1966 Executive Starter question

I'm just getting back into the wonderful world of car restoration after about a 20 year layoff (ok, I wasn't that good to begin with, but now have more money if not more time...lol).
This may be a beginner's question, but I'm having a problem getting her to start. The battery is fully charged and I've replaced both battery cables with new (the old ones looked pretty bad). I'm getting the familiar "click, click" when I try to get her to start. The dash lights come up just fine and I've check voltage everywhere else in the system and it looks good (I'm an Electrical Engineer, so of course the first thing I go for)....
Sound like a dead or dying starter? It did run fine when I brought her home, but would on occasion do just what I described above. Now, it won't get past there at all.
Thanks, and if you can copy my email address ceiboss at hotmail dot com in case my news server fouls up again.
Thanks!
Scott
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 15:18:17 GMT, "news.columbus.rr.com"

If you've got it in a garage an easy starting place is to turn the headlights on & try starting. If the solenoid isn't working properly or there is no contact between the armature and the brushes the lights will stay bright.
If the lights dim you know that it is likely that the solenoid is working and that the problem is likely inside the starter.
You didn't mention the age or condition of the vehicle in question and what "rarely" happens is that oxidization builds up between the starter and the bell housing preventing a good ground.
This is just one example of the "interesting" things that can happen with older automobiles.
Best of luck, keep us informed.
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Thanks for the reply. I just checked it out and yes, the lights do dim. The car was sitting in a garage for the past 3 or 4 years before I bought it. The last 3 months it was outside. Sounds like I need to swap the starter....I have most of the parts from my old car, and I know that mine is in good shape.
Thanks for the help. I'll try to keep everyone informed.
Scott

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news.columbus.rr.com wrote:

Hi Scott...
Not a car guy, an old retired electrical guy... but having said that I respectfully think you might have it backwards...
If the lights do indeed dim when you try to crank it, then I'd be looking first at battery condition; the terminal connections, the state of the cables...
Just my 2 cents...
Ken
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What size battery? 389 ci engine? That engine should have fairly high compression which will take a lot of amperage to crank especially when hot.

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Micah,
Brand new battery that was mated for the specific car (Interstate Battery). It has cranked fine in the past and is fully charged now. It's only about 3 weeks or so old. The weather is still bad, so I haven't tried any of the other suggestions yet....but as soon as it breaks, I'll be under the car working from easiest to hardest solution.
I'm pretty sure it's the 389 and not the 412. I still have to verify that though (engine numbers are crusted over and with the bad weather.....)
Thanks all,
Scott

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says...

I would jack up the car and place it on jack stands. Then have someone else turn the key to start and probe the S-terminal on the starter solenoid with a volt meter and make sure there is a good 12V there. If not, then the ignition switch should be replaced.
If you have 12V then that starter is faulty or a bad ground. I would remove the starter and wire brush all the terminals and the block/starter mating surfaces. If the car still doesn't start then its time for a new starter.
--
_________________________________________________________________
Dennis Smith
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Wow....thanks to everyone who has given me they're tips. It's raining out today and I don't have it in the garage yet. As soon as the weather breaks, I do intend to jack her up to take a look at all the connections before I swap the starter out. Fortunately, I have a good starter from my old Catalina and if need be, I'll just swap it out.
I'll let everyone know which way it goes.
Thanks again,
Scott

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