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Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

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Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by Mmellor10 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:30 am

I'm having what I think is a starter "heat soak" issue on my Sebring 5000 MX with a chevy 350 small block. Starts fine when cold but after driving for even a short time and shutting engine off, it cranks very slow and won't start. I've tried a heat shield around the starter but doesn't seem to make any difference. I'm hoping a battery with more CCA's will help, but I can't seem to find one with more than 500 CCAs that will fit. Does anyone have any recommendations for a battery with >500 CCAs that will fit? Or any thoughts on how to fix the no start when hot issue?



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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by David V. on Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:36 am

In what state of tune and what mods do you have done to your sbc? High compression? High lift camshaft?

I say this because a hot engine is much harder to turn over, simply due to heat expansion tightening up tolerances on piston rings and many other parts. Modified small blocks sometimes need high torque starters to get them going. As an example, my motor has 10.3:1 compression, upgraded cam and valvetrain. While I can start it with the stock starter even when hot, I can feel it straining more. Will most likely replace for a high-torque unit when this one inevitably fails.

By definition, if this is the case, operating temperature is also a factor. An engine that's running hotter will be harder to crank.

You could be right about it being your battery. I have heard very good things about "Optima" batteries available at Summit Racing. However like many good quality modern batteries, they cannot be hooked up to a standard battery tender/charger. I recommend thoroughly reading user instructions.
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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by David V. on Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:40 am

oh another thing I remembered,

If it's a starter heat-soak issue, it will most likely be the solenoid canister that is suffering the most. Older starters seem more prone to it. Try the heat shield around the solenoid area. Otherwise the solenoid may just be on its way out.
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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by aronhk_md on Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:08 pm

Sometimes the starters themselves go bad. They are "tight" when hot.
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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by Hotrod on Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:25 pm

Another issue to look at is battery cables and connections.  Cables do break down internally.  I have had this happen. A borderline cable or connection could be pushed over the edge by a hot starter or engine.

Another thing to check is timing.  If the timing is slightly high, it will put more stress on the starter when the engine is hot.

Your current battery can be load tested easily by just about any parts house. If it tests good, it's doubtful that higher cranking amps will make a lot of difference. It may make some, but it's just a band-aid. It really shouldn't take a monster battery to start a SBC unless you're running a lot of compression.

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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by Mmellor10 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:14 pm

David V, I'm not sure about any mods to the engine. I recently got the car from my father in law who was the second owner. He doesn't know a lot about it, but gave a a couple boxes worth of documentation that I've been trying to sort through.

I was looking at Optima batteries and and other "high performance " models but can't seem to find one that will fit. Does anyone know what is typical cold cranking amps necessary for a high compression engine?
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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by Mmellor10 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:19 pm

Thanks hot rod! I'll check the cables and timing. I had the battery load tested after having it charged and they said it was good. It's rated for 450 cold cranking amps. I thought that seemed a bit low, but I'm really not sure.
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Re: Starter "heat soak"/battery issues

Post by aronhk_md on Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:57 pm

As far as a battery that fits...mine is relocated to the trunk. Its a far better spot for it, can use any size you want, better for weight distribution, and no heat to kill it too. But...you have to run big cables forward.
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