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Old 08-16-2013, 01:31 AM
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350 chevy motor won't start - electrical

Newbie here just startin' work on the old man's 33 ford coupe. Currently has a 350 chevy motor in it. Keep in mind I didn't build or work on these so my knowledge of electrical components are slim to none due to the fact that the wiring diagram is no where to be found. Here's what's goin on.

- Problem started 3 years ago. Pulled off to grab some gas, got back in her, and I had nothing coming from the starter. All electrical worked but when I turned the key over, absolutely nothing. 45 mins later, tried it again and it fired right up. Problem continued on and off over the past couple years.
- Everytime I had the problem, I either had it jumped or bought a new battery and it worked fine. Concern is that battery's were going bad and draining very quickly.
- Starter works fine when tested, has power. Power at alternator. Upgraded batter to increase CCA from 575 to 650. Tested majority of ground locations (hard to find them all due to very tight space) and they have power. Inginition switch has power.
Today I installed new battery, replaced ballast resistor because it was cracked, crossed my fingers and still absolutely nothing when I try to start it. Again, the entire car has power, including the starter, but it's like the car is dead.

Anyone have these issues? Suggestions? Where to go from here?

Thanks,
Tj
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:50 AM
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Common heat soak problem on your starter solenoid. Here's the fix.
Adding a Remote Starter Solenoid to your Chevy, My Way
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:55 AM
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Ditto, fried solenoid. Do the remote solenoid and it will go away.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
Ditto, fried solenoid. Do the remote solenoid and it will go away.
The problem with the remote solenoid is that it is only a band-aid. Even with a remote solenoid, starter current must still flow through the contacts in the GM starter-mounted solenoid. If the contacts are pitted, you'll continue to have problems. Get a proper high-torque starter with a new quality solenoid.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:02 AM
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I digress... Yes the OP will have to replace the old GM solenoid. My bad for not going in-depth but, the Ford remote solenoid IS a fix for the heat soak problem with GM solenoids AS LONG AS the GM solenoid is still servicable...
Mark
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tj33coupe View Post
Newbie here just startin' work on the old man's 33 ford coupe. Currently has a 350 chevy motor in it. Keep in mind I didn't build or work on these so my knowledge of electrical components are slim to none due to the fact that the wiring diagram is no where to be found. Here's what's goin on.

- Problem started 3 years ago. Pulled off to grab some gas, got back in her, and I had nothing coming from the starter. All electrical worked but when I turned the key over, absolutely nothing. 45 mins later, tried it again and it fired right up. Problem continued on and off over the past couple years.
- Everytime I had the problem, I either had it jumped or bought a new battery and it worked fine. Concern is that battery's were going bad and draining very quickly.
- Starter works fine when tested, has power. Power at alternator. Upgraded batter to increase CCA from 575 to 650. Tested majority of ground locations (hard to find them all due to very tight space) and they have power. Inginition switch has power.
Today I installed new battery, replaced ballast resistor because it was cracked, crossed my fingers and still absolutely nothing when I try to start it. Again, the entire car has power, including the starter, but it's like the car is dead.

Anyone have these issues? Suggestions? Where to go from here?

Thanks,
Tj
This sounds like a problem either getting sufficient voltage from the key switch to the starter solenoid, or with the contacts within the solenoid.

You need to hook a volt meter at the switched wire contact on the solenoid to monitor volts at this point when the key switch is turned to on, even then you can be fooled if there is a poor contact or too small a wire gauge between the switch and this solenoid terminal which nets reduction in available current although the voltage may look good. There needs to be a 10 gauge wire between the key switch and the engagement terminal on the solenid to ensure that sufficient power is available to the solenoid. Another test is to use a remote starter button between the battery positive post and the solenoid starter switch terminal, this will cut out all the circuit between the starter key switch and the solenoid start terminal. If hitting the remote switch resultes in the starter operating when the key switch doesn't, you've isolated an external circuit that has problems.

The problem can be internal to the solenoid. When the key switch is activated it causes the solenoid on top of the starter to shuttle which engages a contator that connects the large battery cable that attaches to the solenoid to the power buss from the solenoid into the starter motor, this buss is visable at the back of the solenoid and motor it sometimes is a sold copper bar and sometimes a large flexable weave of bare wire. At this same time the solenoid engages the starter pinion with the ring gear so when the motor turns it is engaged with the engine. The contactor end of this solenoid that provides power to the starter motor carries a lot of amperage across these contacts they do pit and corrode with use.

Adding a Ford type remote solenoid is not effective it just introduces another solenoid to a circuit that doesn't need one. That's so typically Lucas to relay another relay. That can be necessary where the wire runs are very long and the voltage loss from the distance of the run gets to be a concern, a 33 Ford coupe doesn't come close to qualifying for this.

