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Continental won't start

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:59 pm
by Rafik Dous
Last Wednesday i took my '55 Continental for a drive, after 3 or 4 miles it started struggling then it stalled. The starter struggled too. Clicks but no crank. Eventually it started but ran very poorly like it wasn't getting enough fuel or running on 2 cylinders. I nursed it home. It has a C engine, still 6v.

Next day I started it in the garage, still ran rough and poorly.
I decide to put a 6v electric fuel pump which I did today.

Now it won't start. Nothing to do with the pump, I hear the starter clicks but wouldn't crank. I charged the battery, its showing 6.8v or 7v.
Do you think it is not cranking because there is a starter issue or the battery not strong enough? Is 6.8v enough for the starter to crank the engine? Is it an electric problem?
I just need to get it cranking before I figure out why it is running rough.
Thank you in advance
Rafik

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:06 pm
by David Jones
Sounds like the dreaded starter bushing. My battery's normally drop to the low 5 volts level while cranking and start with no load at 6.1 to 6
3.
After you have it cranking I would be checking the pilot jet on each carb. Sounds like one or both of them may be plugged

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:14 pm
by Rafik Dous
So starter out job?

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:20 pm
by David Jones
Before pulling the starter try jumping the main battery connection on the solenoid to the solenoid coil terminal just in case it's a bad starter switch.
If it just jumps a little and does not turn then it is likely the starter bushing.

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:34 pm
by Sebastian Gaeta
Rafik Dous wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:14 pm So starter out job?
Yes, but not an engine out job. After verifying with David's procedure in the post above, remove the starter and then run a tap into the bushing so as not to push it into the bellhousing. Once tight pull out the bushing with the tap and install the new one. Before reinstalling the starter you should also also clean the short, thick wire between the solenoid and body of the starter because when that gets dirty and corroded it creates a lot of resistance. I have improved the performance of my starters simply by doing this one little thing when it is out of the car.

EDIT: Your '55 might have a strap instead of a thick wire between the solenoid and body but the same concept applies.

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:43 pm
by Martin Benade
I’d see what the voltage at the battery drags down to while cranking (or attempting to). You could have a battery that can’t supply enough current any more. Along with an ignition or carb problem making it run poorly.

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:35 am
by Jules Dielen
Rafik, i would start with a new battery or do a load check. Even when they show 6.8v, it can still have a bad cell and not have enough cranking power. Low voltage can also mess with the ignition while driving.

Re: Continental won't start

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 4:30 am
by Harlan Halsey
Rafik Dous wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:59 pm Last Wednesday i took my '55 Continental for a drive, after 3 or 4 miles it started struggling then it stalled. SO NOT THE STARTER The starter struggled too. Clicks but no crank. SOUNDS LIKE A LOW BATTERY Eventually it started but ran very poorly like it wasn't getting enough fuel or running on 2 cylinders. I nursed it home. It has a C engine, still 6v.

Next day I started it in the garage, still ran rough and poorly.
I decide to put a 6v electric fuel pump which I did today. BETTER TO MEASURE THE FUEL PRESSURE AFTER THE PUMP. IF IT IS AT LEAST 2 LB THEN IT IS NOT THE PUMP.

Now it won't start. Nothing to do with the pump, I hear the starter clicks but wouldn't crank. I charged the battery, its showing 6.8v or 7v. SO CLEAN ALL THE BATTERY CONNECTIONS AND JUMP IT WITH ANOTHER 6V BATTERY. IF IT STILL DOESNT TURN OVER, IT IS THE STARTER/BUSHING---IN ADDITION TO THE FIRST PROBLEM.
Do you think it is not cranking because there is a starter issue or the battery not strong enough? Is 6.8v enough for the starter to crank the engine? IT IS THE VOLTAGE WHILE CRANKING WHICH COUNTS SEE DAVID'S POST ABOVE Is it an electric problem? YOU MEAN ARE THEY...PROBLEMS.
I just need to get it cranking before I figure out why it is running rough. THE TEMPERATURE AFFECTS THE CRANKING SPEED ON A 6V CAR. THEY CRANK MUCH SLOWER IN THE COLD.

Rafik