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25 Buick first start issues


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The idea of getting the oil pressure up with the plugs out is the best idea yet ! When I start a long dormant "modern" antique engine , you know , the "modern" mills without oil pressure gauges , I crank them with plugs out until the oil pressure warning light goes out. They WILL pump up that way if the oil pump has a prime. I have primed back through the oil filter lines with a turkey baster. In making this oil pressure tow , you can/should use 3rd gear. And DO retard the spark on the start up run , that one slowly in 2nd. I hope someone makes a video of your antics so we can share in your success !  ?.     - Carl 

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I would have never thought of pulling it with the plugs out.I am getting a lot of great ideas from you guys.I plan to pull it first without the plugs and will let everyone know how it turns out.

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Jerry, I noticed the same thing when I was checking the starter out and tried a thin piece of paper under it and it is tightly against the commutator.It looked the same way when the shop tested it and it spun the starter.

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Since this thread has become quiet I will tell you what I have been doing to get ready for my first start of  my 1915 165 cu in engine.  All the  advice on oiling is not appropriate for me, I have no oil pressure.  My oil pump lifts oil to the sight glass and then drains to four connecting rod troughs.  So after the oil pan is filled to full I then add another gallon of 10w30 which will flood the engine and top up the troughs.  Then with no spark plugs I spin the engine over to splash oil into the catch basins over the main bearings and around the cam and lifters.  Then I drain the excess oil through the level tap on the side of the oil pan.  Even though the engine was built using an assembly lube, now it is soaked.  The timing gear case is separate from the crankcase and is lubed with gear oil and the valve stems and rockers are oiled by hand.

 

It is snowing today in southern Ontario.  I have to finish my wiring, connect a fuel line, mount a new coil and I ordered a new Optima battery because trying to get the lead/ acid one under the floor is a back breaker.  Check out my new flat leather fan belt my local shoe repair place made this week, $15.00.  Wish me good fortune, I hope to be on the road June 10th.   

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Be sure to  get a battery tender that charges at 3 amps or your optima battery will explode.I bought mine at walmart and it will work on 6 or 12 volts.I pulled started my 25 Buick today and adjusted the carb and ran it at a fast idle for 2 hours.We first pulled it without the plugs and the oil pressure came up and sent oil all the way up to the rockers.It ran cool with no overheating problems.I did a final valve adjustment after it warmed up and the engine runs great.Now for the sad part it still won't start with the starter.This is probably something simple  but at least I know the engine is not the problem.On another note my Wife was helping me by watching the valve action while I was turning the crank and adjusting the valves.The crank slipped and sent me diving head first into the drivers side headlight,no damage was done to the Buick but I feel like I have been in a bar fight with two mean Linebackers and my right eye is almost swolen shut.

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cxgvd,I wish you good fortune on getting your 15 Buick up and running. You will love the Optima battery it will hold a charge for up to 3 years and won't give you corrosion problems like the lead acid ones do just be sure not to never charge it with a regular charger.They have to be charged with a 3 amp battery tender.

Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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36 minutes ago, carmover said:

just be sure not to ever charge it with a regular charger.They have to be charged with a 3 amp battery tender

Huh?  What about driving the car with 20 or so amps going into the Optima?  How does that differ from a "regular charger" which perhaps you should define.  Your contention is not in the Optima literature.

 

I've been using Optimas exclusively for 15-20 years and have never been reluctant to top off with a 10A charger, occasionally with a roll-around charger on "low," and have had no ill effects.

 

Two points that are supported by Optima's literature:

1.  Never use a battery lift strap (you don't need to).

2.  A significantly-discharged Optima is best charged by wiring it in parallel with a decently charged other battery (same voltage of course) and charge the pair together until you get a decent (say, 6.1V) charge on the Optima.

 

Most of my cars' battery compartments are under the floor/seat, so the freedom from checking electrolyte level and cleaning corrosion is greatly appreciated.

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15 hours ago, carmover said:

...the engine runs great.Now for the sad part it still won't start with the starter.This is probably something simple  but at least I know the engine is not the problem.

Try hooking an ammeter up to the starter leads (a cheap inductive ammeter would probably do the trick).  See if it's actually drawing current when it's supposed to be cranking.

 

If the engine runs and the starter works on a bench test, process of elimination leads to wiring.

