worked no dramas.
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Reply By: DIO - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:08

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:08
Exactly the same principle as 'push-starting' a vehicle. Why wouldn't it work !
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Reply By: Steve - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:55

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:55
Funny old character, Jack. :))

I nabbed a 5-dvd pack of his old TV series for $20. Well worth it for entertainment as well as "education". He demonstrates this very starting method. He also happily trailed around the Strezlecki in a Colt Sigma with standard tyres and stresses the importance of having tyres fully inflated, which flies in the face of current opinion. His finger-wagging old-school mannerisms are a joy to behold.

LOL

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Reply By: OzTroopy - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:57

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:57
Dio ..... your right ... ???????????


Like most of the old dependable methods of getting going again, " victa zip starting " works a treat ... unless on a vehicle dependant on battery power supply for fuel control / immobiliser / PCM etc ... not too mention stupid, so called safety features like having to have the clutch pedal depressed - for the starter circuit to work ...

All the "wonderful " (pfffft ) technology really works against you in the end.

Ray ...
Well done ... the poor mans, diesel wind down, turbo timer and fuel cut off - ditch the 2h off solenoid for a choke cable .... worked a treat eh.

Crank handles ...
Yep good ol Landys ( and others ) ... pull the spark plugs, fit the crankhandle and use the factory supplied winch ... the gearbox. Do the job right and there was even time to boil the billy ... of course every body being in such a rush to get nowhere these days - chooses an extra couple of batteries / overpriced winch, and bar to mount it on / battery switching system etc and will get to use it all ... no more times than I ever had to crank a landy .... lolol

Wasnt aware of the Studebaker system ... but not surprised as plenty of other late model, you beaut ideas have been around in different forms for years.

Vehicles today are just like washing machines ... full of gadgetry and still only do the same thing they did 50yrs ago. The only real advances in vehicles best suited for long distance remote travel, are suspension configurations and seating quality ... The blingy doodads are just an expensive fix waiting to happen ... over and above - any mechanical breakdowns.

Good thing is ... one doesnt need to carry tools and spares anymore .... All the money normally spent on those items can be left in a bank account titled " Tilt Tray Funds " and a bit of it used for a sat phone purchase.
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 15:11

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 15:11
Sure does work!

We flattened the battery so bad in a HT Holden ute once this method wouldn't work either as there wasn't enough power to fire the ignition coil!

Solution? Rip the 6volt battery out of the dolphin torch and hook it up to the coil. Spin the rear wheel in third gear and away she went.

With the ignition on there is just enough sting in a dolphin torch battery to excite the alternator and give the volts to keep it running.

Once she's away disconnect the torch battery.

As to crank handles, I regularly used the one on my FJ40 Landcruiser with the 2H petrol engine!

Like someone above said, the trick is to swing the handle up, not down and keep you thumb on top with your fingers. It also helps if the engine is kept in a good state of tune.

Geoff
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Follow Up By: Member - Axle - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:09

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:09
Hi Geoff, Crank Handles!!!!, When i was 15yr old and weighing 6 stone wringingi wet, ihad the joy of starting a petrol international farmall tractor with a crank handle, The Bas....rd, back fired took two front teeth out, and shot me thru the back of the shed!, All the ol man could do was roll around laughing.



Cheers Axke.
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:15

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:15
Hey Axle, are you my long lost brother?

That sounds exactly like something my old man would do!

Those old blokes had a way of teaching you stuff reall fast that stuck forever!

Geoff
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Follow Up By: Thermoguard Instruments - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 13:02

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 13:02
Hi All,

Had my first experience of crank-starting a few weeks back. (Well, apart from playing with a Southern Cross single-cylinder diesel lighting plant years ago. But that was easy - just wind it up and then flick the de-compressor off).

Our Grey Fergie's ('49 TE-D 20) starter motor was cactus in the last week before we headed off to Tassie. To finish the slashing and other jobs, I started it for a few days with a wind-up type jack handle. Worked OK but the jack handle was only 3/8" rod and looked like spaghetti when I was finshed with it. Will have to make a decent handle out of 1/2" or 5/8" round bar when we get back.

Ian
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