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"Grunt" start


cobrajoe74
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Having a problem with my '82: when the motor is at operating temp, the car is very difficult to start...sounding as if the battery is going dead & is barely able to turn over the starter...my mechanic calls this a "grunt" start...the car will start most of the time but it makes stopping for gas a headache & I always carry jumper cables just in case...if the motor cools down (10 mins or so) it will start right up. My brother had an '84 Camaro with the 305 engine...he suggests that the starter gets very hot as it is near the exhaust manifold as his car had a similar problem starting when hot...he bought an insulated starter "blanket" from Jegs & it helped...anyone have any suggestions ie. new starter, the blanket, both, Optima battery, all of these???... I do use a trickle charger to "top up" the battery before I take the car out as it usually sits in the garage during the week...thanks to all in advance...Joe

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A heat soaked starter can cause the problems you are experiencing, as can bad cables, weak battery, bad or poor connection at the battery or a bad starter. If all those things are up to snuff you shouldn't have to insulate the starter. Normally, that's necessary on an engine with tube headers. Also, have you changed the timing settings on your car? Too much initial advance can cause the condition you describe also.

ErnieR

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Yup...classic symptoms of a heat soaked starter. As Ernie said, first check the connections and condition of the cables. No point in replacing the starter if it's something more basic like cable or connections.

If it does turn out to be the starter, you may be able to save some money by having yours rebuilt by a reputable shop if you have one nearby. If you decide to replace it, check out a high torque mini-starter. A little bit more expensive but they're worth it. Most speed shops carry them as does Summit Racing, Jegs and other performance suppliers.

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I would definitely consider one of the high torque mini's over a rebuilt. IMHO, it's getting to a point where the starters for "our" cars are going through the rebuild cylce a few times since they were new. Also, rebuilt is a rather poor term for most of them. New brushes, a quick check of the armature, maybe a new or rebuilt solenoid, some bead blasting and paint and off to the parts store. Lots of times the starters are checked and just cleaned up because the diagnosis that deemed the starter defective was incorrect in the first place and all you get is a clean and paint. Also, the MINI will allow more air to circulate sround the starter and cool it if it is a heat problem. There's more room for the insualtion too if you decide on a little more protection.

ErnieR

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Just a thought but you said that it would start after 10 min of cool down and that you carry jumper cables to start it. 10 min is not a lot of cool down as hot as it gets around the starter so let me suggest that you load test the battery to check it's condition.

I agree with Ernie and Gunslinger about the heat soak issue and my 83 has a high torque mini starter but let's not miss an obvious problem like a borderline battery. If it is heat soak a simple heat shield could be fabbed or wrap the exhaust pipe with insulating wrap.

Bob

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Hi, Guys. Yes.....DEFINITELY have the battery load tested before spending any time or money on another possible remedy. John in Wisconsin

Check the tooth clearance of the starter and flywheel. A lot of people replace the starters and leave out the adjustment shims! There should be 0.030 betwqeen the peak of the tooth and the valley it goes in. If it's too tight it will bind when hot.

cbk

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