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25 Buick first start issues


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Ron,

 6 volt batteries are hard to come by, but a lot of Model A owners still use 6 volt batteries.  It lends a lot of options for borrowing a battery or jumping the car.  I am always amazed at how many Model A's are still on the road.  I think there are close to a dozen model A's in my town of 30,000 people.  You might contact a local model A group and I bet they have someone that might be able to lend a hand.   My model A friends and I have all agreed that between us, if someone needs a 6 volt battery immediately, we can loan to each other, because the autopart stores no longer carry these, and we can't always wait a day for a delivery.    Hugh  

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So how is the engine earthed to the chassis? Through the mounts and bolts? There is a good steel to steel somewhere? A temporary specific ground to the starter sounds like a good idea. 12 V jumper cables will be too small but the earth might improve enough to get some action. I am not familiar with how yours is set up, but my 1930 Dodge has a thin piece of rubber between the engine mounts and the chassis and it would be very easy to have paint on the engine mounts and chassis so any bolt and nut might not work well as a high capacity electrical connection.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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Does your generator "motor" before you try the starter?  As I read the instructions the generator must rotate slowly before the starter petal is pressed to drop the brush on the starter commutator. At the same time it lifts a brush from the generator commutator.  Perhaps the generator is not disconnecting.  Just a thought,  Gary

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1 hour ago, cxgvd said:

Does your generator "motor" before you try the starter?  As I read the instructions the generator must rotate slowly before the starter petal is pressed to drop the brush on the starter commutator. At the same time it lifts a brush from the generator commutator.  Perhaps the generator is not disconnecting.  Just a thought,  Gary

Gary the starter does turn with the switch on like it should.

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I have been pondering over this and I can think of one thing that I may have done to cause this.This engine was completely disassembled down to bare castings and glass bead blasted and completely primed and painted.This engine has all motor mounting points completely primed and painted.I f the engine has to be grounded to the frame itself this is not happening.I will need to install a good ground strap from the frame to the engine.I am thinking this could be the problem.Through the process of elimination I know the starter is completely rebuilt and working like it should without a load and the Battery was checked and load tested to determine the cold crank amps and it checks out fine.Everything on the start /gen is installed perfectly with all connections clean and tight.The battery connections are making good connection as well.Everything else mechanical that has to do with the starter has been checked out and is working properly.

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I did just that with my '37.  Yes, I grounded the battery to the frame, but I also ran a separate, dedicated size "0" battery cable directly to the engine block.  

With all fresh paint, new vulcanized motor mounts....... I figured a heavy ground wire couldn't hurt.  (I also ran a dedicated ground wire to every lamp and the fuel sending unit)

 

Good Luck!  I've been following this discussion from the beginning.  I think you're on to something here.  Use a nice heavy gauge for that 6V battery.

 

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Thanks Gary, I have been following your restoration thread on your 37 and am very impressed on the quality of your work.I have just been trying to figure this out and I know that it is caused by something that I did or did not do so I have been trying to go by process of elimination and this is the only thing that I can see that could be wrong.

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Not preaching here, when troubleshooting I did recommend connecting ground from battery directly to starter motor. Use completely different positive and negative leads. This is how you eliminate potential causes without guesswork. Use known good cables from another vehicle so you don't have to spend more money.  I learned this from experience , the hard way. When grounding directly to the frame , a good ground "strap" should be used between the frame and starting motor in a permanent installation. Current should never flow through driveline or other components where bearings could be damaged from current flow.Care must be given that paint and other coatings do not interfere with having 100% connections which are very important especially on 6 volt systems. I'm willing to bet it something really simple. Its frustrating. Walk away , ponder it then try again.

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Ray,I know on modern cars the ground cable goes to the engine block and hot to starter and has a separate ground from engine to frame.My 25 has always had the ground cable attatched to the frame and hot cable to the start/gen.I assume that if the engine needs grounding it would get it's ground from the rear motor mounts and in this case that can't happen because it's painted.I hope I am on the right track as I don't see any problem with putting a  separate ground to the start/gen.

Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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I wish that I was there to help you troubleshoot. My 29s factory system grounds to the frame with the main cable then uses a woven strap from the frame to the starter motor. I know that your technique should work but I am trying to help you eliminate variables so to speak. Sometimes things like I am mentioning only takes a few minutes to implement compared to days going the traditional route. It has to be something simple. I wish that I could help more.

