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blueskies
03-25-2017, 11:02 AM
Having starting issues with my son's '61 Lark with the OHV six.

The car is hard to start when everything is working right, due to a finicky carb and choke mechanism that is worn out. However, lately it will seemly run the battery down before it will kick to life.

I have replaced the battery, battery cables, starter solenoid, and the cable from the solenoid to the starter. I have also pulled the starter for an inspection, and sanded the brushes and contacts to make sure it is all clean.

It seems like the starter is the problem, as it will crank slowly for a bit, getting slower and slower until it seems like the battery is dead. It will jump start to get it going, and it seems like getting a little extra voltage will do the trick.

It has a new alternator, and it is charging. The headlights are bright even with the heater and wipers on full tilt, running down the highway at night.

It has left me or my son stranded half a dozen times in the last couple of weeks. :mad:

Yesterday, I drove the car to work, and it fired right up in the morning after sitting in the warm garage over night (it wouldn't start the day before). Parked the car for the day, and when I left the office to come home, it wouldn't start, like the battery had gone dead again. Jumped it, which took a while, and drove it home. On the way home, I wasn't paying attention to the gas gauge, and ran it out two blocks from home. I put a few gallons in from a can, and yep, it was dead before it was able to get fuel to the carb. Jumped it again, and got it home.

This morning, I put a tester on the battery, thinking it must be dead, and it had 12.75 volts. I tried starting the car, and it fired right up. Drove it to work again this morning, wondering if I'll get home tonight.

Not sure if the new battery is bad, the starter is bad, or what.

Thoughts?

Pete

TWChamp
03-25-2017, 02:16 PM
I would charge the battery using a 3 to 6 amp charger for about 8 to 10 hours, then have it load tested. A voltage check alone doesn't tell you much. Any time you run out of gas, or the carb is dry, you should remove the air cleaner and prime it. Today's gas is quite different from the good 60's and 70's gas, and it boils in the carb much easier, causing hot restart problems, and boiling dry at times.

StudeRich
03-25-2017, 04:44 PM
Do you have a good 650 to 700 Cranking Amps battery?

What is the Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps of it?

blueskies
03-25-2017, 05:25 PM
Do you have a good 650 to 700 Cranking Amps battery?

What is the Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps of it?

The battery has 850CCA. Thinking that the battery is maybe failing under load. I bought it last week, going to return it for another.

Pete

TWChamp
03-25-2017, 07:20 PM
It's always best to put a new battery on a charger, just like I mentioned above, to be sure it's fully charged when put into service. If you have an inductive ammeter, lay it on the starter cable while cranking the engine to be sure the starter doesn't draw too many amps. A worn bushing can make the starter drag and draw high amps.

blueskies
03-25-2017, 07:47 PM
It's always best to put a new battery on a charger, just like I mentioned above, to be sure it's fully charged when put into service. If you have an inductive ammeter, lay it on the starter cable while cranking the engine to be sure the starter doesn't draw too many amps. A worn bushing can make the starter drag and draw high amps.

The new battery didn't have enough of a charge to start the car when I installed it, so I charged it before driving it. I don't have an inductive ammeter... I'm also wondering if the starter is drawing too many amps. The bushing at the tip of the bendix drive is pretty worn...

Pete

TWChamp
03-26-2017, 01:06 AM
The new battery didn't have enough of a charge to start the car when I installed it, so I charged it before driving it. I don't have an inductive ammeter... I'm also wondering if the starter is drawing too many amps. The bushing at the tip of the bendix drive is pretty worn...

Pete

That could be your problem (or part of it) then. I'd take the starter apart and look for any marks of rubbing on the armature and pole shoes.

blueskies
03-26-2017, 10:46 AM
I searched on line, and haven't been able to find a supplier of the complete starter, only misc parts. I'd like to just replace the whole unit. Does anyone have a source?

Thanks

Pete

blueskies
03-26-2017, 11:11 AM
Did some more searching on line-

Kantor sells reman starters for $195 + $115 core, and Studebaker International sells rebuilt starters for $225, if you send in the core first.

