View Full Version : Starter issues please help!


Demojr90
08-30-2012, 12:46 PM
I just bought a 1987 camaro with a 383, brand new heads cam crank intake....the works.....the first day i had it i got to register it went to go start it and it would not start, wouldnt even attempt to as if there was absolutely no power.....but there was.....i had it towed home inspected the issue and one of the wires that runs from the cylonoid to the starter was melted in half. I took the starter apart found iron wool in the starter but still put the wires back together and tested it outside the engine and it worked, but when i would hook it up to the engine and try starting it smoke would come rolling out and it would burn the wire up again. NOTHING is shorting all of the negatives and positives are where theyre supposed to be and not touching. Could it be that the compression is high in this motor and the starter isnt strong enough so it keeps frying itself up? Could it be the battery? (700cca) The starter that is on it now is a performance starter to, the engine still seemed like its always had problems turning over since day one. It just turns so slowly and its never an instant fire up. Im going to order a more powerful starter soon to see if that is the problem but i want an opinion first. Any advice is helpful.....thanks

SS10Tech
08-30-2012, 08:06 PM
Do a compression test on a few cylinders and find out what your cranking PSI is:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ANM-CP7827/

Next i would get another starter. The one you have may work on the bench, but the stator windings have been compromised/damaged due to being shorted from overheating. Do not crank on the new starter as you will simply overheat the stator winding once again, short out a starter solenoid, or overheat the wiring just as this one shows.

Verify that the wiring to the new starter solenoid is correct with a decent 12V keyed ignition hot source.

Verify TDC and then verify your timing curve in order to make sure it is firing correctly.

Next i would question cam installation. Get a degree wheel and degree the cam. Writeups do exist on the forum and also on the internet to better help you out here if needed.

From here if everything checks out OK then the only other thing that comes to mind is a possible clearance issue with the motor just being reassembled.

Demojr90
09-01-2012, 03:06 PM
Do a compression test on a few cylinders and find out what your cranking PSI is:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ANM-CP7827/

Next i would get another starter. The one you have may work on the bench, but the stator windings have been compromised/damaged due to being shorted from overheating. Do not crank on the new starter as you will simply overheat the stator winding once again, short out a starter solenoid, or overheat the wiring just as this one shows.

Verify that the wiring to the new starter solenoid is correct with a decent 12V keyed ignition hot source.

Verify TDC and then verify your timing curve in order to make sure it is firing correctly.

Next i would question cam installation. Get a degree wheel and degree the cam. Writeups do exist on the forum and also on the internet to better help you out here if needed.

From here if everything checks out OK then the only other thing that comes to mind is a possible clearance issue with the motor just being reassembled.


The only reason why i don't think the timing is off or that anything is wrong with clearance or the cam is because the car started the first couple times fine, i mean it turned over very slowly but it did start and boy did it run reeeaaallllyy good. My thing is that it just seemed like the compression was just to high for the starter so i ordered another one, another thing is that when i took a look at the bottom of the engine the oil pan was leaking out onto the starter, i already got all the parts ready to fix that, but i think that might of fried the starter as well maybe even perhaps from the very beginning. Even after i rigged up the old starter to see if it would work it did for a short bit and the engine was cranking ready to start(the only reason why i think it didnt is because i might of flooded it with gas trying to start it the first time it broke down)... but it did turn the crank very well, then it over heated and failed again.

bww3588
09-05-2012, 04:04 AM
Is the starter shimmed correctly? I've had the same problem before. It worked fine on the bench and when it did find the nuts to turn over, it was very slow. Turns out the starter was too close to the flywheel and binding up.

1 FMF
09-05-2012, 09:05 AM
can you take a picture of the starter, or post make & model of it?
there are two types of starters, the older direct drive style which were bigger and heavier and less powerful on the older engine and they bolted to the bell housing with 2 or 3 bolts parallel with the starter (running front to back in regards to the engine). The newer style starters are PMGR (gear reduction) and are smaller but the gearing allows them to work better and their bolts are perpendicular to the starter going thru the nosecone of the starter. For the pmgr starters the "solenoid" on those requires 10-20 amps of current so you generally need a relay on that so it gets enough power. same starter that's on my ls1 is on my boat engine and i ran into this problem on the boat where i kept blowing solenoids until i replaced a faulty slave solenoid mounted elsewhere on the motor. I never had smoke or burned up wires or anything.
What you can also do is just remove all the spark plugs and disable the fuel and see how the motor cranks, it should spin rather easy. if the starter can't do that then...

LilJayV10
09-07-2012, 12:11 AM
Try backing the timing off. I have seen nose cones of starters blow apart because of incorrect timing.

If you are burning wires up its because its pulling too many amps. Which can be caused from insuffecient grounds or a bad starter. Just because the starter kicks over out of the car doesn't show what its doing under a load.

Do you have a ground to the engine block? to the frame?