In search of Christopher Willis

From: Don Maslin <>
Date: Sat May 17 00:07:00 2003

On Fri, 16 May 2003, Fred Cisin (XenoSoft) wrote:

> > I never heard of a BBS. It ranks up there with butter churn parts and
> > knowledge of how to crank start a car. It is good to know but it is not
> > something you'd run across - well except here. It is interesting to think
> > of all the detailed knowledge lost throughout history as it simply had no
> > use and was not preserved.
> Well, since you brought it up,...
> <Off-topic-useless-info>
> The newest car that I've had that had a crank was a 1958 VW pickup,
> although the U.S. models stopped in the early 50s. But the parts were
> around for quite a while (special crank pulley nut), so I added it to
> others through the 1980s. The special crank pulley nut had deep
> asymmetrical notches, kinda like the "tamper-proof" screw-heads in public
> mens' rooms, so that the crank would be pushed back and not be turned
> by the engine once it started. The crank itself is just a bent rod with a
> small cross bar near the tip.
> Start by chocking the wheels, or at least FIRMLY set a brake.
> Make a scratch mark for the current distributor position (timing).
> Retard the ignition timing to no more than a few degrees before top
> dead center. You REALLY don't want it to kick back! That REALLY hurts!
> A friend of Charles Kettering was killed that way, and that is what led
> to the development of an electric motor for starting.
> Bring it up on compression of one cylinder.
> Take it as fast as you can through top dead center; if it responds at all,
> try to keep as much momentum as you can past the next cylinder.
> The natural variation from one cylinder to another may mean that you might
> have to try starting with several different cylinders.
> Once it starts, turn the distributor back to where it was; unchock the
> wheels; and next time, don't let the battery run down that far!

It was sure a lot easier when you could retard the 'spark' with
the lever on the steering column, wasn't it?

                                                - don

> Hand cranking is no harder than push starting a car, except that with push
> starting it is possible to distribute the work load among more people.
> NEITHER will work with modern systems, such as the '70 VW Type III fool
> injection or modern emission control computers unless the battery has
> enough voltage remaining to power the electronics (typically about 10V).
> </Off-topic-useless-info>
> --
> Grumpy Ol' Fred
Received on Sat May 17 2003 - 00:07:00 BST

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