SI also sells a rebuild kit for $80 that has the bushings and bearings. Might go this route and see if I can fix it myself for difference of $145. The bendix seems to work fine, so I think that piece is ok.

Pete

TWChamp
03-26-2017, 12:03 PM
Normally the drive end bushing wears out, and the brushes might need to be replaced. Both of these parts should be available from the Studebaker parts guys for not too much money.

Jett289
03-26-2017, 01:31 PM
There is a guy selling rebuilt starters for 6 cyl cars on the Studebaker Swap page . On the month of march and not to far down .. 125 dollars ..
http://www.studebakerswap.com/swap/showads.php

altair
03-27-2017, 12:25 AM
A simple quick electrical check is to connect a 12 volt light bulb to the coil and see if it goes out when cranking. You may have more than one issue.

blueskies
03-28-2017, 09:52 AM
I ordered a new drive bushing and center plate/bushing from Studebaker Int'l this morning. Going to "start" here... I'll pull the starter apart and replace the bushings and see if this cures the issue. Hoping the armature and bendix drive aren't too worn out to be re-used. Hoping for the $20 fix, instead of the $220 fix...

Pete

dpson
03-28-2017, 11:13 AM
Here's my 2 cents worth based on trying to start older cars and trucks (with a cold engine) using today's gasoline: remove the top of the air cleaner, squirt starter fluid down the carb while holding the choke plate open, a couple good squirts should do, not too much. Gently push the accelerator to floor to set the choke, hit the ignition. It should fire up and run for a while, feather the accelerator to keep it running, but don't push it to the point it starts to stall out. If it quits, don't keep cranking, do above the procedure over again. It should warm up and start to run better on the second try.

Be carefull putting the air cleaner cover back on with engine running, the Studebaker fan blade is a nasty thing to do battle with.

One other thing, always have a fire extinguisher nearby.

blueskies
03-28-2017, 11:43 AM
Here's my 2 cents worth based on trying to start older cars and trucks (with a cold engine) using today's gasoline: remove the top of the air cleaner, squirt starter fluid down the carb while holding the choke plate open, a couple good squirts should do, not too much. Gently push the accelerator to floor to set the choke, hit the ignition. It should fire up and run for a while, feather the accelerator to keep it running, but don't push it to the point it starts to stall out. If it quits, don't keep cranking, do above the procedure over again. It should warm up and start to run better on the second try.

Be carefull putting the air cleaner cover back on with engine running, the Studebaker fan blade is a nasty thing to do battle with.

One other thing, always have a fire extinguisher nearby.

I'm no stranger to starting old cars, I seem to have collected a fleet of them... :cheers: And, use them as daily drivers. The Lark has been a comedy of errors since day one. We were able to drive it onto a trailer in California where we bought it, but when we got it home to Idaho 13 hours later it wouldn't start to get it off the trailer. Since then ( several years now), we've pushed, pulled, or hauled it home dozens of times due to any number of failures. Everything from a bad battery, bad battery cable, bad coil, bad fuel pump, bad fuel lines and filters, bad carburetor, bad starter, bad starter relay, etc. And, we haven't even gotten to the clapped out front suspension yet... :).

But, we are getting to where it is fairly reliable...

Pete

benaslopoke
03-28-2017, 12:06 PM
I'm not familiar with the OHV 6, but did it have timing gears or a chain?? I had an engine doing just like you described years ago.. I could rock the crank balancer back and forth while the rotor button was slow to respond.. The engine had a timing chain worn out.. Never had anymore problems..

StudeRich
03-28-2017, 06:00 PM
Pete should be OK there, Studebaker never went that Low as to put Chains and sprockets in their OWN Engines at least. :mad:

blueskies
04-24-2017, 03:37 PM
Solved the starting issue... It was the starter. I put new bushings in the starter, put it all back together, and gave it a try. It cranked over like a new car. $20 in parts and 20 minutes to put them in.
The bushings were so worn out that the rotor inside the motor was dragging on the side of the case, and wouldn't turn well enough to start the car. A little extra juice with a jump start would do the trick, which made it seem like a bad battery.

Another step closer to getting this thing mostly-reliable. :cheers:

Pete