Over the span of this year my 14 Touring had gotten progressively harder and harder to start. Before this year it would always start on the 1st or 2nd pull when cold and easy to start with a slow pull when hot. When I went to Petit Jean this year it was getting to be a pain to start and I had to spin it a couple of times to get going. Last week I drove it to the grocery store and a young doofus pulled out suddenly in front of me and I had to panic stop the car and killed the engine. I did not think I would get the car running again. Even spinning it would not produce a cough. I thought I was going to have to walk home and get the truck hitched up to the trailer. I finally got it started just short of cardiac arrest. It was time to do something about this problem. When I got home started to trouble shoot the problem. I got the Simpson 260 out and a couple of jumper wires with alligator clips. I attached one of the jumper wires to the negative side of the battery and turned the switch on and checked the voltage at the coil box. Found that the voltage was showing 12.5 volts. I then slowly turned the crank and none of the coils would buzz. I tried to check the voltage at the coil box again and accidently pulled the jumper wire off of the battery. So I just touched the negative lead of the meter to a bare spot on the engine and low and behold I was now showing less than 2 volts at the coil box. The light bulb went off in my head and I fabricated a 10 gage ground wire and grounded the motor to the frame. Problem solved. The car now starts easy as before. On my starter equipped T's I always ground the motor with a heavy cable but had never thought about doing so on the non starter car. I hope this helps someone out there skip an annoying problem.
That sounds like a very good idea!!Bud.
Yeah, thanks Paul. I've had the same issue.. .
One would think that with all the metal-to metal connections on a T that grounding or completing a circuit through a ground would ever be a problem. I think time is the enemy here with unseen corrosion building up between body/ frame/ engine/ head light connecting points. In the 40's through 60's an auxiliary ground would solve a number of problems including charging and starting but their rubber mounted engines & trans lent them to needing it. How many T head light problems were solved by pulling the stalk and finding a load of rust powder on the floor when you yanked it out? Never knew (or suspected) it was there under layers of paint. An aux ground is never a bad idea anyway.
Here is my take on it. The front pan mount needs to be loose enough to allow the snout of the pan to twist in the mount as the frame twists. The pan ear bolts are not to be tightened enough to hold them tight so that they can allow the ears to move as the frame twists. This does not lead to good electrical connections. Add the ground wire!
My only question is where to attach the wire? The rear head bolts will not come all the way out because of the dash? Any thoughts about where? Bud.
Starter mounting bolt to the frame works for me.
What starter? 1914
Any engine or trans bolt to frame. Whatever's easiest. Pan bolts, whatever. Even the trans cover screws would work.
I put my ground wire from one of the emergency brake shaft bolts on the frame to one of the transmission cover screws. That way all of my connections under the front floor boards. You have to pull the floor boards to lubricate the U-Joint and front drive shaft bushing and you can inspect the wire connections every time you grease the car.
The only question is how does it work?? Any size wire ok? Bud.
Ken: your question actually depends on your car. An electric starter problem would require a heavy wire/cable because of the starter's big draw. A thin wire ground would fry in a case like that. Paul's situation involves a non-starter car. He could get away with some thing thinner. Of course a heavier cable type ground would work in any case.
Sorry Charlie,The question was to Paul as how well it is working? To my way of thought if the car had a self commencer it would allready have enough ground for coils? Seeing as the starter is on the front im thinking of soldering a single strand of #12 house wire to the frame? Non starter 1914.Bud.
I made my ground wire out of #10 stranded Machine Tool Wire because there was a roll sitting on my work bench. The coils don't pull a lot of current and a #14 or #16 would work as well. #12 house wire is plenty big enough. My 14 Touring is starting great with the hand crank now that I have the motor grounded.
As Paul says, the Armstrong Starter cars don't take much for a ground wire. On ones with self-commencers, the heavy ground strap is attached to the frame, not the engine. I like to add another (smaller) ground strap from the frame to the engine/transmission on those.