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Username Post: Starter Issue?        (Topic#375303)
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-07-24 04:39 PM - Post#2871569    

I took my 63 Impala SS (stock 327, powerglide) out for a joy ride today. Hotter than heck around here, but the factory AC was doing great. Made a couple of stops, and arrived back home about 2 hour later. I pulled into the garage and shut it down. I decided I wanted to check the idle speed so I attempted to start the car. No dice. All I got was a faint click every time I turned the key to start. I assume the click I heard was the starter solenoid kicking in, but absolutely no starter movement. Dash lights and interior lights all stayed brightly lit, so battery is fine. I tried several times, even thinking it might be the ignition interlock on the console shift, so I wobbled the gear shift as I turned the key, and nothing but a faint click every time I turned the key. I left it for several hours so it could cool down. When I returned and attempted to start it...yep....you guessed it....it fired right up first try. ( And several more times after that). I replaced the starter solenoid about a year ago, at the same time I had the starter rebuilt by a local shop. All seemed fine until now. What should I be looking for?



 


DonSSDD 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 8057
DonSSDD
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reg: 08-21-01
07-08-24 02:14 AM - Post#2871581    
    In response to ampico-kid

Could be you need a heat shield for your starter, the stock starter is very close to your exhaust and the heat soak is a common problem. A heat shield or a mini high torque starter will cure the heat problem.

Could be a loose connection or a bad ground on the starter as well. Check that first.

Battery- to make sure it is good and battery connections and grounds are good, turn on the headlights on bright, heater fan on high, turn everything on electrical you can, that load will show up any weakness. Do this with engine off.

63 Pontiac Parisienne Sport Coupe(CDN Chev mechanically (409, 4 speed),1998 Silverado Reg Cab 4WD, 62 Bel Air SC (sold), 59 El Camino (sold), 62 Bel Air SC(sold), 63 SWC Vette (sold),
Member #2194


Edited by DonSSDD on 07-08-24 02:15 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
japete92 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2270
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
07-08-24 07:50 AM - Post#2871582    
    In response to ampico-kid

  • ampico-kid Said:
I took my 63 Impala SS (stock 327, powerglide) out for a joy ride today. Hotter than heck around here, but the factory AC was doing great. Made a couple of stops, and arrived back home about 2 hour later. I pulled into the garage and shut it down. I decided I wanted to check the idle speed so I attempted to start the car. No dice. All I got was a faint click every time I turned the key to start. I assume the click I heard was the starter solenoid kicking in, but absolutely no starter movement. Dash lights and interior lights all stayed brightly lit, so battery is fine. I tried several times, even thinking it might be the ignition interlock on the console shift, so I wobbled the gear shift as I turned the key, and nothing but a faint click every time I turned the key. I left it for several hours so it could cool down. When I returned and attempted to start it...yep....you guessed it....it fired right up first try. ( And several more times after that). I replaced the starter solenoid about a year ago, at the same time I had the starter rebuilt by a local shop. All seemed fine until now. What should I be looking for?



Too much timing advance will do that.

And battery cables w/o enough copper will do that too.

Or both

Heat increase the resistance of the cables. Upgrading the + and - cables to 2 gauge will provide less resistance and should allow the more timing advance.

Here's a source that I found MUCH better than anything in a package:

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/2-gauge-battery-c...

Just some info.

Pete




Edited by japete92 on 07-08-24 07:51 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-08-24 08:11 AM - Post#2871583    
    In response to DonSSDD

Thanks. That makes sense. I recall when I removed and reinstalled the starter/solenoid that the exhaust pipe was extremely close. Yesterday was a very HOT day and we had the car out on the road for almost an hour of constant driving before returning home and experiencing the problem. I've checked all of the connections on the starter and all are tightly secured. The battery is almost new and did great under the stress test. I'm thinking a starter/solenoid heat shield is my best option right now. Thanks again.

  • DonSSDD Said:
Could be you need a heat shield for your starter, the stock starter is very close to your exhaust and the heat soak is a common problem. A heat shield or a mini high torque starter will cure the heat problem.

Could be a loose connection or a bad ground on the starter as well. Check that first.