Bogie
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:49 PM
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Bogie, Thank you for the dissertation. Every thing you stated is true up to the point where you say the remote solenoid is not effective... It is apparent in the OP's original post that he has a heat soak problem. The hot solenoid will not engage. As soon as it cools off, it fires up. Over the years the heat soak has fried the solenoid and now it is inoperable. Replacing the solenoid is what he needs to do. Adding the remote solenoid will effectively eliminate the heat soak problem. This is a very common fix for this condition as many here will agree to, especially on a 33 Ford as the engine compartments are very tight and they do get very hot.
Mark
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:47 PM
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Adding a Ford solenoid will not fix a heat soak problem, IMO, The GM solenoid gets just a hot, just as often, and the same amount of juice runs thru the windings, regardless if the Ford solenoid is wired up. IMO the way to fix heat soak......... high quality replacement starter and heat shielding protecting that starter.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:58 PM
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Guuys! In your OPINION? I have DONE this a dozen times... No opinions involved! It DOES fix the heat soak problem!
Go here and read a nice little tutorial on how all of this works...
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...-_no_hot_start
If you don't believe me maybe the CSC will enlighten you.
Mark
P.S. Any heat shielding added to a starter is going to retain heat after it gets good and hot... I tried all of this stuff before I found the remote solenoid fix. I actually melted the windings in a brand new starter on my '73 Firebird after I wrapped it in asbestos and aluminum to "shield" it from the heat....
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:05 PM
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So you have your opinion and I have mine, I have wrenched for 35 years and have had these issues in the past and have tried many fixes including the Ford sol and it worked.... for awhile. And you are mistaken if you believe every heat shield retains heat.... well maybe if you wrapped the starter in asbestos and alum

I fashioned an alum heat shield that basically blocks the heat from my long tube headers, it's an "L" shaped and has about 1" standoff from the starter on the two sides...... been using it for 6 years now with no issue. With out shielding..... same heat, same juice same fried solenoid.......Now I do agree the Ford route will prolong the contacts in the Solenoid somewhat
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:08 PM
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If the starter is hot and not working I don't see how the remote solenoid works. I is just another switch in the line. The solenoid on the starter still needs to activate with the remote solenoid. I have never under stood how this remote solenoid is supposed to help. I have argued this with many people and no one has been able to explain to me how it is supposed to help.
I put this along with the dont store batteries on a cement floor
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:40 AM
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If the starter is hot and not working I don't see how the remote solenoid works. I is just another switch in the line. The solenoid on the starter still needs to activate with the remote solenoid. I have never under stood how this remote solenoid is supposed to help. I have argued this with many people and no one has been able to explain to me how it is supposed to help.
I put this along with the dont store batteries on a cement floor
It is not "just another switch in the line..." The remote solenoid provides a better current source for the GM unit... The GM unit will still get hot but it now has much cooler/cleaner source of power. Go back to the link I posted previously, read it, it does explain the hows and whys very well.
This is not rocket science. It has been done for years to fix the heat soak problem on GM solenoids and I have done this a dozen times to various vehicles. Worked every time.
Mark

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Old 08-22-2013, 06:25 PM
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It is indeed "just another switch in the line"

"provides a better current source for the GM unit" ..........Unless they've changed something....The Battery/Alt is the current source.

"Cooler/cleaner source of power" Anytime you add length to your wire run ...you add resistance, anytime you add contacts...... you add resistance. Resistance equals heat..... so how is it cooler? Cleaner?

You have your opinion, I have mine........... but your's isn't gospel
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
It is not "just another switch in the line..." The remote solenoid provides a better current source for the GM unit... The GM unit will still get hot but it now has much cooler/cleaner source of power. Go back to the link I posted previously, read it, it does explain the hows and whys very well.
This is not rocket science. It has been done for years to fix the heat soak problem on GM solenoids and I have done this a dozen times to various vehicles. Worked every time.
Mark
That link is to a wiki article and has so much bad information in it I am amazed no one has edited it or just deleted it. There is absolutely no technical reasoning in that article.
As a side note slow cranking is not due to a hot solenoid it is due to hot windings in the starter. The solenoid on the starter is just a switch , both electrical and mechanical. The mechanical part pushes the drive into the flywheel and the electrical part connects the battery stud to the starter motor power stud. Most have a copper disk that connects the 2 high current terminals. Before the throw away days we used to repair these. I always had a few of the contact disks and studs in my tool box.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:51 PM
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I was told & I believe that what happens is : with extreme heat , the solenoid actually "swells" & locks the actuator piston in the solenoid bore , that's why I could never see much benefit to running a solenoid for a solenoid. Also , if I'm correct the biggest wire gauge GM ever ran for a solenoid "trigger" wire was 16 gauge, since it's a low amp circuit!
dave
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