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Projects Back in black!

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 1stGrumpy, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. No Mike, not the bushings. When the field coils were replaced, they didn't replace the giant screws and one of the magnet's didn't pull down completely leaving the very corner of the magnet sticking up. Armature was hitting the magnet.
    "Been there done that" before, I don't really mind doing wiring when I can see what I'm working on. Right now I'm trying to figure out how the instrument cluster is attached to the dash, any idea?
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  2. Got the instrument cluster out and got all that cobbled up wiring out of my way, today. Tomorrow I'll start building my harnesses and start putting it back together. The way the wiring was butchered it's amazing that it never caught on fire, what a mess!
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  3. Go Jim, go!!
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  4. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,593


    1st, you won't believe what the rockers will do to the performance.
  5. Well so much for not needing to get into the lighting system! After removing the instrument cluster and being able to see the wiring into the light switch I realized that whoever had rewired the lights didn't exactly do that good of a job. I became suspect when all that I could see, coming out the the harness that went through the firewall, was the old cloth wrapped wiring but going into it was modern insulated wiring. I already knew what I would find once I split the harness open, spliced wires! So, I guess that I'm going to be doing the lighting system as well! Here's what I found... 63.JPG 65.JPG 64.JPG 100_1754.JPG
    So I guess that old saying is true, "if you want it done right ya better do it yourself"!!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    triumph 1 likes this.
  6. ....this is how my Merc ended up with and all new dash, wiring, steering column, brake pedal assembly and disaster begat-ing another and all intertwined. LOL
    Atwater Mike and 1stGrumpy like this.
  7. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,606


    Nice car, a set of 3 2's would be great on that 303.
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  8. It has always amazed me what people are willing do to the wiring in their cars, kinda makes ya wonder what they do when working on brakes and such! I've seen the same type of work come out repair shops, just enough to get it out the door!
    Atwater Mike and drdave like this.
  9. Well, here it is nearly March and I'm still working on the wiring! About got it finished up, all that's left is brake lights and turn signals. If I still lived in SoCal I'd just say "ta hell with 'em", nobody signals and they follow so close they can't see the brake lights anyway!!
    The cold weather really has me slowed down, I'll go out to the shop and turn on the heat and go back into the house while it heats up but it still takes me awhile to get back out there.
    Still having starting issues, thought that I had it cured but... I pulled the starter back out and bench tested it. I pulled the solenoid off and tested the starter and it works fine so I tested the solenoid and it worked but when I put it all back together, nothing! Unpin the plunger from the starter transmission and it works, put it back in and it don't! Broke out the multimeter and it's telling me that the solenoid has a break in continuity, just not getting enough juice to over come the return spring. This was a replacement solenoid from RockAuto for the last one that I bought from them, now I am awaiting their decision on what they're going to do. ACDelco has a 24 month warranty so it shouldn't be that hard a decision. Maybe the third time will be the charm....
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  10. Maybe I missed it already being discussed, but is your negative cable attached to the starter bolt? I had the worst time with starters on my Pontiac. I did everything....bigger cables, heat wrap on the exhaust, heavy duty starters, shims, everything in the world. You'd think the stupid thing worked when new and for 20 years after that, why all of a sudden it wouldn't. Eventually, I rewired the car and made sure the negative cable attached right at the starter and that helps tremendously. Obviously, here, there is some starter "quality" issues going on, but just thought I'd throw out what I went through in case it helps. :)
  11. No, the negative cable is bolted to the front of the block. I have read where people recommend doing that, might just be something that I need to do! Thanks...
    Well, have ya got the altitude adjusted on that "A" yet? Later...
  12. I just heard back from RockAuto a couple of minutes ago, their going to just issue a refund instead of replacement. That's what I was hoping for, not having much luck with their parts!
    drdave likes this.
  13. That sounds like a better deal and now you can go get one that hopefully will work right the first time. :)

