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1954 century sedan. GA to NC


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  • 1 month later...

So unfortunately riding out the storm of Florence I did not get to use the Buick until yesterday. Jumped in it to go for a ride and nothing not a click not a turn nothing. The battery was fine so I just jumped from the terminal block over to the starter solenoid and she kicked right up and ran. I guess this weekend I will be evaluating whether my carburetor switch or my starter relay are malfunctioning.

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The carburetor switch is pretty bulletproof, but is occasionally susceptible to dirt bypassing the filter. Its the easier of the two to check, just put a test light on the ground side and see if the light turns on when the pedal is depressed. Same can be done with the starter relay. Also double check the ballast resistor, too. If it's original, it could be toast.

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My method to troubleshoot (correction/additions welcome)

With the key on, jump across the carb switch terminals:  (careful, those wires are NOT fuse protected and if grounded will instantly fry your harness!)

---car starts:  clean switch

---car does not start:  next test

With key on jump 12v+ to the black wire on the starter relay:

--car starts:  solenoid and starter are ok (problem is associated with the starter relay)

---car does not start:  starter and/or solenoid defective

Remove the green wire from the starter relay and ground that terminal and try to start normally:

---car starts:  defect in generator or grounding of generator (jump the yellow wire on the back side of the voltage regulator  to battery negative and test again with green wire connected)

---car does not start:  starter relay defective

 

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Relays came in today.... that didn't fix the problem but in my anger sitting in the car stomping on the pedal and tithing the key back and forth... it appears there is a loose wire or dirty connection or something in the key switch itself...

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This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I have to turn the ignition a hundred times to get contact. The car  has spent more time with the hood up than on the road this summer.  I cannot get anything to get to the screws in the back of the ignition. Tried a nut driver, tried ratchet with a swivel, I cannot get it. I'm going to get my dremel and widen the access to the back of the switch.

 

Now I've gone and bought a second project.... What was I thinking! I'm going to need to choose one as I can not handle two of these.. Financially, time wise, or stress wise and one will end up by the wayside. 

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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Wasn't there a picture from someone which showed how the guard behind the ignition switch is attached? I remember thinking that did not look too hard to get off and then the entire switch comes out of the dash. Maybe you could pull the switch from your new project and install it here till you can source another good ignition switch?

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Ha.  If the old ones would come out!  I'm just over working on stuff really.  I have to much work with work and this old House.  I want a car that's fun,relaxing, enjoyable.  Not more work. I think I need to sell off all my extra junk and projects and just focus on making one car really really nice.  Instead I've continued to buy more projects that require more time more money more space. I only need one I can only drive one at a time.

 

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I have to turn the ignition a hundred times to get contact. The car  has spent more time with the hood up than on the road this summer.  I cannot get anything to get to the screws in the back of the ignition. Tried a nut driver, tried ratchet with a swivel, I cannot get it. I'm going to get my dremel and widen the access to the back of the switch.

 

Now I've gone and bought a second project.... What was I thinking! I'm going to need to choose one as I can not handle two of these.. Financially, time wise, or stress wise and one will end up by the wayside. 

 

 Wire around it. Can't be too difficult.

 

  Ben

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alternatively, load one of them on that nice new trailer, take it to Hershey and double your money. But of course then comes sellers remorse.  Cool whether is just around the corner, times will get better.

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4 minutes ago, old-tank said:

With the key on, is only the starting circuit dead or are things like the blowers and turn signals dead also?

The ammeter reads but I haven't checked the other accessories.  Aren't all of them on the other side of the ammeter and the starting circuit is its own wire?

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Finally got the switch out. Used the thinnest 5/16 socket I could find on a swivel and had to pry it to one side to get the second screw out. Here's the switch out of the car:

Screenshot_2018-09-30-12-55-54.thumb.png.c78032f37bb7672a5365a60b172ee72e.png

 

Here's one I had in the parts building:

Screenshot_2018-09-30-12-56-00.thumb.png.b5f565b71c869bf2599358b518fb4aaf.png

Contacts look a little better on this one. Should I reassemble with dielectric grease or dry?

 

 

Hopefully this will get Lucy back on the road. But it really is time to take stock and thin my heard. The fiat should be sold soon and hopefully my share in the F100 will soon follow. Then figure out which Buick will be my prize and do it complete and do it right so I can enjoy it while focusing onmy crazy job, saving for retirement and working on my house. I know I can't get back what I have in these cars, but I need to declutter my life.

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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On 9/21/2018 at 3:41 PM, old-tank said:

My method to troubleshoot (correction/additions welcome)

With the key on, jump across the carb switch terminals:  (careful, those wires are NOT fuse protected and if grounded will instantly fry your harness!)

