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Technical No start just click...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1stGrumpy, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. O.k., I've always considered myself a fair hand around a pre-computerized automobile but this has really got me stumped! Let me back up to the beginning of this head scratcher.... I picked up a '51 Oldsmobile several weeks ago that ran fair but had an over fueling problem. No big deal, right? That's what I thought anyway, tried adjusting it and such but nothing that I did helped. So, I took the carb off and took it to a rebuilder that I have used many times over the years. After a couple of weeks I picked up my carb and merrily went about putting it back on. It started right up but after a couple of minutes it started loading up and belching out black smoke from the exhaust and fuel was leaking out of the bodies. I called my rebuilder and explained everything to him, he suggested that I do a fuel pressure check before I take it back off and head back to the big city (a 100 mile round trip). Here's where it get's interesting... Turns out that the fairly new dual action fuel pump was putting out 10 pounds of fuel pressure to a 2 barreled completely stock 303 engine.
    O.k., so I put a fuel regulator on it and while I was adjusting it, I had the wife cranking over the motor, I hear a loud pop! After doing a visual check and finding nothing I had the wife try to start it again and nothing, just a single click from the solenoid. I pulled the starter off and bench tested it, the starter drive gear would kick out but the starter wasn't turning. I took the starter apart and found that the armature had over spun (I'm guessing that's what happened) and came apart at the windings. Another trip to the big city to get my starter rebuilt, they replaced the armature, field coils, end bushings and solenoid. The brushes looked like new so they weren't replaced. I reinstalled the starter and gave it a try, it could barely turn the motor over and it had a growling sound as it was trying to turn the motor over, it acted like it had a bad battery. I took all the spark plugs out and turned the motor by hand, no problem. I tried the starter again but it is still doing the same thing, barely turning and growling. Took it off and made another trip to the city, they replaced the armature although it checked out o.k. but the noise was gone and it worked great on the bench with 12 volt's applied, they had no way to check it with 6 volts. Put it back in and it slowly turns the engine over and, sometimes when I try to start it, it will just click. One single click! I have replaced the battery, checked and cleaned the battery cables and replaced the wire from the neutral safety switch to the solenoid.
    I don't know what to do now, spring for another starter or ? Any idea's?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,326


    get out the test light or volt meter, and see what's happening when you try to start it, perhaps?
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  3. I have checked with a multimeter, grounds are all o.k.. When I try to start it with the ignition switch it will drop about 2 volts and just click. I have bypassed everything and just ran a jumper directly to the battery, sometimes it takes touching the hot wire to the solenoid over and over (like pushing a button over and over very quickly) before it will try to turn the motor over. It act's like it's not getting the voltage that it need's but I don't know where else to look.
  4. First off, can you turn the motor with a breaker bar and does it turn like any other normal engine with the bar ?

    Next would be a hunt for electric problems. Bad cables and connections can cary volts but when amp load increases the connection fails. Fun stuff

    Something broke your starter
    1stGrumpy likes this.

  5. pkhammer
    Joined: Jan 28, 2012
    Posts: 602


    You tried the jumper cable directly from battery to starter? On a Ford you can easily bypass the starter solenoid. The starter solenoid itself could be the problem.
    1stGrumpy likes this.
  6. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,882


    The clue I see is your rebuilder. The first time he gave you the starter it wouldn’t work, you took it back, he tested the armature, it tested good, but put a new one in, then it spun on the bench. What else did he test and thought was good but really wasn’t?
    Everything was ok with the starter system until the Bendix hung and gernaded the starter. The starter is the only thing you have changed and it’s not working...... it’s a bad starter. Especially If you put a new battery in and have checked the connections. The starter circuit is very straight forward and relatively easy to check.

  7. Yeah, that's kind of where I'm at Bones. I'm thinking that I may have to make the trip into Little Rock (250 mile round trip) and have it checked out by a different rebuilder. It all comes back to the starter. Thanks...
    VANDENPLAS and Boneyard51 like this.
  8. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,570


    Pull the plugs out and check the starter again.
    F&J likes this.
  9. Already did that, there was no difference.
  10. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,378


    A bad starter with 12 v. Will work on a 6v., But Not w/6v. That's probably not a rebuild'r I'd reefer.. loosing 2v. When trying to start is almost half... I've had starter's to this day sit on a shelf/rebuilt that never worked again... Replace the starter
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  11. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,882


    Grump, I’m guessing you are in the Rogers, Ar. area, surly they have some starter repair shops closer that Little Rock.
    Your problems are probably stemming from junk overseas replacement parts.

    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  12. I would start checking voltage drops with your multimeter, pretty simple to narrow it down

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    Black_Sheep and VANDENPLAS like this.
  13. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 597


    Just for future reference the proper way to test a starter is to take it out in the yard and throw it on the ground, hook it up to nice hot battery with a pair of hopefully good jumper cables, then have someone short across the solenoid with a rusty screw driver while you slowly feed a wooden broomstick handle into the bendix gear. If the starter has enough power to tear holy-hell out of a broomstick it has enough power to start a car, if not, you just found your problem. It may be hillbilly but it damn-sure works.
  14. No, I'm down in the river valley in Clarksville. 55 miles east of Ft Smith and a 125 miles west of Little Rock, right off of I 40. We used to have a really good auto electric shop right here in Clarksville but he retired a few years ago and now there isn't anyone close.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  15. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,882


    I know what you mean our last Starter shop here in Muskogee just closed up. Back to doing it my self.

