Hot Rod Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has been an ongoing problem for some time, and I thought I had it fixed. Well.... Since I built my 383 about 5 years ago, I had some similar problems, but after discovering that my 6 month old Optima Red Top was slowly dying, and then the starter started losing "torque', I bought a new gear drive starter, all was well, but then the original HEI ignition module would "die" when hot, then come back to life when it cooled off a bit, so I bought an MSD "HEAT" HEI module, and all seemed well for a while. (NOTE: It's curious that a few minutes ago, I looked at the same module that I bought on Summit, and it's no longer called a "HEAT" module. It's called "High Energy". )

So here's the problem now. When cold (75 degrees, first start), she cranks up and fires off sometimes instantly, not even one revolution. Cranks fast too. As the engine heats up, depending on the temperature gauge, there is nearly a linear relationship between the temperature and ease of starting. She cranks a little slower as the temperature rises, and cranks longer before it fires off. By the way, my fuel pump is mechanical, but I have installed an electric fuel pump and a push button on the dash to negate vapor lock after a hot shutdown, which works just fine for that particular issue.

So yesterday, I received my new four port thermocouple electronic thermometer (I know, Chinese)... which is squirrelly as hell, and inaccurate. The plan was to tape down the probes to the radiator water supply and return, the trans cooler input, trans cooler output (fluid to air finned coolers in front of the condenser), to be able to mentally connect what my temperature dash gauge says relative to the actual temperature of entering water to the radiator. So I cranked up and drove it a few miles, came back home and sat there idling with the air conditioning running, hood closed till the dash temp indicated rather high. (appeared that water got up to 230 degrees, at about 90 degrees ambient). After taking the readings, I shut her down then tried a restart. cranking slow, ... pushed the electric pump switch, can hear it running... for about a minute... no fire..cranking slowly and battery started running down till I gave up....

So here's a couple of questions for y'all experts.. at present, I don't have an ignition tester, so what's the best/easiest tester that may indicate a weak ignition voltage?/ Has anybody had any bad experience with the MSD "HEAT" module? How affected are starters to heat? My battery and Ford type starter solenoid are in the trunk, with 1/0 welding cable to the starter. Starter is wrapped with aluminized fiber heat shield (header is about 1/2" from starter)...

I know, I should be able to figure this out. But advice never hurts. ....
 

·
More for Less Racer
Joined
·
20,117 Posts
Doesit still crank over slow if you disable the 12V+ power to the HEI??

i've never used the MSD HEI modules, just their CD gnition boxes, so I'm no help there.

No ballast resistor ot resistance wire in the power supply to the HEI, correct??

What is the ground path back to the battery?? With the trunk mounted battery in my Nova, grounded to the trunk latch bracket that is welded to the unibody floor, and a ground cable from body to engine up front was not good enough on hot starts and it gave very similar symptoms to yours....it got fixed with a same size 1/0 ground cable as the power cable routed from battery negative post to bellhousing bolt near starter....no more hot start problems ever.
i left the trunk mounted and firewall grounds in place, just added the dedicated engine to battery ground cable.

I've got no heat shield and with large tube long tube headers within 1/2 " of the starter body....but the headers are ceramic coated which makes a huge difference in the heat coming off them.
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OOOHH M G, I sure do hope not but that explains a lot... and it hasn't burned a droplet of oil in the last 5000 miles

But if you are right I wonder if it would make sense to look into an electric water pump. That way I could cool it off some without operating the engine since I have electric fans too
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ericnova, it's entirely related to temperature, so I'm comfortable with wiring and grounds. It doesn't kick back, and all new wiring without any resistor
 

·
More for Less Racer
Joined
·
20,117 Posts
Ericnova, it's entirely related to temperature, so I'm comfortable with wiring and grounds. It doesn't kick back, and all new wiring without any resistor
When it was up to full temp was the only time I had problems too....hot starter draws harder, inadequate ground showed itself.
Cold the starter would rip it right over.

just a place to investigate....

if ring gap was that tight you'd have already broken a piston....been there and done that trying to run 500 hp through hypereutectic pistons with a partially grout filled block.

Just remember that electricity has to have a loop back to the battery....ground path through and after a component needs to be just as larger as the feed so the loop gets back to the battery negative with the least amount of resistance.
Battery in trunk grounded to a car frame, and then a ground wire up front from frame to engine block has also been known to lead to inadequate ground condition for high draw components like starters....uni-body chassis can be even worse in that regard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,207 Posts
Ford solenoid in the trunk is a long way from the action.

For high compression Chevies, I split the ignition from the start run, key switch, in some cases also the start button. I,also, habitually use 12 gauge wire for the heavy utility runs like starter switch.

Controlling the ignition so it doesn’t come on till after the starter has a chance to spin the crank a bit takes a lot of load off the starter. Heavy gauge wire insures minimum voltage drop to the solenoid’s coil so it can positively seat the pinion into the ring gear and keep it there and make solid connection across the contractor‘s that apply cable voltage at the required amps to the starter motor.

I prefer heat shielding of the solenoid and starter motor over insulation because insulation is as good at keeping conductive heat trapped as it is at keeping radiated heat out. The simple heat shield is pretty good at reflecting radiated heat away while allowing an air flow to remove conducted heat.

Bogie
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Ok, guys I went and bought a "spark strength tester"... Here's what I have so far.. First video is with it set to "HEI" gap. All videos are with it cold. Cranking without pumping the gas.. except the ones with it running... I'm getting suspicious of either the MSD in-cap coil or the MSD HEI module mentioned in my first post. This afternoon I did some searches, and it seems that the MSD HEAT module isn't what it's cracked up to be. MORE than a few failures....

