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Old 04-14-2017, 02:54 PM   #1
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Have you ever seen a starter solenoid do this?

Just got everything else fixed on the MH and then the starter was acting up, spinning but not engaging the flywheel. Now and then it would engage, but I did not want to take a chance, I pulled the starter and this is what the solenoid looked like (It is actually cracked in 3 pieces from the starter hitting the ground) That burnt hole looks like it has been there a while.

I just ordered a brand new delco starter from Amazon for $76 + tax & free shipping, it will be here in 2 days.

One quick question, when the starter fell, it broke a brown wire at a splice that is in the bundle of wires coming from above and going to the starter, the brown wire does not go to the starter, it goes along the frame to the rear. I think it was for the original fuel level sender, but it has been a while. Anyone know for sure?
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:49 PM   #2
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Just got everything else fixed on the MH and then the starter was acting up, spinning but not engaging the flywheel. Now and then it would engage, but I did not want to take a chance, I pulled the starter and this is what the solenoid looked like (It is actually cracked in 3 pieces from the starter hitting the ground) That burnt hole looks like it has been there a while.

I just ordered a brand new delco starter from Amazon for $76 + tax & free shipping, it will be here in 2 days.

One quick question, when the starter fell, it broke a brown wire at a splice that is in the bundle of wires coming from above and going to the starter, the brown wire does not go to the starter, it goes along the frame to the rear. I think it was for the original fuel level sender, but it has been a while. Anyone know for sure?
Wow! That starter is nasty looking. I've not seen that before but then again I don't have a lot of experience with Chevy starters.

I recently bought one of the mini hi-torque starters that was recommended by another forum member. Unfortunately I can't give first hand experience yet as to how it works!

I do know the on my 74 the fuel level sending unit wire is brown so your guess is probably right.

Brad
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:53 PM   #3
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? Corrosion -> resistance -> heat and repeat. Things start to melt.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:46 PM   #4
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Probably due to the proximity of the exhaust manifold and not having the heat shield over the starter. 454's are notorious for this. Heat shield is a pain to put back on, but neccessary
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:05 AM   #5
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You should be able to buy the metal heat shield. However, I suspect Brad's mini hi tech starter with thermal wrap shield is a better option because it will create a greater distance between the manifold and the starter and offer some protection. My starter had the heat shield and warped under the heat and eventually failed on the road.....in France.


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Old 04-15-2017, 04:39 AM   #6
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I did see the geared starters but I was not sure how well they would fit or work in the MH. They were rather pricey also.

I saw 2 methods too shield the starter, a blanket that wraps the starter and solenoid or a shield that just covers the solenoid. Since I am short on time I will just put the new starter on when it comes.

Looking closer at the burnt hole in the solenoid, the plastic looks similar to Bakelite and that was notorious for becoming conductive when it overheats and starts to degrade.
I think since the contact that goes to the battery is right near the hole, arc flash metal vapors may have deposited and initiated the burn. The arc could have continued even with the solenoid unpowered.

Looking through the records the starter & ring gear were replaced by the PO in 2009 at 96K miles, So today the starter had about 7000 miles and 8 years on it.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:23 AM   #7
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Wayne, here's the link to the discussion of the hi torque mini starter.

Here's the ebay link for the hi torque mini starter. The price is certainly reasonable.

The price is cheap enough and the starter is light enough that I will probably carry one as a spare.


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Old 04-15-2017, 06:26 AM   #8
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Looking through the records the starter & ring gear were replaced by the PO in 2009 at 96K miles, So today the starter had about 7000 miles and 8 years on it.

Ok I've never worked on 454 but ring gear R&R at 96K, wow.

Is this starter also subject to the famous GM starter shimming issue?

I'm putting another log on the fire. Really.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:53 AM   #9
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The previous owners had lots of problems. I took this info from the receipts in the MH folder:
Owner 1- 1990 at 42K miles: Replace engine due to broken piston
1998 at 84K miles: Replace transmission with rebuilt #401-23HDM by Shift Dynamics
Owner 4- 2009 at 96K miles: Replace starter ring gear, starter, torque converter seal, transmission filter & fluid, front wheel bearings, tie rod end, 2 Tires Colcoin RT500 (Front), left valve cover gasket, right exhaust donut service generator spark plugs oil & filter
Owner 4 told me that at one time the tranny bolts were loose and that may have been the reason for the ring gear and starter replacement?

I am owner 5 There were no spacers under the starter when I pulled it. The wear marks on the starter gear look like it has proper depth.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:48 AM   #10
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I can only offer this comment based on other powertrains that I actually have worked on, none exactly what yours is.

Anytime the engine and trans are separated or either is replaced it is critical to check that the engine to trans dowel pins or dowel sleeves are verified to be in place. Frequently they will stick in the part that is being removed and not noticed during replacement.

These pins or sleeves are the only thing that controls engine to trans alignment. Any miss aligning will externally damage any or all of the components you listed.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:56 PM   #11
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Heat and was probably used too much when new...
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:38 AM   #12
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One thing I was going to do, but had put off, is to install the air deflector as shown in this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f160/1985-345-major-overheating-issues-162462-3.html
Mine does not have these deflectors on either side of the engine. I assume the starter does get some cooling from the wheel well when moving at highway speeds but the radiator fan and the deflector should keep air flowing over it all the time.
I guess I will go back to MacGyvering something to fit in there.
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:17 PM   #13
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On the heat shield front, I found a small piece of zircoflex left from a previous job, so will use that on the starter. Good stuff.

http://www.zircotec.com/zircoflex/


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Old 04-17-2017, 02:28 PM   #14
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On the heat shield front, I found a small piece of zircoflex left from a previous job, so will use that on the starter. Good stuff.

http://www.zircotec.com/zircoflex/


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It looks good, but very expensive, more than the starter!.
My solution was to build the shrouding that should have been on the Airstream to begin with.
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