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Thread: 1950 Buick Super Starting issue

  1. #1
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    Dec 2011
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    1950 Buick Super Starting issue

    Hey folks, bear with me.

    The Short story is the starter solenoid plunger activates, the starter does not.

    The long story is that "Bruce" ( what we named our Buick), finally needed a carb rebuild & its manifold straightened out. This part went well. Bruce's starter had been "dragging" for a few months even though it was rebuilt new internals & with a NOS solenoid. When we went to start Bruce, the dragging was worse and all we got was a 1/2 hearted sputter & a lot of no start. The original +cable got quite warm. We replaced it with a #2 from Autozone. Plunger worked, starter did not. (Battery is new & fully charged) So I pulled the starter & had my guy look it over. He freshened it up and bench tested it. In the mean time I obtained a NOS +battery cable. Same result. Plunger in, starter no go. Voltages seem good & steady everywhere & the two ground straps are in good shape. (1 bat to engine mount & 1 block to firewall)

    Questions: Did I miss something obvious? Could it be something internal to the engine? Could the ball in the Carb switch have been screwed up by the rebuild?

    Final thoughts: Last time Bruce ran he started then sputtered to a stop. At first we thought his ignition system went fuzzy. The coil was dead. So I replaced the coil, condenser, rotor & cap. Wires are still new & plugs were clean. He would turn over but not start, dragging of course. I noticed the carb was leaking badly again, so we decided to take care of that too. I'm afraid I might be dealing with a busted timing chain.

    Thoughts, I need a few. Engine is the original 248 straight 8 with the Dynaflow.

    Thanks guys & gals

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Get heavier battery cables [oo],recheck carb rebuild.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2011
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    I bought what should be the correct NOS +battery cable from a reputable classic car guy which was similar in diameter to the #2 modern Autozone cable. The cable that was on the car was definitely thicker, but was a hacked together affair that a previous owner installed. Since this cable was getting touchable warm during attempted start-ups, the assumption was that it was shorting causing the dragging. I will reinstall the 00 cable and see what happens. If the starter kicks, I'll have West Marine make me a soldered custom cable.

    thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    An original 6 volt system uses a MUCH heavier cable than a 2 gauge. Even the ground cable needs to be the heavy duty braided type. If the + & or the - cables or both get warm to the touch either they are TOO small or the starter is drawing too many amps. Was the armature tested in a growler??? What kind of condition are the field coils in??? The bushings on either end supporting the armature could be worn enough to cause the armature to drag on the field coils. Look for any evidence of such. Even a very slight drag will cause problems.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
    12 Cook St.
    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
    Adjustable Roller Tip Rocker Arms - All NailHeads
    Custom forged pistons
    Front & rear neoprene seals
    Many other "Nail" parts
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I would pull the plugs and see if the engine spins free with no compression load. If the starter can't handle it you should use a socket on the end of the crank and see if the motor will spin with out a great deal of effort. I had the same problem and it was a spun bearing that got tight.

    good luck


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