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Old 09-23-2007, 01:42 PM   #1
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454 starting problem

1984 310 Limited MH. Has always started fine unless battery is weak. Parked it two weeks ago upon return from a 3+ week trip during which I had no starting problems. This A.M. I started it up to go get gas for a trip latter today. Started fine on second try. Ran poorly until it has warmed up (I think based on the black smoke that the choke was too far closed). After that ran fine.

Drove to the auto parts store to replace the oil fill cap which I had lost on the prior trip. Returned to the rig, turned key and got click, click, click. Activated battery boost and after a few tries, it started.

Drove to the gas station, filled tank (restarted heart, gas is $3.13/gallon ) turned key click, click, click, activated battery boost, click, click, click, tried several times until it finally turned over and started.

Checked chassis battery reads 12.8 Volts, connections at battery look good, I haven't gotten under the rig yet (after lunch). Other than hot and ground connections on the starter what should I check?
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:57 PM   #2
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Haver you cleaned the battery terminals lately? How about the starter terminal?
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler
Haver you cleaned the battery terminals lately? How about the starter terminal?
Battery terminals - yes. Starter - no. I just looked at the starter connections and they look good, taking them apart is a bigish job since I first have to remove the heat shield which covers the starter.

I'm still hoping to hit the road today so I hesitate.
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:05 PM   #4
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The stock exhaust system on my 454 routes a lot of heat past the starter motor. I've cooked one Delco starter already.

My model does not have a heat shield over the solenoid like some do.

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Old 09-23-2007, 04:04 PM   #5
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454 starting problem

How old are your battery cables? Does one of them route by the exhaust manifold or pipes? Might have cooked a battery cable over time. Once those copper cables get hot, it's current-carrying capacity is diminished until cooled.

Just another item to check.

Tim
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:09 PM   #6
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Solenoid (click) and no start is a low voltage deal. Sounds like something in or between the chassis battery and the starter. I would also look at those cables...they run right up past the exhaust. Mine burnt through the insulation in FL and cause all kinds of poor running conditions.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:52 PM   #7
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once ours is warm

we always have to use the battery boost. When we rebuild we will put in more heat insulation.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:16 PM   #8
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check the voltage while the starter is cranking.
i have no idea what the starter boost is but if the enables a second battery and it improves the starter turning i suspect that the primary battery is the problem. how old is the primary battery?
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:24 PM   #9
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You could have what is called an interwall open in the battery, side terminal batteries are especially prone to this. Take your battery out (so you don't wind up stranded if I'm wrong), and take it to be tested. If it tests good, then you can move on to other stuff. Work smart, not hard.
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:20 PM   #10
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Check the Battery Grounds

My old 454 chev motorhome always had ground problems. I would (once a year) disconnect the ground at the chassis, file and clean, and then re-bolt tight. That would fix the start problems
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:31 PM   #11
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One thing to try is to use a booster cable and ground the engine to the body. See if that makes a difference. Grounds on these is critical and often an issue - in my case it's been dirty connections and aggressively cleaning the battery one in particular has cleared up most problems.

Also, as already noted, the battery could in reality be weak. I've had this happen more than once. I've also cooked a solenoid with exhaust and it would work usually, but now and again go through a no-start period. I changed the solenoid and at the same time I added more metal to the heat shield and the problem went away.

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Old 09-25-2007, 12:53 AM   #12
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I'm pretty sure it's not a ground or cable problem.

Just back from a 300 mile trip and the problem has not recurred. Even during a gas stop.

I'm sure it will be back and I will eventually find out whats causing it (or more accurately which series of operations make it go away). I just hate problems like that.
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
I'm pretty sure it's not a ground or cable problem.

Just back from a 300 mile trip and the problem has not recurred. Even during a gas stop.

I'm sure it will be back and I will eventually find out whats causing it (or more accurately which series of operations make it go away). I just hate problems like that.
Guy,

You might consider carrying a spare starter with you. If it is the starter and it fails who knows where you'll be parked at the time. My long term plans are to carry a spare starter, alternator, fuel pump(s) and ignition components as spares. I hate the thought of being stranded somewhere for something that is simple to fix.

Wish I could help you with your problem but I don't have a clue

Brad
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