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Classic truck not turning over

I recently acquired a old international pickup. when picking it up from a friend It started under it’s own power and was able to shift and drive it out of his lot. after getting about halfway to the trailer, it shut off. I put it in park and there was nothing way I tried starting it just a click from starter. got it home replaced starter and ignition coil just in case but still nothing. although it will start if I jump the starter posts. Any ideas

Replace the battery.

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When you jump the starter posts, are you using the truck’s own battery? If that works, the problem is not the battery, but in the cables (check both ends) attached to that battery, possibly internally corroded cables.

This sounds like fun! Good luck.

battery is getting 12 to 14.

lol thanks shanonia. should be a blast once it warms up outside.

Doesn’t matter. Have the capacity tested.


If the terminals are clean between the clamps and posts, and there’s 13 or 14 volts at the clamps when it’s running but not enough power to turn it over on just its own battery, the battery is probably a goner. Some folks have rescued batteries that have sulfated up and won’t take a charge by dumping the acid and making up a new electrolyte of epsom salts and distilled water. Do a Google search if you think I’m nuts.

And, by the way, I did exactly that with a battery on an Argo that sat for about 6 years, and the battery worked fine and still works fine 6 months later.

If the caps come off, you can test the specific gravity of each cell with a float-type tester. Cheap ones have various color balls. Expensive ones have a graduated scale. If the SGs are low or uneven, and the battery has been on a charger, an internal battery problem is the reason. If they’re OK but hours later not OK, the battery does not hold a charge.

I’m just curious, when was the last time you saw a battery with removable cell caps?

Actually lots of batteries do have removable cell caps, but they don’t unscrew. You have to pry out an inset panel that says “do not remove” on it. Like that label that used to be on furniture with upholstery, and mattresses. The Feds never busted me when I removed those tags.


All my batteries for years have had two pry-off caps. Before that, six. Measuring specific gravity is the one sure way of knowing the state of charge of each cell.


thank all once it warms up I will have to take a look. greatly appreciated.

Remember to use safety glasses!