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57 Imperial - stuck starter button
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-05 4:34 PM (#566069)
Subject: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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Well I hope this isn't the start of a nightmare here. Tried to take the 57 Imperial over to get it titled and once I get there, they tell me I have to go to BMV for inspection first, then back to title, then back to BMV. (Ohio sucks) Anyway after getting turned down at the title agency, the car wouldn't start. The starter was turning it but very slowly/sluggishly, so I stopped, waited a few minutes and tried again but it was the same, but this time, the starter didn't stop when I let go of the button. The metal casing over the button slides loose as the plastic core has shrunk, so I cannot pull it out. I turn the key in the ignition off, but that doesn't work either. Finally I hit the drive button to make the N/starter button pop out.

Now I smell plastic burning and see some faint smoke coming out from under the hood. I pop the hood and the red coating on the positive cable has melted almost completely off. If it had not been for an additional protective plastic casing around that cable near the frame, it would have shorted the battery out and would have surely had a fire.

Moved the battery cable a bit to be safe, and then waited over an hour for the engine to cool down enough (after a nice rain shower - thanks mother nature!). Finally it started and I was able to drive it home. (and through another rain shower - thanks again mother nature)

But now when driving it, it clicks and stumbles, like there might be a short when it gets around 35 during acceleration. A couple times it had a few repeat stumbles in a row where I thought I wouldn't make it back. So I'm guessing something is shorting out or has been damaged with the ignition.

First question I have with all this, is why would the starter continue to turn if I turn the key in the ignition off? That's going to be the first bit of investigation around that wiring once I can get rid of this headache from the bad afternoon.

On a positive note - the windshield wipers work great!
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ttotired
Posted 2018-07-05 6:30 PM (#566075 - in reply to #566069)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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OK, I am not sure your starter button is stuck, I more think your starter was/is burning out.

You were going to get the car licensed so I assume you have just rebuilt it? so the engine may be a bit tight

The starter can (and did in your case) get stuck in by the force its exerting to turn the engine over. When the engine starts, the higher than starter revs
throws the pinion out of mesh. So with starters with the solenoid mounted to the starter and that solenoid used to positively engage the pinion, if it gets stuck in
mesh and the engine doesn't start, it holds the contacts in the solenoid closed, so the engine keeps turning as long as there is battery power left.

This most commonly happens with new engines, but can happen to older ones, especially if its getting up in its temp range, but it does sometimes happen because it wants to



Edited by ttotired 2018-07-05 6:31 PM
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-05 11:05 PM (#566093 - in reply to #566075)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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Thanks for the reply, what you describe is similar to what happened with me. The starter was sluggishly turning over the engine, but couldn't get it going, and it just seemed to keep trying, even when I turned the key off.

This is an older car, I just purchased it and have only driven it around the local streets until today when I drove it out further to get the title taken care of. It was a hot day today of around 90, so maybe that starter/solenoid were just waiting for a nice warm day to kick the bucket.

Is there some way to avoid the starter continuing to crank like that in a stuck position?

Also, a few other points to mention, once I did get the car started (once cooled down) it showed the battery meter on the charging side. It was all the way on the charging side, which I hadn't seen until then, so I assume the generator was trying to charge the battery up, but maybe that is an indicator of something else.

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imopar380
Posted 2018-07-06 12:34 AM (#566102 - in reply to #566093)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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I had the same issue with my starter over the last year, solenoid kept engaged and cranking slowly if the engine is hot, and car would not start. I would have to yank off the negative battery cable and then the solenoid would pop out and quit cranking. THen wait 20 minutes for the starter / engine compt. to cool down and it would start fine again. I finally bought a brand new after-market high torque reduction drive starter from Quality Power in California a couple of weeks ago and installed it. IT works great, and they have some listed for the 57-58 Hemi engines. http://www.qualitypowerauto.com/item_600/Chrysler-Dodge-Starter--Ol...

The problem of not starting when hot is typical of older starters with worn bushings, which is likely the culprit in yours too. And yes, it probably sucked a lot of charge out of your battery while it was doing that, which is why your Amp Gauge showed the needle all the way over to the charge side. Once you run the car enough or charge the battery with a charger it will go back to normal. As to your engine running rough / stumbling since then, you may have also burnt a spark plug cable if one was hanging down there near the hot starter.....

I had to file a little bit off the edge of the flange of the new starter in one area ( see picture) as it was butting up against the block. My engine is a 383, you may not have to do this with yours if you buy one of these.

Edited by imopar380 2018-07-06 12:52 AM




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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-06 1:08 AM (#566103 - in reply to #566102)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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imopar380 - 2018-07-06 1:34 AM

I had the same issue with my starter over the last year, solenoid kept cranking slowly if the engine is hot, and car would not start. I would have to yank off the negative battery cable and then the solenoid would pop out and quit cranking. THen wait 20 minutes for the starter / engine compt. to cool down and it would start fine again. I finally bought a brand new after-market high torque reduction drive starter from Quality Power in California a couple of weeks ago and installed it. IT works great, and they have some listed for the 57-58 Hemi engines. http://www.qualitypowerauto.com/item_600/Chrysler-Dodge-Starter--Ol...