This is running, after started, but still cold/warm - gap set at HEI spec.but seems to vary from hot spark to weak spark. Tester missis, but engine doesn't seem to be missing on the other cylinders.

Running, but seems to skip a beat - gap set WAAAY smaller than HEI spec

Cold cranking, gap set at HEI Spec..NOTHING

Cold crank, but gap set way lower than HEI spec.

What do y'all think?
 

·
Race it, Don't rice it!
Joined
·
8,069 Posts
Sparks in the open air are much much easier than sparks against compression, heat, fuel, turbulence, etc.
I want to see a video of it cranking cold, hot, ignition on and off for both.
I think you have a starter, battery or grounding problem.
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The vids show cranking cold..and it's not doing what it needs even cold, much less hot..... but why cranking with ignition off????

Sparks in the open air are much much easier than sparks against compression, heat, fuel, turbulence, etc.
I want to see a video of it cranking cold, hot, ignition on and off for both.
I think you have a starter, battery or grounding problem.
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In the video of cold crank and tester set at 40, and no spark, you can hear the starter and it sounds normal. Only when it's hot it's a lot slower..

After Googling and finding a lot of postings on other boards about MSD quality control I'm going to go and get a stock GM module today..
 

·
Race it, Don't rice it!
Joined
·
8,069 Posts
Your idea and my idea of a lot slower may not be the same thing so that I asked for the video for confirmation.
Replacing the module isn't a bad idea at all.
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
How about this.. hot cranking amps is 370 ! ! ! voltage at distributor input while cranking is 7.5.. NOT a 12 gauge wire.. will be rewiring but I'm thinking the starter is taking a s##*..AND it just welded the contacts on the auxiliary external Ford style solenoid... but then after cooling off, cranking amps = 230.. WTF ??

This starter came from Summit, and only about 4 years old.. so the next question is, What is the best starter for the 383.. NOT high compression, but still want the most torque at reasonable starting amps..????
 

·
More for Less Racer
Joined
·
20,117 Posts
How about this.. hot cranking amps is 370 ! ! ! voltage at distributor input while cranking is 7.5.. NOT a 12 gauge wire.. will be rewiring but I'm thinking the starter is taking a s##*..AND it just welded the contacts on the auxiliary external Ford style solenoid... but then after cooling off, cranking amps = 230.. WTF ??

This starter came from Summit, and only about 4 years old.. so the next question is, What is the best starter for the 383.. NOT high compression, but still want the most torque at reasonable starting amps..????
I like the GM stock PMGR style. (Permanent Magnet, Gear Reduction) that GM started using in the 1990's and up.
A member here at Hotrodders, New Interiors(Randy) turned us all on to them from this source half a dozen years ago.

CHEVY BUICK PONTIAC JEEP MINI Starter Long-Short Mt - SDR0059 (dbelectrical.com)

Starter For Chevy GMC SDR0019-L, 6449, 410-12407, 140-6031, 323-1471 SDR0019-L (dbelectrical.com)

i believe either is the right application, I always remember it a 1991-up 4.3 V6 S-10/Blazer or 5.0/5.7 V8 full size truck.....168 tooth 14" flexplate.
The do have one for the smaller 153 tooth flexplate, but I don't remember the number.
I would call and verify before ordering....they can supply the correct bolts too.
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the response but I've already got one halfway put in.. and guess what the brand new damn Mexico made Ford style auxiliary solenoid is bad
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, guys, here is the truth of the "PROBLEM" ! The aforementioned solenoid was/is not bad. A few years ago, as I was building the car and wiring it, I bought two Ford style solenoids mounted in the trunk, along with the battery and the fuse panel. Used 1/0 welding cable to the starter and wired the first solenoid to power everything in the car, then branched off from it's output to the second "starter" solenoid next to it, so that I did no have a "hot" huge cable after it started running all the way to the front of the car. When the second solenoid pulls in, the solenoid on the engine also pulled in. All is fine... worked perfectly for a few years. Then the symptoms outlined above started happening over a period of time. I just took out the old starter and put in the new one this afternoon. Before I took to old starter out, I checked the gear clearance. It was very tight... (paper clip trick)... I believe that as the engine heated up, the flex plate just gets "bigger", and the tight gear clearance bound up the starter to the point that it was binding on it's own bearings... Well, that's what I think, anyway.. we shall see...

The second issue makes me feel as if I don't know as much about electrical equipment as I would like to believe. The two solenoids that I bought years ago both had two coil terminals on the front, one for +12 volts, the other to ground. Seems simple and as logical enough.. well, if you go to the store, and get a 1965 Mustang solenoid you get a solenoid that looks nearly exactly like what I've had in the car. BUT, guess what, those two smaller terminals are completely different in what they do. Rather than one for + and one for -, one is for +, and the other side of the coil is wired to the case for grounding. The other terminal is for full voltage to the distributor during startup So when you ohm out the two terminals, there is infinite ohms and not the 3 to 5 ohms you would expect.... BAD SOLENOID ...NOOOOOOOO WRONG....

We learn something every day, don't we ?
 

·
More for Less Racer
Joined
·
20,117 Posts
I would have been the opposite LOL, I know the old style Ford solenoid that has the same hook-ups as a points ignition GM starter solenoid has.
The two small posts were 12v+ to coil during cranking (to bypass the resister wire or ballast between the coil and the ignition switch)
and the other small post was the 12v+ starter cranking trigger wire from the ignition switch.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top