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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-20-2012 01:22 PM
ChevroletSS Be very careful I actually had this same problem in my truck where the exhaust manifold was touching the starter wire and it cought on fire. Had to use a fire extinguisher to put it out. Since you have a custom header I dont know but see if you can reloacte how the starter wire is coming to the starter. It helps to get under the vehicle. You can see more. If not I would try to make an aluminum heat sheild.
11-20-2012 01:04 PM
jpekarek I went and picked up a replacement starter from Chucks. The old one was from Schucks so it has a lifetime warranty. I have to use a starter from a ’01 or ’02 Suburban w-BBC. That is one of the few starters with an offset bolt pattern and it is a mini high torque already, my block is a Rhear and Morrison and has the weird starter bolt configuration. It cranks my big old engine OK. I am not running very high compression, only 10:1, but there are a lot of cubes and an high lift roller cam with ridiculous valve springs which makes it a little hard to crank, but not really bad.

I ordered the aluminum Moroso heat shield and will partially wrap the header pipe that gets close to the starter. If this fails, I will sell the headers and install some Doug Thorley’s where they can run down behind the engine and not cause a problem. Project for next weekend, this weekend I will be freezing in the mountains “claiming” that I am hunting.
11-19-2012 07:56 PM
632Mantis Lots of different opinions on this subject.
My headers were cheap. I did not wrap all of them, just the areas that are near the starter.
Much of the header on the right side is not wrapped.

It would take a long time for the wrap to damage the headers.
Takes hardly any time at all for the HEAT to damage the starter though.



I think my biggest problem was choosing an offset gear reduction starter.
This configuration seems to place the starter motor itself closer to the header tubes.
I have decided to just get another starter and replace it. I will go with an IN-LINE starter this time. I might even spring for a Tilton, not sure yet.
11-19-2012 11:44 AM
AutoGear Header wraps will retain moisture and cause the above problem. Not a huge issue on an off the shelf header; but this could be a big problem for trick, one-off, super money headers. No one mentioned a ceramic coat INSIDE and out. I think sending your headers out to be coated in and outside will push the heat farther down the pipe. This will also fight corrosive compounds that the wrap retains. However, pushing that amount of heat farther down the system may cause damage elsewhere unless addressed (Stainless downstream of the headers). And the lowest point in the system will retain moisture/ corrosive compounds, so plan for that and make it easier to remove. If you have an X pipe or Cross Over, make sure its flanged so you can work on half the system.

If you value your headers, ceramic coat both the ID and OD. Im not a 'Jet Hot' brand fan, but that's just me. Do not drop them...its ceramic and sounds like you dropped your favorite coffee mug, except it costs a LOT more to fix.

http://www.madscientistcoating.com/

Thats the guy that used to do a lot of work on our race snowmobiles (Dyno Port inc.). I used him because he's local and I felt comfortable with his recommendations.
11-19-2012 07:37 AM
Jim Rockford DO NOT USE HEADER WRAP!!! it will ruin the metal the tubes are made of.

11-18-2012 05:56 PM
632Mantis
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
I have Doug Thorley headers on my '71 Camaro, and I can pull a starter and replace it without moving anything. I had the first set of Doug's headers on the car from 1974 until this year, and just replaced them with another set of Doug's headers, and they fit equally well.
Lucky you.

These Hooker Comps I have make the power, but they are all over the place. The left side is great, but the right side header is in the way of everything.
11-18-2012 05:50 PM
632Mantis
Quote:
Originally Posted by 55for65 View Post
I had the same experience with a new 496, would not start when hot. Put three new (rebuilt) units in with same result. Installed a Ford Selonid on firewall to run full battery power to starter, haven't had a problem since. I was not convenced this would work but it did.

Wow. I need to give this a try. I wouldn't think it would work either, but I would be willing to give it a shot! Easy enough to do.

Problem could be the solenoid on the starter. It's in the heat too.
Remote mounted solenoid is away from the heat.

