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Old 05-31-2005, 09:32 AM   #1
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power from battery to starter

Hello again Getting ready to leave for Baja tomorrow and have a problem. When we first test drove our 1985/345 we had it out for about 1/2 hour. When we came back the starter would barely turn over, and the second time had to use the coach batteries. Dealer said the battery was old. We've had it our for a few excursions since then and noticed when the engine was warm it would barely crank. Yesterday we picked it up and it needed the car to jump it. The Napa battery was manufactured in Dec 04, its an 84 month battery, I did not see the cranking power. The terminals are tight with no corrosion, ammeter shows 12-13 when driving and the systems panel shows the auto battery condition as good. Any ideas? do the cables to the starter ever go bad, what length are they? Starter was replaced in 1998 (it starts fine with the extra juice from the car or coach) thanks Debbie
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:24 AM   #2
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Talking

You may want to check your voltage regulator. The diode in it may be failing allowing voltage to go to ground, draining the battery.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:25 AM   #3
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Also check your alternator to ensure it's putting out the correct amperage.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:28 AM   #4
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I would start with the battery/alternator. 12-13 volts is kind of low when charging if the gauge is accurate, check it with a good meter. Have the battery load tested, nearly any parts place. Check the alternator belt tension, corrosion on terminals. The large wire in the small connector provides exciter voltage so be sure all the wires are clean and making good contact. Cables can go bad, cuts in the insulation will allow corrosion to start, connectors can corrode.

John
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:07 PM   #5
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Threads on Hot Start Issues

Try these:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...extra+solenoid

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=13330


Hope it helps.

CT
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Old 05-31-2005, 03:48 PM   #6
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worn starter bushings

You may have a problem with the bushings on the starter, they wear, and will allow the rotating electrical parts inside the housing to contact non-rotating electrical parts, causing it to "short". It will crank faster when it is cold, and the hotter it gets, the slower it will crank. This is because the heat causes the starter parts to expand until they make even more of a contact.
There are, of course, other things it could be, but most of the time I have had a vehicle come in with those exact symptoms, a replacement starter was required.
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Old 05-31-2005, 08:31 PM   #7
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If you have the GM 454 engine I would sugest you replace the starter. Engine heat tends to cook the starters. Be sure to get the heavy duty starter.

Garry
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Old 06-01-2005, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry
If you have the GM 454 engine I would sugest you replace the starter. Engine heat tends to cook the starters. Be sure to get the heavy duty starter.

Garry
I agree its "Heat soak" that has taken its toll.

I have never had good luck with rebuilt starters. I bought a Autozone gold NEW (as in Not rebuilt/re manufactured) for my 88 454 powered Sub that had the same symptoms. I also put a heat shield on the solenoid. Spins over great now even when hot. Well worth the money.
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Old 06-10-2005, 11:25 AM   #9
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update

Well we planned for the battery/ starter problem and bought a portable "jumper" unit from Sears. For some reason the auto battery was dead after 1 day (some kinda drain somewhere--- it takes a charge ok) so we started our trip to Mexico with a jump -- worked great (the starter is heavy duty and has a heatshield)-- got 20 miles from San Felipe , our destination, (2 hours from the border) and the alternator sheared a bolt head off and blew all three belts Not to worry we had all three belts but no bolt, the federales stopped by and let us use their cell to call for help and we were on the road in 3 hours. On the trip home one of the tranny fittings had an internal break, on the Mexican side of the border, got across the border and found a mechanic who replaced it for us in 2 hours while we got a pizza for lunch. We are now taking pictures at all the breakdown sites and starting a scrapbook. A sidenote: we got this airstream at the dealer where we were towed after our 1986 Pinnacle blew the motor-- not having a great year so far--but thrilled with the airstream. Our bassets are gettin real good about not bothering mechanics or tow truck drivers Debbie
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:34 PM   #10
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Unhappy Solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by garry
If you have the GM 454 engine I would sugest you replace the starter. Engine heat tends to cook the starters. Be sure to get the heavy duty starter.

Garry
I too agree with Garry. Additionally, you may want to look into a remote starting solenoid. I employee one of these on my hot rod, also a Chevrolet 454 that used to have starting problems when hot the problems left when I added the remote solenoid.


Just some food for thought.



Regards,

Henry
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:34 PM   #11
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thanks

that is my husbands thought get us to a hot rod shop do they also make remote starters? Debbie
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8strm
that is my husbands thought get us to a hot rod shop do they also make remote starters? Debbie
Debbie,



Most any auto parts store will probably have a heavy duty solenoid that you require. I think that I got mine from Jegs www.jegs.com . I will try to explain its function as simply as I can. The GM style starters have a solenoid mounted on top (usually) of the starter body. The starter is mounted (usually) next to the exhaust system. The solenoid connected to the starter absorbs heat from the exhaust system and functions funny (usually) when hot. With the remote solenoid, the battery hot wire runs to the remote solenoid not the starter solenoid. A large gage jumper wire then connects the remote solenoid to the starter solenoid and wa-la easier starting.



You see, most hot rods run headers. These headers are a much better flowing exhaust method than a stock exhaust manifold. However, they typically run closer to the starter for clearance reasons and amplify the heat problem.



I would also look into the starter heat shield since you are replacing the starter anyway. When the starter is off the time is ideal to install the heat shield.



Good Luck,

Henry
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
With the remote solenoid, the battery hot wire runs to the remote solenoid not the starter solenoid. A large gage jumper wire then connects the remote solenoid to the starter solenoid and wa-la easier starting
Why? I have never understood that. You are running the same battery voltage and current to the same solenoid, mounted in the same location, you are just interrupting it with another solenoid. Not trying to start anything, but no one has ever been able to explain why it helps.

John
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
Why? I have never understood that. You are running the same battery voltage and current to the same solenoid, mounted in the same location, you are just interrupting it with another solenoid. Not trying to start anything, but no one has ever been able to explain why it helps.

John
John,

Im not an electronics guy but I can tell you that it does work.



The way that it was explained to me is that on the GM solenoid, the winding is fed through a resistive lead to the starter from the switch key, which results in less than the 12 volts being applied across the solenoid winding. As the current in the lead increase so does the voltage drop on the lead going to the GM solenoid winding, resulting in less voltage at the solenoid winding, giving less than satisfactory operation. So, the bottom line is, when the unit gets hot, it draws more current in the lead from the switch to the solenoid winding resulting in less voltage across the solenoid activation coil. So the solenoid does not close the contact to the starter motor nor does it engage the pinion gear. The remote solenoid, when installed, solves this problem by applying the full battery voltage across the GM solenoid activation winding, resulting in positive operation of the solenoid, pinion gear and rotation of the starter motor.



I hope that this helps. Perhaps an electronics guru (on the forum) can lend me a hand here!



Regards,

Henry
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