Battery- to make sure it is good and battery connections and grounds are good, turn on the headlights on bright, heater fan on high, turn everything on electrical you can, that load will show up any weakness. Do this with engine off.






 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4093

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
07-08-24 10:25 AM - Post#2871588    
    In response to ampico-kid

I am willing to bet that it is your battery. Driving in hot temperatures with the air conditioning on is a bid draw on your battery and electrical system. The A/C compressor clutch draws quite a few amps to keep the electromagnetic clutch engaged, and your fan blower is also drawing power. Then add in that most likely you are using your radio, which all combined is enough to draw down a fully charged battery. Once you put the car back into the garage, the battery has a chance to recover and balance out the cells. Check your battery and if it is an older battery, have it tested at one of the auto parts stores. They use a meter that will identify if you have a weak cell in the battery. If you are going to replace it, then replace it with the highest CCA (cold cranking amps) that you can fit into the battery box platform.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-08-24 12:29 PM - Post#2871594    
    In response to junky

  • junky Said:
I am willing to bet that it is your battery. Driving in hot temperatures with the air conditioning on is a bid draw on your battery and electrical system. The A/C compressor clutch draws quite a few amps to keep the electromagnetic clutch engaged, and your fan blower is also drawing power. Then add in that most likely you are using your radio, which all combined is enough to draw down a fully charged battery. Once you put the car back into the garage, the battery has a chance to recover and balance out the cells. Check your battery and if it is an older battery, have it tested at one of the auto parts stores. They use a meter that will identify if you have a weak cell in the battery. If you are going to replace it, then replace it with the highest CCA (cold cranking amps) that you can fit into the battery box platform.



Initally I suspected the battery too, so I turned the headlights on, opened the door so all of the courtesy lights were on, and all of the idiot lights were on. When I turned the key and the solenoid clicked, the lights only showed a very minor drop in illumination. If it were the battery I would think those lights would have dimmed much more. They stayed pretty much fully illuminated. The battery was replaced last Fall, so it's still relatively new. I'm leaning toward the "heat soak" theory. I looked more closely at it today and the exhaust pipe is quite literally about 1/16" away from the rear edge of the starter. I think I'm going to try wrapping the starter/solenoid in Versa-Shield.




 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-08-24 12:35 PM - Post#2871595    
    In response to japete92

  • japete92 Said:
  • ampico-kid Said:
I took my 63 Impala SS (stock 327, powerglide) out for a joy ride today. Hotter than heck around here, but the factory AC was doing great. Made a couple of stops, and arrived back home about 2 hour later. I pulled into the garage and shut it down. I decided I wanted to check the idle speed so I attempted to start the car. No dice. All I got was a faint click every time I turned the key to start. I assume the click I heard was the starter solenoid kicking in, but absolutely no starter movement. Dash lights and interior lights all stayed brightly lit, so battery is fine. I tried several times, even thinking it might be the ignition interlock on the console shift, so I wobbled the gear shift as I turned the key, and nothing but a faint click every time I turned the key. I left it for several hours so it could cool down. When I returned and attempted to start it...yep....you guessed it....it fired right up first try. ( And several more times after that). I replaced the starter solenoid about a year ago, at the same time I had the starter rebuilt by a local shop. All seemed fine until now. What should I be looking for?



Too much timing advance will do that.

And battery cables w/o enough copper will do that too.

Or both

Heat increase the resistance of the cables. Upgrading the + and - cables to 2 gauge will provide less resistance and should allow the more timing advance.

Here's a source that I found MUCH better than anything in a package:

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/2-gauge-battery-c...

Just some info.