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Well today I installed a ground strap from the frame to the bottom bolt on the starter and pushed the starter and nothing happened. One problem with this is I could not find anything but a 12 volt strap and I took the frame connection and the starter connection down to bare metal and put a star washer between the frame and the strap as Mr. Franklin said to do.I am thinking of going Monday to where they sell 18 wheeler parts and get a heavy strap and ground the engine at the rear motor mounts.Then that should put all the grounding  issues to rest.As I said in an earlier post that I primed and painted the bell housing and it is well painted where the rear mounts meet the frame and I haven't been made clear if the engine needs to be grounded or not for the starter to work.

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Let's see...  If the generator's working, wouldn't that suggest that there's a functional ground?  Did you ever check the current draw of the starter?  If it "jumps" when the switch is engaged, then stops, that sounds like a mechanical problem -- or the generator brush isn't disengaging.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)
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Ronnie. Let's back up some the 23 that I have you turn the ign. sw. On and the starters motor clicks over slowly do you hear that?? only then can you push the starter Pedro down to get the starter to run.    Mike

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3 hours ago, Mikefit said:

Ronnie. Let's back up some the 23 that I have you turn the ign. sw. On and the starters motor clicks over slowly do you hear that?? only then can you push the starter Pedro down to get the starter to run.    Mike

 

The Buick Reference Book excerpt posted earlier specifically says that this clutch does not have the clicking sound that earlier clutches did.  Of course, that assumes that the (undated) book is speaking to the 1925 Buick.

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KongaMan:'

 The 1925 S/Gs do not "click" as loud as the earlier units but it is audible as it motors. Sort of a light chattering. But it is noticeable when it motors.
And yes as some of the others have said I wish we could be there in person to help.

Edited by dibarlaw (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Ronnie, something that I have thought about is this - these S/G units have an overrunning clutch in them.  Do you think that the clutch could have been installed backwards?  Just a thought.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

Terry,The only thing that was removed and put back on was the round connectors that connect the water pump shaft to the start/gen.I don't know where the clutch is located.I know that the s/g can't be turned counter clockwise so I am thinking the clutch is working.We have to keep in mind that the starter was working before I took it off to build the engine.It is auto rotating and when I turn the switch on and the brushes are connecting with the commutators properly.The shaft comes all the way back as far as it is possible and is meshing with the flywheel.

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Well, I am going to chime in here again.  We know that the s/g worked after the rebuild and when it was installed in the old engine prior to it's rebuild. Now that the s/g is put to the newly rebuilt engine it does not turn it over even after the engine has been run a bit to loosen it up.  The s/g does motor when the switch is turned on and the drive does engage with the flywheel but the s/g can't rotate the engine and it does the same with the water pump assembly removed.  Have I got this right so far?  And now the ground problem has been addressed and there is no change.  That brings me back to the torque rating of the s/g.. I think that needs to be tested.  It sounds like the person/shop that did the rebuild is well respected and know what they are doing but it is easy to make a wrong decision when rewinding armatures and field coils like simply using the wrong guage of wire which would have a detrimental effect on its torque rating.

It has enough torque to rotate the old engine because it was fairly worn out and loose, but not enough to move the newly rebuilt engine.   You could run your new engine for a few more hours to see if that helps.  Leon 

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I wish you guys were here to help in person I believe we cold have it running in no time!I know this has been an interesting but frustrating thread for everybody and I have been trying to figure out what is different from before it was torn down and the only thing that I can come up with is the priming and painting of the engine and I know that the engine itself is not getting a natural ground anywhere if it needs to be grounded.This 25 only had battery cables with the negative cable going to the frame and the positive cable going to the S/G.I have owned this car for 16 years and I have torn it down many times and am very familier with how everthing goes back and hooks up and works.The only thing I removed from the mechanical part of the start system was the shaft and the fork and I know that the fork slides on the shaft and has a hole in the shaft and a special bolt with a pin that locates the right position on the shaft and that is installed properly.

Edited by carmover (see edit history)
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l

11 minutes ago, garnetkid said:

Well, I am going to chime in here again.  We know that the s/g worked after the rebuild and when it was installed in the old engine prior to it's rebuild. Now that the s/g is put to the newly rebuilt engine it does not turn it over even after the engine has been run a bit to loosen it up.  The s/g does motor when the switch is turned on and the drive does engage with the flywheel but the s/g can't rotate the engine and it does the same with the water pump assembly removed.  Have I got this right so far?  And now the ground problem has been addressed and there is no change.  That brings me back to the torque rating of the s/g.. I think that needs to be tested.  It sounds like the person/shop that did the rebuild is well respected and know what they are doing but it is easy to make a wrong decision when rewinding armatures and field coils like simply using the wrong guage of wire which would have a detrimental effect on its torque rating.

