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Paul K.

Won't crank when hot

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Took the '41 out today for its first real drive of about 25 miles. The only problem is the engine won't crank when hot or when cranked for more than 5 seconds. All connections have been checked and cleaned, I have an Optima battery, rebuilt starter, braided strap from frame to engine, but I am running 1 gauge cables. I know I should have 0 gauge but haven't gotten around to make the switch. My question is would the 0 gauge cables make that much difference and totally eliminate the hot cranking problem? I read on an earlier post that there once was a club seminar where the presenter gave a list of over 30 connections in the starting system that should be cleaned. Anyone have that list? I have cleaned all the obvious ones.

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Paul, can you be a bit more definitive about what is happening? Is the engine turning over but failing to start? Is the starter running/spinning but not engaging? Is there an indication of trying to run/start that just doesn't catch? On the surface from what you are saying it sounds like a bad starter in spite of your saying it is a rebuild. Anytime I have experienced like circumstance with any vehicle it has always boiled down to bad bearings in the starter allowing the armature to short against the stator when the starter was hot from either the engine running or prolonged starting attempts.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)

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Thanks Jim. The starter engages fine. The starter motor wont crank/ turn /spin the engine over. When the engine cranks, it will start/run/catch every time. If the engine sits and cools for about 1 hour or less, the engine will then crank/spin and run. However, even when it does crank, it has been slow. And when trying to start the car after it has been sitting for a week or so, after about 3 or 4 cranking attempts to fill up the carb, the engine will not crank anymore and a buzzing/whining noise comes from under the hood when the starter button is engaged. I am beginning to feel the same way about a bad starter rebuild but I have been trusting it as good.

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Thanks Jim. The starter engages fine. The starter motor wont crank/ turn /spin the engine over. When the engine cranks, it will start/run/catch every time. If the engine sits and cools for about 1 hour or less, the engine will then crank/spin and run. However, even when it does crank, it has been slow. And when trying to start the car after it has been sitting for a week or so, after about 3 or 4 cranking attempts to fill up the carb, the engine will not crank anymore and a buzzing/whining noise comes from under the hood when the starter button is engaged. I am beginning to feel the same way about a bad starter rebuild but I have been trusting it as good.

Paul the "whine" you are hearing indicates a coil is saturating. The questions are which one and why? It could be the starter solenoid coil, or it could be a coil internal to the starter. In either case it is caused by something binding when it shouldn't be. Before condemning anything I would pull the starter and look for evidence of the starter Bendix pinion gear binding at the flywheel or not properly meshing once the engine and/or starter becomes hot. You should be able to see abnormal wear on both the starter pinion gear and flywheel ring gear if binding or meshing is the problem. Though not always documented there are instances where starters may need mounting shims and/or require a gasket for proper starter Bendix pinion to flywheel ring gear clearances.

If there is no evidence of wear as described then my next guess would be the starter solenoid has bought the farm or the cable to the solenoid and from the solenoid to the starter is of too light a gauge to handle the demands of the starter. If those cables feel very hot to the touch after starting attempts the resistance build up from the heat could be the problem.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)

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The cables get hot, but not too hot to hold after repeated cranking attempts. They do not get as hot as the previous 1 gauge cables did that I replaced when I first got the car. This was before I knew I needed 0 gauge cables. Both are easy fixes, I'll order correct cables because they are wrong, and check the starter pinion gear for proper clearance while I am waiting for them to arrive. Can't find them locally. Has anyone used 00 gauge cables?

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The cables get hot, but not too hot to hold after repeated cranking attempts. They do not get as hot as the previous 1 gauge cables did that I replaced when I first got the car. This was before I knew I needed 0 gauge cables. Both are easy fixes, I'll order correct cables because they are wrong, and check the starter pinion gear for proper clearance while I am waiting for them to arrive. Can't find them locally. Has anyone used 00 gauge cables?

I suspect any welding supply store could make you up a set if given the length and if they have suitable connector ends. Arc welling equipment typically has 0 or 00 cables. As for 00 size cable they would have that as well, but it would be a bit of an overkill.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)

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Hi Paul. I put 00 gauge in my 40LZ and they helped significantly when I had the same problem. They are available from Narragansett (in the sources listing). I finally had to replace what I thought was a good starter before the problem was completely solved.

Norm Smith

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I would suggest that if you have a battery disconnect in the circuit, whether screw type or "heavy duty" switch, take it out and see if it helps. I've seen more of those stupid things fail and cause problems like this. First one really drove me nuts.

If a braided cable isn't important to you, CarQuest sells really nice black 6v cables. When authenticity isn't important (or it's on a newer car) I just get them from them. They come in a variety of lengths and are very reasonably priced. I used to make cables until I figured out theirs cost less than I was paying for just the ends. They're nice and flexible with neatly terminated ends.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I hope to have it figured out this week so I can drive it some more. It is a neat car ( '41 LC Cab) and my first pre-war vehicle. The next item to attend to is adjust the loose steering box.

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Paul loose steering is really another thread but are you sure the box itself is loose or is it that the overall steering feels loose?

I have yet to acquire any vintage car that didn't have some sort of steering and suspension related issues. Seems that way too many people tend to ignore the fact they need maintenance to remain safe to drive. Spend thousands on paint an upholstery and ignore suspension, steering, and even brakes seems to be thought patterns far too common.

