Starter after starter.....Failure/damage - Team Camaro Tech
Troubleshooting Diagnosing problems done here.

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 02, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Team I was all set to go to the track and I loaded the car on the trailer. I figured I woiuld fire it up just to be sure and the starter would barely crank. After charging the battery The starter still sounded terrible. I had just bought it(an AC/Delco) from autozone a few mos. ago. They benched it and it sounded terrible. I put in the replacement, placed the shim in place. It cranked over and fired up. I warmed the car up and shut it down. When I went to restart it It barely cranked and after a few seconds the starter sounded terrible and would not restart. I rechecked the battery It was at 12.7 volt. This is the 3 rd starter and I havent gotten the car to the track. Its a bb 454 with TH 400 trans. I have a trunk mount battery DEKA 1100 cca. 1 ga fine strand welder cable. I made a post earlier about T converter problemsI thought I had cured. Any Ideas would be appreciated. Please keep in mind That I have been working on cars for over 20 years. I do have a lot of experience but obviously not enough.

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 02, 10:35 AM
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David Pozzi
 
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I forget how the welder cable size goes. Is #1 cable larger than 0 or 00?
I would look at voltage drop at the battery cable at the starter and see what you are getting there.
On most batterys I test with a little portable load tester. The problem with the small tester is on large batteries, the load tester is not large enough to show up a bad battery.

A cranking voltage drop test should tell you if your battery is having trouble keeping up, or if the cable is too small.
I'd test at the starter, then at the battery. If way low at starter, but not bad at battery, the cable is probably too small for that load.

I don't recall the specs for drop, perhaps someone will chime in with that, or you can find it in a book.

When hot, I'd also crank with distributor disconnected to see if the engine is kicking back on the starter.
David

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 02, 10:39 AM
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An idea: Make sure you align the starter gear teeth with the flex plate teeth. There is a minimum amount of clearance between the starter gear teeth and the flex plate teeth that is needed. You have to play with different shim thicknesses to make sure the teeth are aligned properly. If its too tight, it could jam the starter and wear it out. When you say it sounds awful, what does it sound like?
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 02, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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David I have .3v on the ground side .36 on the pos side during the initial surge then drops lower. I understand its .2 v per connection and max .5 per circuit. That was my first thought cause the battery is trunk mounted. The welding cable is heavier and finer strand that automotive. I need to remeasure the gear clearance I thought I had .030. times like this I start secondguessing everything. Please keep the suggestions coming. PS Aint it hard to crank and test by yourself!!!! Thanks for all the thought that you guys put into this every bit helps!!

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 02, 03:43 PM
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Kevin
 
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If the stock AC Delco starters continue to give you trouble, you might want to look into one of the high torque mini's. I was having hot start problems as well and went with one from Tommy Johnson Motorsports - it fixed all my problems - starts fast and reliably all the time now.
http://www.tommyjohnsonjr.com/bs/

Good luck
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 01:52 AM
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Aren't the old timey starters fun?

Even though I don't use welding cable (finer strands are great for flexibility, but lots of strands are not as good as several for conductivity and the outside of the cable degradates with heat....so I use high quality auto/stereo cable) your amperage capacity should be fine with a number one. In fact you could easily run a 2. You can easily pass 140+ amps at 15 feet with no significant problems with number one.
If you want to see a table on wiring sizes, go to http://www.amplepower.com/primer/gauge/ for an accurate chart.

The suggestion about a mini-starter is a great one. WE spend all kinds of money to upgrade all other aspects of our engines, only to overlook the starter circuit. Minis are lighter, smaller, require less amperage, do not heat soak, easier to install, one size fits all, and sound coooool as can be. Just do it! I don't buy the old style starters anymore...period.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Well I took the starter to the parts store. It pegged their amp meter. The replaced the unit with one for an LS6. what is the proper shim procedure.( I have replaced 100s of starters and have yet needed to shim one!)I just dont wanna take any chances. I looked through my manuals they say nothing. Thanks again!

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Hot rod, It was my understanding that electricity travels along the surface of a conductor so finer strands mean more surface area= better conductivity.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 05:00 AM
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Heres some thoughts.

Skin Effect (surface conduction) is a frequency dependant AC occurance. The higher the frequency creates more effect.

As AC frequency increases Effective Resistance can become a factor.

DC flows "through"

Smaller center conductors allows some more material to be used for the same cross-sectional area. Also allows for better flex of the wire.

Wow, guess I stayed awake for class that day.
That was from memory so it might not be perfect.

I had 2 bad starters in a row from Auto Zone but the last one has turned my BBC for a couple of years now.
Go figure.
No shims. Same part #.But next time I'll go mini.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 05:12 AM
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Are you using the factory starter bracket to keep starter from wanting to **** when cranking? This is a must on BB engines.Without it you'll replace starters forever.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Imp, You scare me!!!!!!!!!
Mr C I am going to fab one up but These things hadnt lasted even a few days worth of starting. Ill try this ls6 edition and then go with their gear reduction unit. Thanks for all you help.
Milan

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 08:11 AM
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Dave
 
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You can buy the BB starter bracket from GM for about 3.00, or their on e bay all the time going from 8 to 15 bucks guess people don't know their still available from the General
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 01:19 PM
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Went through this with a friends 454-400TH a few years ago. Ended up getting the GM starter with a cast iron nose and two intermediate length bolts. I think it was for a '66 396, not real sure though.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 07:33 PM
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I had kind of the same problem, i went to a 1/0 cable and a powermaster mini starer, no problems and the motor cranks so fast i thought it was going to fly out of the hood.

1 is smaller than 1/0, you should be ok with it. Check all of your grounds, make sure you have one from the battery to the body, sub frame to the body, motor to the body and subframe. your grounds need to be the same size or as close to the same size wire as your power wire. i'm using 4ga and it works fine...are you usins the stock ground straps? if so try replacing them. a bad ground wil cause alot of headaches.

good luck
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 02, 07:36 PM
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BTW, It's later and I'm tired so ignore the spelling errors...lol
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