Pete




Thanks Pete. Will keep that in mind. Appreciate the info and the link. Great looking cables.




 
japete92 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2270
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
07-09-24 08:26 AM - Post#2871605    
    In response to ampico-kid

  • ampico-kid Said:
  • japete92 Said:
  • ampico-kid Said:
I took my 63 Impala SS (stock 327, powerglide) out for a joy ride today. Hotter than heck around here, but the factory AC was doing great. Made a couple of stops, and arrived back home about 2 hour later. I pulled into the garage and shut it down. I decided I wanted to check the idle speed so I attempted to start the car. No dice. All I got was a faint click every time I turned the key to start. I assume the click I heard was the starter solenoid kicking in, but absolutely no starter movement. Dash lights and interior lights all stayed brightly lit, so battery is fine. I tried several times, even thinking it might be the ignition interlock on the console shift, so I wobbled the gear shift as I turned the key, and nothing but a faint click every time I turned the key. I left it for several hours so it could cool down. When I returned and attempted to start it...yep....you guessed it....it fired right up first try. ( And several more times after that). I replaced the starter solenoid about a year ago, at the same time I had the starter rebuilt by a local shop. All seemed fine until now. What should I be looking for?



Too much timing advance will do that.

And battery cables w/o enough copper will do that too.

Or both

Heat increase the resistance of the cables. Upgrading the + and - cables to 2 gauge will provide less resistance and should allow the more timing advance.

Here's a source that I found MUCH better than anything in a package:

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/2-gauge-battery-c...

Just some info.

Pete




Thanks Pete. Will keep that in mind. Appreciate the info and the link. Great looking cables.




The original GM routing of the dual exhaust ran directly next to the starter (as you see on your car). The starter did not require a shield as GM built the car.

The GM OEM initial timing was only about 8 degrees BTDC, but many owners (including me) have their timing at 12 (or more) degrees BTDC ( I had my 63 timed at 16 to get more low end torque). For brevity, I'll skip why there is a need for more starter torque when an 'hot' engine is timed with more initial timing.

The OEM cables were 6 gauge. That's ok for 8 degrees BTDC timing when they get 'hot' and the resistance increases. The 6 gauge may not work (provide sufficient current) when 'hot' with 12 degrees (or more) BTDC .

Similarly, the OEM starters had more copper in the windings (the copper reduces resistance when 'hot') than many starters sold today.
So, a starter shield 'may' resolve your issue by reducing the heat the copper in the starter 'sees'.

I preferred to address the cables because I believed that was more reliable than a shield installed in that very small space between the starter and the exhaust pipe (and because GM did not use any shielding in that location). And, because it addressed the timing aspect.

Just info.

Pete






 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-09-24 06:17 PM - Post#2871626    
    In response to japete92

  • japete92 Said:
  • ampico-kid Said:
  • japete92 Said:
  • ampico-kid Said:
I took my 63 Impala SS (stock 327, powerglide) out for a joy ride today. Hotter than heck around here, but the factory AC was doing great. Made a couple of stops, and arrived back home about 2 hour later. I pulled into the garage and shut it down. I decided I wanted to check the idle speed so I attempted to start the car. No dice. All I got was a faint click every time I turned the key to start. I assume the click I heard was the starter solenoid kicking in, but absolutely no starter movement. Dash lights and interior lights all stayed brightly lit, so battery is fine. I tried several times, even thinking it might be the ignition interlock on the console shift, so I wobbled the gear shift as I turned the key, and nothing but a faint click every time I turned the key. I left it for several hours so it could cool down. When I returned and attempted to start it...yep....you guessed it....it fired right up first try. ( And several more times after that). I replaced the starter solenoid about a year ago, at the same time I had the starter rebuilt by a local shop. All seemed fine until now. What should I be looking for?



Too much timing advance will do that.

And battery cables w/o enough copper will do that too.

Or both

Heat increase the resistance of the cables. Upgrading the + and - cables to 2 gauge will provide less resistance and should allow the more timing advance.

Here's a source that I found MUCH better than anything in a package:

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/2-gauge-battery-c...

Just some info.

Pete




Thanks Pete. Will keep that in mind. Appreciate the info and the link. Great looking cables.




The original GM routing of the dual exhaust ran directly next to the starter (as you see on your car). The starter did not require a shield as GM built the car.

The GM OEM initial timing was only about 8 degrees BTDC, but many owners (including me) have their timing at 12 (or more) degrees BTDC ( I had my 63 timed at 16 to get more low end torque). For brevity, I'll skip why there is a need for more starter torque when an 'hot' engine is timed with more initial timing.

The OEM cables were 6 gauge. That's ok for 8 degrees BTDC timing when they get 'hot' and the resistance increases. The 6 gauge may not work (provide sufficient current) when 'hot' with 12 degrees (or more) BTDC .

