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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe some of you have also had this problem and can help me out....

I took my 70 elky SS 396 out on the road yesterday and it started perfectly fine at my house. plenty of cranking power and all. It started right up no problem. I went about 5 mins away after letting the car warm up by driving it around town and got some gas, shut it down, and then went to start it back up and the starter would barely turn. It seemed to crank slowly and then almost sounded like it bound up. I let it sit for about a minute or two and then the thing fired right up.

Could the starter have gotten too hot from the exhaust manifold being right above it causing it to have a starting problem when it is hot?

There is no heat shield above the starter and does not appear to have been one originally since I can not find any holes in the engine block where the heat shield would have bolted up to.

The battery in the car is new and is charging fine so there is no problem about lack of charge. The starter is the one that came with the car and unknown if it has been replaced or not as the car when I bought it is all original with only 43 K on the odometer. This car was garaged kept its whole life so I am imagining that it is the original starter on the car also.

Anyone with any insight on this please let me know.

Thanks,

:D
 

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NECOA Founder
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It's possible it's the starter. Next time this happens try having someone start the engine while you tap firmly on the starter casing with a soft head or dead blow hammer. If it starts then, it's time for a new starter, or time to "shield" the starter.

Could also be "vapor lock" in the fuel system, lines, carb, etc., but sounds more like starter.
 

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I'd check the timing, remember that 396 was made to run on leaded gas, it may be that the previous owner may have advanced or retarded the timing to get it to run decently on unleaded gas. On the other hand, years ago I had a friend with a 70SS LS-6 with headers that had the same problem and his was due to the starter getting to hot. You got headers on yours?

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theelcaminofactory said:
On the other hand, years ago I had a friend with a 70SS LS-6 with headers that had the same problem and his was due to the starter getting to hot. You got headers on yours?
My brother's 70 Chevelle SS with the 396 had the same problem. Added a heat shield...problem solved.
 

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resq302 said:
Could the starter have gotten too hot from the exhaust manifold being right above it causing it to have a starting problem when it is hot?
I had this same problem with my 80 El Camino with headers. The starter was getting too hot and binding. I fabricated a heat shield for the starter and that solved that problem.

Summit Racing sells several starter heat shields. too.

:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for their input. From what it seems, the starter is getting really hot from the exhaust manifold being so close. I was able to find a GM Restoration heat shield for my motor at a local Chevy dealer. Now I just have to wait to get a free chance to put it in. It appears that the original heat shield only covered the solenoid part of the starter. I guess time will tell. I'll keep everyone posted as to how I make out but I think the shield should cure the problem.

Thanks again to everyone for their .02 cents.
 

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If you can, let us know if the heat shield solves the problem. I'm planning on putting headers on my 396 sometime in the near future, so it would be good to know if heat is what's causing the cranking problems. But right now it's just stock exhaust manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My 70 Elky SS 396 is completely original with the exception of someone putting carpeting on the back wall behind the seats. It has the stock starter and exhaust manifolds. Like someone else said, the problem could be the starter that has been getting heated up from so many years that it finally has given up when it is hot.

I will certainly keep everyone posted as to what progress I make with this problem. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi all,

Ok, today I pulled out the starter to check out the guts of the starter. When I went to take the wires off the solenoid, the smaller yellow, darker smaller wire, and the battery cable were not tight tight but snug enough that when the area heated up the wires probably expanded and loosened up causing the problem. So far it works fine but I guess time will tell.

thanks to everyone who gave their input since it did help in diagnosing the problem. I will keep everyone posted as to if the problem keeps up or if it is fixed.
 
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