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Hard starting

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  • Hard starting

    I have a 1955 President State Hardtop and I have a starting problem with it. When it is cold it starts with no problem. After driving for a while and then shutting it off, if I try to start it immediately it starts no problem, but if it sets for a few minutes like when I put gas in it, it is very hard to start. Sometimes it won't start at that point. It turns over very slowly when this happens. I have reached the point that I hate to shut it off if I know I wnat to start it again within a few minutes. It it sits for some time, maybe an hour then it starts with no problem. What can be causing this dilemma?
    Gene Ross member 059473R

  • #2
    Is your 55 still got its original 6 volt pos ground system?
    If so,its very important to make sure you have the proper size(heavy,00) battery cables,and all your wiring is in top shape with good clean connections.This is much more important than with a 12 volt system.
    Is your battery up to snuff?
    It could be that your starter is draggin (drawing way to much power) and needs re-building but make sure of those wires first.


    • #3
      Check around for a shop that rebuilds starters and ask if they can build you a starter with 4 poles on the field insted of 2 like stock. On the Delco starters I use a field and housing from a 49-51 Cad ambulance. With a Prestolite you have to go custom. Or better yet go to 12 Volts get a small block Ford ministarter, take off the end and chuck a 6" piece of faluminum bar stock in the lathe and cut yourself a Stude adapter.


      • #4
        Alan, I,ve converted my Stude. over to 12-volts and am interested in this Ford starter conversion you mentioned. How can I obtain drawings of this swap? I work in a machine shop and can do the work if I had the info. Thanks for any specifics you would provide.

        Darryl C. Lewallen
        Darryl C. Lewallen Clarkesville, Ga.


        • #5
          I will see if I can get some rough dimensions and a few pics. It is hard to give you exact and to the tenth dimensions because every starter is different. I get mine from a swap meet for $85 then take the adapter plate off and put my own on. Every one will be different one time by Nipondenso the next by Mitsubishi also the outfit that modifies will do it different. But will try to get some pics. up soon.


          • #6
            Transtar 56 makes some good points.

            Since 55 is my favourite, this is the order I'd check stuff out.

            (1) Proper size cables
            (2) Excellent connections. Clean all. You may wish to reroute the ground to one of the starter bolts.
            (3) Proper, fresh battery with sufficient amps? (550 or more - some available batteries are too weak)
            (4)Current draw of starter. Amps. Possibilities include:
            a) engine has carbon buildup;
            b) springs for armature brushes weak or brushes need replacing;
            c) Excessive heat sometimes expanded the field windings and/or armature resulting in armature binding on field windings. Should be wear on armature if dragging.
            d) Oil too thick (use 15w40 diesel).

            In one case, the solenoid was not passing through all of the current.

            In any case, I'm afraid a hot 6 volt car just does not spin as fast as a 12 volt, but I have found it will always start.

            Good Luck.

            Paul R


            • #7
              Post Script:

              If you do change to 12 volt, you don't have to replace the starter. Its probably the only thing besides the wiring that's up to 12V.



              • #8
                My take on this is similar to others.
                A) Make sure that you have a battery with adequate capacity. Most common 6 volt car batteries are okay for a VW, but not enough for a Studebaker V8.
                B) Make sure all of your cables are heavy enough for 6 volts and have good, clean, tight connections.
                C) Rebuild your starter using four field coils. I use the case with field coils from an inline 8 cylinder GM car. Some people just add two field coils to their existing starter case.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer