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Classic/Antique Car Repair/Tight engine - starting problems


Hello Jack, my Model A runs great like a sewing machine. But when I turn off the warm engine it doesn't restart because the starter is not turning the engine. I have to wait 5 minutes and it starts immediately. Do you have any ideas? Thank you in advance.

If it turns slowly and then comes to a stop, it is trying to fire before the piston reaches the top of it's stroke.  Need more retard.  Check your timing and make sure y0u always have the spark lever up to start.

If it won't turn over at all, and is not trying, it sounds like a bad connection at the ends of the batt. cables, or your engine is not grounded.  We run a ground strap between the trans and frame to be sure.  If it is trying to turn over the engine, keep the button down and try to see if anything gets hot.  That will lead you to the high resistance.  
Let me know.  
Could always be a bad starter.  Have another one you can borrow to check it out???

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jack bahm


Only repair type questions on the 1928-1931 Ford Model A.


Owned one when I was 15 yrs old, and now have owned 5. Still own and play with 2 of them.

Oakleaf region of MARC. Model A Restorers Club. I have put several Model A videos on the Oakleaf site that may be of help. Things like how to start the A, how to Time it, how to troubleshoot it.. Go to and you will find them. Also, go to and search for "jackbahm" and you will find over a hundred videos. Many about the Model A and our outings. jack

"More than you need to know about cars." Just a small book for Car Nuts. "Model A Ford Tips and Hints" "Get A Horse" (What to do when Henry's Lady quits on you.) or Snyder's Antique Parts. "Engineering Stuff" (For the Kid who likes to take things apart and get them back together). Kids book for ages 10-16. 2012 Many Model A movies that can be found on

BSME LSU, 1958, Masters of automotive engineering from the Chrysler Institute of engineering, 1960, MBA Mich State, 1976. Worked as an engineer at Chrysler from 1958 to the end of 1991.

Awards and Honors
Two patents while working in auto industry. Go to this site for my Model A videos.

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