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Old 09-18-2020, 07:47 AM   #1
mhsprecher
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Default Starter failure

I have been helping a fellow club member get his car started. It is turning over very slowly. We replaced the starter a few months ago and he has only driven it a few times since then. It started easily as recently as last week.

During the diagnosis, I checked with a voltmeter the connection and ground per Les Andrews troubleshooting book. All checked out. I removed the starter switch and cleaned the connections, removed the fuse block from the starter to see if there was a problem with that, cleaned battery connections, cleaned the ground, ran a ground from the ground strap to the engine. Still barely turns over.

Voltage on battery was 6.2. During cranking it would reduce to 4.8 - 5 volts. Thinking it had a bad cell, we replaced the battery and no change.

My question is, could a starter have failed after only a half a dozen or so starts? Seems odd to me. The previous starter didn't last long in terms of actual use, either. Is there an electrical or operational condition that would cause repeated starter failures, or just bad luck on replacement parts?

Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starter failure

Try switching a known good starter from another Model A and see what happens.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:50 AM   #3
mhsprecher
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Default Re: Starter failure

Katy,

Duh. That's a good idea. This is why many heads are better than one!
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Starter failure

Is there excessive drag in the engine? Try hand cranking it to see how easily it turns over.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starter failure

Will,

I will do that today. Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Starter failure

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If the starter kicks back and then acts like the battery is nearly dead , it could mean that the initial timing is too advanced or maybe forgot to retard the spark lever . If the bushings in the starter are badly worn it can cause the armature to drag on the field shoes . .
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starter failure

Connect a jumper cable between the neg batt post and the starter. Assuming you are pos ground. Try it. You may have high resistance in the neg batt cable. Easy to try.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starter failure

Update: tried cranking it, with plugs in. Barely turned.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starter failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhsprecher View Post
Update: tried cranking it, with plugs in. Barely turned.



I'd also try taking the plugs out. It should turn over with very little effort with the plugs out. If you're still feeling a lot of drag, is this a very recently rebuilt engine that might not have been run in yet? If it's a broken in engine, I might start thinking about looking at the main bearings. Could be this engine was oil deprived at some point, and has begun to seize.
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Starter failure

Try#2 response or remove the starter and clean the brushes, brush holders and commutator oil the two bushing and put it back together. Test starter before installing, should spin up to 2000-3000 rpm with no load.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: Starter failure

We took out the plugs and put in Kroil. Went back today and on first crank it fired, but didn't stay. Still very tight. We did all sorts of things, but then let it sit for about 20 min or a half hour as we discussed other strategies. We were ready to call it a day when I suggested we try it one more time. It started right up and ran great. Let it run for a while and took it for a short spin. Came back and turned it off and it started right up again!

The carb is providing too much gas, so it needs a rebuild. After we shut it down, we removed the carb to rebuild it.

We still do not know why it is so hard to turn over? Maybe way too much gas getting into the cylinders and washing the oil off the cylinders? A bit stumped on that one. I was thrilled we got it running, though. I think there was too much gas in the cylinders and carb and it needed to dry out so it would not be flooded.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Starter failure

Im having much the same problem. I ll try all these steps.
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Old 10-01-2020, 04:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: Starter failure

Gee, Bruce. I was telling Tom Terko today about how much you have been driving your car lately!

We were very frustrated and then the darned thing started right up. Hard to figure out.
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Old 10-01-2020, 04:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Starter failure

I was thinking it could be a bad battery. Just a guess.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Starter failure

Replaced a good battery with a new battery, but that wasn't the problem. Still cranking slowly. Oh, well. It starts well - for now. We will put the rebuilt carb on and see what happens.
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:15 PM   #16
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I was thinking it could be a bad battery. Just a guess.
Good call Fred! Lucky they had you around!
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Old 10-02-2020, 03:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: Starter failure

A new battery did it for me.
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Old 10-04-2020, 09:05 AM   #18
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Default Re: Starter failure

With the ignition and fuel off, measure voltage across different places when cranking the motor to see if there are bad connections causing a voltage drop. Across connections/cables/etc. Perhaps a cable, or mechanical connection needs attention. If not aware, many add an additional cable from the battery ground at the frame to the bell housing to provide a better ground path for the starter.
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: Starter failure

Try the starter with the ignition switch off . If the starter turns normal with the switch off but drags with tthe ignition on , the timing is too advanced . Also check points gap . If points gap is over twenty two thousands it will cause the timing to be too advanced .
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