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starter problem?

 
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jlerviti



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Warwick, MA

1951 Deluxe Chieftain

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:59 pm    Post subject: starter problem? Reply with quote

I have a 1951 straight eight in my Chieftain. When the engine is cold the starter seems to perform just fine. However, after driving for an hour or so and turning off the engine the restart is difficult. The engine turns very slowly and sometimes I wonder if it will start at all. The engine is rebuilt with less than 5000 miles. When I returned home I checked the battery voltage which showed 6.3 vdc. The ammeter shows a positive current flow and the voltage regulator is new and it has been polarized. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Larry
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Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4280




PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Hard Start Reply with quote

This is a very common 6-volt system problem. Most often it is due to the wrong battery cables.

Are you using BIG (as in thick) 6-volt cables? If you are using the thin 12-volt cables as our modern cars use, this will happen. Same goes for the ground cable. A big fat braided cable is best.

All that said, if you have the right cables, sometimes, even when they look good, they are full of corrosion between the strands.

Check the size of the cables first. If they are correct, it may be the starter. I just changed an almost new one on the 400 engine in my '40 Pontiac because it was doing that same slow start when hot, as well as clashing sometimes too.

Let us know what you find.

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jlerviti



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Warwick, MA

1951 Deluxe Chieftain

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response. The battery cables are new and the correct size, a fact I should have mentioned in my initial post. I wonder if the starter is failing because the cables previously installed were the incorrect size. I will go forward with either having the current starter rebuilt or get a new or rebuilt unit. California Pontiac Restoration provides a rebuilding service which I may use but not until after the annual car show here in Orange, MA which occurs in October.
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Larry
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Posts: 4280




PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Starter Rebuild Reply with quote

Good deal with the cables, often overlooked.

If you can nurse it through summer time, that would be great.

I would bet there is a electric motor rebuilding shop somewhere near you. I have used "generic" shops in the past as to them "a motor is a motor" no matter from where it came. It might just need a good cleaning and new brushes, something most car owners can even do themselves.

Do you know Steve Peluso in MA? I bet he can connect you with a closer service. Not that CPR isn't a good choice, but that is a long way from MA, and they probably will send it out too. Steve might be able to do it for you. He has his own shop, perhaps close to you. He does a lot of older car repairs for people all through the NE.

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jlerviti



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Warwick, MA

1951 Deluxe Chieftain

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely know Steve, he's a fantastic resource for anyone who may read this and is near his shop in West Roxbury, MA. The post I left a while back about surging was corrected by Steve. He discovered that the points were not being held tightly by the screw and replaced the points with a electronic set up. That has significantly improved the running of the engine. I had not thought to check with him about the starter and I will be emailing him shortly, thanks for the reminder.
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Larry
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Posts: 4280




PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: '51 Pontiac Work Reply with quote

Steve is moving from his old shop soon and in his new shop/adventure he will be trying to do even more old car repairs. Guess the automatic transmission business isn't what it used to be.

Tell him I recommended him. He is a very good friend. Tell him "Larr-rry sent you!"

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