Author Topic: 1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible with a 429 engine, very slow cranking-no start  (Read 3265 times)

Chaz

  • Guest
I have a 1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible with a 429 engine,no A/C. It has been sitting in garage since 1982. I actually tracked down the last owner who have the car running (last registered) and he said that it was tuned up and running when placed in a garage back in 82. (Airforce, deployed back then and sold to restorer who let sit). It has not been on the road since. I poured some Mystery Oil in spark plug holes for a few weeks. Car currently has new spark plugs, spark plug wires, engine harness (wires were frayed) to key from American Autowire, starter, vattery (700CCA) and battery cables. Replaced fuel pump, now getting good fuel pressure to carb. I had a longtime mechanic rebuld the Carter AFB. The car is cranking slowly even with charged battery. I am getting a spark. I actually did get it to start once for a few seconds. Now it just turns over a few times slowly and stops. Sometimes it will intermittantly crank faster (very rarely), but most of the time just slow. I don't usually crank it too long as I don't want to burn up the starter (A few times within a minute, then stop for a few hours). I just changed the oil and filter, and again almost had it started.  With all the spark plugs out it cranks over really, really fast! While I had all the spark plugs out did a compression test on all cylinders. 95-110 psi on all except two. #5 was 125 and # 2 was only 55. I poured some 30 weight down #2 and redid test and show 150psi.

Replaced fuel pump, now getting good fuel pressure to carb.
 I have also tried using a jumper battery, but it still won't start. Any suggestion on what else can do to troubleshoot the slow cranking and get this car started?

Youtube video to hear it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5npfNodOZh0&feature=player_embedded

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 5035
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
G'day Chaz,

Congratulations on finding the car.

Sounds like a bad grounding in the electrical system.

It turns over fast when there is no load, but putting the load back on by installing the Spark Plugs is creating a load that is possibly causing the Grounding lead, or the Positive Lead to not catty the required current.

Even the Starter motor Brushes could be worn and not properly contacting the Commutator.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'55 Buick Special Post Coupe (LHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing RHH
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline Steve W

  • Posts: 259
I watched the video...SOUNDS like your starter just isn't getting enough juice.
But you say even with a jumper battery its still the same. And the car has been sitting unstarted for over 25 years? I'm surprized it turns at all, so GOOD!

Seems like you're doing a lot of the logical things...fresh gas, fuel lines cleaned, rebuilt carb, plugs, wires, shooting Marvel down the holes,  etc.
 
And I would try a different starter. Make sure ita a heavy-duty premium starter, not one that you picked up at Pep Boys. (I'm just sayin')

Check all the wiring and the grounds again. Make sure you are getting optimum current to the starter.
You say you are getting spark. Play with the timing as you try to start it.

The encouraging thing is that you did have it started once for a few seconds.
Make sure the carb is primed...give it some gas...or some of that ether stuff. I'm only saying this because its really not turning fast enough or long enough, so you need every advantage to get it going.

Also, take off all the belts that run the accessories just to see if you can start it. Don't need a frozen power steering pump or water pump or alternator robbing what little cranking power you have. You'll check all of them soon enough anyway.
And, obviously, do not run the motor for any length of time without the water pump.

But after watching the video again...your starter just isn't robust enough to crank that beast!

Good luck and keep us posted!
Steve Waddington
1968 Coupe deVille
North Hollywood, CA

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 4093
Are you getting a good spark? I dont see any mention of doing anything with the ignition points.   Are you familiar with points?  If not let us know and we will give you a crash course.  Based on what the others are saying it does sound like one way or another there is a voltage problem which wont help your spark situation.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/aftermarket EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Fred Zwicker #23106

  • Posts: 589
  • 1930 LaSalle Conv. Coupe - Restored
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #23106
  • Name: Fred Zwicker
I have a 1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible and experienced the same problem (slow cranking).  I went to NAPA and ordered two new battery cables in a heavier gauge wire than normal (these can be special ordered).  I cleaned all of the battery and starter terminals and in so doing, found the cable to the starter was just a little loose when I pulled on it, so I cleaned the terminals again and made sure that that cable was very tight.  I also installed a new battery, but don't think it was needed, once I found the loose cable on the starter.  Now when I turn on the key, the engine really turns over fast and the car starts immediately, unless sitting for awhile, when it takes time to pump the fuel into the carburetor.  Here are two pictures of my 1966 Cadillac.

Fred
1930 LaSalle Convertible Coupe, CCCA Senior
1939 LaSalle 2-Dr. Conv.  CLC Senior in 2008
1966 Cadillac DeVille Conv. Restored - Red
See Pictures at www.tpcarcollection.com

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 4093
If you have a farm and fleet sort of store near you that is often a place you can get some very heavy duty battery cables for a good price.   For sure you dont want the ones most stores have out on the shelves.    Most of the stores do sell 'OE' cables but they usually are not in stock.   I also doubt they would have a listing for something that old so you would have to randomly look up other models till you found something with the correct length. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/aftermarket EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Chaz

  • Guest
Wow, thanks for all the responses!   I just got the car 2 months ago BTW.  I have the entire history of the car too.  The guy in the Airforce was shocked when I tracked him down in Langley Airforce base.  He couldn't believe the car was still in the garage of the guy he sold it too.  The collector he sold it too died in 1993 and I bought it from his son.  

