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Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Hotrod Lincoln] #1314556 Mon Jun 17 2019 12:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
M
Montana 54 Chevy Offline OP
New Guy
Originally Posted by Hotrod Lincoln
I'm still concerned with where the battery ground cable is attached to the frame. If you've got a dirty or corroded connection there it will interrupt the circuit for the current to return to the battery and prevent the starter from flowing enough current to turn.

Let's do some Ohm's Law math. A 6 volt starter needs to flow around 200 amps to crank the engine properly. According to Ohm's Law, amperage equals voltage divided by resistance. If a headlight in a 6 volt circuit is flowing 10 amps, for instance, the total resistance of the circuit, power, to headlight switch, to the dimmer switch, to bulb, to body, to frame, and back to the battery is going to equal 6/10 of one ohm. That means the current negotiates at least 6 or 7 connections. Even one dirty or loose connection results in dim, or non-working headlights.

Now let's try the same math with 200 amps of current- - - - -6 volts divided by 200 = 0.03 Ohms!- - - -yes, that's 3/100 Ohms of TOTAL circuit resistance! One dirty connection totally disables the starter! Actually, since battery terminal voltage under starting load is usually less than 5 volts, the total circuit resistance is more like 0.025 ohms or less. That's darn near dead short conditions!
Jerry


I made sure to clean the grounds thoroughly . I took everything down to bare metal and I took a dremel/sandpaper to the connections themselves cleaning them up like new before putting it back together.

Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: jorb] #1314557 Mon Jun 17 2019 12:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
M
Montana 54 Chevy Offline OP
New Guy
Tha
Originally Posted by jorb
This might help..

1954 Chevrolet Truck Shop Manual
54 Starting Motor Parts Layout

Attached are some images from the 47-54 Factory Assembly Manual & wiring schematic.for trucks equipped with foot operated starter.



Thank you. Looking at these, i've got everything spot on.

Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Montana 54 Chevy] #1314584 Mon Jun 17 2019 03:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,241
J
jorb Offline
Shop Shark
This a long shot but when you took the starter apart did you check the brushes contacting point on the (commutator). Yellow (A) circle in photo.
The brush contacting point (commutator) should be shiny copper looking. If not, use 00 sand paper to shine-up commutator and clean out dirt in separators. Then check brushes (B 19) for wear, if brushes are touching brush holder replace brushes or buy new starter.

The only other thing is, does the engine crankshaft turn.

xxx

Attached Files
Armature and brushes.jpg (189 downloads)
Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: jorb] #1314829 Wed Jun 19 2019 02:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
M
Montana 54 Chevy Offline OP
New Guy
Originally Posted by jorb
This a long shot but when you took the starter apart did you check the brushes contacting point on the (commutator). Yellow (A) circle in photo.
The brush contacting point (commutator) should be shiny copper looking. If not, use 00 sand paper to shine-up commutator and clean out dirt in separators. Then check brushes (B 19) for wear, if brushes are touching brush holder replace brushes or buy new starter.

The only other thing is, does the engine crankshaft turn.

xxx



The crankshaft does turn. I took the starter apart and everything looked good. I sent pics to a guy that rebuilds them and he saw nothing wrong.

Im going to see if i can chase down wiring issues. I did order a new/rebuilt starter from NAPA that should be in this week. Hopefully between all of those I'll get it working.

Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Montana 54 Chevy] #1315152 Fri Jun 21 2019 05:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
M
Montana 54 Chevy Offline OP
New Guy
I did get a new/refurbished starter motor from Napa and installed it. Unfortunately I'm still having issues getting things going. I have included a youtube link below of various tests I ran.

I will say I backed the old starter motor off and the bendix spring was definitely not functioning correctly. When I backed it off I did a bench test and it did spin up like before, however I think the gear at the end had meshed with the flywheel and the whole motor was turning over including the fan (not trying to start, just mechanically moving). Which has lead me to believe the flywheel is ok as it did spin along with everything else just fine. I do think i must be facing a wiring issue here, i'm just not sure where else to look.

https://youtu.be/WSqx8a7Hzcc

Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Montana 54 Chevy] #1315158 Fri Jun 21 2019 06:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,241
J
jorb Offline
Shop Shark
Is all the testing done using the new starter in the YouTube video?

