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1951 champion starting issues

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  • Electrical: 1951 champion starting issues

    Right; I just started working on a 1951 Studebaker that has been parked inside a barn for over 30 years.

    After going through the right protocols to lubricate mechanical pieces etc, I threw a fully charged battery under the hood and plugged a remote starter switch to the starter; I turn the ignition switch into open position and I cranked the engine. The starter engaged several times with no issues, but then, after few attempts, the starter engaged without the remote starter switch being pressed, my automatic reaction was to think that the remote starter switch was failing on me and I immediately unplugged the gator clamps from the starter, the starter did ignored my move and kept turning the engine, so I ran inside the car and I turned off the ignition switch, the engine wouldn't stop, it was like the starter got possessed by an evil spirit that kept yelling at me "you can't stop me". So I finally removed the battery cable and the engine stopped.

    Since this is the first car that I have ever worked on that has a floor mounted starting switch, I was wondering what should I do next.

    Have you guys heard about a stuck floor mounted switch that keeps engaging the starter? or could it be that the ignition switch in the dashboard is just letting the current to go through uninterruptedly ? but then I think, even with an open ignition switch, as long as you don't press on the floor mounted starter switch, you should not expect that starter to engage, am I correct? maybe they are both faulty? maybe a faulty solenoid?

    Any words of wisdom would be very appreciated

    Osiris

  • #2
    Either the floor mounted switch, or the solenoid is sticking. It has nothing to do with the ignition switch.

    You can disconnect the small wire on the solenoid and that will take the floor switch out of the circuit.

    Ground the small stud on the solenoid with a jumper wire and crank the engine. If you remove the ground, the solenoid should open and the cranking should stop. If the cranking continues, the solenoid is sticking. That's the most likely cause.

    You can also check the wire removed from the small stud with a ohmmeter. If it is grounded all the time, the trouble is in the floor switch.

    But you will have to make these simple tests to determine the cause of the problem.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

    Comment


    • #3
      Remember that the POSITIVE battery terminal goes to ground.

      The car is SIX volts and needs a six volt battery.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

      Comment


      • #4
        RadioRoy. Thanks a million for the advice brother. I will do the troubleshooting just as you suggest. Yes, it uses a 6 volt battery. Sadly, before I placed my hands on the car someone else tried to start the car using a 12 volt battery, that's what the PO told me, so, gauges are not working, I'll see how to repair them at some point.

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        • #5
          You may find that the gauges are okay. If the person was just trying to start the car with a 12 volt battery, the gauges may be fine. I have jumped 6 volt vehicles with a 12 volt battery. If the person ran the car with12 volts things may have been cooked.
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi 52-fan. I really hope they are OK, I am not home now, so I haven't checked for those things. If they are broken, I watched a tutorial from a guy in the H.A.M.B restoring a 1951 Pontiac chieftain who rewired his burned gauges. It looks like time consuming but a cold beer and background music will certainly help if I need to attempt doing it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sioux888 View Post
              Hi 52-fan. I really hope they are OK, I am not home now, so I haven't checked for those things. If they are broken, I watched a tutorial from a guy in the H.A.M.B restoring a 1951 Pontiac chieftain who rewired his burned gauges. It looks like time consuming but a cold beer and background music will certainly help if I need to attempt doing it.
              Were the gauges burned or the wires to the gauges? I would think the gauges would need to be replaced if they are burned out, but they are available. The wiring probably all needs to be replaced anyway after all these years. My 52 Commander had already gotten a new wiring harness before I got it, but I had to completely rewire my truck.
              "In the heart of Arkansas."
              Searcy, Arkansas
              1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
              1952 2R pickup

              Comment


              • #8
                b
                Originally posted by 52-fan View Post

                Were the gauges burned or the wires to the gauges? I would think the gauges would need to be replaced if they are burned out, but they are available. The wiring probably all needs to be replaced anyway after all these years. My 52 Commander had already gotten a new wiring harness before I got it, but I had to completely rewire my truck.
                I believe you are right brother, all wires look in pretty bad shape to me, so for sure a new harness will be needed. As for the gauges, I think they were fried, but I need to double check, didn't know they were available, I normally try to fix things before replacing them, just to take the challenge. I'll need to see if it's worth the time I'll spend working on them in case they are broken.

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