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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my effort to trace down a starting problem on my ‘55 Nomad, I noticed that a red wire was not connected to one of the spades going to the battery terminal side of the switch. I looked at a wiring diagram to see if a red and black wire were connected there, and apparently both are supposed to be there. The wiring harness is new. I was advised by one member, who has been extremely helpful, that on the new harnesses that red wire would not be connected if the engine was still running points and condenser. It would be connected if an HEI was installed. If it is suppose to be connected, and it’s not, what would be some of the problems I would have? My question is, should I connect it , or not? Any helpful information or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Yes, That red wire definitely needs to be connected to the ignition switch, on the spade terminal right next to the one with the black wire. It provides the +12VDC power to a lot of things in your car's electrical system, and it is an integral part of the battery charging path. The red wire has NOTHING to do with an HEI installation.

Steve


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Yes, That red wire definitely needs to be connected to the ignition switch, on the spade terminal right next to the one with the black wire. It provides the +12VDC power to a lot of things in your car's electrical system, and it is an integral part of the battery charging path. The red wire has NOTHING to do with an HEI installation.

Steve


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The upper pic is the back of the switch with a heavy red wire already connected by the black wire at the BAT terminal. That's the first pic he sent me before discovering the other wire not connected. the lower pic is a loose wire that was just dangling in there. There's not another terminal left on that switch for that extra red wire.
 

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The upper pic is the back of the switch with a heavy red wire already connected by the black wire at the BAT terminal. That's the first pic he sent me before discovering the other wire not connected. the lower pic is a loose wire that was just dangling in there. There's not another terminal left on that switch for that extra red wire.
I did not know that by simply looking at the photos. How did you determine that the loose wire was for an HEI? Could it also possibly be for either the cigarette lighter, or have fallen off of the headlight switch?

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The second picture is the same wire as pictured in the first. I took the second picture after I realized the red wire in the first picture appeared to be connected, but actually it wasn’t connected to the spade at all. Any misdirection from Tom is clearly my fault. I did not explain well enough to him what I was seeing. He has been a blessing trying to help me through these issues. Thank you both for your patience with me, and all of the advice you have generously given. Electrical problems on these old cars have always given me fits. It’s my brain that is not wired properly to understand how it’s all supposed to work together. There’s a good chance now that I may have solved one problem. Would that wire not being properly connected have anything to do with the problem I was having at the starter? Thank you. Have a blessed day.
 

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The red wire does not have anything to do with the starter. It is the black wire on the ignition switch that is the source of +12VDC for the starter solenoid through the ignition switch (purple "SOL" wire). It also provides +12VDC to the red wire on the ignition switch to power most everything else electrical on the car. As Kenton said, "Make sure the red wire is a good tight fit on the ignition switch spade terminal". By replacing the red wire on the ignition switch, your loss of electrical power problem has been corrected. As far as the starter problem, it is still probably either the solenoid/ Bendix on the starter, or the starter motor itself. The only thing inside the car that could cause the starter problem is a loose or defective purple solenoid wire on the ignition switch, or the ignition switch itself being bad/ intermittent.

I lost track. Are your ground cables correct as per OEM? One from the negative battery cable to the firewall, and the other from one of the starter bolts to the firewall? It is of paramount importance that both of the ground cables have a good connection to the firewall. The use of the correct star grounding washers is also very important.

BTW, I really like your Nomad. It is a beauty! Could you post some more photos of it?

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I assure you, I will make sure all the ground straps are in their proper place. The new starter bendix was not meshing smoothly with the flywheel. It just didn’t sound right. There must be an alignment problem at the nose housing where it bolts to the bell housing. I pulled it out to bench test it, and it worked perfectly. I benched tested the old one as well. No problem. After I get the wire back on the ignition switch, and make sure everything is grounded properly, I’ll put the old starter back in, and see what happens. Thank you for your kind remarks about my Nomad. I can’t take any credit for how it looks. I didn’t want something that would require a lot of work. I’m getting to old, and I just don’t bend the way I used to when I was younger. I expected I would encounter some problems from time to time, but I wasn’t expecting something right out of the gate. Thanks for everyone’s helpful advice. You’ve pointed me in the right direction. I think I can see success in the near future. Have a great day.
 

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I did not know that by simply looking at the photos. How did you determine that the loose wire was for an HEI? Could it also possibly be for either the cigarette lighter, or have fallen off of the headlight switch?

Steve
I didn't say it was definitely HEI, I said POSSIBLY. He said it had been completely rewired and thought it could be for something like that and wasn't used. I just saw that that red wire was already on the switch and all the terminals are used. He said he found that other red just hanging there.
 

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I didn't say it was definitely HEI, I said POSSIBLY. He said it had been completely rewired and thought it could be for something like that and wasn't used. I just saw that that red wire was already on the switch and all the terminals are used. He said he found that other red just hanging there.
Understood. I thought that you may have seen or knew something that I missed.

Steve
 

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Understood. I thought that you may have seen or knew something that I missed.

Steve
No, as said, it could be cigarette lighter or who knows. Anyone's guess is as good as mine. Distance diagnosis is pretty prohibitive. I am pretty sure if I had it hands on I would figure it out.
 

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No, as said, it could be cigarette lighter or who knows. Anyone's guess is as good as mine. Distance diagnosis is pretty prohibitive. I am pretty sure if I had it hands on I would figure it out.
I guess that you missed it. In post #8 he confirmed that both of the pictures that he posted were of the same red wire. So, the wire definitely goes to the back of the ignition switch on the "Batt" spade terminal next to the black +12VDC wire.

Steve
 

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I guess that you missed it. In post #8 he confirmed that both of the pictures that he posted were of the same red wire. So, the wire definitely goes to the back of the ignition switch on the "Batt" spade terminal next to the black +12VDC wire.

Steve
some miscommunication somewhere between our phone conversations then. He initially texted me that first pic he posted. All wires were attached. Then he asked about the red wire he found that wasn't connected. Unless somehow trying to check more wiring and accidentally pulled that wire off. I don't know.
 

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I guess that you missed it. In post #8 he confirmed that both of the pictures that he posted were of the same red wire. So, the wire definitely goes to the back of the ignition switch on the "Batt" spade terminal next to the black +12VDC wire.

Steve
My apologies, I did miss that and just got off phone with him and he clarified. He's going to take original starter and get new solenoid and bendix installed. I'm definitely thing he has a bendix/flywheel mesh problem. When it just clicks and don't turn over then after a few tries it does it sounds to me like maybe after a few clicks it finally moves the flywheel just enough to allow the bendix to engage and cranks BUT it's very noisy. I've never ran into that problem and the starter isn't like a block mount, can't just shim it. I know I had an old Chevy pickup one time and sometimes when I cranked it, it would start and starter was still engaged. I would have to pull a battery cable and it would stop. It might not do it again for a week and sometimes it would do it 2 or 3 times a week. I ended up filing every tooth on the flywheel and it stopped doing that.
 
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