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#1442512 Thu Feb 24 2022 04:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
Fired up my ‘51 3100 12v conversion with a ‘55 235 in it today in -5 weather. Starter I assume is 6v. Cold made it slow but eventually started. Drove to coffee 5 miles away. About an hour later tried to start it but nothing. Not even the clicking starter of a dead battery ( it was fine). Pushed the truck down the road with help and popped the clutch and got home. Before I dig into it, what could be the most common causes? I’m guessing bad switch, solenoid, or starter.

Snowman51 #1442518 Thu Feb 24 2022 04:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,563
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Dirty battery cable connections would be my first check. No, "They look good" is not the right answer. Remove both battery cables, shine up the battery posts with a wire brush, and scrape the inside of the cable clamps clean with a pocketknife. There's also a specific tool for cleaning battery connections that combines a male and female brush into one tool at virtually every auto parts store.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

Snowman51 #1442661 Fri Feb 25 2022 04:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,344
Moderator - The Electrical Bay and Rocky Mountain Bolters
My "go to" for most electrical issues is "check and clean your grounds".

Another quality post.

Real Trucks Rattle

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Snowman51 #1443216 Thu Mar 03 2022 12:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
So looked at the starter switch. A bit dirty so shined it up. Then opened up the starter. Very dirty. Cleaned it but noticed something. The pivot for the brushes ( 4 of them) on 2 of them seems to have a small weld that prevents it from contacting the commutator. Seems frozen so they don’t spring close. Is that stock? Two of them work fine- springs work to hold it in place.

Snowman51 #1443248 Thu Mar 03 2022 03:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,542
They should all have pressure on the commutator.

They say money can't buy happiness. It can buy old Chevy trucks though. Same thing.

1972 Chevy c10 Cheyenne Super
Snowman51 #1443343 Fri Mar 04 2022 12:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
So looked at the two brush pivots. Someone soldered the fixed open. Heated the pivot with a solder iron and they loosened. All four now contact the commutator. Put the starter back in and it starts strongly now. I guess a lot of cleaning and troubleshooting really works. Thanks for the ideas.

Snowman51 #1443476 Fri Mar 04 2022 11:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
Ive asked several mechanic friends why two of the four brush bracket pivots would be soldered open. Any ideas?

Snowman51 #1443530 Sat Mar 05 2022 04:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,220
Just an idea and I don't know if this is your situation.
If the brushes are severely worn down, the starter is designed to prevent the holders from making contact with the armature and causing serious damage.
When a starter stops working from worn brushes it's maintenance time.
Burnish the armature, do some cleaning, check/lube bushings, replace contacts and replace the brushes.

Last edited by buoymaker; Sat Mar 05 2022 04:47 PM.

"Adding CFM to a truck will only help at engine speeds you don't want to use."
"I found there was nothing to gain beyond 400 CFM."
Snowman51 #1443617 Sun Mar 06 2022 02:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
Cleaned armature, lubed, cleaned contacts. Brushes had plenty to life left. It now runs great. A mystery. Only thing I can think of is the PO was planing on converting to 12v and this starter is 6v so maybe he though only 2 of the 4 brushes would reduce voltage (??) so he soldered the two negative brush’s pivots so they wouldn’t contact the commutator.

Snowman51 #1443623 Sun Mar 06 2022 03:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,090
I wonder how it started when you went for coffee, with two negative brushes soldered?

1955.2 3100 Truck

The older I get the more dangerous I am!!!!!

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