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55 Buick won't crank-advice?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TheDozer, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    So I'm going thru the 264 nailhead in my 55 special;
    changed plugs
    Oil/filter
    Plug wires
    Fuel filters
    New battery
    Belt
    Etc etc
    I've got power-lights/hi beams, gauges etc are all working/registering.
    Motor turns by hand.
    Turn key to "ON" and hit gas pedal-
    But the car won't even crank.
    Can anyone direct me to a diagram of the orig Stromberg carbs and the starter switch on them? (found a couple unhooked wires (red and yellow) behind the carb by the firewall)
    Also, where can I pick up a rebuild kit for the starter? Just in case...
    Anything else I should look at?
    Thanks
     
  2. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,150

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    neutral safety switch? That is if the 55 Buick came with one, not sure whey they started being installed. Otherwise you could jump or bench test the starter before replacement.
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,718

    squirrel
    Member

  4. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    Thanks VERY much Squirrel!!
    I'm thinking it has to be neutral safety switch or starter relay. When I depress the gas pedal the battery shows no draw whatsoever, so the starter is not even trying to engage.
     

  5. Midget25
    Joined: May 2, 2012
    Posts: 168

    Midget25
    Member

    Squirrel you most live on this site, you always have the answer and early in the posts. Oh I like the 55 too.................
     
  6. BBYBMR
    Joined: Apr 27, 2007
    Posts: 613

    BBYBMR
    Member

    Squirrel, You Sir are something else! What a wealth of knowledge and always there to help out. Kool.
     
  7. I had a '54 in high school and I replaced the foot actuated starter with a push button after having a similar problem.
     
  8. Roadsterpu
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 895

    Roadsterpu
    Member

    One thing to check is continuity between the posts on the starter switch on he carb when the throttle is open. There is a check ball behind that switch that completes the circuit when the thorttle is opened all the way. You should also check to make sure the starter and solenoid have a good ground. The generator case is the ground for the starter. It is another failsafe for making sure the starter does not engage while the motor is running. Once you have those checked out you should make sure you have power going to it.
     
  9. Buicks had a vacuum switch that kept the starter from engaging when the engine was running. The contact points in that vacuum switch may be all mucked up.
     
  10. stewedscrewdtattood
    Joined: Oct 20, 2006
    Posts: 408

    stewedscrewdtattood
    Member

    i believe the solinoid is on the drivers side fender i had a 55 also and it wouldnt crank i cleaned the terminals on the sol. and it did the trick
     
  11. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    Great advise and info guys! Thanks very much!
    Trying to run down the list to find the issue.
    (I did notice my solenoid terminals look dirty with a dab of rust, I'll hit it with wire brush and see what happens)
     
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,718

    squirrel
    Member

    get a test light or volt meter in there, follow the electricity, make sure it's getting where it needs to go. You should be able to isolate the problem without too much trouble.
     
  13. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    Okay, this ole girl is giving me fits, still no crank. I threw a test light around the engine bay and here's what I have so far (I went through the fuse box and all fuses look good) - ImageUploadedByTapatalk1349111442.212919.jpg
    This unit (after cleaning) is lighting the test light on 2 of the 3 terminals, except ground (normal)
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1349111698.054292.jpg
    Voltage regulator? Has 4 terminals, "Gen" (no light-normal)
    "battery" is lighting
    "F" (no light) what is this connection?
    Ground (no light-normal)
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1349111859.263167.jpg
    Starter Solenoid?
    The large lug (from battery) is lighting on all wires
    The small lug has no light
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1349111991.272299.jpg
    This small module has 4 terminals that connect to the voltage reg
    "1" "2" "3" "4" and none of them are lighting the test light

    I removed, inspected and cleaned the starter switch on the Stromberg carb and it's in really good shape. I checked the connections and I have no light-even pushing the gas pedal and neither wire is lighting.

    Any suggestions?
    Something seems to be preventing starting energy-
    Neutral switch? Where is it?
    Thanks for any help guys
     
  14. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    Also, how do I bump, jump the starter?
    On a ford I just connect the 2 sides of the solenoid.
     
  15. grapp
    Joined: Aug 16, 2008
    Posts: 457

    grapp
    Member

    Check that wiring diagram squirrel sent you, all the info is there! If you trace everything back you'll figure out what is wrong, start with ignition and work from there, follow the wire from the "accelerator switch" (on the carb) back to your neutral safety switch to find it.....
     
  16. nick_s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2006
    Posts: 436

    nick_s
    Member
    from Ohio

    Did the car start before? You should be able to just jump the two wires on the carb switch. presto, start.
     
  17. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    Nah, I got it non-op.
    I tried putting the 2 wires from the start switch (on the carb) together but they have no power, either wire. With the key in the on or lock position or the gas pedal depressed, and in neutral or park- still nothing. Even tried running a push button to those wires-nothing, completely dead stick. Which is why I'm leaning towards the neutral switch. The guy I got it from said it needed a push button installed.
     
  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,242

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Dozer, one of the two wires at the start switch has to have power. (all the switch does is join them to close the circuit)
    Try a 'jumper wire' (10 or 12 gauge) with alligator clips...battery+ and touch the 10 ga. jumper to the wire that goes to the starter. (one of the two for the switch)

    When that works, trace the wire (that should have been 'hot') to the neutral safety switch. (should be down on the lower part of the steering column)
    Neutral switch bad, or disconnected. (or you have been trying to crank it in gear!)
     
  19. boooooob
    Joined: Sep 14, 2012
    Posts: 38

    boooooob
    Member

    TheDozer

    Touching the bat.+ terminal and the s on the starter solenoid will make the starter turn and engage the flywheel if it is good and the solenoid is good (don't mater where the ignition switch is, will start engine if in run). Touching pink 18 gauge terminal on the starter relay to bat.+ should make the starter go (if the relay is good) and start engine if the key is in run.....
    WARNING THESE ARE BOTH BYPASSING THE SAFETY SWITCH AND YOU CAN GET YOUR ASS HURT OR RUN OVER IF IT IS NOT IN NEUTRAL/PARK BRAKED AND BLOCKED........... :eek:

    boooooob:)
     
  20. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80

    TheDozer
    Member

    IT'S ALIVE!!!
    Lol
    You guys ever have one of those "DOH!! *slap forehead* I'm so stupid!!" moments???
    I was outside for 2hrs double and triple checking all my connections, going over everything in head.
    So, I'm laying on my back with my head stuffed under the dash by the steering column. I happened to reach up to grab a hose out of my line of sight and sparks go shooting every where!!!
    I jumped out and disconnected the battery and climbed back under the dash to find out where the sparks were coming from- turns out a previous owner had disconnected the wires from the ignition switch and the hot line was sparking whenever it hit metal.
    After reconnecting the wires and turning the key "on" I hit the pedal and she started cranking for all she was worth!!

    Thanks so much guys!!! You guys are awesome!!! If it hadn't been for your suggestions I would've never been laying under the dash inspecting everything.
    I do feel dumb as hell now though!
     

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