The problem of not starting when hot is typical of older starters with worn bushings, which is likely the culprit in yours too.

I had to file a little bit off the edge of the flange of the new starter in one area ( see picture) as it was butting up against the block. My engine is a 383, you may not have to do this with yours.

That's great to hear! I was already looking at these two:
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Powermaster-9531-1957-58-Hemi-Gear-Re...
and
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000630I6M

Any idea which one might be better suited for the 57 Imperial? The one you mention or one of these two?

Also, when you installed the replacement, did you need a new starter solenoid or do these starters come with them?

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jboymechanic
Posted 2018-07-06 8:34 AM (#566115 - in reply to #566069)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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The PowerMaster fits your car, I'm not so sure about the one listed on Amazon as it looks like a later model Mopar starter (which wouldn't fit). I have a PowerMaster unit in my '56, works great and saves a lot of space.
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-06 8:38 AM (#566116 - in reply to #566115)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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jboymechanic - 2018-07-06 9:34 AM

The PowerMaster fits your car, I'm not so sure about the one listed on Amazon as it looks like a later model Mopar starter (which wouldn't fit). I have a PowerMaster unit in my '56, works great and saves a lot of space.

I found a Summit Racing about 1.5 hours away that has it in stock, so I'm going to take a trip this morning to pick it up and try swapping that out today on the car, along with the melted battery cables and a nice fresh battery.

The old battery is completely dead now and doesn't seem to want to hold a charge after this incident.
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57burb
Posted 2018-07-06 9:53 AM (#566118 - in reply to #566116)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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Yes, that high amp draw on a hot day can certainly ruin a battery. Be sure to replace your primary starter cable, and very closely inspect all the solenoid wiring for heat damage as well.

The modern gear reduction permanent magnet starters are a great idea. The original type starters are much heavier, take a lot of power, and turn the engine over very slowly. Your car will start much more quickly with the new starter.

But if you want an original 392 starter (they do not interchange with anything else) I have one to sell!

Congrats on your beautiful Imperial! I hope this hasn't soured you on the old car experience. Today's cars are almost maintenance-free, but that's just not the case with our beautiful old rides. Sometimes they need a little help.
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imopar380
Posted 2018-07-06 1:33 PM (#566129 - in reply to #566103)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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imperial2100 - 2018-07-05 10:08 PM

imopar380 - 2018-07-06 1:34 AM

I had the same issue with my starter over the last year, solenoid kept cranking slowly if the engine is hot, and car would not start. I would have to yank off the negative battery cable and then the solenoid would pop out and quit cranking. THen wait 20 minutes for the starter / engine compt. to cool down and it would start fine again. I finally bought a brand new after-market high torque reduction drive starter from Quality Power in California a couple of weeks ago and installed it. IT works great, and they have some listed for the 57-58 Hemi engines. http://www.qualitypowerauto.com/item_600/Chrysler-Dodge-Starter--Ol...

The problem of not starting when hot is typical of older starters with worn bushings, which is likely the culprit in yours too.

I had to file a little bit off the edge of the flange of the new starter in one area ( see picture) as it was butting up against the block. My engine is a 383, you may not have to do this with yours.

That's great to hear! I was already looking at these two:
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Powermaster-9531-1957-58-Hemi-Gear-Re...
and
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000630I6M

Any idea which one might be better suited for the 57 Imperial? The one you mention or one of these two?

Also, when you installed the replacement, did you need a new starter solenoid or do these starters come with them?





There's no need for another solenoid, everything is built in to the starters.
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-06 2:40 PM (#566133 - in reply to #566118)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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57burb - 2018-07-06 10:53 AM
But if you want an original 392 starter (they do not interchange with anything else) I have one to sell!

Congrats on your beautiful Imperial! I hope this hasn't soured you on the old car experience. Today's cars are almost maintenance-free, but that's just not the case with our beautiful old rides. Sometimes they need a little help. :cool:

Just picked up the new starter today along with several feet of battery cable. Also got some new insulation wrap for the cable as well since I was very grateful the previous owner put some on.

I'm very happy with the car, and I know there can be issues, so hopefully this will fix her up and I'll be back on the road tomorrow.

Really appreciate everyone's help on this!
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-07 12:10 AM (#566187 - in reply to #566133)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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After much wrestling with the old starter to get that top bolt loose, I was able to install the new starter, but the only way it would fit is kinda upside down. Does it matter how it is mounted as long as it works?

Also replaced all the battery/starter cables as the old positive cables were completely destroyed.

Now I have a new issue, the windows stopped working.

I'll have to play with it tomorrow as my hands and arms feel like Jell-O after wrestling with those starters in those cramped areas.

Seemed like nothing went smooth with the starter replacement, it was fighting the whole way. But it's done and the new starter works great so far. Just can't roll down the windows now.
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hemidenis
Posted 2018-07-07 9:16 AM (#566197 - in reply to #566069)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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Adam, welcome to thee Imperial world. If you don't know car mechanics you are going to have a crash course or this is going to be a very expensive and frustrating experience, specially with the cost of towing.

