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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a problem with my 72 El Camino that sometimes happens when I try to start it. It happens if I try to start it when it's warm. Sometimes when I try to start it it will turn over real lazy, and then won't stop turning over even if I turn it off and take out the key, it will keep on turning over for maybe 30 seconds. The first time the ground strap from the battery lit up red hot and smoked the insulation on it, the second time the ground strap melted. I know the electrical system needs to be worked over but at the moment I dont have the resources.

The elky is pretty much stock except for a set of headers, could it be the starter solenoid soaking up heat? The cables? starter? ignition switch? I've heard all of those mentioned, any ideas would be greatly appreciated before I run out and start buying parts. Thanks.
 

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Corvus,
The slow turning while hot is probably heat soak. Why it keeps turning after you let off the key puzzles me. Does it only do that when hot?
For the heat soak, you could keep an old Gatorade squirt bottle filled with water in the car. Then you just squirt the starter before you start the car, cooling it off enough to let it work. A heat sheild could work as could heat wrapping the headers. Maybe someone else can help with the other problem.

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Sounds like maybe it's time for a new starter

I had a SB Chevy Box van that would do the same thing but it would stay engaged until I disconnected one of the cables, charged the battery, reconnected cable and and started it up
It would only stick if the battery was low, If the battery was fully charged the starter drive would always kick out ok as soon as the engine started
I always figured it was caused by the drive gear being too tight against the flex plate teeth as the only thing that would disengage it was the engine starting but I learned how to deal with it and sold the truck that way so I never found out for sure



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Emailed Bob McC this morning(or whatever he calls himself on this board. I'll post his answer). Think I woke him up. He'll get even with me.
John -
Another thought. After rereading the post, I think that there is a short in the starter which is drawing excessive current through through the solenoid contacts and preventing them from opening up when the ignition is released. Regardless of which is at fault - the starter or the solenoid, BOTH most likely will have to be replaced. If he only wants to replace one at a time, then he should replace the starter first. Reason - if the starter is bad and he replaces the solenoid first, then the solenoid will be damaged again. If he replaces the starter first and the solenoid was bad, then no damage to the starter should occur. He should also seriously check his cables for corrosion, breaks, etc.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies, I think I will get a heat shield to eliminate that possibility. The positive battery cable may have worn through the insulation and be shorting out, would that cause it? Thanks for the info so far, I've got a free battery coming my way I'm sure mine is getting weak, and I will test the cables before hooking it back up.
 

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I can't believe the timing of this post! The same thing happened to me earlier today. My S-10 has been sitting for a long time. Charged the battery up to get it started,it seemed a little weak still, but started the engine OK. Took it for a trip to the parts store today, went to restart it, (it was hot,) and it barely turned over. Then it kept trying to crank even with the key off. I was able to get the cable disconnected, but it tried to crank if I hooked it back up. I tapped on the solenoid a few times, then I was able to hook the battery up again. This time it cranked over (slowly) and started. So I'm pretty sure it was the contacts in the solenoid that were stuck. I know my battery is borderline so I'll put a new one in tomorrow. I'll probably replace both the starter and solenoid too.
 

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May well be your starter, but try cheap first. Get a good ground cable and make sure the connections to the battery and block and body are clean. Atleast a 4 guage ground cable. Nr 1 welding cable is better and looks way to cool.
 
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