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Old 11-17-2004, 11:03 AM
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Hard crank problem

If I drive my vehicle for more than 15 minutes, the engine will barely turn over when I try to restart it. Then if I wait for a few minutes, it will start right up, although the starter does seem to drag a bit.

I have replaced the battery, starter selonoid, all the battery cables. I have had 3 different starters in it. I have also installed a direct battery ground cable to the starter. None of these helped the situation.

I'm open to suggestions.

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Old 11-17-2004, 11:08 AM
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Almost sounds like the timing is too far advanced. My 400m used to do this, reset the timing back to factory spec, and it started normally again.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:13 AM
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CK your timing...its sound like its advanced. So I agree with sbchevfreak!!

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Old 11-17-2004, 12:53 PM
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Don't rule out heat issues. If you have headers passing close to the starter, get a heat shield.
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:57 PM
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Wouldn't the timing being advanced cause similair starting problems in the first place? I mean why would it change after running 15 minutes? Just from the engine getting overly hot? You'd think he'd have detonation problems if this were so.

I'd do like 68 Nova said and make sure your solenoid isn't getting roasted in those 15 minutes. Heat building up causes more electrical resistance thus not allowing all of the power to get to the starter. Unless you have great header (or manifold) clearance from your solenoid Id be running a heat shield.
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:38 PM
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I dont see it as a timing problem or it would do it all the time. I had a motor home with a 400 chevy in it that did that. The heat shield around the starter did the trick. I made mine and made it so it would scoop air up around the starter.
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Old 11-17-2004, 05:10 PM
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Any motor is harder to start when hot....if the timing is advanced too much, that will compound the problem. Back the timing off and try it, bet it makes a difference.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:08 PM
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Sorry. I forgot to put that information in my post. I checked the timing.

It was correct so I tried setting it back a little bit more then specs. That produced a lack of power. It remanded hard starting.

The engine has stock cast iron exhaust manifolds. When I recabled the wiring, I rerouted it so it's not close to any heat.

I doubt if it is a starter/heat issue. After a 5 minute cool off, the engine will turn over (with difficulty) and start.

The neutral safety switch has given me some problems in the past. I have thought about bridging the switch, to eliminate it as a possible problem area. Could it be causing a problem?
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:12 PM
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If retarding the timing doesn't help, I think it's the starter.............drawing too much juice. Brushes may be worn down or bearings are bad and causing a partial short.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:32 PM
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I have had 3 different starters in it. All produced the same results. The first two starters were mass production rebuilds. The third one was rebuilt by a local business that takes extra care in the rebuild process. They do excellet work. It also had the same problem.

It's not the starter.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:08 PM
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Is this a chevy engine? Do you have spacers between the engine and block? Are you using starter bolts or regular bolts.? I fixed a similar problem on my Chevy with spacers.
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Old 11-20-2004, 12:12 AM
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Sounds like a starter going out.Heat buildup will kill the solenoid,especially if this is on a Chevy engine.
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:30 AM
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Heat Issues

Doc here:

Heat swamping Issues have been an issue with General Mystery Starting systems for years...Get A HEAT shield or wrap. GM makes a standard SBC shield for that purpose.

New or not, If the Solenoid, or starter Bearings/windings Get overheated they will expand and DRAW more current to produce LESS work.

If the plunger on the solenoid starter drive expands so as to "Drag" or even lock in the plunger tube..It will take much more current to hold the drive gear against the flex-plate than when cool...and will rob the starter of the use of that current..to turn the motor.

If the Armature or shaft expands it will drag against bearings or ride on the Field magnets demanding at least twice the current to do half the work...

For a Simple test, Load check it , first cold, then hot The numbers should go way up hot...


Another TEST is :
Get an 8 or so foot section of Dryer Vent hose, and route ram air directly towards the starter.Drive it ..It should work normally Hot provided you don't idle it too much (no ram air)If it starts warm, get the shield.

Heat Shields are cheap and easy to install and SHOULD fix the problem.

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Old 11-20-2004, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by curly5759
Is this a chevy engine? Do you have spacers between the engine and block? Are you using starter bolts or regular bolts.? I fixed a similar problem on my Chevy with spacers.
Nope, not a Chevy. 88 Ford 351 with a manual trans.

I really doubt it's a starter bearing problem. That would mean all three rebuilt starters had exactly the same problem as the old starter I took out.

Putting in a new external (mounted on the inner fender liner) solenoid didn't change the condition.

The heat shield suggestion is about all I have left. Sigh. I hope it works. I'm get tired of planning my gas station stops. The only time I can get gas is when the engine is cold.
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Old 11-20-2004, 06:00 PM
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Three startes may be signaling to the positive cable from the solenoid to the starter.Is it getting hot or have some corrosion inside an unseen cut,allowing to much resistance once it is warmed up.
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