Similarly, the OEM starters had more copper in the windings (the copper reduces resistance when 'hot') than many starters sold today.
So, a starter shield 'may' resolve your issue by reducing the heat the copper in the starter 'sees'.

I preferred to address the cables because I believed that was more reliable than a shield installed in that very small space between the starter and the exhaust pipe (and because GM did not use any shielding in that location). And, because it addressed the timing aspect.

Just info.

Pete






Thanks for the additional information Pete. I don't recall what I set the timing to, but now I'm going to check it. I understand what you're saying, but would the advanced timing and/or the cable issue cause the starter to be totally non responsive? It made no sound or attempt to move at all, the only sound I heard was the solenoid click. Thanks again for the info. Bob




 
64ss409 
Senior Member
Posts: 1058

Loc: Montana
Reg: 12-04-02
07-10-24 08:33 AM - Post#2871633    
    In response to ampico-kid

This starter problem has come up before. Below is a link to a previous thread. You may have to scroll up to the beginning.
Ron

STARTER

1964 SS 409/340 4 spd, bought new Oct '63 from Ken Boggs Chevrolet, Geraldine, Montana
1962 SS convertible, 327/250 4 spd
1956 IH pickup, 327


 
dgstarr 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 432
dgstarr
Loc: Portland, OR
Reg: 04-16-13
07-10-24 08:39 AM - Post#2871634    
    In response to ampico-kid

1/16 inch clearance is not enough. My buddie's 64 Impala had the same issue and he took it to a muffler shop where they rebent the pipe for more clearance. Rebending the pipe cured the problem.



 
japete92 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2270
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
07-10-24 12:27 PM - Post#2871642    
    In response to ampico-kid

'Thanks for the additional information Pete. I don't recall what I set the timing to, but now I'm going to check it. I understand what you're saying, but would the advanced timing and/or the cable issue cause the starter to be totally non responsive? It made no sound or attempt to move at all, the only sound I heard was the solenoid click. Thanks again for the info. Bob'

It could.

It would more likely cause 'slow crank'. But, if there is not enough current to fully activate the solenoid, all it will do is click. Think about trying to start a car with a bad battery. It may 'slow crank' at first but if one keeps trying all that will happen is the solenoid will only 'click'. Keep trying and nothing happens at an all.

The problem IS insufficient current. Caused by:

Battery gone bad (just because there is current for 'hotel' loads (lights etc) does not mean there is enough to start a 'hot' car (with the increased resistance from the heat, and/or too much timing)

Fouled connections? corroded cables?

Starter/solinoid going bad?

Any combination of the above.

Headers? The excess heat fro headers may overwhelm the OEM system.

Next time it acts up, 'jump' the starter directly from the battery before it cools. 'Jump' both the + and - cables seperately. See what happens. If it starts, the 2 gauge cables likely will resolve the issue.

Just info.

Pete



 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-10-24 04:03 PM - Post#2871648    
    In response to 64ss409

Interesting read. Thanks for pointing out this previous post. Seems like as many different replies as there were to the initial post, that's how many solutions and cures were found.



  • 64ss409 Said:
This starter problem has come up before. Below is a link to a previous thread. You may have to scroll up to the beginning.
Ron

STARTER






 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-10-24 04:06 PM - Post#2871649    
    In response to japete92

Thanks for the additional info. FYI I have no headers in my car, just the standard dual exhaust system.

  • japete92 Said:
'Thanks for the additional information Pete. I don't recall what I set the timing to, but now I'm going to check it. I understand what you're saying, but would the advanced timing and/or the cable issue cause the starter to be totally non responsive? It made no sound or attempt to move at all, the only sound I heard was the solenoid click. Thanks again for the info. Bob'

It could.

It would more likely cause 'slow crank'. But, if there is not enough current to fully activate the solenoid, all it will do is click. Think about trying to start a car with a bad battery. It may 'slow crank' at first but if one keeps trying all that will happen is the solenoid will only 'click'. Keep trying and nothing happens at an all.