It has enough torque to rotate the old engine because it was fairly worn out and loose, but not enough to move the newly rebuilt engine.   You could run your new engine for a few more hours to see if that helps.  Leon 

Leon,You might be on to something here. I am going to try to find someone who can torque test the S/G and am still trying to talk to Jason Smith who built the S/G and see what he has to say about this.

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I could be hallucinating , but I think we have thoroughly ventilated this line of inquiry. Didn't we agree that less torque is required to turn a new engine with the plugs out , than an old engine with the plugs in ?  Please re-read and heed KongaMan's response #135. And then we can have a talk about some failure within the ignition switch itself. I can't wrap my head around that , but you electrical "gurus" might just dismiss this idea , then it is on to something else.           We all sure want to see you cruising soon !    - Carl 

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 Leon,  It won,t even turn over when the plugs are out.

Ron,   You said the starter was turning over when you had it out on the bench,   (  on the bench  the  S/G will turn over slowly when the gen brushes are engaged and will turn over quickly when the starter brushes are engaged ).  As the S/G is motoring when the ignition switch is turned on it means there must be a ground/earth.   If it was turning over when out on the bench,   but not when in the car.   You need to find what is preventing it turning over when in the car.  It can only be something mechanical such as the gears going to the flywheel or something in the wiring.    As you have the water pump shaft disconnected,   that eliminates any binding on that side of the  S/G.  Can the gears connecting the  S/G to the flywheel be isolated.   I know they can on the Master but can,t remember if its possible on the Standard.  

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Rod, It ran in the car without a load on it but once it was engaged to the flywheel it did nothing.It meshes with the flywheel perfectly and the gears spin on the shaft and none of the gears are binding.It is not even attempting to turn engine when it is engaged.This is the most frustrating thing that I have ever tried to fool with.

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Well now , Good O'l "CatBird Bill" , not too terribly far from you in the grand scheme , had/has similar problems with his 1920 Cadillac S/G. Difference was , his problem existed/exists both before and after a high quality rebuild. Get hold of him , at the very minimum , you know the quality of the company misery keeps. Don't forget , Bill has invited us AACA guys to come visit and go for a spin in one of his many motorized masterpieces. Bill is an absolutely wonderful guy as you will see when you speak with him. I wish he and I lived somewhat closer. Relatively close to you , he is in Atlanta , GA.      - Carl 

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Guys, I have been testing on this system today and the starter shows 6.07 without a load and a flat 6.00 with the starter engaged.The starter shows 6.07 at the hot post not under load but shows  between 5.97 and 5.98 {it jumps back and forth]when the starter is engaged.I hope this may shed some light.I am not much of an electrician but am trying.

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11 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

Mightn't one expect the current draw to go up when the starter is engaged?  P=VI and all that.

 

Did you try manually disconnecting/removing the generator brush?

Konga Man, Do you mean lifting the brush off the commutator?I did that and the reading was 5.91 and 5.92 back and forth and the armature was auto rotating .

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23 minutes ago, carmover said:

Konga Man, Do you mean lifting the brush off the commutator?I did that and the reading was 5.91 and 5.92 back and forth and the armature was auto rotating .

I just talked to Jason Smith and he said that the voltage drop should be much lower. He said the reading should be close to 5.00 volts under load.He thinks that it is a grounding problem and said that my plan to add a heavy ground to the block is a good idea.He says a welding shop has the ground cable that I need.

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If you're running a new ground wire, why not run it straight to the S/G?  Otherwise you're at the mercy of the connections through the block.

 

You might also look at a parts store (Autozone, etc.) or eBay to see what kind of pre-fab cables are available.  You can often find them in a suitable length with appropriately sized lugs pre-installed.  If you want to roll your own, welding cable works well (or cable from Home Depot, etc.).  You can make lugs out of copper pipe: cut a piece 1½ - 2" long, insert the stripped cable end about halfway, crimp and solder, squeeze the open end flat, and drill a hole through it.

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McMaster Carr sells braided ground straps with formed eyelet ends in several lengths. 

 

I dont think you have a ground issue if you used a good jumper cable and saw no results.  Try that with a meter first. 

 

Have you had someone push down on both starter brushes with an insulated tool (wood dowel) as you also pushed the starter?

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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And I can’t temember.  Do the charging brushes lift when starting?  I know they motor at first.  If so are they fully lifting?  I know the starting brushes lift when charging. 

