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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having some serious problems with my starter. When I go to start my car cold my starter turns over a little slower than normal, like the battery is low (it reads 12.6V with the car off). Then when I try to start the car hot, the starter barley turns over, so it won't start. I was sure it was a ground problem because it has been rainy all week and if pull on my frame to motor ground strap sometimes it will start up but not always.

So I took off all of my ground points and cleaned them up with the grinder and put every thing back together. It did not help, same problem.

My voltage regulator may be toast because voltage is 15.3V with the car running. Should it not be around 14.4V?

I have my battery in the trunk. The ground is attached to right rear frame rail behind the tire. I have a ground cable from the front of my right rail to front of the block. It is directly on block (using a front motor mount hole). All of my ground cable is 0 gauge welding cable. So everything is well grounded.
Also I just replaced my starter selenoid a month ago.
I do not konw what I am overlooking.
Sorry this is so long, but I need my car to run.

Thanx
Steve

[This message has been edited by wanarace (edited 09-04-2000).]
 

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Was everything OK before you replaced your starter solenoid? Is this the reason you changed it? How is the pos connection on the starter? Is it clean? What about the wire from the alternator to the starter or did you run it back to the battery. 12.6 volts actually sounds a little low. I believe a fully charged battery is around 13.4 volts.
 

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This might sound crazy, but we are assuming that the frame rail is intact. IF the frame is cracked, you would lose continuity. Try running a temporary ground cable from the back of the car to the block. Otherwise, it seems that something is wrong with the front ground cable( when you move it). Bypass it with a temp cable also.

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Tino #28 Gold
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Just because the battery reads 12+ volts does not mean it is a good battery. I had a Optima battery that would read 13.2 volts and couldn't spin a watch. It was dead as a door nail when it came to amp's. It had a few dead cells I guess or a bad short inside. Go and have your battery tested before you do anything else. Good luck.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had to replace solenoid because the starter would not turn on when the motor was hot. Once I fixed it everything worked until last week. I assumed it was a ground problem because it rained all week and I thought moisture was causing the problem.

I will get the battery checked and test the resistance of my grounds.

Thanx
Steve

[This message has been edited by wanarace (edited 09-04-2000).]
 

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Steve,

Very important,

You need to "copy" what GM originally did up front. There needs to be a smaller wire (approx. 10 gauge) leaving the battery (-) terminal and getting bolted to the ACTUAL BODY for a good body ground. This actually is the key for ground connections to ALL of the accessories. If everything in your car appears to work, that means the interior/lights etc are seeking their grounds thru the engine ground straps. NOT GOOD. These were not designed to carry current. Get a body ground bolted-up.

Normal charging is indicated by 13.8 to 14.5 volts at the battery terminals when the engine is at approx. 1000 rpms.

Make sure all connections are tight and free of corrosion.

Hope that helps.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanx for all the help.

I have tried numerous things and still have the problem. I will try grounding the battery to the body right now. I know that it is not properly grounded. I also I checked the resistance of my ground straps. I got 1.3 to 1.6 ohms. All my strapes are less then 2 feet. Does this sound about right? I thought it seemed low since the wires are so big.

I also noticed that when I try starting the car hot (won't start) the ground strap from the frame to the battery is really hot (can barley touch it) and the strap from the frame to the motor is about half as hot. This makes me think bad ground. heat = resistance Bad ground creating alot of heat.

Could my starter be toast. It only does this when the motor is hot. When it cools down (1/2 hour) it starts up.

Could this used solenoid be toast already. It worked fine for the last month. Also the problem is different then before I changed the solenoid. Only sometimes when the motor was real hot, the starter would not do anything, but let it cool down for 5 min and it would start up. Changed solenoid and never had that problem again.

Everything leads me to belive it is a ground problem, but then why does it only do it when the motor is hot? (and not real hot, normal driving temp)

Sorry about the length, but I really need this fixed and soon.

