1981 Camaro, bad starter ground?? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:38 PM
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1981 Camaro, bad starter ground??

I just purchased 1981 with a 350, headers, intake, etc... It has been sitting in a barn for many years and I have decided to get it in good shape again. I hooked up a good battery, ran new battery cables, new switch wire, and replaced the starter with a good one. The bolts were too short so I ended up using ones that were too long and adding a bunch of washers. I also put in a new ignition key lock. When i turned the key to start the starter area made and electrical sounding pop and then everything died until I pulled off the negative cable and then put it back on and the situation happened again when I turned the key to start. Ive been told that the ground to my engine isn't good, but the two surfaces are clean, maybe it could be a long grade 8 bolts with a stack of washers.

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Old 02-21-2010, 07:58 PM
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It may have a bad ground....Check all the cables, plus the ones that run from the engine to the bidy.frame.

BTW....those starter bolts are not any old bolt....you need the proper ones with the knurling on the sides for the starter to be positioned right......They may also affect the grounding.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:08 PM
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They don't have the knurling, they are just plain grade 8 bolts....
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:51 PM
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Thats what I am saying.......you need the right bolts
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:42 PM
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You may need to verify or run a ground from the battery to the block, should be a 10 ga. one to the fender as well.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:07 PM
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use your jumper cables,,,batt neg to a location close to the starter motor like on the aluminum bell housing...
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:27 PM
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sounds like the wrong starter? did you compare the two before installing? you can get starter bolts in the HELP section at the parts store ...
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:08 PM
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Get the right bolts and be sure the starter mounting surface is clean. Using the wrong bolts can cause major issues. You could break the block and then you have a major issue. As far as the pop, it is most likely a bad connection somewhere. When it is dead I would use a meter or test light to check from the positive battery terminal to the block. There should be voltage, if not the block ground is no good. You can then test from the positive stud on the starter to the neg battery terminal. If there is no voltage there is something wrong with the positive cable connection somewhere.
Make sure the ground from the back of the head to the firewall is there. This is the most important one
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:44 PM
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On my '75 SBC engine there are quite a few places that you need grounds to get the starter to work right.

From what I can remember:
- Negative battery cable - large diameter cable to alternator bracket, small cable running to the radiator support
- Small wire from radiator support down and over to the frame
- braided line from engine block over to the firewall

The starter support bracket bolts to the starter and engine, and the starter body may also have a ground path through being bolted to the block.

The positive battery cable runs from the battery directly down to the large starter lug, and that lug is used as a junction point for the wires running power to the rest of the vehicle.

Bruce
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