    The A is starting to come apart. Finished disconnecting the steering, shocks and removing the front brakes this morning. Hopefully this weekend I can get the front axle out and start reworking the springs.
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  14. O.k., So I ordered another solenoid Tuesday, it came in yesterday and I put it on and bench tested everything and bigger than shit, it still didn't f**king work! Same damn thing!! Got mad, did a lot of cussing and went back in the house. Screw it!
    Started thinking about it last night, going over everything that had transpired since it originally quit. Prior to my taking my starter to the rebuilders, I had picked up another starter that had been rebuilt and had tried using it but there was a couple things that weren't the same. When I talked to the rebuilder, he asked me to bring along the other starter because he thought that he might be able to use some of the parts and save me a little money. Turns out he didn't use any of it, or so I thought! Seems that someone mixed up the nose sections and they got swapped. This morning, as I was going over everything again, I decided to swap the nose pieces because it seemed like the solenoid couldn't overcome the tension of the return spring. Upon closer inspection, one of the differences was in the clocking of the linkage that pushes the starter drive gear out and engages the flywheel, it was off slightly and the solenoid plunger was binding. I swapped them out and bigger than shit, it f**king works!! All this time and effort wasted because someone wasn't paying attention to what they were doing! I think that I won't be going back to that guy anytime soon.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  15. Oh my gracious! Doesn't the beat all!! Bang your head against the wall for months and it ends up being something relatively simple. Sounds like I rebuilt your starter. ;) So glad you figured it out!!!!
  16. I know, right? I have never claimed to be some sort of master mechanic but, by the same token, I have always considered myself to have a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to automobiles and their workings but this had really had me stumped. I don't know, now, which emotion is stronger, my relief that it is now working or my anger that it has taken this long to figure it out! It does still have a bit of a growl when cranking so the flywheel my need to be dressed down a bit but I'll worry about that when I address the rear main seal leak.
    So now it's on to finishing the wiring and getting it all taped up. Timing, carb adjustments, replacing the plug wires and taking Pertronix's advise to open up the plug gap to .035 still yet to do.
    Feeling much better, today, about it! lol
    drdave likes this.
  17. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,616

    Atwater Mike

    Grump: "Well, I never!" Think that's what a 'neophyte' might say about the field slipping down from not being aligned...I say, 'Isn't it always the simplest first or second step they seem to stumble (or trip) with?'
    Glad you found the next thing, the wrong nose piece...Who'da thunk?
    I'm going to completely rewire my '55 F100 next...(well, after rebuilding the driveline for my wife's daily driver, her O.T. '03 BMW...she still works a real job)
    THEN, she'll do all the wiring under the dash, and build the harnesses for front and rear. Love her work...perfect wrappings, soldered and shrink joints, sooo...pretty!
    Yeah, the wiring job, too! :p
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  18. Dangerousdan
    Joined: Apr 12, 2018
    Posts: 47

    from Arizona

    I think the Oldsmobile you have is a gem. I two have an Olds and I will be changing from 6v to 12v. I will attemp this task and hope to get thru this chor.
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  19. Here it is a couple day's away from the Stray Kat 500 and I am trying to get it finished up, leaving Friday am. Wiring is 99.9% done, got an issue with feed back with the turn signals but it shouldn't be that big of a problem. Starting issue has been fixed, I hope! Just a few odds and ends to fix and we should be good to go.

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  20. chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  21. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 895


    Nice ride. Enjoy trip.
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  22. Well, the demon's are back!
    Car started acting up again, was running fine and then, while sitting and idling, it started to miss and puke black smoke out of the exhaust and then die. Would not start again so had to push it back into the shop. The Monday after the Stray Kat 500, I went back out to the shop and it started right up but died shortly there after. I decided to pull the carb back off and check the floats, re adjusted them and put the carb back on.
    Again, it started right up but this time the starter hung up! I had to pull the battery cable off to get it to stop spinning!! Put the cable back on and tried to start it but got nothing, not even a click! That was over a week ago and I haven't touched it. Been working on Cort's off topic El Camino SS, right now I have no interest in even messing with the Olds….
    Anybody interested in a '51 Oldsmobile?
    loudbang likes this.
  23. ron starkey
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 3

    ron starkey

    That is such a sweet car! Sorry to hear it's got a few hiccups. Hope they are the kind of that can be overcome without spending a huge amount of $$$ and labor.
    loudbang and 1stGrumpy like this.
  24. Oh man!! So frustrating!!! Hate it when there seems no logical answer. I had a Mustang once that was running fine and all of a sudden it wasn’t. Couldn’t figure it out forever. I put new plug wires on it and got them crossed. Why that never occurred to me, heaven only knows. Hopefully the answer will come soon...and be simple