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3 hours ago, carmover said:

Konga Man, Do you mean lifting the brush off the commutator?I did that and the reading was 5.91 and 5.92 back and forth and the armature was auto rotating .

Yes, I meant lifting the upper brush off the generator commutator. But more to the point, I was asking about current draw; it sounds like you're measuring voltage.

 

Did you ever do a torque test as described in the manual excerpt posted earlier?  Because it looks like your starter's buggered.  Volts mean little; if your coils are partially shorted out, the generated field is weaker and the motor isn't as powerful.  It might have enough oomph to spin in a no-load situation, but spinning the engine is altogether different.

 

Got an electric motor repair shop in town?  Let them take a gander at it.  If they're any good, they'll be able to give you an assessment of the motor and its coils. It's better than continuing to beat your head against the wall.

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6 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

Yes, I meant lifting the upper brush off the generator commutator. But more to the point, I was asking about current draw; it sounds like you're measuring voltage.

 

Did you ever do a torque test as described in the manual excerpt posted earlier?  Because it looks like your starter's buggered.  Volts mean little; if your coils are partially shorted out, the generated field is weaker and the motor isn't as powerful.  It might have enough oomph to spin in a no-load situation, but spinning the engine is altogether different.

 

Got an electric motor repair shop in town?  Let them take a gander at it.  If they're any good, they'll be able to give you an assessment of the motor and its coils. It's better than continuing to beat your head against the wall.

Kongoman, this start/gen motor is brand new and was working perfectly before I pulled the engine to rebuild it can't see why anything is wrong with the starter.It was totally rebuilt at a cost of $2500.00 This start/gen was one part of the build that I was not worried about.I am looking for what happened since the motor was pulled out.I see 2 things one the natural ground of the motor through the rear motor mounts is lost because of painting over the grounding area and the other is the motor now is rebuilt and needs more to turn it over.And I thought volts was current.How do I measure current draw? Also I have not found anyone that can torque test it yet.I am tired of this Buick and it is fixing to be GONE!

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2 minutes ago, carmover said:

Kongoman, this start/gen motor is brand new and was working perfectly before I pulled the engine to rebuild it can't see why anything is wrong with the starter.It was totally rebuilt at a cost of $2500.00 This start/gen was one part of the build that I was not worried about.

 

Trust but verify.

 

5 minutes ago, carmover said:

And I thought volts was current.How do I measure current draw?

 

Volts is volts.  Current is amps. Measure it with an inductive ammeter.  But for the price of that ammeter ($40 or so), a motor shop could provide a complete evaluation.

 

In a simple sense, volts control how fast it spins; current controls how much power it has.  Current is the difference between a garden hose and a fire hose hooked up to the same hydrant.  Again, P=VI (power = volts * current); at the same nominal 6V, more current means more power.  In a no-load situation, current draw is minimal (it doesn't take much power to spin a shaft).  Put a load on the motor, and the current draw goes up.  If it's not going up, you need to figure out why.

 

2 minutes ago, carmover said:

Also I have not found anyone that can torque test it yet.

 

Do it yourself.  See post 65.

 

8 minutes ago, carmover said:

I am tired of this Buick and it is fixing to be GONE!

 

You'll get more if it starts. ;)

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Carmover,  don't get discouraged,  you will get this done !!  to make sure the brushes are making good contact take a strip of fine emery cloth , long enough that you can wrap it around the commutator and wide enough to cover the width of the brushes with the rough side against the brushes and then work the emery cloth back and forth following the curve of the commutator to set the brushes  to the curve of the commutator accurately.  also make sure the springs holding the brushes are strong and hold the brushes down firmly.  clean it up with air gun and maybe some spray contact cleaner.  Leon

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8 minutes ago, garnetkid said:

Carmover,  don't get discouraged,  you will get this done !!  to make sure the brushes are making good contact take a strip of fine emery cloth , long enough that you can wrap it around the commutator and wide enough to cover the width of the brushes with the rough side against the brushes and then work the emery cloth back and forth following the curve of the commutator to set the brushes  to the curve of the commutator accurately.  also make sure the springs holding the brushes are strong and hold the brushes down firmly.  clean it up with air gun and maybe some spray contact cleaner.  Leon

Leon,I am trying not too get discouraged but it is really testing me out.I have owned this Buick for 16 years and have a fortune in it  more than I can ever get out of it.Everyone keeps saying the starter is bad and there is no reason for it to be bad.As I said before the brushes are making good contact with the commutator and all mechanics of the start system are working like they should.It has to be something that happened with this engine overhaul.

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