This is totally off topic but old car hobby related. I like many of you have a variety of old cars and one of mine is a totally restored '54 Vette that I have owned for 23yrs. I don't drive it often because it will not start when hot. It acts like a run down battery would act--not good if it stalls in traffic--ask me how I know!!
I do not think this problem is unique to my car as I've heard of other stove bolt six's having this problem. This is not just a new problem. I have tried different thing over the years--large 00 bat cables, adj timing, and had the starter checked. I have heard of having the starter rebuilt to be "High Torque" but know nothing about this idea. By the way, if I jump it with 12 volts it will spin over just fine and start right up. I'm hoping that maybe one of our experts have run into this problem. Thanks in advance and sorry for the OT brand X.
Chevy six volt system always drug. I had a 51 That I continually fought with. I personally would not hesitate to drop a 12 volt battery in it and enjoy.
I've had a similar problem with my mid-70's Ford truck. It would start fine when cold, but when hot it acted like the starter had no power.
After spending many hours trouble-shooting, what we (my mechanic friend and I) found was that the vacuum advance on the distributor was not releasing. Given time it would leak down and work properly, but if I tried to re-start too soon after shutdown, it would essentially kick back on every cylinder. The starter was strong enough to keep turning the engine, but very slowly and jerkily.
I would suggest that the time you spend hooking up jumper cables is enough for a leak-down, so it seems like the extra juice makes it OK.
I don't know what exactly my mechanic did to fix the problem -- a new vacuum cylinder on the side of the distributor, cleaning and lubricating the rotating parts inside the distributor, or cleaning the carburetor. He did all three, and I've had no trouble since.
My '46 Chevy had this problem too--and I had the High-Torque Starter!! Turned out (just when I was selling the car, I figured this out) that I had over-restored the car, and there was too much paint where the ground cable attached to the engine. Once I cleaned that area, no more starting problem!
If you ground the ignition coil high tension lead, you can then crank it and eliminate the ignition as some have suggested. The other thing to do is check battery voltage and amp draw during hot cranking.
Jack Daron, A few years ago I had a similar idea ---that I could "fix" my problem with more voltage. So I installed a new 8 volt battery that was easily available from TSC and the right size to fit the battery tray. It did help the problem but now my voltage reg. Would constantly click on and off. That not only drove me nuts but I was afraid that I might fry my serial number correct voltage Reg. Worth on the order of $150. So I dropped that approach. Thanks for the idea. Joe
I had an early 327/300 in one of the first SS 'Chebby's" that did the same thing. Start fine, get to where you were going and next start was pfffft...but let it sit overnight without running the battery down or sit for a bunch of hours and it would start fine! Put a new starter in and relatively quick, same thing. I changed batteries, I changed cables and solenoids...no change.
Drove me NUTS!
After a couple of starters, what I eventually found out was that it became heat bound on backlash and acted like a low or dead battery because it couldn't develop starting torque! Somehow the block boss was either machined too far, or, they forgot to use the right gasket! I then made a paper gasket out of a shopping bag, put it in, and no further troubles from that point on any time I wanted it to!
Want to check it out for similar? Next time it balks, don't grind it. Just loosen the starter head mounting bolts and pull them back up without too much torque, the old just tight enough. In my case that was the clue after months and months of frustrations...it then started right up without changing anything else once the gasket was added.
I had a thought at the time but never checked it out as the paper gasket worked. I was going to blue all the teeth and then check for axial alignment in the wear pattern. I had a 'feeling' that the weight of the starter was too cantilevered and the backlash or lack thereof would have showed up as an 'X' pattern. Never took that last step....the brown bag worked!
KNEW A GUY ONE TIME THAT HAD THE GROUND STRAP ON THE ENGINE CONNECTED TO THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD, WHEN THE ENGINE GOT HOT THE ELECTRICAL CONNECTION WAS REDUCED DUE TO THE HEAT, CAR WOULDN'T START UNTIL COOL DOWN. STRAP WAS RELOCATED TO A COLD BOLT, PROBLEM SOLVED.
Going back many years but I had the same problem with my 1952 Olds 88. If my memory serves me correctly the 52 was the last of the 6 volt system. My problem was improved by a mechanic friend who wrapped(muffler wrap) the exhaust pipe where it passed closely by the starter. Most all of this problem stopped.
