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Old 03-07-2018, 01:29 AM   #1
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Kreimer's Avatar
1965 22' Safari
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Kansas city , Missouri
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 440
Starter heat shield

This may have been talked to death already but the search on airforums is worthless. Has anyone tried the heat reflective wrap on their starter to resolve not wanting to start when the engine is hot? This is on the 454. I have a brand new starter that cranks well when cool and starts well but after driving for a while it refuses to crank until it is all cooled off.

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Old 03-07-2018, 05:07 AM   #2
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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Sounds like it is getting warped and will fail soon. You should have a small metal heatshield. I would opt for the smaller starter and heat reflective shield. I used zircotec which has worked for me

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Old 03-07-2018, 05:07 AM   #3
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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Did you change the starter solenoid when you changed the starter?
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:13 AM   #4
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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I was having similar problems that I think I finally fixed by cleaning and tightening the ground strap from the engine to the frame. I do have a heat shield on the starter, though.

I gave up on the search function here. I use a trick that BKahler pointed out awhile back. I just searched this on Yahoo: starter heat shield and got a bunch of related threads as a result, with this one at the top of the list.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:31 AM   #5
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Byron Center , Michigan
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Posts: 275
You just brought back so many bad memories of changing starters in in my old car that had a 454 in it...laying in the dirt with nothing more than those cheap bumper jacks preventing my certain death. Of course, I had headers and hopped it up, so it generated plenty of heat and I went through starters like water for a while. A simple steel heat shied that bolted on with the starter helped immensely, and I see they're still available all over the interwebs if you do a quick search. I personally don't like the wrap because it will also hold heat in or potentially trap moisture after traveling on wet days.

As another person mentioned, be sure to check all of your cabling and the solenoid nuts. You might want to confirm your ignition timing, too, to make sure it's not advanced so far that the starter has to fight against it (unlikely in this case where you've noted temperature, but it's worth checking).

Bottom line, I put heat shield on that car and never replaced the starter again. On subsequent cars and trucks/chassis with the same BBC engine, I automatically put a shield on if I had to replace the starter, just in case. Cheap insurance.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:27 PM   #6
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Link to modification commonly added to Chevy 454's with starter problems:
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:26 AM   #7
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Did the "Mr Gasket" shield on mine a few years back.
Also added a piece of additional heat wrap.

There are also "Soft" shields that slip on with minimal issues and used velcro, or metal strapping.

Like this one...
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:49 AM   #8
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1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I have had the problem on both of my 77's but not the 84.
I never tried a shield but I manage to keep on truckin!
Even a new starter can fail to crank when hot.
I think part of the problem is the carb overheating and fuel washing the lube off the cylinder walls making for hard cranking.
I also found some of it to be related to the starter solenoid overheating.
In desperate times (usually at a gas station after shutting down for refueling) I found if I crank the front wheels enough to get my head so I can see the starter solenoid coil lug,
I would take a screwdriver
and short the coil lug to the battery lug on the solenoid, and 90% of the time it would work. That also works for a spinning starter that would not engauge.

For my 84 I just consider the starter as a short life expendable item, and keep a spare handy. I hear the new high torque units do better that the OEM units, and are lighter and easier to install.

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