Any ideas out there at what I would be looking at for number of miles on engine before I can expect that it turns over easily? I have about 200 miles on it now and it still turns over very slowly if at all with starter motor and with difficulty with hand crank.
It depends on how tight it was / is. It took me 1000 miles on my '15 engine before it was easy to crank start. Set up very tight by Ron's Machine shop in Ohio. It ran warm and was down on power for probably the first 500 miles.
Sounds like my engine. Did your starter also have a difficult time turning over the engine?
It would not turn the engine over at all when the engine was first installed. We towed the car around the block for about 30 minutes with the plugs removed in high gear. After that the starter would start it easily, but the engine was super difficult to turn over with the crank.
What would cause the starter not to turn over the engine except barely? It is a rebuild engine and starter, batter is always on a trickle charger.
A good ground for the starter is super important. Run a cable from the frame to the engine and make sure all connections make contact to bare metal and are tight.
Thanks Hal, I will try that.
Battery cable size or electrical path and/or ground connections. Path can even fail inside cables. Six volt is much more sensitive to these issues than twelve volt is, but even twelve volt can have these problems.
Best way to test for this is with a volt/ohm meter, step by step. But electricity is funny stuff, and it is not intuitive for most people.
Another way to check. Let everything sit long enough to become cool to the touch. Ignition off, crank engine for about a half minute with the starter. Touch EVERYTHING! Start at the battery terminal, move along the cables, touch all connectors to and from the battery to the starter, and between the battery and the frame. CAUTION: Be prepared to pull hand and fingers away quickly! The bad connection may get hot, hopefully at least warm enough to feel, but can get hot enough to burn. If you do find a spot that is warm? It likely is part of your problem. If you find nothing warm? Try a second time with the starter cranking the engine. Feel everything again. If you cannot feel anything getting warm this time, it may not work this way this time. DO NOT overdo the cranking with the starter. It is possible to damage a starter doing that. If you can't find anything warm after the second try? Do something else.
I have done this for years, it often works, sometimes very well. I still have a small scar on one finger from the bolt/connector that got hot on a modern (relatively speaking) 12 volt car.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Daniel, one other thing that I think is often/easily overlooked is the condition/quality of your starter button. You can't "see inside" it, so who knows how well the connection is being made inside it once you press the button. Is it original, or even very old, or new? If it's old, I'd be tempted to pony up the money for a new one and see if that helps. Can't hurt regardless.
I must have gotten lucky. Had Ron's Machine Shop rebuild my '26 engine as well. I rolled it over with the starter and it popped off right away. Ran kinda warm for about 100 miles before breaking in and cooling right down.
My Town Car engine was tight and being a weakling I installed a starter hog head. I run it on 12 volts so it does OK. I plan to reinstall the original aluminum head when it eases up. I think it is getting there but it's a show car and has yet to run 250 miles in three years.....
Thanks for the good advice Wayne, Tim, Kevin and Tony. I have a new starter switch, I will try what Wayne and Hal suggested, then if that is not it, I have a rebuilt starter I can switch out as a last resort.
Precision bearing clearances on the rods and mains of .0016" to .0019" and precision clearance on the pistons of .0035" to .004" produces a fresh engine that only has to overcome the drag of the new piston rings in the freshly honed cylinders in order to be "broken in" and this sometimes takes 50-100 miles.
Piston to cylinder clearances very close to .003" or less will cause the engine to be extremely hard to turn after the first heating/cooling cycle and when its warm. Sometimes this takes well over 1000 miles to "wear in"
Piston to cylinder clearances very near or less than .002" are likely to sieze pistons in the bore. Improperly machined piston pin bores can also sieze (the vendor often says the pins are already fit in the pistons, but they usually do need a couple tenths of a thousandth adjustment before they are satisfactory).
Mains or rod bearings that are set up too tight will generally feel uniformly tight whether the engine is hot or cold. Bearings that are too tight also have a tendency to "take a set", which means it might be real difficult to initially get the crank to turn, but then will turn with moderate resistance after it is initially broken free (as soon as an oil film forms).
Adam Nailed it. Do not build a T motor to tight.
Adam is absolutely correct. After the initial startup and run in you should be able to start a cold engine by hand crank or electric starter. If you have to tow it something is too tight in my opinion. At 200 miles it should not be that difficult to start.
Ditto. The days of hand scraping and burning-in bearings is long gone. Precision machining is done by "most" rebuilders. It should be easy to turn on Day 1.