George, Chevys use starter shims actually made for the very thing you did. They come in different thicknesses too. Warren, Pontiac released a special solenoid spring and heat shield for their starters as your mechanic solved with pipe wrap.
Change it over to 12 volts and drive the thing. If the starter motor is getting hot put a wrap around it or tin heat shield as Doug is mentioning above.
Thank you all for the suggestions and comments. I will follow on them and let you know if I'm successful. I am comfortable with anything mechanical, however, the electrical issues don't come so easily.
To repeat, I have been fighting this problem for over 20 years so if one or more of these ideas work on my car you will HEAR ME SHOUT WITH GREAT JOY!!! Joe
I just got an e- mail from a fellow on the west coast that reported he could build me a "HIGH TORQUE " starter that would fit my car for about $350.
I will follow up on the other suggestion first BUT are any of you electrical types knowable about what a "high torque starter" is and how it works? Thanks, Joe
The "high Torque" starter was used on automatic transmission cars and has a special set of field coils in it (this is from memory--from about 25 years ago!). I know I'm miserly, but $350 seems like a LOT of money for one. Back when I did mine, the local rebuilding shop had them in stock!Of course, that owner is now dead & the shop is gone (rats!), but I would check with some of the early Ch**y parts houses. Hmm, there might have been an armature in the deal too--it's been too long ago!
Make certain your starter cables are not 12 volt size, but 6 volt size! Make certain all connections are clean, clean, clean--and tight.
"I just got an e- mail from a fellow on the west coast that reported he could build me a "HIGH TORQUE " starter that would fit my car for about $350."
Sounds like a scam to me, or a rip-off at the very least.
Ken, you may be right. However, years ago I had an '89 3/4 ton Suburban with a 454 in it that ran so hot that the starter motor had to cool down a few minutes before it would work again.
We learned this during our first stop for gas on our first trip in this vehicle. After everyone had piled back in, the starter wouldn't engage; it was as if there was no connection to the battery, at all.
After a few minutes, it started right up. We learned later that the 454 equipped Suburbans in that year range had this problem; a "Pancake" high-torque starter fixed that problem.
I had this same problem with my 86 Corvette,I tried different batteries and two rebuilt starters nothing helped.Finally bought a Power Master (brand name)high torque gear reduction starter,and no more problem ever,that was about 10 years ago and still working fine.I think the later Corvettes (mid nineties)used a similiar starter from the factory,so this may have been a common problem.I have heard of many GM cars having what sounds like the same problem.
Joe: after you've checked out your connections and battery and the starter (though honestly you probably need a new one, look into heat shields for the starter. Some cars came with them years back. They usually mounted on the starter mounting holes and some what covered the starter shielding it from the engines heat. This sounds very much like what you're experiencing. For some reason the heat is affecting the starter. This is the first time I've heard of this on a 6 cyl. Usually it's an 8.
I gave a call to two different after -market Co's that make "high Torque " starters and Both of them said there is not one sold for 6 volt applications because there is not enough demand.
However, one of them was very aware of the hot start problem and said they recommend ( catch this now) to put a Ford solenoid in the ignition system and this will allow more amps to reach the starter. He said this is common fix to put in place for a Chiby 6 volt.
I will plan to pursue the other good suggestions first because I would to keep it original---However, I bet a FORD part would definitely make it happy heh-heh!
Once again thanks everyone for all the great input ideas . Joe
Your engine might be carboned up and when its hot it fires prematurely fighting the starter. You might take it out on the road and burn the soot out of it. Have you checked the compression? What do the starter switch contacts look like? Can you get a clamp on ammeter and check the starting current both hot and cold? Is there an old fashioned starter generator shop in your area that can test your starter? Six volts worked well on Chevy starters from 1929 to 1954, I think you may have a combination of problems. Patience, persistence and some thinking will help solve your problem ( and fishing as you have done here may help also). What does the CHEVY 6 forum have to say about this issue?
If the starter will not crank, then it is either a battery connection, the starter relay or the motor. Get a digital voltmeter, ($5 from Harbor Freight) and measure. Milt Webb wrote an excellent article on this very problem, measure to 1/100 of a volt.
The battery connection is best cleaned with a wire brush. I know it seems silly, but the heat can increase the resistivity of the contacts, they MUST be bright.