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Ok here is a summary of what is going on with the starter.The starter was checked by an authorized shop and it checked out perfectly with 6 volts to the start brush the starter spun the battery was also checked and load tested and came out fine both cables are getting good connections and on the car the start brush is getting a full 6 volts.Tonite a friend pushed the starter pedal down as I watched the starter brush and it is sitting squarely on the the commutator all other wires are tight and secure on the right post and everything electric on the car works.The starter shaft is pulling all the way back and letting the roller drop and the brush is in contact with the commutator.Everything has been checked and rechecked and still it will not even attempt to turn motor

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I would also suggest that you attach a volt meter to see what voltage the generator is putting out.  If it is more than about 7.3 +- for a 6 volt system that needs to be fixed.  About 14.2 +- for a 12 volt system unless the battery is really run down and the generator is trying to get it back to full charge.

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The battery is 100% charged and I put a meter on the start brush and it is getting a full 6 volts.I am going to try to get with Jason Smith tomorrow and see if he has any ideas or suggestions about this problem.

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Jason Smith totally rebuilt the start/gen less than 2 years ago which included a complete armature rewind and a new comutator and brushes a machined new roller and new bushings. the local shop bench tested it by placing jumper cables from my battery to the start/gen and we manually worked the brushes by raising and lowering the roller. they also tested voltage to the brushes and it spun like it was supposed to.Before i rebuilt the engine it was turning the motor like it should and all I did was put it on a shelf for about 5 months while getting the engine rebuilt.I then reinstalled the start/gen which is something that I am very experienced with and it has not started the engine.

Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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I have been following this but don't remember if you have tried taking the battery that may have been damaged but checks good out of the system completely and use a known good battery?

 

Dave

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Dave,I took the battery to a qualified battery shop and the checked it and load tested it and gave it a clean bill of health.The starter also ran on my workbench this morning and was put back on the car without hooking up the water pump shaft and with the starter pedal out using jumper cables only I made it turn on the car.I then hooked everything up and am back to nothing.I did once see the starter trying to turn the motor it was humming and sparking at the brush/commutator connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a dumb question. This has given me problems in the past.

 

Where is the battery earthed? If it is on the chassis, is there a very good connection between the engine and chassis?

 

With a freshly rebuilt engine, I wonder if you have paint under an earth=ground connection somewhere? Paint is generally a poor conductor.

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I would maybe install the battery on another car to insure that it is indeed operational. I would also try using different positive and negative battery cables, grounding directly to the starter motor itself. Its worth a try.

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This is a tough one, especially when knowing the starter was working prior to the engine rebuild. Did you use the same flywheel?  Is the starter gear engaging fully with flywheel and maybe the starter bush is not completely down and making good contact with the comutator?  It sounds like there is something hanging up there .  Leon

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Carmover,  Did they use a carbon pile type load tester or one of the newer type Midtronics type testers? As much as you have checked I would take that battery out and try one that starts another car as suggested by raydurr.

 

Dave

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This is not the issue here, it is getting plenty of power to the starter.I have also used jumper cables to bypass the battery cables and it still will not work.This is the only 6 volt vehicle I have around here.I have a multi meter and it is getting power everywhere it is supposed to.The ground cable is on the frame and I have cleaned it down to bare metal so I Know I have a good ground.Also I checked the contact to the commutator and it is making full contact.The shaft is pulled back as far as it will go and as I said earlier it spun  on the car when I had just jumper cables on it and was not hooked up to the water pump shaft and no other wires were hooked to it and I had the starter pedal off and manually pulled the shaft back.I also inspected the roller and the arm and they were perfect and working properly.As I said Monday I started the car by pulling it and it started and ran perfectly for 2 hours at a fast idle however today I once heard the starter trying to turn the engine and was humming and started sparking at the brush/commutator connection but couldn't turn the motor.I would think that 2 hours of running that engine would of loosened it up if it was tight

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Cleaning to bare metal does not guarantee an adequate ground to the starter. Jumper cables to your original battery does not mean you have enough cranking amps to turn the engine. Please listen to at least some of the suggestions you are getting. Previously you were ready to pull the engine apart and we saved you from that. We know the starter works without load. We know the problem is not the tight engine. Go with what you know and never assume, that will only paint you into a corner! 