The problem IS insufficient current. Caused by:

Battery gone bad (just because there is current for 'hotel' loads (lights etc) does not mean there is enough to start a 'hot' car (with the increased resistance from the heat, and/or too much timing)

Fouled connections? corroded cables?

Starter/solinoid going bad?

Any combination of the above.

Headers? The excess heat fro headers may overwhelm the OEM system.

Next time it acts up, 'jump' the starter directly from the battery before it cools. 'Jump' both the + and - cables seperately. See what happens. If it starts, the 2 gauge cables likely will resolve the issue.

Just info.

Pete






 
62chevy427 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2239
62chevy427
Loc: laurens sc
Reg: 04-13-06
07-10-24 07:33 PM - Post#2871654    
    In response to ampico-kid

i have the same problems on my cars. i found a heat shield or a mini starter and also large gauge wires do the trick.

56 bel air ((since 2002)
62 impala ss (since 1965)
65 el camino (since 1969)
66 nova (since 1987)
67 malibu convertible (since 1981)
72 el camino ss454 (since 1985)
83 gmc 4wd (since 1991)
95 impala (new)
15 chevy equinox



 
dcairns 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2386
dcairns
Loc: Orange CA
Reg: 11-07-03
07-10-24 08:11 PM - Post#2871656    
    In response to 62chevy427

I had the same issue on my "not so stock" 327. I got a starter that used magnets in place of the field coil. Looks fairly stock externally. Not sure if they still make it or not, that was like 12 years ago.

https://www.powermastermotorsports.com/

- Dave
1964 Impala 4-door sedan



 
bobb 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 6683

Loc: paradise
Reg: 09-05-03
07-13-24 10:01 AM - Post#2871729    
    In response to ampico-kid

negative cable needs to go directly to engine block, clean shiney metal to metal. 1 or 2 gauge is best. solenoid wire is probly too small. they always are. 12 gauge is what i like. when its hot and not starting short the bat terminal on the starter to the soenoid terminal.

70 L camino, grampa engine, g-force 5 spd, road rage suspension. Pray first before all else fails.


 
G. Baker 
Contributor
Posts: 109

Loc: Ontario Canada
Reg: 12-18-15
07-16-24 08:05 AM - Post#2871824    
    In response to japete92

Heat does not appreciably affect copper cables.
Check Engine ground to frame by removing and cleaning terminals bright as well as connecting surfaces. I hope the Heat Shield cures your problem.



 
japete92 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2270
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
07-16-24 08:30 AM - Post#2871826    
    In response to G. Baker

Yes it does.

It (heat) increases the resistance to current flow in the copper wire (AND the copper in the motor's windings). Current provides the torque. More resistance; less current; less torque from the motor.

If it did not, why would a heat shield do anything?

I stand by my comments.

Pete



 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-16-24 11:35 AM - Post#2871832    
    In response to G. Baker


  • G. Baker Said:
Heat does not appreciably affect copper cables.
Check Engine ground to frame by removing and cleaning terminals bright as well as connecting surfaces. I hope the Heat Shield cures your problem.



The cables all look good (appears they were replaced recently, but not by me) and they have a very solid clean connection to the engine block and the starter. The muffler pipe is actually touching the back of the starter. Aside from the heat shield, I'm going to see about having the pipe adjusted to move it away from the starter.





 
ampico-kid 
Contributor
Posts: 197

Reg: 07-12-17
07-17-24 06:22 PM - Post#2871872    
    In response to dgstarr

Planning on doing just that, having the pipe that goes between the manifold and the muffler either rebent or replaced to give more space between the pipe and the starter.


  • dgstarr Said:
1/16 inch clearance is not enough. My buddie's 64 Impala had the same issue and he took it to a muffler shop where they rebent the pipe for more clearance. Rebending the pipe cured the problem.






 
kingkreeton 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1775
kingkreeton
Loc: Houston TX
Reg: 04-15-11
07-18-24 04:03 AM - Post#2871882    
    In response to ampico-kid

I had the same issue. Heat and long wires combination does contribute to voltage drop. I would also have the pipe modified to not touch the stater.

I installed a relay for my starter and never had the issue again.



Shane
64 Impala SS:
Chevy Performance 350HO
4 Speed Muncie


 


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