I always thought it was the starter motor itself cooking and going out.
But it could be solenoid related. We'll see. I'll try it out and see what happens. I need to figure something out. Tired of this issue.
11-17-2012 09:33 PM
1971BB427 BBC do seem to go through starters if they are high compression motors. I used to go through them all the time in my 427 when it was 11:1 cr, but once I dropped it down to 9.5:1 it literally stopped eating starters. I've had the same starter in the car for 13 yrs. now.
I have Doug Thorley headers on my '71 Camaro, and I can pull a starter and replace it wihtout moving anything. I had the first set of Doug's headers on the car from 1974 until this year, and just replaced them with another set of Doug's headers, and they fit equally well.
11-17-2012 09:05 PM
55for65
BBC Starter problems

I had the same experience with a new 496, would not start when hot. Put three new (rebuilt) units in with same result. Installed a Ford Selonid on fairwall to run full battery power to starter, haven't had a problem since. I was not convenced this would work but it did.
11-17-2012 05:57 PM
gearheadslife
Quote:
Originally Posted by 632Mantis View Post
I have a big block with the same issues. And I'm not even running large primary tubes. I'm running Hooker Comp headers, and they snake around the starter. Takes me all day to change my starter. I have to pull the dipstick tube, the tranny cooler lines, the plugs and wires on that side, and remove the header. Then I have to remove the heat wrap, so I can SEE the starter. Last starter I put in it lasted 6 months. I'm going to buy a better starter next time, and put more Thermo-Tec wrap on the tubes. It has some on there now, but it could use more. BB race motors eat starters.

not when you add a fan and a duct to force air over the starter..
11-17-2012 05:53 PM
632Mantis
join the club

I have a big block with the same issues. And I'm not even running large primary tubes. I'm running Hooker Comp headers, and they snake around the starter. Takes me all day to change my starter. I have to pull the dipstick tube, the tranny cooler lines, the plugs and wires on that side, and remove the header. Then I have to remove the heat wrap, so I can SEE the starter. Last starter I put in it lasted 6 months. I'm going to buy a better starter next time, and put more Thermo-Tec wrap on the tubes. It has some on there now, but it could use more. BB race motors eat starters.

11-16-2012 04:47 PM
F-BIRD'88 What cam is in this motor? what is the base ignition timing at idle?
11-16-2012 04:15 PM
1971BB427 I totally agree with your feelings on big HP vs. reliability. It doesn't really matter if you have 2,000 hp, if it wont start. Hope you get it reliable so you can enjoy it.
11-16-2012 10:58 AM
jpekarek Yes I already have a mini starter, I bought a lifetime unit so that's not a worry. A standard starter will not even fit in the space. The headers were hand built to only fit a mini starter. The process of removing it is horrible though. I cannot get to the bolts. It has an offset bolt pattern unlike a standard BBC and the offset bolt is right under the number 8 header pipe. I have to use a freekin open end wrench to get the bolt out. The exhaust also has to be dropped off and the passenger header has to be removed and pulled out of the way to access the starter bolts. The header cannot come out though, they had to be laid in the frame before the engine was lowered in, but I can move it just enough to get the bolts out. Then it takes about 15 minutes to work the starter out of itís spot. I hate it! The whole starter takes me 10 hours of work to swap.

That Moroso heat shield looks like that way to go. Heat shield + starter wrap + header tube wrap might solve the problem and for hundreds less than new headers.. All good ideas, thanks to everyone. I have never run into this problem before.

Lumberjack said it would be worth the 700 horsepower, it is. When the starter is working, itís crazy fast, most out of control thing I have ever driven. People are shocked when they see a big station wagon. But if I donít fix this problem, I will end up stranded somewhere.

Quick shot of the waggy.
11-15-2012 06:30 PM
techinspector1
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
I've built shields from thin aluminum sheet that easily cut and bent. Also some header wrap to the closest tubes to insulate the heat from getting to the shield.
Exactly. Using two or more pieces together and leaving an air gap of maybe 1/8" between the pieces by using flat washers as spacers works well. I have never seen the fan arrangement, but it makes a lot of sense to me.
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