    1stGrumpy likes this.
  16. cabriolethiboy
    Joined: Jun 16, 2002
    Posts: 874


    I just had a problem kinda similar. New crate 350 with new GM mini starter. Worked good some of the time, some of the time it would just click once or twice or 50 times in a row before it started. Put in a new battery, new cables, ran the ground directly to one of the starter bolts and checked the starter with a battery on the bench. Put it back on and it started good 20 times in a row, so I drove it to breakfast the next morning. I was late leaving and all of my buddies had already left, so I was there all by myself and it would not start. Tried for 45 minutes and it never would do anything but click. So I called my wife to come and get me. She brought the jumper cables so I tried them and it started. So on Monday I went to the starter repair place. He put on a new solenoid just in case, but really thought the starter needed shimmed down .015. The starter pinion was hitting the ring gear. I went home and did that and it has not missed a lick yet.
    Rich S. and 1stGrumpy like this.
  17. Good point cabriolethiboy. My old 1957 edition Motor's Repair manual talks about "adjusting the pinion travel" after having the solenoid off the starter. I wonder if it is something that they did or more correctly didn't do! It's worth pulling the starter back out and checking.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  18. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,095


    When you bench tested the starter, I assume you put battery voltage(6v battery) directly to the starter. Now, when you did that, did the starter immediately get to full speed, or did it just sorta "ramp up" and spin? i/e kinda like does it get to full speed like a bench grinder, or take it's time getting to full speed? should have to hold the starter and keep it from "torqing over" when you give it juice.
  19. Did you load test the battery? Is the surface between the block and starter free of paint?

    Charlie Stephens
  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,421

    Jalopy Joker

    try using jumper wires and bypass starter button on dash- old wires may look good but, not so good inside - add a good ground wire from block to frame and body to block
  21. Well, here's a bit of an update on my (no)start issues...

    I pulled the starter back out and bench tested it with no luck, starter wouldn't spin at all! I pulled it apart and after inspecting I found where the armature was rubbing on one of the magnets, nothing major just needed to take it back to the rebuilder and have them check the magnet and re torque the screw. O.k., it's back together and they test it in front of me and it works fine! Got back home and decided to test it with my 6 volt battery, rebuilder had tested it with 12 volts, well it wouldn't work off 6 volts! DAMN!!! This is driving me crazy!!! Let me back up a bit here... when the rebuilder first went through the starter, they replaced the field coils, armature, end bushings and solenoid. Everything but the brushes, they were in new condition so were left alone.The terminals on the new solenoid were opposite of the old one so they made up a new strap to connect the solenoid terminal to the stater terminal. Anyway, I took it out to my pick up and hooked jumper cables up to the starter and it works fine! W.T.F.!! It works off of 12 volts but not off of 6 volts. Well now I'm really losing it! This makes no sense at all. So now, I take the strap loose at the starter/solenoid and test the starter motor by jumping directly to the starter terminal. The starter spins just like it is supposed to with 6 volts but when I hook everything back together and test it with the solenoid, it doesn't work. So what have I got, a bad solenoid? Wait, it works off 12 volts just not 6... a new solenoid, it's stamped 6 volt but doesn't work off of 6 volts. This is where I realize what the problem is, the strap that they made was drilled a couple size's bigger than the terminals, I got two flat washers and put them on the terminals. First the strap, then the flat washers, lock washers and nuts. Hooked it up and it worked just like it was supposed too. Who'd a thunk it!!! Putting the starter back in tomorrow, keep you're finger's crossed.....
    Unique Rustorations and cactus1 like this.

  22. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
    What in the sweet holy fuck did I just read ?:eek::D:confused:

    Oh and 1stgrumpy great job in finding the issue, yeah 6 volt is less voltage but more amperage then 12 volt. That’s why 6v wiring is thicker then 12v
    Good on ya for sticking to it and finding the issue.
    Think you need to find a better rebuilder for next time.
    Clay Belt and 1stGrumpy like this.
  23. FINALLY!!! Put the starter back in this morning, cranked right up! Now I can move on to the timing, carb adjustment and such. Want to thank all that tried to help especially Dan Griffin.
  24. Good to hear you nutted it out! It's not the first time that a 6v problem has stumped an auto electrician, most would be lucky to have seen anything more than 20 years old, let alone 6 volts.
  25. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan

    The same old fart that showed me how to use heat & wax to extract frozen oil galley plugs used the same starter testing method junkman described above. Crude but effective.
  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,527

    Atwater Mike

    @1stGrumpy: Didn't get this from Confuscious, but:

    Next time a 6V entity is in the equation, and you have to travel to Little Rock, take a 6V battery with.
    Even the 'rebuilders' don't have 6 volts 'avail;able'...(actually, they do: they just don't know it)
    A simple drill bit and a large 'metal screw' (3/8") will drill and tap into the top shell of a 12 volt battery, using 3 cells. (3 cells @ 2volts each = 6 volts)
    I used to 'get folks thru' by using this method on a 12 volt battery with a dead cell. Usual location for the first cell dead? Either end, pos. or neg. 10 volts thru the winter!
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  27. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,882


    Mike, that how I wired my 55 Ford when I put the 430 MEL in it back in ‘66. The batteries back then had the bars exposed. I just took the car feed wire from the starter solenoid and extended it to reach the center bar on the battery. 6 volt car... 12 volt starting system. Had to do a couple other things before it worked right.

    VANDENPLAS likes this.

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