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Thread: New to forum - Problem starting

  1. #1
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    New to forum - Problem starting

    Hello all, my name is Steve and I've recently re-acquired the 1942 Willys MB that I rebuild years ago with my dad. I'm having a hell of a time getting it started so I got a new battery, didn't help. It won't crank over fast enough to fire. It's got an electric fuel pump and I can see that it's getting fuel so I'm wondering if there might be a problem with the starter or the voltage regulator? Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    Steve
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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Welcome Steve!

    The first thing I would turn to would be the battery cables. If you are running the 6 volt system, the cables have to be fairly healthy. The parts store, off the shelf cables are not adequate. The cables sold here on Kaiser's site are descent, but most of us will splurge and have semi truck style battery cables. Most truck shops or dealers can make you cables to your desired length. The other option is a welding supply store that sells welder leads in a custom length. These cables will give you little resistance, and can get your engine turning.

    The next thing to check would be the starter itself. Often times the starter is taken off and tested/serviced by a starter rebuild shop, and they do not find any problems.

    One of our members had the same problem as you are, and when they hop on, they can give you some more insight.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    Welcome Steve!

    The first thing I would turn to would be the battery cables. If you are running the 6 volt system, the cables have to be fairly healthy. The parts store, off the shelf cables are not adequate. The cables sold here on Kaiser's site are descent, but most of us will splurge and have semi truck style battery cables. Most truck shops or dealers can make you cables to your desired length. The other option is a welding supply store that sells welder leads in a custom length. These cables will give you little resistance, and can get your engine turning.

    The next thing to check would be the starter itself. Often times the starter is taken off and tested/serviced by a starter rebuild shop, and they do not find any problems.

    One of our members had the same problem as you are, and when they hop on, they can give you some more insight.
    Thanks for the suggestions...that gives me a place to start. Cables are on order and I'm headed out to remove the starter.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Cranking Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by sharks29 View Post
    I'm wondering if there might be a problem with the starter or the voltage regulator? Any thoughts?
    Look at the terminal voltage on the battery while you are cranking (terminals, not the voltage at the clamps). The voltage should stay above 4-volts. If not, make sure you have a good battery, we had one member here fight a starting problem for several weeks and, a new battery solved the problems.

    On a six-volt system, good cables are an absolute MUST! With good cables, six-volts is plenty. Millions of Jeeps started in all kinds of weather with six-volt systems - but if you scrimp with Auto Store 12-volt cables - it won't go. Braided welding cables are the top of the line and will get every erg (a technical term, really) of energy into that starter!

    At this point I'd doubt a voltage regulator unless it's not charging the battery and there isn't a lot of energy in the battery to turn things over. MB voltage regulators are precious, so I'd go after that as a last resort. MB generators are Type A generators and go to full output when you tie the field back to the battery +. Civilian Jeeps (CJ's) are Type B, full output with field grounded. If someone swapped the regulator and/or generator, make sure they match.

    Starters, especially on really old Jeeps (MB/GPW) can have brush, armature or bearing issues. Take it to a good auto electric shop. The teenage kid at the local Auto Place won't recognize it since he won't find it in his computer.

    Slow cranking problems sometimes take several tries to get to the real issue, but if we go A to B to C - they do get solved.

    Show us the 'lectric stuff under the hood so we get a better idea what we're dealing with.
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    Great information! The battery is brand new, I'm getting new cables that are 1/0 gauge so that will eliminate any issues there. Next step will be to take the starter down to get looked at but I think the cables are the issue, they look like my dad went down to Napa and grabbed whatever they had on hand. I shoot over some pics if this doesn't work.

    You guys are great, thanks so much for all the help.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    we've been there, done most of it - some of it wrong. Ask questions because we may be able to keep you from making our mistakes (like the time I had a guy polarize his generator and turned it into a - 12-volt generator! Easily fixed, but embarrassing.)

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the help. Installed new, beefy battery cables, had the starter rebuilt and it’s starts right up. There are time when I go to start and I get nothing, like there is no power. I was wondering if this has something to do with that intermittent issue? 51249B5B-F186-4ADD-B661-E45F3CA00829.jpg

  8. #8
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The solenoid pictured is your problem for the intermittent starting. They are fairly inexpensive piece to buy.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    As in many electrical problems, you can end up with several things that contribute to the issue. But, once you get to the last item, everything kind of works like magic all of a sudden.

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