Crank handles

Excerpts from

| December/January 2004

  • Smok stak

  • Smok stak

After reading the post earlier about someone wanting a crank handle, I thought I would bring it up.

I picked up a little 1 HP Mogul the other day and it came with a crank handle. Not really thinking much about the situation, I tried to start the engine on the tailgate of the truck and it spit back and threw the crank handle inches from my friend's head. Well, as you may have guessed, I won't use the crank handle on this engine anymore. But, I see quite a few folks using them at shows as opposed to pulling on the flywheels. By the way, the crank and shaft are both in good shape on the Mogul. How do you guys and gals stand on the issue? Denny  

Here's how I use a crank and I have never had a problem: I hold the intake valve in with my left hand while cranking the engine up to speed with my right. Release the intake valve and remove the crank and hope it starts. With this method I am never cranking against compression and the engine can't fire and kick back. It's worked for me for 25 years. Mike  

I don't like to use a crank on a smaller engine, because you might lose some teeth! But I'm a little guy and that is the only way I can start my 6 HP IH M. Those cranks came with the engines for a reason, just be Some seven or eight years ago, a local 'town-ie' gave me a call pleading for help. He had inherited a small Stover engine his grandfather had bought new in about 1913. I made some parts for his engine and helped him to do some mechanical work on it.

While he was at my place one day, he noticed a wall in my garage that has about 30 engine cranks nailed to it, and he asked if I had a crank that would fit his engine. I told him I did, but I would not sell one to him because they are very dangerous for someone who doesn't know how to use one.

About a month went by, and I received a call from him that the engine was painted and ready for me to come over, make final adjustments and teach him how to start it. I went to his place and got the engine going and showed him how to start it. I went through the procedure with him five or six times so he could try to do it himself in the future. Two weeks later, he called me and said he tried to start it, but it wouldn't run. He wondered if I would come over and help him, but I wasn't going to be able to help him for at least a week due to my busy schedule.