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Post Info TOPIC: 1950 Pontiac 239 Flat Head Starter


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1950 Pontiac 239 Flat Head Starter


Well , it has finally happened. My rebuilt starter,  originally a 6 Volt unit which was upgraded to have a 12 volt solenoid during the project build, the entire unit was serviced and put in our car. 

Well it started to act up last summer, for a while I was jumping the solenoid, it would turn over.  I went to start it yesterday by jumping the solenoid and NO GO,  it tripped the breaker in the fuse panel. 

I would like to install a new or refurbished 12 Volt Hi torque Mini Starter, available through the US,  My question is,  Are  there any suppliers of a 12 Volt starters for my flat head in Canada? 

Any help would be appreciated.

Dale 



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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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interesting must be one of the most oddball starters out there considering most had foot activation im betting you will have to create one....keep posting!

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Hey Tim 

Thanks for the comments;

Well, we are the second owner of our car, and I personally tore it down for the project rebuild, there was no evidence of a floor mounted starter button so I am not really sure what the original design was, furthermore it is not covered very well in my shop manual, regardless, it is not the issue here.  Having a 12 Volt solenoid mounted to a starter motor that was wound for 6 Volts is the issue, and in my humble opinion not very reliable for the long term.  Hence the reason why I want reference to a newer 12 Volt set up. 

By the way , I don't have to design or fabricate anything, it is already available through a company called SNAP Rebuilders located in Utah USA,  I was only looking for a Canadian supplier of the same type of starter to help make the purchase more economical. 

Thanks for the comment.

Dale 



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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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nice to know that as i run the factory starter on 12 volts,i know the starter drive alone is 140 plus shipping from rock auto and i also think the solinoid came into play in 52ish so there were only a few years with solinoid at least you can get one i bet its pricey!

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Hey Tim

Yup, my problem is pretty odd to say the least, Wednesday,   I pulled the starter from the car and placed it in a vice so as to just hold it.  Thursday ,  my buddy and I used a set of booster cables from a fully charged 12 V battery and connected the solenoid Positive and then the negative clamp to the flange of the starter.  I then used a inline 25 amp fused wire and engaged the solenoid.  The starter turn and appeared to work fine. ????????

I then went back to the car with the goal of confirming the ignition switch as being OK.  So I attached the main 12 Volt wires near the starter location, wrapping with electrical tape,  keeping the ignition wire separate. I then connected the positive on the battery terminal and then the ground.  My buddy held the  test light on the ignition wire and clamped  the alligator clip to a ground , then I entered the car and turned the ignition switch to start, The test light came on , so it appears my ignition is OK. 

Really not sure what the issue really is??????

In closing, I placed the order for the new Mini High Torque 12 Volt starter

Things That I will work on to improve reliability :

  • Installing a independent ground wire instead of relying on the bolts to serve as the ground connection.  
  • Installing a second line from the starter/solenoid  12 Volt + up to the push button and removing the existing Solenoid wire from  the ignition switch and connecting to the push button , of course the line will have a inline fuse .  

Tim if you want to see the original starter c/w solenoid you can see it in the CP Feature Cars folder August 2020, I have pictures of the original starter and also of the new 12 Volt solenoid / 6 volt starter motor. 

Thanks again Dale 

 



-- Edited by silver steak on Saturday 13th of January 2024 09:34:20 AM

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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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Just a couple of suggestions but maybe hook up the starter to the wiring in the car (with it not actually installed on the engine) and see if it works?

Also, maybe see what voltage you have going to the solenoid wire on "crank"? Some of the 60's GM vehicles with no-start issues have corroded terminals at the firewall plug and the voltage to the solenoid from the ignition switch isn't enough to pull the magnet in.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



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Hi Carl

Thanks for the input, I can & will do both of your suggestions.

The car has no fire wall plug or recepticle, my solenoid lead wire is direct from the ignition switch , which as mention,  lit the test light when turned to CRANK.  For this test, should I keep the starter connected and have it turn, if it will , which I suspect it will with a temporary ground wire,  while I check the voltage

Dale 



-- Edited by silver steak on Saturday 13th of January 2024 01:22:20 PM



-- Edited by silver steak on Saturday 13th of January 2024 01:25:33 PM

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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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I think that is likely the better way to do it, with the starter connected. Kind of a pain and seems like it will be a job requiring a whole bunch of hands and jumper wires but it would eliminate some things.

Also that thought that crossed my mind was ground wires. Do you have good grounds, from engine to body to frame etc?

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



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Hi  Carl

Well I was intrigued by your comments, so I went right down to the Pontiac after reading your comments and began the tests.

I connected the high heavy gauge 12 V positive wire from the battery and the leads to the fuse panel. (bolt and Nut with tape )  No starter in line at this test point.

I then Checked the Voltage at the battery , 12.7 Volts . Connected both Positive and Negative leads to the battery, which I thought were good connections, Hmmmmmm ,

Then I checked the 12 Volt Positive connection which were taped , 12.7 volts. no losses at this point. 

I had my wife sit in the car and turn the Key to the CRANK position ( Nothing ) Then I noticed the dome light was not lit and her door was open ?????? 

I then Checked the 12 Volt positive wires at the taped location with a test light (Solenoid location ) Nothing. 

Went back to the battery and gave the negative 1/2" nut another turn  and the dome light came on. 

Rechecked the ignition lead to the solenoid voila 12.3 Volts. 

Lesson learned my negative ground clamp is not adequate and needs to be replaced.  ( it's original )

Tomorrow I will install the original starter ( not connected to the motor) and terminate the electrical connections and repeat the process. 

It's hard to believe, but I think the root of my problem is a bad Negative ground connection on my battery ( HOPEFUL ) 

Thanks again Carl , I'll give an update 

Regards Dale 



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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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dale let us know how much the new starter cost if you dont mind!

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Hope you are on to something Dale, it sounds like you could be.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



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dale let us know how much the new starter cost if you dont mind!

Check them out on line Snap Rebuilders 



-- Edited by silver steak on Sunday 14th of January 2024 06:47:53 AM

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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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found it dale thx nice looking piece!

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Well another update on my starter issue.

As I mentioned I ordered a new Mini High Torque starter from Snap Builders. 

I did check the voltage drops from the Battery to the ignition switch through the Fuse Panel and stated those results earlier.  

I changed out the Negative battery cable , mainly because I found the inside diameter of the clamp was too large and it appeared not to be grabbing tightly on the battery terminal ,  In the mean time I made sure there was no debris or paint where the cable bolted to the Engine Block. 

I then removed the main ground connection from the engine to the body of the coach, I did remove some paint from the fire wall side and when I replaced it I made sure the star washer was biting into the metal of the fire wall, then coated it with seam sealer. 

I installed the New 12 Volt Mini Torque Starter.,  WHAT A DIFFERENCE, it is amazing how the engine turns over. 

All original wiring except the lead from the ignition to the solenoid bolted right up, this wire had to be replaced, the original was just to short. 

End result , my problem is solved and now the car is much more reliable IMHO. 

Thanks again Carl for your guidance 

Regards

Dale 



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New Brunswick , 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan, 1967 Beaumont, 1985 Sierra 1500 One Owner



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good to hear dale such a nice nice car!

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