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Hot Rods My car starts but only when I stop cranking it?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dirttoo, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. dirttoo
    Joined: Feb 17, 2009
    Posts: 136

    dirttoo
    Member

    I have recently got my project car running, well sort of. It cranks and cranks but doesn't start until I release the key. I can crank it a lot or just a little but it won't start as long as I am cranking it. I really don't think it did this at first, seems like it just started doing this. The car is a '60 Falcon gasser type car with a small block Chevy motor. It has a Speedway wiring harness and no original wiring left in the car. The ignition switch is new(reproduction) and my distributor is a used Mallory Unilite with Mallory coil and the ballast resistor on the firewall. I hooked it all up with the instructions from Mallory. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. 1oldracer
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 195

    1oldracer
    Member

    It sounds like it is in the ignition switch, that there is only power to the starter not the coil. Have someone check if you have spark at the plugs while you crank it. If no spark either the switch is bad or it is wired incorrectly.
     
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  3. I had the exact same problem with my girlfriends 68 falcon. It was the ignition switch. Took it apart(factory ford) popped the lock cylinder in the new switch. done.
     
  4. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,629

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Easy to mess up on the wiring. Never wired a falcon but I've crossed up the wire on a couple of tri 5s
     

  5. Along the same lines, I would check if the ign terminal has power while cranking, any chance you hooked the ign wire to the accessory terminal that terminal will cut out while cranking.

    Since there is usually another circuit that powers the coil while cranking and given that it doesn't fire while cranking, did you wire in the ballast bypass from the starter solenoid or is that not needed with your Mallory set-up?
     
  6. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    I think you need to run a wire from the S terminal on the starter solenoid to the coil wire in conjunction with what you already have "If I remember correctly"
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,509

    squirrel
    Member

    I think both of the last two posts are correct. Make sure the ignition switch wiring is correct, not on the Accessory terminal. And add the wire from the coil + terminal to the starter S terminal.
     
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  8. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,099

    bct
    Member

    you need to feed the coil and the start solenoid when she is cranking. if your ignition is good you need a short jumper from run to start. while cranking the ignition bypasses all circuits(headlights . radio , etc) except coil and solenoid . you aren't getting power to coil until you let go of the momentary part of the ign.
     
  9. sport fury
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 593

    sport fury
    Member

    the ignition switch switches to 12 volts at the coil to start. and when you let off the key it switches to run 6 volts to the coil. it uses a ballast resister to drop the voltage down. you could have a loose or disconnected wire at the ballast resistor. it is also possible you have a bad connection at the ignition switch or a bad ignition switch
     
  10. Ryan said it was goin to get weird around here.
     
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  11. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 670

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    Could also be the solenoid's start bypass to the coil is bad. Ford solenoid's are real cheap and easy to hook up. Get a new one.

    Jack E/NJ
     
  12. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Hes got a chevy in it.
    Built ford tuff with chevy stuff:D
     
  13. The "I" terminal on the starter solenoid needs to feed the ignition
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  14. Or maybe a bad ballast resistor?

    Charlie Stephens
     
    Dago 88, irishsteve and sport fury like this.
  15. My experience with a bad ballast resister has always been the opposite (GM stuff). It would try to start while cranking but as soon as you let off the key, it wouldn't run.

    I agree with others it sounds like maybe you have the ignition connected to the wrong terminal on the switch or you've got a bad switch.
     
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  16. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    No, this is a very common problem with a sbc engine. You have two small terminals on the starter solenoid and one large terminal. The big one is for the battery cable and the small one to the right of it is for the S terminal (start terminal) on the ignition switch. The small terminal to the left of the big one is what is causing your problem............you need to run a wire from that terminal to the + terminal on the coil. So, when you are cranking the engine it feeds a pure 12 volts to the coil to fire the motor, then when it gets started and you release the key from the start position, the ignition terminal on the switch will continue to feed voltage to the coil to keep the motor running.

    Run that wire and your problem is solved.

