Re: 1954 359 Leaves me sit... again

Posted by HH56 on 2019/4/16 13:20:38
I think the field coil change is a good idea and well worth trying. When I had my Pacific it had very slow cranking when hot but not knowing about the field coil changes at the time I converted to a gear reduction starter that was used on the earlier large engines. I believe those were still used in 51 and maybe 52 but went away after that. You could possibly find one if someone has a 51 or maybe 52 Patrician parts car. I used an Autolite from an earlier Custom 8 356 but those are getting harder and somewhat expensive to find. The field coil change would probably be cheaper and at the same time the shop can go thru the starter and check for worn bushings or anything else which could be letting the armature drag and add to the problem. As Ross posted a couple of weeks ago worn bushings can cause starter issues that result in hard starts when warm. ... id=202438#forumpost202438

The relay is an excellent addition although it may not directly help the problem as much as the article indicates. It would be of benefit because it would lessen the current going thru the ign switch making more available to the coil and maybe provide a better spark but more importantly it would help preserve the life of the switch. The 54-56 key start ign switches when used with the large solenoid pinion shift starters pull a lot of current thru the starter contacts in the switch. The ign switch contacts overheat and suffer as a result. The later key start switches were IMO, a bit under rated for everything going thru them and seem to fail with more regularity than the earlier switches. To make it worse, 54 switches are one year only and being 6v which typically has more current flow for the same item as 12v cars, are on borrowed time. Being a one year item, NOS replacements are expensive and hard to come by. 55-6 switches will not fit -- not that they are in much better supply -- and there is no aftermarket replacements available that can use the Packard bezel. Anything that gets excess current out of the switch and helps the life span is a good idea. I have not seen the Packard 458652 kit mentioned in the article to know where they placed the relay but it is easy to do something with a modern cube type relay. 6v relays are available from Newark Electronics and some parts places, 12v are all over ebay and local stores.

If you do ultimately convert to 12v it would be a good idea to have the starter converted too. While many have made the car conversions to 12v most also continued to use the starter motor without change or only changing the solenoid. There have been several who have reported the nose castings of their starter cracking or breaking off. By a process of elimination it would seem the increased speed, torque and force of the pinion slamming into the nose end stop when running on 12v is a good candidate for the reason so many with unmodified starters have had the problem.

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