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  #21  
Old 08-07-2014, 08:14 PM
Ickaber Ickaber is offline
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Just thought I'd give an update, so here's the nuts**** version.

I put the new starter in yesterday, but the car still wouldn't crank. After reading the section in the manual for "Engine will not crank but starter relay clicks", I decided my cables looked old and that I would just replace them, since I had already checked and re-checked the ground connections.

Today, I installed new cables, and the car immediately cranked better than it ever has since I bought it. She fired up after a couple of cranks and sounds great.

The starter was definitely bad, since when I hit it with power on the bench it wouldn't spin. But, even if it weren't, for the $40 I paid for a new one, along with $20 for new cables, I'm happy with how she acts now.

Thanks everyone for your help along the way. I wish these little projects didn't take me 4-1/2 months to complete, for all of a couple of hours of actual work. But, I'm sure happy when I get done. Now I'm just itching to go for a ride.
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  #22  
Old 08-07-2014, 09:30 PM
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I'm glad you got your starting issues worked out. New battery cables can work wonders. The factory cables were undersized in my opinion.

John
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  #23  
Old 08-07-2014, 11:11 PM
Ickaber Ickaber is offline
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They sure can, John. I've owned the car for about 17 months, and last year even when she was running she'd crank really slow. Now, she cranks hard and fast as soon as I turn the key. It's just a completely different experience. I'm sure the new starter is contributing to that as well, but I went from nothing but the relay clicking when I'd turn the key to really good cranking. And with nothing more than swapping the cables.

I'm still curious about why my interior lights would die when I'd turn the key before. Could that be due to a poor ground? It would take varying amounts of time before they'd come back on, which kept me from thinking it was a slow blow fuse of some sort. I'm wondering if something would happen when I'd turn the key and then it would take a while to get even a little bit of ground back again. That's pure speculation and electricity isn't my strong suit, but it just seemed weird.

I took her out and around town tonight and she did great. I'm so happy to have her running again. Thanks again.
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  #24  
Old 08-08-2014, 12:08 AM
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There are a number of slo-blo fuses. I suspect that they were being tripped either because of the bad starter or the starter cable shorting out.

John
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  #25  
Old 08-08-2014, 03:51 AM
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Duly noted. Thanks John.
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  #26  
Old 08-08-2014, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ickaber View Post
...I installed new cables, and the car immediately cranked better than it ever has since I bought it...
I can tell you why your lights are going on and off and I think you already know... you depend on rusty, spot welded sheet metal to carry important current back to the battery. To save a ton of money, all classic cars used the body for a ground. Not any more, modern cars have separate ground wires in every wire harness and in every lamp holder.

Power cables are only HALF of a circuit. If you found bad cables, change all the important ones, especially your ground cables.

The NEG battery cable needs to be firmly connected to the engine AND the body. I'm with John regarding cable sizes, they are too small from the factory. Now you have fifty years of vibration and a whole lot of current that went through that wire.

If cables look bad, they are bad. Buy some #6 copper stranded wire at Home Depot. They have black and red. Run your ground from the battery to your bell housing next to your starter motor. Never pull wires tight. For engine vibration, put an extra loop in your wire. Tie the ends down. In other words, do not let the lug bare the brunt of vibration. After attaching the lug, strap the wire to another bolt before sending it on its way.

Then run another smaller wire (like a #10 copper stranded wire) to your firewall. You can either crimp lugs on the ends or buy mechanical lugs (with screw-down clamps). Do not use solder. Most electricians have a good crimping tool and will gladly squeeze your lugs if you bring the parts to them. It only takes seconds to do.

I run a bare #6 copper wire from the battery to my trunk area. Then I tap smaller wires (like #12) off of the big one for things like; dashboard, fuel tank sending unit, rear light housings, trunk light, etc. If you have power windows, power seats, convertible top motor, etc, tap off for those as well. Make sure your connections are good and tight.

With good wiring, you will be amazed at how fast a convertible top cycles. - Dave
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