As I posted before, I had this exact problem with my '46 Ch**y coupe back when it was my main everyday car. Was frustrating as heck. Easily start car, Drive to the store. Shop, return to car, Urru UrrU. Wait an hour, RUUMMM! (or get a 12 volt jump start if cannot wait). After taking the model A to rescue wife more than once I had to find something! So added ground strap from frame to engine, tried the High-Torque conversion. After some years of this hassle, someone asked me if the ground connection was clean. OK, took that apart--clean, nice clean paint on block. Hmmm, OK, wire brushed paint away, cleaned cable end, replaced.
The problem never came up again.
Note that 6 volt cables are larger than 12 volt cables--if you have the wrong cables, the problem will not go away!
As usual, the KISS solution was the correct one! Make certain you have the larger cables, and that there is no corrosion inside the cable ends.
Just a note, high torque starters are for high compression engines. The GM solenoid as a pull in circuit that is an electromagnet that energizes pulling the plunger forward. The plunger is mounted to an arm that is pinned in the middle making it a fulcrum. This in turn pushes the bendix to mesh with the flywheel. As the mesh occurs, the electrical connection is made at the front of the solenoid (top and bottom connections). This connects the battery cable to the starter(connection on bottom of solenoid). If you are not getting any voltage to the starter, it is usually the problem with the solenoid getting hot hence the heat shield that covers the solenoid.
If it turns over slowly when hot you can rule out heat soak problems. A rule of thumb is when it spins fast cold but not hot it is the starter. Not a 100% rule by a long shot. Your starter will not be a pad mount btw, so engagement isn't an issue.
For the questions re: hot starting problems as if the starter wasn't even on the car, nada, nothing until it cooled down is a voltage problem.
The solenoids pull-in windings take a great deal of current, the hold-in winding very little. Solenoids are voltage sensitive. Hot solenoids winding resistance increases as they get hot.
the Delco fix includes,
a lighter sol. spring.
Later that and a heat shield.
A slave relay will fix it as well.
The car has made it 60 years w/o a hi-torque starter.
If it's still a 6 cyl there is nothing to hi-torque. The OEM starter should be adequate.
Hi torquing a cars starter had a great deal to do with increasing engine size and using starters that were "kind of" a one starter fixes all.
I've had this problem with Bosch starters in VWs. Sometimes I would crawl under and hit the solenoid with a hammer or whatever was handy.
Bosch is second only to Lucas..
As it isn't model T in scope it furthers our understanding of automobiles. The problem that you cite was typically VW related as the battery is in the rear, the key switch in the front and back to the battery. A long way and a resulting voltage drop.
If hitting a starter with hammer causes it to work it is because you "unsettle" the short brushes. The pull-in winding grounds thru the brushes. When the plunger in the solenoid pulls back it straps the battery to the starter and the pull-in winding has the same potential on both sides, current ceases to flow thru' the pull-in windings and it's new path to ground is thru' the hold-in winding, it's ground is chassis not thru' the armature. The key is tied to the two windings.
If you have permanent anti-freeze in it, check to be sure none is getting into any of the cylinders. Antifreeze when hot can greatly increase resistance when the engine is hot.
Hey Mike, I remembered there being a different spring years ago, but I didn't know that it was lighter. Makes sense. Thanks.
Well my problem is resolved--no more hot engine "no start"!!
What I did to fix my problem was to follow the suggestions of many on this forum.
New battery--645CCA, soldered the crimp end of the positive 6 volt battery cable and wire brushed the clamp ID to be shiny and clean, confirm proper ground and clean cable nice and shiny, slight adjustment of timing,
My old battery was weak, cables were not shiny clean. The new 645CCA battery really spins the engine over--it all seems so basically simply -- because it is!! Someone
reminded me of the KISS solution--so true!!
Thanks to everyone. Joe
I used to have this same difficulty with my antique airplane. Now, I know airplanes are not cars, but their engines do work on the same principle. My problem was vapor lock due to heat being trapped inside the engine cowling after the engine was shut down. Without any air flow through the finned cylinders, my air-cooled engine radiated heat like crazy and boiled the fuel sitting in the lines.
In a Model T, which in so many cases has the fuel line running close by and parallel to the very hot exhaust pipe, there is potential for vapor lock to occur, especially when the engine is shut down and fresh, cool fuel stops feeding through the line from the gas tank. I'm wondering whether your problem may be fixed by either re-routing the fuel line outboard of the frame or using some wrap-around insulation.