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1939 Chrysler C22 6Volt Starter problem ??


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Howdy ,

You have probably seen my previous posts before, but, please I now need your help again.

Since I bought my C22 ( 241.5 CU In ) about 10 months ago my car has always had a slow/sluggish cranking problem.

I've been blaming an old/tired 770 CCA battery that was in it. However I just bought a new 6Volt 915 CCA battery which I was sure would easily spin it over and fix the problem.

But Wrong!!, the old girl still has sluggish cranking, I doubly checked all the cables (also new) and connections all good, however when I turn her over with the crank handle it does seem to have high compression!

Finding a 6 volt vintage experienced electrician in Oz, especially near me is a big wish. so I'm once again calling on my Detroit friends for advice.

The starter in it is labelled as Chrysler Corp with rest of stamped plate info being I think..:-

MAX 4020-A 11SOC 4017, is this the correct starter or ??, I wondered if it might even be a 12v unit??? The "largish" Solenoid is under the Starter's center line towards the back of the starter. I don't know as yet how many teeth the pinion has.

I know it would be "hellishly" expensive shipping wise to get another unit to down under from the States but in the end it might be my only alternative,

Any suggestions ?? (If any fellow Aussie members are also watching please join in)

I look forward to your come back,

Rich

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Rich, the first thing that comes to mind are the battery cables themselves. Make sure that they are not for a 12 volt system. I've got a 37 Pontiac that was very sluggish when starting, that I had felt sure would be corrected with a new battery. Well, I got the same thing. The problem I was having was at some time, a previous owner had installed new battery cables, but used ones that were designed for a 12 volt system. The 6 volt cables are of a much larger diameter, and once I put on the correct cables, the car started right up. This may not be your problem, but it is worth a look.

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Howdy ,

You have probably seen my previous posts before, but, please I now need your help again.

Since I bought my C22 ( 241.5 CU In ) about 10 months ago my car has always had a slow/sluggish cranking problem.

I've been blaming an old/tired 770 CCA battery that was in it. However I just bought a new 6Volt 915 CCA battery which I was sure would easily spin it over and fix the problem.

But Wrong!!, the old girl still has sluggish cranking, I doubly checked all the cables (also new) and connections all good, however when I turn her over with the crank handle it does seem to have high compression!

Finding a 6 volt vintage experienced electrician in Oz, especially near me is a big wish. so I'm once again calling on my Detroit friends for advice.

The starter in it is labelled as Chrysler Corp with rest of stamped plate info being I think..:-

MAX 4020-A 11SOC 4017, is this the correct starter or ??, I wondered if it might even be a 12v unit??? The "largish" Solenoid is under the Starter's center line towards the back of the starter. I don't know as yet how many teeth the pinion has.

I know it would be "hellishly" expensive shipping wise to get another unit to down under from the States but in the end it might be my only alternative,

Any suggestions ?? (If any fellow Aussie members are also watching please join in)

I look forward to your come back,

Rich

Rich I am only about fifty miles from you, give me ca call on 0423 659 123 and we can go through a few thing on the starter . may be of some help regards Bob

Edited by robert b (see edit history)
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Rich I am only about fifty miles from you, give me ca call on 0423 659 123 an we can go through a few thing on the starter . may be of some help regards Bob

MAX-4020A is a 6 volt starter by Autolite for that peroid, have test specs , more to follow Bob

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Hi Aussie Cowboy Thanks,

The new cables on the car are about as thick as your little finger, so that's probably not the problem. Could it be bad contacts in solenoid ?? ( outside the square I bought a "Koolie" sheep dog about 8 years ago from Echuca!! big mistake!!)

Also Msg for Bob, I will call you Tuesday what time is convenient,

Rich

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Hi Aussie Cowboy Thanks,

The new cables on the car are about as thick as your little finger, so that's probably not the problem. Could it be bad contacts in solenoid ?? ( outside the square I bought a "Koolie" sheep dog about 8 years ago from Echuca!! big mistake!!)

Also Msg for Bob, I will

" as thick as your LITTLE finger"May be the problem. Cables should be as large as your THUMB or larger. USA size will be "O: or "OO". Try that and see. And the earth(ground) must be as large as the power cable. Ground should be hooked directly to engine. Even to starter mounting bolt, if possible.