---car starts:  clean switch

---car does not start:  next test

With key on jump 12v+ to the black wire on the starter relay:

--car starts:  solenoid and starter are ok (problem is associated with the starter relay)

---car does not start:  starter and/or solenoid defective

Remove the green wire from the starter relay and ground that terminal and try to start normally:

---car starts:  defect in generator or grounding of generator (jump the yellow wire on the back side of the voltage regulator  to battery negative and test again with green wire connected)

---car does not start:  starter relay defective

 

So I got the key back together and still won't start.  I went back through these steps....  It starts no when I discinnect thw green wire and connect geound to the relay. I guess I didn't get a good enough connection the first time.   Generator seems to charge ok...  So now what??

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If the generator isn't grounding out the switch, then its most likely not charging very well or over charging. Reset the field polarity with a jumper wire between the battery terminal and the armature terminal on the voltage regulator. If the problem doesn't fix itself, then you might need to look into a new generator. Before you write it off, though, make sure the armature terminal itself is grounded when off and open when on. Sometimes the green wire can pull out of the connector. 

 

If you're set on going with one car, I would pick the one with the Dynaflow. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, though! Keep at it Matt, don't give up! 

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15 minutes ago, Beemon said:

If the generator isn't grounding out the switch, then its most likely not charging very well or over charging. Reset the field polarity with a jumper wire between the battery terminal and the armature terminal on the voltage regulator. If the problem doesn't fix itself, then you might need to look into a new generator. Before you write it off, though, make sure the armature terminal itself is grounded when off and open when on. Sometimes the green wire can pull out of the connector. 

 

If you're set on going with one car, I would pick the one with the Dynaflow. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, though! Keep at it Matt, don't give up! 

Which battery terminal?  Positive?   Update.  Now its not starting even with that terminal grounded.   Holy f@##!$#!$#***#*!;!;÷_!_:&=_!..!&_$.;×&????  this whole freaking time..... Neutral safety switch. &!_!;$:@.!&#&#.'&#_=,!!!!  Starting fine now with all normal connections!??

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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4 minutes ago, Red Dawn said:

Holy s#$t, I know you don't want to hear this but, at least you were not injured. If you decide to, hopefully the 54 can be fixed.

Doubtful...  Its tweaked.  None of the doors open or close right.  Seats bent its jacked...this sucks

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Yikes!!!:o  It can be fixed if you want, but not out of your pocket.  Hopefully the other driver has insurance (unlike around here --- I've never been hit by an insured driver).

Get to the emergency room and get checked.  At the minimum your neck and back will be so sore you cannot get out of bed tomorrow.  Bad things like a spinal stroke might show up.

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Oh, friend, that just hurts to see it!!  

 

Let us know how we can help...  I may have a bumper and brackets for that...  Likely Lamar will have what you need too, and a lot closer.

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15 hours ago, old-tank said:

Get to the emergency room and get checked.  At the minimum your neck and back will be so sore you cannot get out of bed tomorrow.  Bad things like a spinal stroke might show up.

 

See hard head!! I'm not the only one insisting you go get checked out!!! Spinal problems can take a while to show up then it's hard to prove they were the result of the crash. As I have already expressed to you, so glad you are OK, and sorry to hear the bag of groceries didn't fair as well. :D

 

Matt texted me these pics even before the police arrived and I was so shocked and saddened. Rita literally let out a scream. As some of you may remember this is the car that I bought out of the warehouse( along with 7 others) and sold Matt. One of the most solid '54's I have ever seen. Absolutely zero rust, straight body and good mechanical condition. Matt absolutely loved the car and spent SOOO much time joyfully working on it (til he got to the ignition, but even then he persevered) and had great plans of having the interior redone etc.  While I am sad to see the car in this wrecked condition I can't imagine how Matt felt when he walked out to the car this morning.

 

I feel pretty certain Geico will total the car, no way repairs could be less than the value. But not sure how insurance companies determine value of old/classic cars. Hopefully it will equal at least the dollars you have in it. Which brings to mind all the NOS and nice chrome I sold you for it. Hopefully you can replace/salvage that After the adjuster looks at it. Or you can purchase the car back from the insurance company. Keep us posted and I'm sure I speak for all here, let us know if there is anything we can do to help. 

 

 

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As I have been through this before not with one quite this old, I am certain it will be totaled. These days insurance companies look at local sales comps to determine value so I don't know how they would go about it for this car.  I will definitely fight for the most I can get though as you can't replace the originality of this particular vehicle. It will not get scrapped and if they do total it out I will buy it back. I'm certain the repairs would exceed anything I could afford to put in it,  worst case scenario she can be used to breathe new life into the purple 2 door. Unfortunately this is a heck of a lesson on being careful what I wish for as just earlier I was griping about needing less cars. Progressive has already called to set up the adjuster appointment today. I will keep everyone posted.

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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There are no other words to express my condolences than I am so sorry for this turn of events. I also thank God you do not believe you are hurt physically.  But listen to Willie and go to get checked out asap please! Drs reports and police reports will help the insurance companies to make decisions that benefit you. 

 

That cars integrity was obvious. Thankfully it was a rear ender as opposed to a head on. But that is no substitute for the pains I feel looking at those pictures.

 

I hope you can salvage something from the car and I hope you are treated fairly by all the parties. 

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