Let me tell words of a friend of mine (who spent most of his life restoring cars), after he saw my frustration of complete a rebuild to new engine, that was giving me troubles:

"You don't get it yet do you? These car require constant maintenance, their require constant maintenance when new!, cars who spend most of the time in the garage are even more difficult to keep them running..You are never going to finish restoring a car, it is always going to be a new glitch..."

keep us posted how the starter work.
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-07 9:43 AM (#566202 - in reply to #566197)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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Thanks, glad to be here and still love the Imperial even if it does have some issues to fix.

The new starter is working great so far, just can't roll the windows down now. I was able to hit the gas station this morning and now over at the BMV/title agency to get the paperwork done finally.

Each time I stop somewhere, the engine fires right up. No more sluggish start. Woohoo
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hemidenis
Posted 2018-07-07 6:33 PM (#566233 - in reply to #566069)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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glad to hear that! It is nothing more frustrating that the car not starting when you have a crowd looking at you.
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imopar380
Posted 2018-07-08 12:18 AM (#566252 - in reply to #566069)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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I also have power window gremlins in our 1960 Saratoga. Right now they all work from all the switches. Last winter they all worked from the master switch but the passenger side windows wouldn't work from their own dedicated switches. They started working again in early Spring..... There is a bad connection of some kind at the circuit breaker, at a very difficult to reach area up under the cowl, on mine. I already ran a new master power wire and a separate circuit breaker from the master switch to the relay, because 2 years ago they quit working from the master switch...... At some point I will either have to pull the dash and get at that circuit breaker, or run new wires from the passenger side and over to the new master wire and circuit breaker I installed 2 years ago. Fun stuff. ALways learning something, and I've been driving these cars for 44 years now.

However, my new starter, like yours, is working great. No more fears of the no-start syndrome when everything is hot.
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Phil_the_frenchie
Posted 2018-07-08 3:16 AM (#566256 - in reply to #566252)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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Maybe a problem with the circuit breaker ? On 57 Imperial you'll find a bunch of 3 behind the driver kickpanel cardboard (where ther's also the directional signal relay), see pic i tooked 20 years ago during restauration. You can also have a problem with the 4 gang switch



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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-08 10:21 AM (#566261 - in reply to #566256)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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I did get the windows fixed, it was a wire I had missed when changing out the battery cables. It happened to slip down under something else to where I couldn't see it, so I missed it. During my investigation I did find that circuit breaker behind the kick panel... boy what an annoying place to put all that stuff. Had to completely remove that kick panel and about break my neck trying to get a good view of all that stuff to make sure it wasn't the cause of the issue and to trace wires. At least now I know about it, and that's what it all comes down to with these cars, knowledge of where things are and how they are designed to work.

After getting the windows working though I loaded up the family in the car to get some dinner and.... it wouldn't start. Wouldn't even turn the starter. I couldn't believe it. Anyway when looking at it last night I remembered seeing two wires dangling down behind that kick panel that weren't connected to anything. I assumed it was related to something done after market but when I thought about it, it seemed like they were coming from the push button transmission section of the dash. I looked up a wiring diagram and sure enough there is a neutral safety switch on these cars, and I assume that likely went bad at some point and they left it disconnected. I must have jostled the connectors around to where they made contact again and prevented the starter from engaging. As soon as I taped those off, she fired up again. Woo! The silver lining is that I found out about these loose wires when I was at home and not in a parking lot somewhere.

Finally got to take the kids out last night to get donuts!

Edited by imperial2100 2018-07-08 10:24 AM
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-08 10:25 AM (#566262 - in reply to #566261)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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Just noticing in your pictures, there's a lot of large holes in that firewall. I guess back then they weren't so concerned about fire safety as it doesn't look like it would really slow down a fire at all.
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KcImperial
Posted 2018-07-08 3:35 PM (#566292 - in reply to #566262)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button



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imperial2100 - 2018-07-08 9:25 AM

Just noticing in your pictures, there's a lot of large holes in that firewall. I guess back then they weren't so concerned about fire safety as it doesn't look like it would really slow down a fire at all.

Fire safety??? You obviously haven't heard about the optional "instant heat conditionaire" which was basically a gasoline burner in the dash
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-08 3:47 PM (#566294 - in reply to #566292)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - stuck starter button


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KcImperial - 2018-07-08 4:35 PM

imperial2100 - 2018-07-08 9:25 AM

Just noticing in your pictures, there's a lot of large holes in that firewall. I guess back then they weren't so concerned about fire safety as it doesn't look like it would really slow down a fire at all.

Fire safety??? You obviously haven't heard about the optional "instant heat conditionaire" which was basically a gasoline burner in the dash :laugh:

Actually I have, I saw it in mentioned in a wiring diagram. I was thinking, "that cannot be true", but I guess it was. I'd hate to be around when that goes bad.
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