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Old 10-31-2010, 08:18 PM
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Starting problems with the Willys

Well after 11k trouble free miles this summer my 41 Willys is giving me a problem starting.

It started doing it when hot but now in the last week has progressed to both hot and cold.

I normally just give a little throttle then crank and it starts in about 1 revolution. Very quickly. When it is cold I let it run at a fast idle for a minute or so then it is ready to go, hot I just put it in gear and go.

Now when either hot or cold it will crank and start but die as soon as I let the key go to run. It takes several attempts before it starts and runs. At first I thought it was just evaporating the gas in the carb so I would give it a little larger pump before cranking but it is not gas I can assure you, not With 2 750 DP and 4 50cc pumps on top of the blower.... there is no lack of fuel.

Sat morning it started right up no problem at all and it was only in the mid 30's for temp.

Today I found that it starts if I hold the throttle down a bit and let it rev up to 2500-3000 right at the start. I noticed that the alternator latches too. So there must be some feed back thru the alternator. It's 100 amp one wire. Yeah I know they are NG but it's what I have. I also see some wear on the alt belt like it has been working pretty hard. I do drive at night quite a bit of late and the heater blower runs a lot. It's cold here at night. haha.

It does this intermittently.

Well I went over all the wires from the battery forward and found everything in order. No pinched wires, nothing burned or melted from heat. All the fuses are good.

I have a MSD 6A box and blaster dog house style coil mounted behind the dash so they are out of the heat and dirt.

The starter motor gets very hot as it is close to the headers. The wires looked ok and are still soft and flexible. I have wrapped the pipe near the starter but it still gets over 200 degrees. I'm suspecting there is a problem within the starter. May be a shorted wire or open circuit within the solenoid. There is no excess draw on the battery so it must be open circuit I think.

There may be a problem with the MSD but I will call and find out MON. I also will call Painless to see if I missed anything with the wires.

So any thoughts.???

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Old 10-31-2010, 08:52 PM
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starting prob

Doesn't sound like the starter, because hot and cold the same. More like some kind of ignition prob, could be Msd, hope not but pointing to it or in that system. Ran good till now so wiring should be fine. Good luck man, hope you find it easily.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:42 PM
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My sister had a problem like your once. I got in the car with her and said show me how you start it. 4 times in a row she would turn the key to start and when it did, she let the key go and let it flip back on it's own to run. All 4 times it would die immediately. The ignition switch would flip back just far enough to turn the ignition off. I had her start it one more time without letting the key flip back and keep her fingers on it and the problem was solved. After that it never failed to run after starting using that method.

By your own description it sounds like your guilty of the same thing.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:46 PM
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[QUOTE=bentwings]
Now when either hot or cold it will crank and start but die as soon as I let the key go to run. It takes several attempts before it starts and runs.
It does this intermittently. /QUOTE]

Should have quoted this in the last post.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:29 AM
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I'll give it a try later today.

I should also have added that I have a GM tilt column from an unknown car. I think it is from an intermediate size metric car. Probably mid to late 80's.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:56 PM
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On a Honda I had same problem with an ignition switch that sqzbox described. A new switch was the simple fix.

I also just replaced the ignition switch "rack" on the GM tilt steering column in my truck, since it would not reliably start the truck. If yours is a tilt column with the key on the side of the column, you have the same pot metal rack that is used to connect the key mechanism to the ignition switch mounted on the column. The key rotates the rack and pulls the rod, which actuates the ignition switch. If the rack breaks partially, you get a variety of problems with starting and running.

Bruce
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:30 PM
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That's good to know. Probably why it was easier to find those parts than the ignition switch as I didn't know exactly what year or even the make of the column.

Yesterday after trying unsuccessfully 25gmc... suggestion a friend came by the shop. We both have streetrods so one thing lead to another and he thought my column is an 85 Buick Regal. I went online and checked out the ignition switch and sure enough that appears what it is. I also checked the dimmer switch and it is correct too.

So I went up to the friendly NAPA store and picked them up. 45 minutes late I was ready for a test.

Success. wow it must have been going bad for a long time as the motor started instantly even when dead cold. Even the random misfire is gone.

It's always nice when you fix a problem with out spending a a fortune.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:04 AM
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Good to hear ya got it fixed!
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