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1954 Cadillac with firing problems, engine failing!

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Mar 17, 2016, 2:15 PM

Post #1 of 2 (3032 views)
1954 Cadillac with firing problems, engine failing! Sign In

    Hello! I have an issue with a 1954 Fleetwood Cadillac (standard V8 engine aprox. 100.000 miles) wich I think isn't serious, but I don't actually know what to test first. It started when the voltage regulator stopped working and made the wiring melt. Then the generator wiring system was disconnected so I could drive the car to the electrician using only the battery charge. The issue began when the engine started to fail, a few cylinders weren't firing. I first thought it could be the spark plugs, so I bought new ones and replaced the old ones. No success. I'm wondering the current and/or voltage was to high when the regulator stopped working (the cut-out relay stuck turned on permanently) it could have damaged the coil or any other part responsible for the correct firing system. What test could I perform? What should I check first? I would really appreciate some help and advices, in my city its REALLY hard to find personnel capable of fixing vintage cars. Thank you!

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 17, 2016, 4:05 PM

Post #2 of 2 (3013 views)
Re: 1954 Cadillac with firing problems, engine failing! Sign In

Moved the thread to the Antique Car Talk section at this age.
OK: Let's help each other as there isn't a lot of good hard info I have just memory of what would happen in this case.
First please tell me this is 12V, Negative ground set up or 6V - OR converted to 12V?
Was fine till known over charging is the reason for troubles otherwise I take it that it was fine until that?
You have corrected the burned wiring now? I'll take that as a given.
12V if OE would really strain the secondary items meaning high voltage items to make spark and carry it. Points run on lower than 12V system range so are ballasted down to close to the 6V range via a ballast resistor which easily could burn up. Guess - it's on firewall, maybe not but if you follow (help me) wire to coil back it should go to the resistor which I think just "eats" up voltage, gets hot normally to lower voltage and too much would be a real problem either sending along too much for points and condenser now which would run very erratically if at all.
Seems it does run and think condenser would have survived but points might have burned. This era you can file off any transfer of metal seen then check gap again or might need to replace them. You actually might find them now new at NAPA still but order them and a condenser as well.
Hard to know but it firing at all coil is probably OK and condenser, points and not ballasted took the hit.
Check voltages again now that voltage regulator issue is fixed and that battery is holding about 2.2V per cell for either X the # of cells is what it should be if perfect, close is OK right at battery and again while running.
Save other idea till this much is known and either myself or others here can help find out the weakest links that would fail,



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