Some answers:
When I got, no spark, cleaned off the points with my wifes nail file and now getting nice spark!
Yes, car has been ssitting since 1980.  Close on Pep Boys, but Autozone :-)  I had them bench test and already tried a second one, but everyone I talk to still thinks starter.  I'm thinking of rebuilding the original as it turned over longer (but again slower).  Anyone know where to get a better, or high torque starter?  Was original a high torque?  
I will double check the ground.  Anyone know where the original ground location was on these?  It was originally on alternator when i got it, but now I put on frame.  
Yes, took off all the accessory belts yesterday, forgot to mention.   I went with a new 4 guage original, but it gets very hot in just a minute.  I have thicker battery cable, so thanks, I will try using that for POS.

Offline Chaz Swansen

  • Posts: 206
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #26619
Nice pics Fred!.  I forgot to add that I can't move the distributor.  I have sprayed PB on it, but even with hold down nut loose, it's stuck.  Any ideas on how to break free?  Thanks!  I joined the forum too :-)
66 DeVille Convertible -Blue/White int (Profile pic of car in 1981)
66 DeVille Convertible - Red/Red
66 Sedan DeVille hardtop
2 65 Eldorados (1 vert w/bucket seats)
67 Chevy II Nova (AACA Sr. 2012)
69 Dodge Coronet R/T
Others:
2010 Prius IV
2007 Ford 500
97 Dodge Ram 1500
98 Fleetwood American Tradition 40' DP RV
CLC member
AACA Lifetime
Like the 65-66 Club here: www.facebook.com/6566Cadillac

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 4093
If its stuck that indicates it has not likely moved in a while so its likely still set where it last ran so for now I would not worry about it.  Perhaps after getting it running the fresh oil and heat cycles will help it work loose.

Nice car collection.  The caddy is going to be quite the contrast to the others.  I went the other way, started with Cads then got an early mustang.   It was quite a shock to go to a car that basic but it was nice to be able to order new parts.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/aftermarket EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline 35-709

  • Posts: 1929
  • The most valuable antique is an old friend.
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #4719
  • Name: G. Newcombe
I am with the camp that believes this is a ground problem, especially after reading that the ground was (improperly) connected to the alternator and you have moved it to the frame.  Attached is a picture of where the ground should be on a 1960 Cadillac, I realize this is a long way from a 1966 but as I remember my 1966 ground was in much the same place.  At any rate the ground should be shiny clean both the wire terminal end and where it attaches to the frame, and it needs to be tightened securely.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.  

Try this, run a separate wire like one side of a set of jumper cables, from the negative battery post to a mounting bolt on the starter, leaving the regular battery ground in place.  What you are doing is running a ground directly to the starter.  See what this does for you.  Also, if you do not have one or can't find one, run a permanent ground wire (the flat woven type do well) from the engine block to the frame.  Again, and importantly, make sure all of your metal to metal ground contacts are clean and snug ---- this goes for the positive wire too.  Good luck, and keep us posted, especially if you find it is something totally unrelated to all of the suggestions these posts have offered.   ;D

Geoff N.

By the way, a 50/50 mix of Acetone and automatic transmission fluid soaked well into the area where the distributor meets the manifold opening should go a long way toward freeing it up.  Put the mix in a squirt gun (edit: squirt can, not squirt gun), give it time to soak in and squirt it several times over a day long period.  Keep working it until it breaks loose.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 12:28:15 PM by Geoff Newcombe #4719 »
1935 Cadillac Sedan
1973 Cadillac Caribou
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon

Offline Otto Skorzeny

  • Posts: 3853
  • 1956 Coupe de Ville aka Bismarck
Instead of PB Blaster, try a 50/50 mixture of transmission fluid and acetone on your dizzy. Seriously.

We all learned that from the man above. (Geoff, not God)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 10:45:41 AM by Otto Skorzeny »
fward

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for YOURSELF

HUGE VENDOR LIST CLICK HERE

Offline Dan LeBlanc

  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 1729
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #27657
  • Name: Dan LeBlanc
My question is, how low are you running the battery when you're charging it and how long do you charge it before trying again.  Extended, repeated cranking will drain a battery very quickly.  If you're getting down below 12.35 volts, damage starts happening to the positve plate.  If you're getting down in that range or lower, a constant charge of at least 10 amps for at least 24 hours will be required.  Anything less is not fully charging the battery and decreasing your cranking amperage available.

