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View Full Version : Chrysler starter motors/ignition: why so damn loud?


elmwood
03-09-2008, 04:55 PM
Through the 1970s, when I was a kid, my grandparents on my mom's side were extremely loyal to Chrysler motor products: Dodges, Plymouths, and so on. Dad even had a couple of Chryslers during the decade, as company cars.

The one thing that sticks out in my mind is that when they started with a loud whine, as if there was something quite wrong with the starter motor. GM and Ford products from the era seemed to start without much drama, but Mopar .... SCREEWEEWEEWEEWEEWEEWEEWEEVAROOM!!!!

My question to SDMB gearheads: why were Chrysler starter motors of the era so damn loud? Was there any inherent advantages to the design that they used?

3acresandatruck
03-09-2008, 05:24 PM
From Allpar: (http://allpar.com/history/mopar/electrical3-starters.html)

The 1962 Chrysler design broke new ground by developing the first starter, anywhere, using a cast-aluminum housing and double gear reduction. The armature spun at much higher RPM than the norm; this feature, combined with the extra helical gearset, served to create the now-famous waaa-waaa-waaa sound that told you, from a block away, it was a Mopar cranking.
I think they used these up till about 1985, and they were on everything from a 170 cid slant six to the big block 440's. Lots of good information and drawings can be seen at the linked page.

Rick
03-09-2008, 11:26 PM
3acresandatruck Got it right in one. There are few cars that had a more distinctive sound than a Chrysler cranking up

AskNott
03-10-2008, 10:39 AM
Mopar mavens lovingly dubbed that noise "the call of the Hyde Park Hummingbird." :)

Nuke
03-10-2008, 12:23 PM
It's more of a "nyert nyert nyert" type noise.

RedSwinglineOne
03-10-2008, 01:09 PM
Having owned several 60's MoPars, I can say for myself that I liked the sound. Maybe because it was so purely Chrysler. A lot of things on MoPars were odd. The keys go in 'upside down'. The glove box doors on my 69 charger and 69 roadrunner opened upwards. I've had a couple of 64's with push-button shifters.
Another interesting note on the starters is that if the car didn't start, the starter spun down for another 4-5 seconds and you had to wait for it to stop before you tried again.

elmwood
03-10-2008, 07:10 PM
From Allpar: (http://allpar.com/history/mopar/electrical3-starters.html)


I think they used these up till about 1985, and they were on everything from a 170 cid slant six to the big block 440's. Lots of good information and drawings can be seen at the linked page.

Thanks for the link!

jasonh300
03-10-2008, 07:43 PM
A lot of things on MoPars were odd. The keys go in 'upside down'.

Upside down? You mean with the teeth facing up? GM keys were the only ones that went in with the teeth facing down. Even Fords had the teeth facing up prior to the double-sided keys.

Unless you're referring to something pre-1966, every Chrysler product I've ever driven (and there have been several dozen) all had the teeth facing up.

ETA: I am excluding AMC products which really aren't Chrysler, but they're considered part of the MoPar family nowadays since Chrysler bought out AMC in the early 70s. AMC used a GM steering column so the teeth faced down on the ignition switch.

Backwater Under_Duck
03-10-2008, 08:14 PM
Just to point out:
The Three Dog Night song "One Man Band" (album "Naturally", 1970) has a guitar riff that we always thought sounded just like a 63 Chrysler trying to start up on a cold morning:
http://amazon.com/gp/product/B000VZV9RW/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk8?ie=UTF8&qid=1205193820&sr=1-1 :cool:

Cardinal
03-11-2008, 01:49 AM
ETA: I am excluding AMC products which really aren't Chrysler, but they're considered part of the MoPar family nowadays since Chrysler bought out AMC in the early 70s. 1987.

Cerowyn
03-11-2008, 07:44 AM
Okay. Never mind.

jasonh300
03-11-2008, 07:42 PM
1987.

Oops...I knew that. :smack:

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