Ben

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Check to be sure there is a good connection between the starter and the bell housing. I have found Auto-Lite starters will form corrosion between the rivets of the grounding brushes to the commutator end plate. They will ohlm out ok with a meter, but the connection is not good enough for the current the starter draws. When I rebuild starters I move the brush grounding directly to the case. Also the end plate must be making perfect connection to the housing. Some rebuilders merely replace the brushes and bendix and give it a coat of paint.

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If your battery is good and your cables are good, and all connections clean and tight, that leaves the starter.

I was surprised to find my local auto electric rebuilder had no problem rebuilding starters and generators for old 6volt machines. This is an ordinary shop in a town of 10,000 population, not an antique specialist rebuilder. When I was there I saw starters and generators for various kinds of tractors, trucks, diesel engines etc. If parts are available they can rebuild anything.

You may well find your local shop can take your starter in stride. I get the impression there are a lot more old, strange cars trucks and machines in use in Australia than there are here in Canada. They have probably rebuilt dozens like yours.

By the way , the only way a 6 volt starter differs from a 12 volt starter, is the number of teeth on the drive gear, the field coils, and the relay. Other parts like brushes, bearings, armature and case are the same as 12v Autolite starters used on Chrysler products up to 1960s.

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Hi Aussie Cowboy Thanks,

The new cables on the car are about as thick as your little finger, so that's probably not the problem. Could it be bad contacts in solenoid ?? ( outside the square I bought a "Koolie" sheep dog about 8 years ago from Echuca!! big mistake!!)

Also Msg for Bob, I will call you Tuesday what time is convenient,

Rich

Any time during the day will be ok Bob

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Hi everyone, thanks for all the tips. For the record, the 6V battery is a new 915 cranking amp unit and the cables are brand new, the wire measuring about 1/2" inch in Dia, is that big enough?

At your advice I will check all connections and add another earth cable direct to a starter mounting bolt. If no improvement I will probably have to investigate the starter its self. The solenoid throws in ok, but starter winds over "sluggishly".

Can anybody relate Cable sizes 0 and 00 to dia in inches please.Thanks once again,

R

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The important thing is the size of the copper wire inside. The OD is not always a reliable measure because some wires have thicker insulation than others. Cheap battery cables today have very little wire and very thick insulation.

The copper part should be at least as big as your little finger or a little bigger. Nobody keeps the correct cables for a 6V system because they have been obsolete since 1955. That is why the suggestions of making your own from welding cable, it is either that or special order from the auto parts store.

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The lowdown on wire gauges

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

00 = .3648"/ 9.26mm

0 = .3249"/ 8.25mm

Note that this is the diameter of the conductor without insulation. It is also for solid wire, a stranded wire as used in your car will be about 5% thicker.

Or to put it another way, the correct wire will be roughly 1/2" in diameter, with insulation.

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Thanks for all the feed back, it's been an eye opener. And hallelujah for AACA member robert b who has come to my aid,...... and by a chance of luck robert b..... Bob... is only about 50 miles away from me here in Oz, Bob has offered to check out my starter for me too.

Thank goodness for AACA,

Rich

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I will second the installation of a heavy ground cable directly from the battery to a mounting bolt on the starter. This has cured a slow cranking 6v system for me several times.

Another thing to check is the brushes on the starter. Make SURE that they move freely in their guides, and that the springs are actually pushing the brushes against the commutator on the armature. I've seen springs that are hung up on the brush holder, or brush wire/connector. With one or more brushes not making contact, it will drastically reduce the starter's rpm and power.

GLong

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also had a large ground cable go bad on me once. I kept checking the battery end and everything looked fine. I finally tracked down my "starter" issues to the bolt hole lug on the opposite end which had corroded between the lug and the actual cable where it was very hard to see.

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Hi WHT I"ve think I've found the problem as a faulty starter motor terminal so I'm going to have that looked at by a fellow Aussie AACA enthusiast I discovered just 50 miles away thanks to this forum!!

I am also going to add additional ground leads direct to starter mounting bolts to Flywheel housing. I will report back when all work done,

Rich

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Hi I drove 50 miles ( in OZ ) and met Robert B today, Bob offered to look at my suspect 6V starter for me. Wow Bob you amazed me with your vintage Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/Desoto etc knowledge. Bob is a wizard.he disassembled and assessed my starter problem in a flash ! I will be back often !!

Thankyou Bob

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