This is just another thing to include of keeping the connections clean and tight.  Yes, I do work for a battery manufacturer, so this is all stuff that was taught to me.
Dan LeBlanc - CLC # 27657
Vice President - Trillium Cadillac and Lasalle Club
1961 Fleetwood 60 Special x 2
2004 Deville

jerry Chase #17714

  • Guest
Re: 1966 Cadillac very slow cranking
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2010, 04:19:00 PM »
I agree with the suggestions from Steve EXCEPT the idea of using spray ether.   This
product is intended for massive Diesel truck engines that can safely absorb the massive
"torque shock".

Using ether could very well damage a Cad engine.   Pursue all other avenues.



     Jerry

Offline Steve W

  • Posts: 259
Jerry, I called it the "spray ether stuff" because I couldn't recall the actual name of the stuff that comes in an aresol can that you spary down the carb to help it start. I'm pretty sure it isn't ether at all, but I took a short-cut in describing it and I shouldn't have. Sorry for any confusion.
Steve Waddington
1968 Coupe deVille
North Hollywood, CA

Offline Otto Skorzeny

  • Posts: 3853
  • 1956 Coupe de Ville aka Bismarck
Ya, that's ether, Steve. Don't use it.
fward

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for YOURSELF

HUGE VENDOR LIST CLICK HERE

Offline Chris Conklin

  • Posts: 959
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #25055
  • Name: Chris Conklin
You'd be surprised how many things you can diagnose, troubleshoot, and find corrections for using a good electrical tester.
Chris Conklin

Offline Doug Houston

  • Posts: 815
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #2257
One other thing, not yet addressed here. Pull the starter down, and see if you can get new bushings for the commutator end plate (or a new comm.end plate). and also the drive end bushing. Those bushings, when worn, can let the armature far enough off center, that it can't develop rated torque.  Also, check if there is a ground strap, connecting the engine to the frame, and if it's making good contacts.

And, while the starter is apart, make sure the brushes are in good shape, and that the commutator is clean and bright.

If the battery would be grounded directly to the engine block, it would actually be better, because it would eliminate any battery to frame to engine problems.

My '70 convertible has been in storage for around 30 years, and when I parked it, the starter barely pulled the engine over to get it going. The first thing that will be needed for it will be to get the starter off, and do to it, just what I said above. It has tired out bushings.
38-6019S
38-9039
39-9057B
41-6227D
41-6019SF
41-6229D
41-6267D
56-6267
70-DeV Conv
41-Chev 41-1167
41 Olds 41-3929

Offline 35-709

  • Posts: 1929
  • The most valuable antique is an old friend.
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #4719
  • Name: G. Newcombe
He did get another starter ---- at Auto Zone.  Probably not the best but if it was just the starter it should have performed at least a little better.

"And I would try a different starter. Make sure ita a heavy-duty premium starter, not one that you picked up at Pep Boys. (I'm just sayin')"
"Close on Pep Boys, but Autozone :-)"

So, how is it going Chaz?  Any news?
Geoff N.
1935 Cadillac Sedan
1973 Cadillac Caribou
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon

Offline Chaz Swansen

  • Posts: 206
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #26619
I got some thicker battery cable I stole off off my 69 Coronet R/T that had battery in trunk.   Very thick.  I will cut a piece next week.  I replaced the battery with two other batteries I had, so I don't think it's the battery.  However, I need to check grounds as many mentioned.  Nothing on the starter yet.  Although I got my second starter from Advanced Auto parts, all the rest look the same from other vendors, stock Delco Remy.  I can't find a high torque version or even a rebuilt kit for original.  

I haven't got a chance to do much this week as getting my 67 Nova (pic below) show car nice and clean for one of the largest shows in East, Syracuse Nationals :-)  
http://www.rightcoastcars.com/syracuse-nationals.php
I will be back on the Caddy Monday  ;D

Thank you all for the excellent replies!!!  Wow!
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 08:35:15 PM by Chaz S »
66 DeVille Convertible -Blue/White int (Profile pic of car in 1981)
66 DeVille Convertible - Red/Red
66 Sedan DeVille hardtop
2 65 Eldorados (1 vert w/bucket seats)
67 Chevy II Nova (AACA Sr. 2012)
69 Dodge Coronet R/T
Others:
2010 Prius IV
2007 Ford 500
97 Dodge Ram 1500
98 Fleetwood American Tradition 40' DP RV
CLC member
AACA Lifetime
Like the 65-66 Club here: www.facebook.com/6566Cadillac

Offline william_b_noble

  • Posts: 150
  • Name: W Noble
do you have a volt meter?  connect the meter across the ground and the + input to the starter motor (not to the solenoid, right at the motor) - crank car, see what it says - if less than 8 volts, you are losing too much voltage somewhere - find out where - measure from starter body to - terminal on battery, record result, repeat for the + tem to battery +, record result - fix what is bad
Bill N - clc # 2371

 



Cadillac & LaSalle Club Visa