Author Topic: Starter Issues  (Read 398 times)

Offline cv70chall

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 290
  • 1970 Challenger
Starter Issues
« on: August 11, 2019 - 12:01:27 pm »
I have a new OEM starter and have not experienced any issues until upgrading to a big block. Car starts right up, but after running it for a while, it behaves as if the battery is low. I've been told the starter can overheat due to its proximity to the engine- so my question is- is this common and does the "starter blanket" actually help?

Any recommendations on a particular brand/ part number? How difficult to install?

Thanks!!




Offline Fern

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 638
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2019 - 04:42:51 pm »
I have a 440 and don't have any starting issues when hot. I had both oem and a mini starter.
Maybe it's not the starter?
Sounds like the timing needs to be adjusted.
But I'm no expert and maybe someone else will chime in.

Offline jimynick

  • Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 4229
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019 - 12:15:46 am »
The heat thing was more prevalent with cars that had headers I believe, but starter "cooking" could certainly be the issue. If you can find one of the inductive current gauges that you held against the positive battery cable while someone cranked it, you'd know soon enough. Doing a battery load test would also eliminate at least one variable.  :cheers:

Offline cudabob496

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 8024
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019 - 12:34:07 am »
How exactly is the car "behaving as if battery voltage is low?"
Alternator working? Voltage regulator bad??
What is ammeter or voltage meter reading??
72 Cuda, owned 25 years. 496, with ported Stage VI heads, .625 in solid roller, 254/258 at .050, 3500 stall, 3.91 rear. 850 Holley DP, Reverse manual valve body.

1999 Trans Am, LS1, heads, cam, headers, stall, etc! Love to surprise the rice rockets with this one. They seem so confident, then it's "what the heck just happened?"

2011 Kawasaki Z1000

Offline 70chall440

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 5727
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019 - 11:36:08 am »
What did you "upgrade" from? You have a lot of moving parts here that could contribute to poor starter performance. Could be a weak SB starter that was fine with a moderately worn SB but when put onto a fresh BB it will have issues. Heat can be a problem, but usually not with a healthy starter right away, that said are you running headers, are they close to the starter? What is the health of the cables and connections, probably 50%+ of starter problems are simple connection/cable issues.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6 EFI, 73 Cuda 416-6 EFI
05 Hemi Durango, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 Ram 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger 6 spd RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR (under const)
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline cudabob496

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 8024
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019 - 02:34:17 pm »
And you need one or two good engine ground wires (heavy gauge)
72 Cuda, owned 25 years. 496, with ported Stage VI heads, .625 in solid roller, 254/258 at .050, 3500 stall, 3.91 rear. 850 Holley DP, Reverse manual valve body.

1999 Trans Am, LS1, heads, cam, headers, stall, etc! Love to surprise the rice rockets with this one. They seem so confident, then it's "what the heck just happened?"

2011 Kawasaki Z1000

Offline 70chall440

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 5727
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019 - 04:14:27 pm »
And you need one or two good engine ground wires (heavy gauge)

Absolutely agree with that. I usually run at least a piece of 8 gauge from the frame to the engine and another one from the sheet metal (firewall, inner fender, etc.) to the engine.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6 EFI, 73 Cuda 416-6 EFI
05 Hemi Durango, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 Ram 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger 6 spd RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR (under const)
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline cudabob496

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 8024
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019 - 01:51:29 am »
Absolutely agree with that. I usually run at least a piece of 8 gauge from the frame to the engine and another one from the sheet metal (firewall, inner fender, etc.) to the engine.

I've got a big 00 gauge going from water pump to inner fender.

Ya, improper timing can mess with a starter.

I also had a 5 month nightmare that was finally traced to a bad ground on my MSD box
72 Cuda, owned 25 years. 496, with ported Stage VI heads, .625 in solid roller, 254/258 at .050, 3500 stall, 3.91 rear. 850 Holley DP, Reverse manual valve body.

1999 Trans Am, LS1, heads, cam, headers, stall, etc! Love to surprise the rice rockets with this one. They seem so confident, then it's "what the heck just happened?"

