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Author Topic: 1969 Big Block Failed to Start!  (Read 5283 times)
nwbalddog
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« on: November 28, 2008, 11:50:29 AM »

I just obtained a 396 Camaro, I drove it to work this week to show some people at work...fueled up at a gas station after the rush hour commute in the city and the car would not start! When I turned the key I had zero response, no clicking, no noise...the dreaded silence. I was in a pin stripe suit and tie, had no tools and was stuck. After about 5-10 minutes, it started again and got home no problem. Does this symptom seem like what I just learned about called STARTER HEAT SOAK? If so, should I install a heat shield? I also read that it may be the wires that get too hot coming from the starter more than the soleniod itself, should I wrap those wires and confirm a good ground, no paint on the block, etc?
Thanks.
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1969 Camarao Convertible
396/SS/RS/Auto
william
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 03:48:38 PM »

Sounds like you are on top of this. Definitely add the heat shield.
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Mark
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 08:04:26 AM »

A heat soaked starter will usually give you a click, and the lights will dim, if they were on.  Sounds more like a problem with the wiring between the ignition switch and the solenoid on the starter.  My wires were all deteriorated and had some oil inside the jacket of the wire between the rear corner of the block and the solenoid and did the same thing years ago.  I replaced that section of wire and routed it a little further away from the exhaust manifolds, and haven't had the problem since.
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Mark C.
1969 Indy Pace Car
350/300HP RPO Z11
nwbalddog
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 12:40:19 AM »

Thanks for info, this car is fresh off a full restoration when I bought it, yet I will have to inspect the wiring further, as I am working through all these bugs~
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1969 Camarao Convertible
396/SS/RS/Auto
Charley
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 12:36:16 PM »

It can also be the windings in the starter. If there is a bad spot in the windings and the starter stops in just the right spot, you can have what you are describing.  A good starter repair place will have a growler that can test the windings. The local Pep boys won't.
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ss jim
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 10:54:28 PM »

Check your battery cables. I had a similar problem 30 yrs. ago. Car would not start after being driven. After it sat for a while cooled down it would start. Turned out to be a battery cable that was broken internally. Jim
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m22mike
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2009, 02:30:39 PM »

It can also be the windings in the starter. If there is a bad spot in the windings and the starter stops in just the right spot, you can have what you are describing.  A good starter repair place will have a growler that can test the windings. The local Pep boys won't.

Ditto to what Charley said. A few years ago I had the same problem with my son's SBC 72 Chevelle. We would smack the starter housing a few times while someone held the ingnition switch to the start position and it would eventually turn over. Then it would be fine for the next upmteen starts. Definitly not heat soak.

    Mike
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Charley
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 09:17:36 PM »

It would be nice if we could be updated with what the problem actually turned out to be.
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nwbalddog
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 12:34:29 AM »

It would be nice if we could be updated with what the problem actually turned out to be.

I live in WA state, the car has not been driven much due to weather so this scenario has not returned nor have I worked on my related to this yet. So I am sorry Charley,  I have no update yet, but will inform once I dig deeper.
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1969 Camarao Convertible
396/SS/RS/Auto
Classic Gary
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 09:38:49 AM »

I would check the ignition switch on the column, not were the keys go, the actual electrical switch on top of the mast. It's got a metal rod that moves the "slide" to make contact with the appropriate terminals inside the switch housing. Sometimes the terms don't make "full" contact when the switch gets warm, cools off and away you go........
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nwbalddog
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 12:18:13 PM »

I had this car not start again this week...I will be digging into the wiring first, I think the starter is OK...I will inform you what I learn
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1969 Camarao Convertible
396/SS/RS/Auto
Classic Gary
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 11:37:40 PM »

figured it out ??
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nwbalddog
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2009, 11:21:21 AM »

I went to my 1st car show Monday w/ my Camaro, I was so excited.... We were lined up waiting to enter and idlying for some time. I turned my car off and 3 minutes later we went to move, no response to start again!  >:(I had yet to work on this as it had not been acting up recently...maybe due to cooler weather? I bought a starter switch, so hooked it up to the starter to bypass the ignition swith, bushed the button, nothing. The solenoid was getting amped, so it has to be heat soak starter. We put ice in a towel and held it on the starter to cool it off, 20 minutes later it fired up. I am going to place this original starter in a box with all my other orginal parts and by a new mini starter...any suggesttion on best one for my Big block...thanks much
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1969 Camarao Convertible
396/SS/RS/Auto
JohnZ
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2009, 11:43:46 AM »

I've never understood the fascination with the planetary-geared mini-starters unless you have some really wild aftermarket combo with 13:1 compression. If your battery cables, junction block, and other primary connections are all clean and shiny and the solenoid is in good shape, the stock Delco high-torque starter used on big-blocks will work fine, just like it does on big-block Corvettes. Check those things out before you start throwing money at hot-rod starters.
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'69 Z/28
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nwbalddog
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 11:58:34 AM »

All wiring looks great, this is the orignial 40 yr old starter, maybe needing to be rebuilt as I am unsure if it ever was before I got the vehicle...add w/ heat sheild?
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1969 Camarao Convertible
396/SS/RS/Auto
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