    Don
     
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  17. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,767

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal



    Yes, the ballast is only used while running. It's bypassed (
    by the solenoid) while starting, to get more coil voltage.
     
  18. S for start - this is the trigger wire that activates the starter
    I for ignition- this provides 12 volts only while cranking
     
  19. If by some chance you ran a wire from the coil to the S side the starter will try to activate usually with 9 volts.
     
  20. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    So its the I or R terminal that goes to the coil and not the S
    ...........Beat me to re writing my post ........
    But anyway while we are here, Would that work on the S post but not let the engine run rite (with only 9 volts)and/or would the S not let you shut engine off using the switch?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  21. One more time-

    Powering the s terminal makes the starter do what starters do.
     
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,769

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Several of the guys detailed it pretty well and pretty completely.
    In simple terms while "some" switches send power to the coil trough the ignition pole on the switch there are some that don't and those rely on the resistor bypass wire from the "I" post on the solenoid running to the coil to get 12 V to the coil and then when you let the switch go back to "run" the power runs through the ign circuit in the switch to the coil. It is fairly prevalent in aftermarket "universal" switches from my experience. It seems that you got one of those switches and then wired things wrong from what I see above.

    Side note: I've had to run a wire from the I post on the solenoid to the HEI on a couple of rigs friends had the same problem with when they did HEI swaps. Both had no power to the distributor when cranking because of the way the switch was set up.
     
  23. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 670

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    lb>>>Hes got a chevy in it. Built ford tuff with chevy stuff:D>>>

    Yep. I got a 265 and a 413, and neither of them have the PIA solenoid on the starter anymore. Both starters are fed with the Ford solenoid. And so is the starter on my old Case tractor. Jack E/NJ
     
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  24. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    You are making this way more complicated than it needs to be. Here, I made you a drawing. Wire it this way and it will start and run.

    Don

    [​IMG]
     
  25. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Yeah Ive got it,Sorry to confuse the situation, Like I said in the quoted/deleted post of mine Ive built and wired that part on 3 (make that 4, I forgot one)55 chevys that had the same issue of not starting until you let off the key.
    I was thinking it was off the S at first,maybe I was wrong, no biggie, please excuse:rolleyes:...:)

    I may have gotten squirrel confused too cause he agreed with me???
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  26. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,767

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    Just as an aside (like we haven't had 12 yet) if you get the I & S wires switched the car will start but the starter won't quit running.

    I had one genius do this on his '61 Caddy, and then to "fix" it he cut the wires under the dash and switched them too!

    Then he brings the car in the shop saying "it runs OK but doesn't want to start, even with a brand new starter."

    Well yes, the ignition was trying to start the car "on the ballast"! He wasn't as smart as he thought when he switched the wires under the dash because he was too lazy to jack it up and crawl back under.

    I got under, saw the switched wires. It's frikkin obvious: the S wire and S terminal are both thicker than the I wire & terminal! How do you get that wrong???

    So I corrected the wires at the solenoid, with the result that I had to find the cut wires under the dash & fix them too to stop the starter.

    Of course the owner never told me he cut & switched wires around. That might have saved him $10 labor ($50 now, This was 1972) because I wouldn't have had to search the car to find the cut & spliced wires.
     
  27. Paul M Cochran
    Joined: Jan 29, 2019
    Posts: 1

    Paul M Cochran
    Member

     
  28. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,562

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @Paul M Cochran , please do an intro, and try not to dredge up old posts.

    After nearly 5 years of age since the original post, he probably got it figured out.
     
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,509

    squirrel
    Member

    Or "start a conversation" with Don.

    (it's not a blank post, he asked a question: "Don
    a few years ago you posted a drawing of how to wire.... do you still have that and can i get it from you, i have another project and lost the original you posted.thanks,
    Paul")
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  30. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,752

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Nebraska

    Unfortunately, it looks like Don hasn't been active here for a couple years. Like yourself, Jim, he was good at helping folks around here... his presence is missed.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

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