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I relearned a lesson today with my 55 that I first learned 10 years ago on my 57. Either I'm smart for remembering or completely stupid for letting it happen again. Here's the lesson:

Poor grounds cause resistance to increase and prevents proper amperage from flowing to high-demand systems (like the starter). While it may start fine on the first start of the day, as ambient and engine bay temperatures increase, the amperage required will increase and you may find yourself mysteriously unable to start your car.

The original lesson: My daily-driver 57 had a new 350 engine and compact starter. After driving somewhere, I would have a hard time starting the car after coming back to it. It would seem that the starter wasn't getting enough juice; the solenoid would engage, but not want to turn over the engine. To remedy the situation I would have to get a jump, but that didn't always work. During a summer drive from Oklahoma to Houston, I had to get a jump from a diesel truck with a 24V system. After getting home and to a reputable electrician, he diagnosed the problem as the main battery ground connection at the block. It seems when I painted the block, paint in the threads was preventing a good connection from the ground (even though I scraped paint from the surface).

2nd time: Drove my 55 to lunch today and couldn't start it afterwards. The solenoid clicked and I immediately thought back to my 57. I tried everything else: lights, wipers, accessories and they all worked fine. I had installed a ground cutoff switch on the battery that the main ground terminal attaches to. It was a little loose from being old and worn down, thus providing resistance through the bad connection. With no tools handy, I simply connected a jumper cable from the negative battery terminal/cutoff switch to the hood latch. Cranked over like a champ. I've since put a new connection to the cutoff switch and have no issues.....yet.

The moral of the story is that 99% of my electrical woes between 4 cars have been due to a poor ground. So before you run off buying a new solenoid, starter, headlight, flasher or whatever, think of checking the ground!

Thanks for reading,
Silas
 
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Thanks for sharing, that's how I learn. Lloyd:shakehands:
 
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