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Jim

Starter Problem?

Question

Hello folks, I own a 1962 Bonneville, all original. Recently, when the car has been running and turned off. It won’t start again until some time has passed. The problem isn’t vapor lock because the there is no turn over of the engine, as though the battery died. Once cooled the engine turns right over. I’m thinking heat saturation of  the starter solenoid. Any ideas or experiences you can share?

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This is a rather common issue with Pontiacs. There are a few things you can do, depending on what your budget and mechanically abilities let you do.

1. Pontiacs (in the day) use to have a regular and a heavy duty starter. Replace your starter with a heavy duty starter if it isn't one already/.

2. Some people swear by the lower profile after market hi-torque mini-starters - JEGS and Summit Racing carry these

3. Install a heat shield between the block and starter and insulate it.

4. Check your battery cables, make sure they are run correctly to the starter, and not making contact with the exhaust manifold or block. If they are, chances are good that the insulation has melt and the batter cable wire is touching the engine and it is grounding out through the block. I've had this personally happen to me. When the engine cools everything contracts enough to start the engine.

 

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Jim - Sounds like some time ago the starter had been replaced and someone did not re-install the heat shield. It was a common problem in the 70's of folks doing that.  On another note Frosty gave some sound advice of things to check on.  Except for one thingie. He left out if you have a leaky valve cover and oil dripping down on the solenoid when hot. Sometimes this will cause the solenoid not to pull in due to no continuity on the connections.  But, I think the main cause is no heat shield which has caused your initial problem. But, hopefully has not damaged the starter.  

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One last thought, check your initial timing. Make sure it's within spec. Too much advanced timing could lead  to starting issues period. 

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When GM ran into this hot start issue on 455's and 400's they replaced the spring in the starter mounted solenoid with a weaker version to allow it to engage. The hotter the coil in the solenoid, the less efficient they are and this causes it to be unable to overcome the spring pressure. The new spring helped, but was not always a solution.

Today there is a 100% fix, a gear reduction starter. Our 455 bored 60 over, 10.5 to 1,  Pontiac starts every time with ease with our starter and its half the original starter size. It cost more than a crappy factory starter but less than a factory starter and a tow bill. We went with a Powermaster Ultra Torque Starters  from Summit.  There may be other that are better, but this one has been flawless for us.

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On 12/12/2017 at 1:52 AM, Frosty said:

This is a rather common issue with Pontiacs. There are a few things you can do, depending on what your budget and mechanically abilities let you do.

1. Pontiacs (in the day) use to have a regular and a heavy duty starter. Replace your starter with a heavy duty starter if it isn't one already/.

2. Some people swear by the lower profile after market hi-torque mini-starters - JEGS and Summit Racing carry these

3. Install a heat shield between the block and starter and insulate it.

4. Check your battery cables, make sure they are run correctly to the starter, and not making contact with the exhaust manifold or block. If they are, chances are good that the insulation has melt and the batter cable wire is touching the engine and it is grounding out through the block. I've had this personally happen to me. When the engine cools everything contracts enough to start the engine.

 

i would add my 2 cents worth.

 if you have a original battery lead too you starter, replace it and replace your earth cable from battery to body and body to engine.

 but i am with the guys, ten bucks says it heat sink. gm starters get old, tired and if the heat shield is missing, you will get this exact delema 

oh and i too swear buy mini starters.. of good quality companies tho !! and you will never have the heat sink issue again!

years ago late at night me and my girl friend at the time got stuck on pork chop hill, thanks to a over heated starter in my first 56 chev !... i was not complaining one bit !!:o😜😋

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