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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read a LONG series of posts from back in April on this problem. Well, I have it, but not quite the same. I have a 396 with headers. It came from an Impala (not a strong engine), and I suspect the starter is the stock unit.

My solenoid DOES engage, but the starter has a hell of time turning her over hot. The 396 is a ways from stock. I did not build it, so I don't know what's inside, but I can GUARANTEE that the cam ain't near stock. It had managed to start till last Sunday when it left me looking stupid at a gas station. Started fine at home. Drove a while, got gas, no start. Had to call my wife and get a jump from her Subaru which has a big old new Die Hard. Very emabarrasing. I had to let it sit with her car running for 5 minutes, then it started fine. I think the batt is shot, so I'll get a new one, but I think I will still have the problem. It's always been there.

There were some suggestions to use a relay and switch batt voltage direct to the solenoid "S". Since my solenoid kicks, I don't think this will help me. I'm thinking of seeing if I can get some monster cables for the batt-starter connection and the ground. What do you think? Only other thing is go for a high torque starter?
 

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first off you need a great battery with at least 900 amps or higher . then you need to get you a heat shield for the rebuilt starter, that you can buy for i think $20. at autozone with a lifetime warrenty, as long as you dont try to exchange it more than three times. check grounds and routing of cables keep them cool as you can. and if this doesent work we will try somthing else
 

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Make sure your timing is not advanced too far. If it is turning very slow you may have too much advance.
 

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Sure sounds like heat soak. I bought a starter blanket for mine from the speed shop. Also when I started having this prob my starters were coming from AZone and would last a couple of months before starting to fail again. My headers were about a quarter inch from the starter. I finally broke down and bought a mini starter. It turns the motor better and i have not had the heat soak problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, thanks for the advice. I'm going for the most CCAs I can find. I found a DieHard that's rated 870CCA at 0 degrees. Is there a bigger one??

I will go with the mini...that's what I was thinking before as well as new cables and a good cleanup.

I think the timing is OK.

Thanks for the input, folks.
 

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If your standard battery and cables are in good shape....more CCAs will not help. The reason is that the heat build up in the field wiring of the starter motor and solenoid increases in resistance with heat. This simply means that the current is LIMITED by the increase in resistance.

I would do the ministarter from TuffStuff, Powermaster or other quality manufacturer. Most available from Summit or Jegs. Heat shield often just delay the heat up...not fix the problem completely.

The timing advice is a good one too. Try to start the car with the coil wire pulled. If it cranks faster then your timing is bucking your starter. This is due to the increase in vapor pressure with temperature and therefore the actual timing increases with heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On the timing thing. I checked it and the base timing is about 8 deg. For a cammed up 396, this does not sound far wrong to me. I can bump it down, but I don't think this is the problem.

Any comments?
 

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My hot-start problem stopped when I replaced the battery cable with a larger (2ga?) cable...
 

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well let me apply my 2 cents again. before i paid the high price of a mini regular starter i would buy a gear reduction starter from summit for close to the same price. that being said MOST electrical problems can usualy be traced back to a poor ground. and trust me to few cranking amps will kill a starter
 
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