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My Chevelle has recently had issues with Hot Starting... the dreaded "Heat Soak"...

I think its just the solenoid, as it doesn't even click (at all) or dim the dome light when hot... After sitting 30-45 minutes, it will crank right over...

BUT...

Even when dead COLD, sometimes (often) I will turn the key and just hear a loud "click/clunk" (definitely the starter is engaging the flywheel)... Sometimes it takes several of these "clicks" and then it will spin right over...

It sounds like the solenoid is engaging, but the starter isn't turning (dead spot on the armature?)

For example when cold, I can quickly turn the key on-off-on-off-on and each time get the click, and then after 1 or 2 or maybe 3 times, the starter will turn over with no problem and the engine will fire...

Pretty sure these are both unrelated...

The battery/starter does not have a problem turning over the motor (aside from these two issues)...

So I was looking at replacing the starter with a mini-starter... Sound like a good idea to replace the starter anyway (mini or full-size)?
 

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Start with checking all the connections and make sure the battery is good. It takes more to start a hot engine. A bad connection, negative to block, positive to starter, purple to starter can all cause a the 'heat soak' problem. A weak battery can also do this. It'll start the car fine when cold but doesn't have enough amps when the engine is hot. You can get the battery cranking amps checked at most auto parts stores. As for the connections, look for corrosion. Loosen them up, clean them up, and reconnect. Remove the cables at the battery too and clean the posts and the cable connectors. Look for corrosion at the battery end of the cables. Those cables will corrode inside the insulation. Not easy to see, see if the insulation has bulges in it, good sign of corrosion.
 

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I went mini starter with mine in the 120+ temps here in the desert. It helped some, but still had the issue after cruising and say hitting a drive thru. Or any type of line turning the motor off and on. I put in a switch to cut off the electric fan and other things to give more juice to the starter. This helped more, but still the issue was there. Last I wrapped the headers(for a different purpose). No more starting problem at all. I don't even use the fan cut out switch I installed anymore. In the future I would try wrapping just the exhaust area by the starter. If you do, using the mini-starter helps give extra distance. Using header wrap you really want to keep anything at least an inch away from it. If the exhaust is chrome or has a specialty coating the wrap will burn it off.

Hope the rambling helps.
 

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Mine cooked last summer as well. I went with a Tilton mini starter and also got the starter heat wrap for extra insurance. No more starting issues here.
 

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I've had a couple problems on different cars that had the same symptoms...

when cold, click click click... lights and guages OK.
when hot, click click click... lights and gauges OK.

Anyhow, one of the cars it turned out to be a failing battery. an extended load test confirmed this.
The other, my Chevelle, was heatsoak on the solenoid/relay. I wired in a ford-style relay that sits on the fender, next to the battery and used some 0 gauge power lead to the starter. Not a problem any more and I have a convenient place to bump the starter right on the fender.
 

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I run a mini-starter mainly for getting it up through the header, but it has worked great for about 4-5 years now...

Failing coil can do strange things, too... Just another idea to throw out there.
 

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I'm running the original style starter, not sure if it's actually 'the' original, since I bought the car 5 !/2 years ago. It's never failed to start right up, hot, cold, no difference. Of course the car was in pieces when I bought it so all the connections were cleaned up during re-assembly.
 

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If you're starter is in fact "original" after 39 years, I would get another one EXACTLY like that one! :thumbsup:
 

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If you're starter is in fact "original" after 39 years, I would get another one EXACTLY like that one! :thumbsup:
Nothing wrong with the hi-torque mini starters but many problems aren't the starter's fault. Bad connections, corroded wires, weak battery can all cause a starter to look bad. The hi-torque mini starters are less susceptible to these problems so they seem to be the cure but it never was a problem with the starter. It takes more current to start a hot engine and the new starters require less current hot or cold so they sometimes cover up the real cause.
 
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