Here one thing you could try, tighten starter mounting bolts, take the negative jumper cable and clip it to one of the end bolts of the starter.
Keep the positive cable on the starter switch nut. Now depress the switch button. See what happens.
If it spins, try the foot operated starter pedal. make sure tranny is in neutral and clutch pedal pushed in. See what happens.
If the above works there is something wrong with engine ground strap connections.

When testing with jumper cables what power source are you using?

When you loosen the mounting bolts and depress the switch button, the starter it spins.
Which makes me think that something might be binding when mounting bolts are tightened.

Did Napa say the starter was a 6 volt starter? (It looks like a 6 volt starter) but you never know for sure after rebuild.

Has this truck been converted to 12 volts? Post pictures of generator and regulator on firewall.

Try this, tighten starter mounting bolts, hook up cables like when truck was new, connect voltmeter to battery, put voltmeter on seat in cab .
Hop in truck and push foot operated starter pedal, at the same time look at the voltmeter and see what the voltage reads.
If the voltage drops close to nothing, the battery is no good.

If battery is good.
Try this, connect voltmeter to starter switch bolt and to one of the end bolts of the starter.
Now depress the switch button, what does the voltage read?
If the voltage drops close to nothing, there might be a cable, cable connection or a binding problem.

Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Montana 54 Chevy] #1315160 Fri Jun 21 2019 07:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 18,702
H
Hotrod Lincoln Online
Boltergeist
The engine cranks and the starter flops around when it's loose on the engine. That tells me there's a mechanical bind, not an electrical problem. I've suggested putting a couple of wheel alignment shims between the starter and the bellhousing, bolting things up tight, and trying to crank the engine. I believe the "no crank" condition is caused by something not fitting right, not necessarily an open circuit somewhere. If the battery voltage drops way down,. like 4 volts or less when attempting to crank a locked engine, that's not necessarily a bad battery- - - -just too much electrical load. Do the battery cables get hot to the touch after a cranking attempt?
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Montana 54 Chevy] #1315189 Sat Jun 22 2019 01:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 283
K
KEVINSKI Offline
Shop Shark
Check the copper ground strap at the engine side .I see you sanded the frame side but how about the truck engine side.


kevinski 1954 GMC 9300 Welcome to the virtual Garage
Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: KEVINSKI] #1315283 Sat Jun 22 2019 07:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
M
Montana 54 Chevy Offline OP
New Guy
Finally diagnosed! Much thanks to you all and especially Jerry (Hotrod Lincoln) who went above and beyond.

Turned out to be a combination of a couple of things, bad grounds, and battery cables that weren't substantial enough for the 6v system.

I ended up getting 00 guage battery wires made from the local john deere. Positive runs from the battery to the starter motor. Negative runs from the battery direct to the bell housing of the starter motor. Once it was all set up, she fired right up. For such a simple system, I certainly ran myself around in circles. Thank you so much for everyones help and advice through all of this, I very much appreciate it. Im sure it won't be the last time im stumped and looking for help on the forum.

Now its off to enjoy it and get some gas! (Until i start pulling it apart)

Re: 54' Chevy Starting Issues, Not even a whir [Re: Montana 54 Chevy] #1315288 Sat Jun 22 2019 08:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 18,702
H
Hotrod Lincoln Online
Boltergeist
That 60-something year old braided ground cable looks good, but I'm beginning to think it might have been part of the problem. Leave it there for eye candy, but add a heavy engine-to-frame ground somewhere else (maybe on the driver's side) just for good measure! That will also help with providing a good return path for current from the lights, instruments, and other low-current devices. A few 10 gauge wires from the frame to the bed, cab, and front end sheet metal will assure that the electrical path back to the battery doesn't get compromised.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

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