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Old 02-25-2012, 03:11 PM
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Interesting starting problem with the deuce

Having a starting problem.

When its cold it cranks perfectly. No problems. HOWEVER, after its been run a while (even for as little as 10 minutes), it acts like the battery is almost dead, even with a charger hooked up to the battery set to the start position. When its cold again it cranks just fine.

New engine - 331 hemi with maybe 10 hours total running time. 9:1 cr, pretty hot cam, headers and tri-power. Charges well, and has a new PowerMaster mini starter with a HotHeads GM 4 speed adapter. The headers are run outside the frame rails so excess heat near the starter isn't a problem. The battery is located in the trunk with a run of around 6 feet to the starter. Ignition uses a Ford solenoid to activate the starter. The same setup as recommended by Mad Electrical. Runs just fine with the exception of this simple starting problem.

Any ideas??

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:58 PM
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Timing? Advance weights stuck in distributer?
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:17 PM
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Should have been a little more specific. When you try to start it after running a few minutes it cranks about a quarter second and quits, just like if it was a dead battery.

Pretty sure its not timing, distributor or fuel related. Has to be either a battery that isn't strong enough, something with the Ford solenoid, a problem with the starter or a wiring snafu.

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:24 PM
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Centerline: try running another ground directly from the starter to the battery with jumper cables with the other ground still hooked up and see if it cranks better? now you could try from the hot main terminal on the battery directly to the starters hot terminal If that doesnt change any thing! When you try and crank it and it wont turn over see if any wires get hotter to the touch or if the solenoid gets hot. I know you already checked all your connections. If its a resistance problem your terminal or wire will get hot and all you have to do is increase the size of the wire or connection at the terminal to alleviate the problem. It could also be the starter itself ! You can also by pass the solenoid and eliminate that as a problem.

Do not hook your jumpers to the battery last or you may get an arch of spark. you dont want a spark around the battery!! I wish I was there we could figure it out in a few minutes wiring trouble shooting is the hardest thing I find to explain typing!

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by painted jester
Centerline: try running another ground directly from the starter to the battery with jumper cables with the other ground still hooked up and see if it cranks better? now you could try from the hot main terminal on the battery directly to the starters hot terminal If that doesnt change any thing! When you try and crank it and it wont turn over see if any wires get hotter to the touch or if the solenoid gets hot. I know you already checked all your connections. If its a resistance problem your terminal or wire will get hot and all you have to do is increase the size of the wire or connection at the terminal to alleviate the problem. It could also be the starter itself ! You can also by pass the solenoid and eliminate that as a problem.

Do not hook your jumpers to the battery last or you may get an arch of spark. you dont want a spark around the battery!! I wish I was there we could figure it out in a few minutes wiring trouble shooting is the hardest thing I find to explain typing!

Jester
I've thought about bypassing the solenoid, and the possibility of a bad (brand new) powermaster starter. I'm not convinced the starter is the problem though, because when the engine is cold it cranks with no trouble at all and there is no heat source near it to cause a heat sink problem. Just tried it again after sitting for about 2 hours and with the battery charger hooked up and set to start, after a couple tries it started fine. It almost acts like its got too much compression, but I know for a fact that its running pretty close to stock 8.5:1. Stock 555 heads, stock stroke crank, stock .030 pistons (NOS Chrysler replacement pistons), and stock rods... so that's not the problem.

I suspect its wiring and that eliminating the Ford solenoid may solve the problem. Especially since it didn't have this problem before I put the body on the frame and installed the battery in the trunk. The solenoid is mounted on the outside of the battery box so it also has a 6 foot run to the starter. When I did the break in using my remote start panel (battery directly connected to the starter and only a couple feet away), it always worked fine. However, It'll have to wait a while before I can get to it as we're moving over the next couple weeks and all my tools are packed at the moment.

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Last edited by Centerline; 02-25-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:57 PM
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For long runs on battery wire I use double ot "00" copper wire or welding cable! it sounds like if it started good hot with short cables you are getting too much resistance in in the battery cables and need to go bigger!!


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Old 02-25-2012, 05:10 PM
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That could also be part of the problem. When we get to Texas and I have a place to work, I'll run a couple temporary wires and eliminate the solenoid and see if that solves the problem. If it does then while I'm running permanent wires I'll change out the positive cable at the same time. If not, I'll change out the cable anyway and see what happens.

Did I mention I HATE electrical problems !!!!!

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:15 PM
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Did I mention I hate Texas LOL I worked in Austin for almost a year. They have C O C K roaches as big as a V.W.

Jester
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:24 PM
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deuce starting problem

check starter draw with volt meter?
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:33 PM
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Have seen, those so called Powermaster starters, do the same thing many times.
Took last 1 to my starter/alternator guy and he pulled it apart and found that the armature was expanding after a few seconds of turnin it over.
Solution= Threw it in the trash and had him build me a good starter for under $100
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:34 PM
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I just pulled the usual Ford starter solenoid from mine - felt like it was just one more piece of electrical equipment to go bad - and since the later Ford Racing mini starter I'm using already has the solenoid built on the starter, really didn't need that aggravation. That Powermaster starter, if I've read their catalog correctly, has the same arrangement. Hook your battery directly to the starter, then run your ignition to the correct terminal, possibly labeled 'S'. I have to assume after watching a couple years of your build, have good grounds.

As far as cables - take a look here . You probably have plenty enough ampacity if you have a 1or 2 ga. Anything much heavier, besides being outrageously expensive these days, is a bear to install connectors and to run. Heck, my V10 F350 only has a 4ga wire to start that 416 cid motor plus run a bunch of standard accessories in the Lariat package.

Oh and Powermaster - I'm not really in love with their products.

Dave W
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:39 PM
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The HotHeads adapter I have will fit any small block Mopar mini starter so if it turns out the starter is going south I can just zip down to Napa and pick up a replacement.... thank God.

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Old 02-26-2012, 02:13 PM
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Eliminate the ignition and see if it cranks. An over advanced engine will crank fine when cold but will be bad when warm.
As far as the remote Ford solenoid, I never understood the theory behind this. It is usually the start motor that gets heat soaked not the solenoid so I dont see the benefit.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
............... It is usually the start motor that gets heat soaked not the solenoid so I dont see the benefit.
The quality is gone since no new cars use the Ford style solenoid these days. I had one new one (unknown brand) that never worked. Now, I have a 'spare' Standard (NAPA), US made, that may go to the NSRA York swap meet in June if I don't take the car. As far as heat soaking and/or a transient condition - the actuating coil can short or go open turn or the moving armature can be oxidized or expand from heat and not make good internal contact with the wire connections.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
....As far as the remote Ford solenoid, I never understood the theory behind this. It is usually the start motor that gets heat soaked not the solenoid so I dont see the benefit.
Adding the Ford solenoid is just an added safety device when the battery is located in the trunk. It keeps the main feed to the starter de-energized at all times except when cranking.

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