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Technical 1955.5 Chevy Truck starter issue

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by olebetsy55, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. olebetsy55
    Joined: Jun 17, 2015
    Posts: 59


    Hey all, having troubles with my 55 1/2 3200 starting. Went to go start it the other day and when I depressed the floor stomp button, nothing. I tried a couple times and it started up like normal (but I have never had it do nothing before). Drove it to work and when I left same thing. This time I drove to the shipping store, hopped in, came back out and absolutely NOTHING. No attempt to start, nothing. Depressed the button several times and no attempt to turn over AT ALL. Ended up calling for a tow.

    Since, I have tested battery which tested normal. Checked all wiring for corrosion, none found but still cleaned up all connections. I will post a pick of the starter switch on top of the starter when I get home today.

    Any thoughts on where to go from here? Is it the switch on top of the starter? I believe it is the one terminal starter switch (but again will verify when I get home). If and when it does turn over, starter is as strong as ever so I am really thinking not starter itself but something else.

    Thank you in advance.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,377


    Sounds like a bad connection
    Sticking mechanical solenoid
    Linkage our of adjustment
    Bad ground

    If the starter cranks good when it cranks I would look at all those things first
  3. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 409


    Battery cables, both on both ends. If clean and bright it has to be the switch. Some of those can be disassembled and contacts cleaned. Voltage drop test can quickly spot the bad connection if needed, but I'd just examine and clean. Also check the cables near the ends for corroded and/or broken strands.
  4. olebetsy55
    Joined: Jun 17, 2015
    Posts: 59


    Thank you. I have checked all connections including ground and all is good. I will check the mechanical solenoid as I feel like that would be the most likely as there is a different feeling with the stomp button from time to time. Thanks
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  5. I guess all it has is a starter button, a starter motor and a battery, right? so if the lights come on when engine is off and starter won't work I guess you can say the battery is OK. that leaves the starter and the switch, when you push the switch pedal does it go all the way down like it always did? can you test the "output side" of the switch? if so and you have current there, that would leave only one thing, the starter. If you tap on the starter will it crank? I could see a brush getting stuck at times and keeping it from working.
  6. olebetsy55
    Joined: Jun 17, 2015
    Posts: 59


    Update: Battery is new (less than 6 months) and so are both battery cables as I did have corrosion in the old ground wire.
  7. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,426


    Doesn't mean the battery is any good check voltage first.
  8. olebetsy55
    Joined: Jun 17, 2015
    Posts: 59


    Voltage has been tested and is good
  9. olebetsy55
    Joined: Jun 17, 2015
    Posts: 59


    When you say "switch", are you talking about the floor pedal or the switch mounted on the started that plunges as you press the pedal in?
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,134


    that's the only switch there is, so I expect he's talking about that one.

    What do the headlights do when you try to start it? If they stay bright, then the switch or the starter is not working.

    You did check the ground cable from the body to the bellhousing, too I hope.
    46international and 1oldtimer like this.
  11. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 641


    I ran into a very, very similar situation with my 1953 Willys Jeep with 6 volt system. I previously had new battery and a set of beautiful 00 battery cables made. Everything was good for a year. Then one day......nothing....For whatever reason as I was checking connections I grabbed the positive cable going from the solenoid to the starter terminal. The cable was very warm to the touch. That diagnosis led me to high resistance. I figured out that I must have a dead spot on the windings of the starter shaft. I removed and took to a great old school starter place. Turned out that I had a bad wire from one brush grounding ?? against the starter body or end plate.

    I am a little rusty in my description without the notes from the shop in front of me. Hope that helps. Have fun
  12. You can check to see if it is the starter or the switch, by using a heavy wire and bypass the switch by touching one end of the wire to the starter post, and the other to the battery side of the switch. If the starter motor runs, then it is the switch.
    From what I remember from those switches, they look like an old dimmer switch, and they do wear out.
    Make certain the vehicle is in neutral or park before attempting this procedure. From everything else you have tested, it is the switch or the starter, and the above method will eliminate the switch as the possible culprit.
  13. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,150

    from Idaho

    Take the switch off the starter and file the contact surfaces. The starter doesn't have to be pulled, but you may want to do the brushes & emery the armature while you're at it.
    tb33anda3rd, tractorguy and squirrel like this.

  14. ^^^^This^^^^^

    Try to find a good brand of starter switch if it is bad. I bought 2 recently from eBay, 1 NOS and one NORS (60's aftermarket packaging)......both made in the USA.
  15. Yes
  16. theboss20
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 209


    One overlooked item is the part of the starter that the switch makes contact with...this angled stud can wear from the arching that occurs every time you start the engine and when that wear happens it changes the ability of the contacts in the switch to touch this stud and pass the current through to the starter. A new switch will be a temporary solution but will eventually fail due to this overlooked issue.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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