Thanx
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At the battery with the car off is 12.8V
At the battery with the car on is 13.2V

Some times I get readings as high 15.3V

I tried grounding the body better, but it did not help anything.
The problem is getting worse. Tonight I started the car (slightly warm) and drove four blocks to get gas. Once filled up I could not get it started again. (Only slightly warmer than before, I drove slow to try and keep it as cool as possible). I left there for an hour, came back and still would not start. I came back another hour later and it finally started.

If it were an electrical problem, why does it only do it when the motor is warm?

I am tracking down a new starter and will try it when I get a chance.

Thanx
Steve
 

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Steve,

You need to do the following right away.

#1, YES, replace that starter!!! Sounds like evil heat-soak is setting in. New starter will help this problem. Even if this isn't the main cause, it will help you in the long run.

#2 Replace that darn voltage regulator! It's crapped out. You should be getting at least 13.8 volts and no higher than 14.5 volts when the engine is running. It's not doing its job.

#3 You've got a body ground, but you need a good block ground. You say you have your main battery (-) going to the frame right??
And in the front, a wire leads from the frame to the block right???

You need a really good ground from the battery (-) to eventually the block itself.

Motor mount hole??? The motor sits on rubber, if you've placed your block grounding wire on not-the-best-place you might as well not have one at all. It sounds like despite your attempts, the engine is "deprived" of the ground it needs, and all that starter current is flowing thru the little bitty ground straps that link the engine block to the frame/body. NOT A GOOD THING! These little straps aren't made for high current demands, that's why they are getting hot! Make sure the battery (-) to the frame is a good connection. Then make sure the frame to the block connection is a good one. In fact, you should move the wire to another location on the block. Get a longer wire and tie that darn thing to the actual block itself--preferred,OR alternator bracket, head or whatever after it leaves it's frame bolt.

You know you've got a well grounded block when things don't get hot!

Good luck and be safe!


Joe

[This message has been edited by Coppertop (edited 09-05-2000).]
 

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Steve;

The heat of the ground cable makes me believe that it is no good. Heat is produced by high current flowing through a resistor. The higher the resistance the more heat you get. It could be in the cable itself or the ends are not properly attached. Try new cables.

Put your meter on the battery while turning it over to see if the voltage drops much. The battery voltage should not drop much below 11.5 volts while cranking.

Your motor is harder to start when hot so it requires more power which requires better cables and connections to be able to draw that power from the battery.

Peter
 

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Hot battery cables = VERY high current or too small cables.
0 gauge welding cable should be very good, so I say your starter is bad and drawing too much current.
Take it to a local parts store that has a battery/starter checker - I guess that the current draw will be high - new starter time.
The new solenoid just helped pass the high current as the starter was going bad. Now even the new one can't help.


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanx for all the help

Coppertop - The block is grounded by running a ground cable (o gauge) from the frame rail (drilled a hole, ground down to metal, attached ground, then undder coated to keep out moisture) to the front of the block (accessery hole, belive it is for a front style motor mount, I cleaned the hole real well and attached the cable.)

I will be getting a new starter very soon. I was going to get a high torque aftermarket starter, but my block is staggered mount not straight. I plane on changing the motor very soon and it will be a straight mount block. So I will get a rebuilt OEM starter.

I also while I was looking at the starter, I noticed my valve cover gasket has been leaking and the starter is covered in oil. I will have to open the starter up and see how much oil is inside, that could be my problem if it is filled with oil.

Thanx very much for all the help.
This is a great site, where else can this many people come together and share all their years of experience.

I will change the starter on Monday and tell you how it goes.

Thanx
Steve
 

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I have found that a 6ga double eye cable from the starter mounting bolt to frame can do wonders in a rear battery mount situation.


[This message has been edited by Rockone (edited 09-29-2000).]
 

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Steve, I noticed you said the car would start sometimes if you pulled on the cables...are your cable ends crimped or soldered?? You may have corrosion inside the cable ends. Just a thought.....these things can drive ya nuts.

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