2011 Kawasaki Z1000

Offline cv70chall

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 290
  • 1970 Challenger
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019 - 07:46:56 am »
Replaced small block 360 with 440 big block. No headers.
Battery voltage, alternator and voltage regulator are all functioning normally. Car fires right up 95% of the time, unless I have been driving it for a while. Starter behaves as if the battery is weak when the car has been driven for a while when I go to start it. It it sits for a while, it seems to start fine, which is why I'm leaning towards the starter being over heated.
(Also live in Florida where it isn't exactly comfortable out side during the summer months.)
-Just picked up the insulated starter blanket, so I'll give that a try.



Offline cudabob496

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 8024
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019 - 12:46:31 pm »
Replaced small block 360 with 440 big block. No headers.
Battery voltage, alternator and voltage regulator are all functioning normally. Car fires right up 95% of the time, unless I have been driving it for a while. Starter behaves as if the battery is weak when the car has been driven for a while when I go to start it. It it sits for a while, it seems to start fine, which is why I'm leaning towards the starter being over heated.
(Also live in Florida where it isn't exactly comfortable out side during the summer months.)
-Just picked up the insulated starter blanket, so I'll give that a try.

I had same problem. Would not start easily when engine was hot, and sat for a while, like at a gas station. Timing was a factor,
and the carb was not well tuned. I also put sheetmetal around carb, and it keeps it 50 degrees cooler than under the sheetmetal.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019 - 12:50:18 pm by cudabob496 »
72 Cuda, owned 25 years. 496, with ported Stage VI heads, .625 in solid roller, 254/258 at .050, 3500 stall, 3.91 rear. 850 Holley DP, Reverse manual valve body.

1999 Trans Am, LS1, heads, cam, headers, stall, etc! Love to surprise the rice rockets with this one. They seem so confident, then it's "what the heck just happened?"

2011 Kawasaki Z1000

Offline cudabob496

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 8024
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019 - 01:00:17 pm »
Timing retard function at startup is very helpful. But you can do it one better.
I hit the starter, and engine starts turning over, then I flip a switch
which cuts in the MSD box, and engine starts. This way you do not have your
starter fighting against some cylinders that are already firing.

But you may solve your problems by just reducing your initial timing
by 4 or 5 degrees.

Put the switch to the MSD box on the small red wire, not the larger red wire. This flipping
an ignition switch after the engine is turning over really saves on starter life, other components,
and electrical life (due to starter drawing less amps)

Also, insulate your fuel lines, to prevent vapor lock, because when sitting, things heat up.
You can use the pipe insulation they sell at Home Depot. I tested it, it does not burn.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019 - 04:48:09 pm by cudabob496 »
72 Cuda, owned 25 years. 496, with ported Stage VI heads, .625 in solid roller, 254/258 at .050, 3500 stall, 3.91 rear. 850 Holley DP, Reverse manual valve body.

1999 Trans Am, LS1, heads, cam, headers, stall, etc! Love to surprise the rice rockets with this one. They seem so confident, then it's "what the heck just happened?"

2011 Kawasaki Z1000

Offline 70chall440

  • Sr. Resident
  • ******
  • Posts: 5727
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019 - 11:50:48 pm »
Or go to a modern mini starter, they generally have more torque and do not heat soak as bad. In other words, you seem to have several issues going on; the starter is perhaps a bit weak, the timing might be advanced a tad too much and your carb is absorbing heat which makes starting harder.

I run a modern mini starter on my 440 6 pack (EFI) and have never had an issue starting like you describe. I did have an issue one because the cable was loose, but once it was tightened up it was good. I am running Tri Y header and they have good clearance from the starter, but since you are running manifolds it should be similar, that said the old starters can get weak and act up when hot.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6 EFI, 73 Cuda 416-6 EFI
05 Hemi Durango, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 Ram 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger 6 spd RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR (under const)
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline dsburch

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 45
  • Twice, slowly.
Re: Starter Issues
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2019 - 09:37:43 am »
Most likely, yeh, the starter is tired.  That will show up more when it's heat soaked.  It could also be that the tolerances in the motor are tighter when the engine is warm.  Make sure it's running at the right temp range.  I haven't been using a mini-starter, a lot of them won't fit behind my Doug's headers on a 383 block.  Last year I went to a Powermaster 3257 starter, and it works as advertised - much greater torque and spins really fast.  They cost more, but I definitely got what I paid for.