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Believe me I do listen to these suggestions and highly appreciate you guys helping me with this.We together will eventually get this straightened out.I have worked on cars all my life and a lot of things coming up here I have already tried.I don't know about continuity and things like that but I do know that the starter is getting plenty of power from the battery.The point I was trying to make about the starter running on the car was that I know that the brushes are making contact with the commutator.If you think it is a grounding problem I will order brand new cables and put an extra ground strap on the starter itself.I know the motor is not the problem and Jason Smith did a wonderful job on the starter.

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OK, there is something basic that has changed in the course of the engine rebuild... let's try and track it down. We need to be thorough and methodical here.   (In this part of the world, earth = ground. I can't help myself!)

 

Before you started, the car started properly and ran with the current starter motor and battery and wiring. This tells us the starter wires and earths are big enough and haven't been replaced with smaller ones. There should be nothing wrong with the starter either. The pedal connections to the starter should not have changed and still operate as they did.

 

You removed all the engine add-ons - starter-gen, water pump, manifolds and carb, fan, distributor, and so on then removed the engine. None of those extras that might affect the starter motor spinning the engine has had anything done to it, other than being reconnected. No new wiring?

 

So the earth wires. The battery is earthed to the chassis and the connection is on clean steel. Is the terminal connected to the wire properly? If it is an old one, they can corrode and have high resistance but carry the volts to register the right amount on a meter. What about the other ends of the wires at the battery: are they clean and the terminal connections to the wires clean?

 

What about the wire from the chassis to the engine? Same questions. Clean, paint-free connections plus the wire-terminal connections are clean and of low resistance?

 

And the starter motor earth is through its mount onto the engine? Are those connections paint free, on clean steel?

 

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Is the clutch working between the starter and water pump it should only work one way when engine running it drives genset when cranking it slips as you can't turn motor from starter motor and from front grears

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37 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

OK, there is something basic that has changed in the course of the engine rebuild... let's try and track it down. We need to be thorough and methodical here.   (In this part of the world, earth = ground. I can't help myself!)

 

Before you started, the car started properly and ran with the current starter motor and battery and wiring. This tells us the starter wires and earths are big enough and haven't been replaced with smaller ones. There should be nothing wrong with the starter either. The pedal connections to the starter should not have changed and still operate as they did.

 

You removed all the engine add-ons - starter-gen, water pump, manifolds and carb, fan, distributor, and so on then removed the engine. None of those extras that might affect the starter motor spinning the engine has had anything done to it, other than being reconnected. No new wiring?

 

So the earth wires. The battery is earthed to the chassis and the connection is on clean steel. Is the terminal connected to the wire properly? If it is an old one, they can corrode and have high resistance but carry the volts to register the right amount on a meter. What about the other ends of the wires at the battery: are they clean and the terminal connections to the wires clean?

 

What about the wire from the chassis to the engine? Same questions. Clean, paint-free connections plus the wire-terminal connections are clean and of low resistance?

 

And the starter motor earth is through its mount onto the engine? Are those connections paint free, on clean steel?

 

I have good clean battery connections on the battery.I cleaned the ground cable and cleaned the connection to the frame to bare metal and replaced the grounding bolt with a new one the terminal also was replaced with a new one.The motor has never had a separate ground it is only grounded to the negative terminal of the battery.I am thinking of putting a separate ground to the engine.I totally rewired the car a couple of years ago and all wires are new and have good tight connections.

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28 minutes ago, maok said:

With the spark plugs out, can you turn the engine over by hand? Are you sure its not still too tight?

I ran the engine monday after pull starting it for about 2 hours and actually drove the car about 5 miles and adjusted everything and it is running perfectly  and I can turn the engine with the crank by hand.

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13 minutes ago, Fred Rawling said:

Could it be that when you bolt the starter on it is miss-aligned and binding?

It shouldn't be misaligned as it has to cones on the bolts to line it up and it doesn't seem to be binding.

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6 minutes ago, tonybuick said:

Is the clutch working between the starter and water pump it should only work one way when engine running it drives genset when cranking it slips as you can't turn motor from starter motor and from front grears

Tony, It is working and right now I have the water pump shaft disconnected from the starter while I am trying to isolate the problem.

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Do you have access to another 6v battery? If you do, you could connect the two 6v batteries in parallel (that is +ve to +ve AND -ve to -ve) to give you more grunt (amps) to turn the starter.

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