Jim

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I seem to remember checking the starter solenoid on old Fords by just touching a pair of plier handles to the two posts on the solenoid and "jumping" the solenoid. If this spins the engine, get another solenoid.

Some solenoids can be made good as new by taking them apart and cleaning up or rotating the copper disk inside or replacing the disk.

They are a simple device and can usually be made to work fine again in twenty minutes at the work bench. Even if they are crimp sealed another guy is going to uncrimp it to rebuild it. Not that hard to do.

It is also nice to have the confidence about our old cars to know that a lot of the things that can go wrong with them can be fixed along the side of the road, just like in the old days. That is one of the reasons for having old cars for me, they can still be fixed without a computer and a degree in rocket science. Have fun. Jim 43

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I just replaced my negative cable and it will crank now when hot!

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Paul,

Read about your starter problem and all of the replys were good . One

other thing that may have been overlooked , and that is this . Thhere is a

small bracket; P/N 51A-11140 that attaches to one of the starter bolts and

then attaches to the pan , using one of the pan bolts. This part is in the

Lincoln parts book and is available from several Ford parts suppliers. Price

is about $ 4.50- $ 4.95. Don't leave it out, it helps to keep starter in line.

Larry Butcher

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Thanks Larry. The bracket is there. UPDATE: I installed new cables and the engine cranks much much better and comparable to other Lincolns I have seen. I let the car run and sit for a while and it cranked right up. The final test is to take it for a drive get it good and hot and then let is heat sink for a while and see if it cranks OK. I will mention that I chose the #00 gauge cables as the #0 gauge cables were too close to #1 gauge. In fact, they were listed as #0-1 gauge. The #00 cables are as thick as my thumb which is what I am told we need for these cars. I had a battery place locally make all three cables while I waited for $46.00 out the door. Thanks to all that helped!

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This is all great info for me too. I have a 60 Premiere that will no way start when it's hot. The new battery will barely turn the engine over until it cools for a couple of hours. I'll get some new cables and see if that helps. Pete

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Although battery cables and connections should always be checked when experiencing hard starting, don't rule out your starter as the possible cause. The starting problem I had when hot was with a 6 volt car and your '60 Premier is a 12 volt. It should start fine with off the shelf sized cables. Two hours is a long time to wait to be able to start so it could be the starter. Before you buy some cables, I would have it tested.

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I was hoping for an easy solution to this problem because removing the starter from this beast is a real chore. You even have to loosen the motor mounts and jack the engine up to get it to come out. Another Ford idea I guess. Thanks for the heads up Paul. I'll see how much ambition I can muster in the spring. Pete

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Wonder what kind of obstruction(s) you are encountering removing the starter motor? I have done a few and never had to jack up the engine.... Loosen the 2 attaching bolts and bracket and out it comes. The hard part is holding it up in place and getting the 2 bolts started.

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One of the issues with the starter on an MEL block engine, whether in a Lincoln, Mercury, or Edsel, is it's three point mounting along with the long, backwards functioning Bendix starter drives. Accessing the bolt nearest the block is virtually impossible without jacking the engine up. The most simple solution to the problem is a set of "wobble sockets" or "wobble extensions." It's one of those feel for it things you can't see while beneath the car on your back. Just make sure to do that "hidden" bolt first to keep from getting a face full of starter unexpectedly. Note: It may be difficult to impossible to move the starter out without jacking up the engine thanks to that darn long Bendix starter drive.

The long term solution to those commonly failing starters and backwards functioning starter drives is to use a starter for an early 1960s Ford 352/390 FE block engine, which used the same three point mounting but had a normal Bendix starter drive. Physically, the two starter types look exactly the same when mounted on an engine and the Ford starter has more than sufficient torque to turn a 430 over easily.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)

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Peecher as Jim points out the starter has three bolts on this rig. Then you have the flywheel in front,the frame underneath,the exhaust pipe on the outside, the block on the inside and the motor mount behind. When I put this engine into the car I installed the starter from the front pushing it between the block and the wheel well when I had the front off the car and the generator off.

At that point I only wanted to see if the car would start and run and it did. So now I am taking the front off again and will be rebuilding the front suspension as well as the steering box and timing gear and distributor. I'd like to do the whole engine but that doesn't look possible at this time. Maybe down the road.

Thanks for that JIm. I wasn't aware that any other starter would fit the 430 but that may be well worth a shot. I've had enough trouble with the present set up so your alternative is a welcome suggestion.

Incidentally I named this car "The Wixom Wonder" when I first got it. That was soon changed to "The WIxom Nightmare". Pete

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Oops! Didn't read the post...yes, those '60's Lincolns are no fun at all removing the starter.

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If the starter is hard to remove, then the next time it acts up, try to test the starter in the car by by-passing the battery cables with a set of jumper cables. Connect one positive end of the jumper cable directly to the starter motor and one Negative to the block and the other ends to the battery Pos and Neg. Connect the negative cable that goes on the block last as this will spark a little and immediately engage the starter. Also make sure the key is in the "off" position so the engine does not start. 60's Fords and Lincolns often slip out of park. If the engine turns over or cranks better, the cables and/or connections are bad.

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