NC-car-guy

1954 century sedan. GA to NC

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Drove it to work today. Couldn't resist the photo op on the way home.   Once I got home the starter is acting up again,  car won't start... ugh. 

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That photo looks like it belongs in the Spring Time Buicks thread.  Spring is springing late around here, so nice to see some blossoms!

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Late?  you mean early?  I can't believe how many things here in NC have bloomed and it's still February!

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11 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

After 8 presses of the pedal it turned and started right up

 

My 56 takes more than one pump of the gas pedal too Matt.  At this time of the year I crank it for two 3 second sessions with just one pump each, in case it starts.  Then a few pumps and it's usually firing and running.  Then I'll keep my foot in it a bit, maybe to 1500 RPM or so by the sound of it, then slowly let off the gas pedal till the linkage is running on the fast idle.  But with your starter problem that may not be possible. 

 

Have you changed the battery cables, especially the one from the regulator to the starter?  Till I changed that one in the GS when I did my timing chain I never would have thought a 50K mile cable could have been in such deteriorated condition.

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3 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

My 56 takes more than one pump of the gas pedal too Matt.  At this time of the year I crank it for two 3 second sessions with just one pump each, in case it starts.  Then a few pumps and it's usually firing and running.  Then I'll keep my foot in it a bit, maybe to 1500 RPM or so by the sound of it, then slowly let off the gas pedal till the linkage is running on the fast idle.  But with your starter problem that may not be possible. 

 

Have you changed the battery cables, especially the one from the regulator to the starter?  Till I changed that one in the GS when I did my timing chain I never would have thought a 50K mile cable could have been in such deteriorated condition.

I meant it took 8 presses to get the starter to move.....  otherwise it's just the solenoid throwing the gear forward.  I did check the cables and cleaned up the ends, didn't replace.  Once the starter actually turns, the car starts with ease.  I had the whole thing apart and everything looked ok besides the solenoid contacts, which I cleaned up to bright shiny again....

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Ah-ha.  I missed that.  Carry on.  But I'd still invest in some new cables before tear down again.

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Whats really frustrating is the unpredictability.  sometimes it turns on the first press, sometimes the 20th.... doesn't matter hot or cold...

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2 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

Late?  you mean early?  I can't believe how many things here in NC have bloomed and it's still February!

 

Early for you, late for us up here in the Pacific NW.... I was shovelling a foot of snow last Saturday! 

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Damn! I was hoping you wouldn't say that.   What's the best way to get the old bushings out?

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Use a tap that will engage the bushing and when it bottoms out  the bushing will come out.

Also be sure that your refurbished solenoid is actually transferring 12v to the starter when it is engaged.

Everybody should have extra starters for times like this ::D

Edited by old-tank (see edit history)
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5 minutes ago, old-tank said:

Use a tap that will engage the bushing and when it bottoms out  the bushing will come out.

Also be sure that your refurbished solenoid is actually transferring 12v to the starter when it is engaged.

Everybody should have extra starters for times like this ::D

I have a few, just gotta dig them out of the parts building

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Ordered bushings and brushes today.  This weekend I'll get out and dig up all my parts starters and put together the best of the batch.  Today was also my last tuition payment for grad school, so next month I can cover my southern debts on the next project! ?

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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Parts starters found. One thing I forgot is to order a new rubber boot for the solenoid.

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I fear my parts starters are in variations of the same state..... Sad!   One thing I noticed is the brushes are slightly different in each one, and the bearing thing behind the gear is different on one.  Anyone know why?  Hoping I can just rebuild mine, although the teeth on the gear are a little rough on the edges.

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The "bearing thing" is the bendix clutch. Rotate the bendix, if it makes a groaning noise the clutch is bad. If it's smooth, you're good to go. Those don't look too bad. The starter on my car came straight from the junkyard, the same donor as my power steering pump. Go buy a scotch brite pad from your local grocery store and just rub down the oxidation and corrosion on both the field coils and the armature. New brushes should be fine. If there's little to no wobble in the bushings on both ends, don't sweat it. The starter isn't used all the time like a generator. The important part is going to be new brushes and making sure the solenoid throws out AND spins the armature. 

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Starter saga continues..... paint is drying on the case, so no trials today.  Cleaned up the solenoid disc, got the new bushings and brushes in, traded the bendix for a slightly better gear, I'll be out of town this weekend,  so next week the starter will go back on. 

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Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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 afraid to get your hands dirty? :P I kid! I wish I could afford gloves, would make my hands less sticky after playing with lube. How'd you paint the pieces? Correct is aluminum base plate with semi gloss body and plain cast iron head. Fasteners and plunger throw out arm are cad plated, from my observations. The unit I pulled from the junkyard also had the solenoid body painted semi gloss, too.

 

Did you ever find a replacement solenoid boot? 

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2 hours ago, Beemon said:

 afraid to get your hands dirty? :P I kid! I wish I could afford gloves, would make my hands less sticky after playing with lube. How'd you paint the pieces? Correct is aluminum base plate with semi gloss body and plain cast iron head. Fasteners and plunger throw out arm are cad plated, from my observations. The unit I pulled from the junkyard also had the solenoid body painted semi gloss, too.

 

Did you ever find a replacement solenoid boot? 

My day job prefers I not have mechanic hands, lol. Nitrile gloves are cheap at harbor freight.  I have two starters that are green and two black,  so i painted mine red.  Jk. It's green.  CARS had the boot! 

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15 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

traded the bendix for a slightly better gear,

 

More important (I think) is to use the one with the best overrunning clutch action.  I turn the gear and then reverse direction to make sure it locks reliably.  Minor burrs on the drive gear can be dressed with a file.  Be sure to inspect the ring gear as well - now would be the time to touch-up any burrs on that side too.  Make sure when you install it that the starter gear meshes correctly with the flywheel.  I use a the unbent end of a common paperclip to check the gap between the tip of the starter gear tooth and the root of the flywheel ring gear.  Too tight and the gears will clash and possibly break the housing.  Too loose and you may damage the ring gear...

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Starter was painted green and solenoid shielded to prevent being painted so should be black.

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Completely resurfaced all contacts in the solenoid, new brushes, new bushings, wrong paint, and back in the car with a new wires!  6 starts later and still working good.... we'll  see.  Drove her to the local chapter meet again, another great time!  Might just drive to Charlotte Auto Fair in two weeks. 

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In other notes,  I changed the oil again (just changed it 1k miles ago, but that was the 1st time in 25+ years).  My oil pressure is down some.  Before at 55mph and above the needle would teeter up toward high.  Now it stays within the normal range.  I bypassed the under-seat heater as water was leaking from that area (hoses are new).  I find the defroster/heater now seems to work better.   Once I'm ready to do the carpet, I'll get to the other heater.

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1 hour ago, wndsofchng06 said:

In other notes,  I changed the oil again (just changed it 1k miles ago, but that was the 1st time in 25+ years).  My oil pressure is down some.  Before at 55mph and above the needle would teeter up toward high.  Now it stays within the normal range.  I bypassed the under-seat heater as water was leaking from that area (hoses are new).  I find the defroster/heater now seems to work better.   Once I'm ready to do the carpet, I'll get to the other heater.

 

A long as she is in the normal all is  normal.  Normally.  Heater /defroster is not sharing the hot coolant with the under seat heater.  I have not fooled with the heater cores on mine as yet but I would say the under seat core is the easier to R and R.   Once piece at a time brother. One piece at a time.  Eventually all is in great shape and all you do is drive it.       

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