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang and 1stGrumpy like this.
  25. Time for an update, I suppose!
    I finished up the wiring finally but didn't get the results that I had hoped for so I said the hell with it and brushed off the dust from my wallet and did the 12 volt conversion. What a difference!
    Electrical problems, it seems, are a thing of the past!
    But now on to the other issue, the over fueling. The flooding out was still present, of course I didn't expect that the electrical had anything to do with that. Since I had determined that the fuel pump had too much fuel pressure and that the cheapie Mr. Gasket fuel regulator had already taken a shit, I hooked up a gravity fed tank above the carburetor and tried that. Well, it did make a huge difference! It would start and run but still had a slight miss at idle and it still was emitting some black smoke. I pulled the carburetor back off and checked the float once again and everything was as it should be. Put the carb back on, while still hooked to the gravity feed, and tried it. It started but shortly thereafter it went to back firing, both through the carb and the exhaust, puking gobs of black smoke and died!
    I looked down through the carb and could see gas running down into the engine until the 1 gallon tank emptied. What the f@#k!!?? O.K., I know that the float is adjusted correctly, the float didn't have any holes in it and there wasn't any dirt to hold the needle valve open. What's going on? Well, I dug out my old 1957 Motors Manual and went over all the pictures and procedures for reassembling the carburetor. Now, bare in mind that this is a Rochester BB 2 barrel carb, part number 7002900. This was a one year only, experimental carburetor used on some 1951 Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs that not many people, including me, have ever worked on before.
    I read and re-read the assembly procedures and then it hit me! They keep talking about a balance spring that the float adjustment tab must rest against. It even shows a drawing of it but I don't have one. I remember seeing two holes under the pin for holding the float in place but didn't even give it any thought until.... the light went on! According to Carbking, this little spring is what holds tension against the float and keeps the needle valve closed until more fuel is needed. If this doesn't beat all, I have been inside the damn thing several times and never gave any thought to those 2 holes. They wouldn't put them in there if there wasn't a need for them!
    Now you all are up to date.... I am trying to find someone that will sell me the parts that I need. Not a n.o.s. carburetor or a rebuilt one. Just the spring or a complete but junk carb. They're not easy to find...
    loudbang likes this.
  26. Thank goodness you were able to come to the answer!! Hopefully parts will surface without too much trouble
    loudbang and 1stGrumpy like this.
  27. It's like some evil ex has put a hex on me, I swear!

    It just amazes me what kind of work some people do. Half ass repairs instead of doing it right the first time. This has been going on for some time, the guy that I got it from had problems with the miss and smoke and the guy that he got it from had over fueling issues with it. No telling how long it's been going on!
    Maybe I'll have it fixed in time for "Lead ain't Dead"!

    DrDave… How are you and yours doing? Hope all are fine. What ya got done on that "A"?
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    loudbang likes this.
  28. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 21,257


    Good that you found the problem :) Bad that now it's hard to find the right part to fix it. :(
  29. Well, I talked to Tim @ Custom Carburetor in Alma today. He's the one that rebuilt the carb for me last fall. He agrees that it sounds like that balance spring is the problem. He's going to pick the carburetor up on Thursday on his way back from Conway. That'll save me a 100 mile round trip. Keeping my fingers crossed!
    loudbang likes this.
  30. Hopefully that spring will solve your problem.’s getting nearly to the point of throw the carb away and put a Holley or edelbrock on it. Lol.

    Yes, as of now, plan is to be at the Lead Ain’t Dead show. Currently, the Chevy is running and working (just got back from Salina and it did fine), so should be able to make it. Got the rear spring out of the A and putting it back in tonight with an additional leaf. Step at a time. Lol

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55, 1stGrumpy and loudbang like this.

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