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Old 07-02-2002, 08:34 AM
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Post Tight 406 Chevy Engine

I have a 406 chevy small block that was put together by someone I don't know.
It will run fine If you start it up cold and take a trip of even 1000 miles. It runs great if you start it cold, take a ride, long or short, then wait about 2 hours, for the motor to cool down, it will start right up, OK!

But.... if you shut it off for about 2 minutes and then try to start it, it cranks real...... slow...... won't start, and has burned out many starters.

I am wondering if the heads were not torqued in the proper sequence, ( it being a thin wall 400 chevy ) would the block warp enough, when the water pump stopped turning, to let the heat get up high enough in the block to cause piston/Wall interference ( egg shaped bore? ) and cause the hard starting. Then when the block cools, the bore would get round, allowing the pistons to turn over freely and start up?
9 1/2:1 compression, competition cams #270, Performer manifold, 625 cfm Carter Carb.

Any one ever heard of this happening? Any other ideas?


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Old 07-02-2002, 11:29 AM
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Your engine is probably fine. The problem is electrical. I've seen it many times on older cars, especially w/headers or modified exhaust systems. The problem has 2 possible sources and both should be checked. 1) Exhaust pipe is too close to starter, heating it up and increasing internal resistance. Resistance equals Voltage drop and that's bad. Solution is: Move exhaust away from starter and/or put a heat shield between starter and pipe and/or change starter to a smaller "hi-torq" unit. 2)Check ALL electrical connections to starter. This includes grounding (the hidden culprit). Add a ground strap from block to chassis if there's not already one there. Make sure the battery is up to par and clean or replace all cable ends. Corrosion = resistance = voltage drop. You should be good to go.
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Old 07-02-2002, 06:58 PM
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Martyz7, have to agree with Raggmopp. Sounds like heat getting to the starter. Have had a problem like that and insatlled a remote stater solenoid from MSD. Worked great after that.
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Old 07-03-2002, 07:55 PM
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This application has the Small Block 406 chevy mated to the 1983 Pontiac Trans Am 5 speed manual transmission.
1. It has heat shielding wrapped around the starter and solenoid.
2. There is apparently no Mini or gear reduction starter available for this application.
I purchased the one that is supposed to work with either the 168 or 153 tooth flywheel, but it doesn't mate up the mounting holes are too far apart.

I am going to wrap the headers with the heat resistant tape to reduce heat around the starter area,and I may try the remote ford type starter.

Again anyone heard of a tight engine being caused by wrong torque / tightening sequence of the head bolts?
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Old 07-04-2002, 11:25 AM
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Had the same problem with my 454. As discussed in the previous posts on this subject, it was electrical (poor ground). Added a second ground cable from the back of the engine (bellhousing bolt) to a cleaned off spot on the frame, and problem went away. Also, you should double check your initial timing to make sure it isn't too far advanced. Scott
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