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Heat soak on 289 starter

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Old 06-22-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
Diputado
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Question Heat soak on 289 starter

Have a couple questions here about solving a heat soak problem. I'm running a moderately-built 289 in my '65 (with headers, of course!) and have been having a real nusiance with starter heat soak. Run it for a few miles, shut it down, and you have to wait 20-30 minutes before it'll crank again....usually with the hood up so it'll cool quicker. And we not talking about real hot, about 180-190 degrees engine temp. Not much of a problem if you stop somewhere for a bite to eat...but at a gas station it's definitely a hassle! So, my questions are: 1) Would one of those high-torque "mini starters" help? and 2) would changing to "shorty" headers help? I've read that either one helps the problem, but personally have no experience with either. I've also read that shorty headers aren't much better than the factory manifolds.

Any comments????
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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Are you sure it is the starter? I dont think it would be the starter causing this issue.
I would look at fuel.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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if its cranking, its not a starter issue, if its not cranking then its not a fuel issue.

A long time ago(when i was a teen), i had starter issues.I was sold a buch of stuff that didnt fix the issue(turbo wrap for starter,cables etc).
I replaced the starter with a CHEAP rebuilt unit from Kragen(back in the day) and its worked fine for almost 20 years.Now its having issues, but i have sad bad starters not crank or crank intermittently
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:24 PM   #4
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I had the same issue... I was running a napa mini starter on my t5 tans.

I would not call it heat soak...more like just POS starter that doesnt have enough torque to turn over a warm engine.

I replaced it a year or so ago with a ford racing mini starter. Its awesome. It doesnt care if the engine is hot, cold, flooded, high altitude, sea level, or weak battery. It will %*$ing crank anything over. No heat issues at all ever... even when its a 115 out.

Im 95% sure this is the one i got

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/fms-m-11000-b51

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Old 06-23-2013, 02:26 AM   #5
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It's not an uncommon problem in classics, stock ****ty starter with headers...starter gets hot and the rotor rubs and it loses torque trying to turn itself over.

FWIW I run a Powermaster starter and mid length headers, for ground clearance. The more power the starter has, the longer it lasts turning any given engine over.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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Hey y'all, thanks for all the comments and suggestions. The problem is definitely related to heat, as the fuel system is working just fine, and like I siad..when the starter is cold it cranks away! In fact, I've also experienced a couple odd occurrences when starting the engine. What has happened twice over the past 5 months is that when the engine starts, the starter doesn't stop cranking...even with the ignition off and the key out. You have to jump out and and disconnect a battery cable to stop it. Reconnect the cable and everything seems back to normal. Any idea what THIS might be?


Oh, yeah...one of you mentioned "mid-length" headers. How are these different from the so-called "shorty" headers...or are they the same? Who makes them?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Mid length and shorty are mostly the same, I run JBA's. You might want to check your start solenoid too.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:00 AM   #8
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You could try a starter blanket as well as the cheapest option.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Don't think it's a solenoid issue. Back when it first happened, that what I thought, and replaced the solenoid AND the ignition switch (which was worn out anyway). But, it has now also happened with the brand new parts. Was told that I may have a grounding problem in the starter circuit, but all wires seem well-connected. One other odd electrical issue with this car is that the wipers work fairly "normal" if the engine is not running, but will operate at only half-speed while running. Plus...have never gotten the tachometer (an Autometer tach) to work right,either...it will only register 1/2 the actual rpm no matter how you connect it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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If it is the stock ignition system then there is supposed to be a resistor in the ignition circuit. This will screw with your tach readings because 12V is not being seen at the coil. I ran a new ignition wire and bought a HEI distributor, better ignition system and solved the tach problem.

I ran into the constant starter problem the other day, trying to bump the engine with a jumper wire for setting the timing since my crank bolt is inaccessible. Thank goodness for that disconnect I installed. I am having problems with the starter too, it is acting like it has an inconsistent ground, but its grounded enough to smoke a jumper wire in a few seconds. I'll probably go with that motor listed above, as I'm pretty sure this is the original starter. My solenoid is almost new, and you can hear it opening and closing so the problem is def the starter.

Try tracing the wiring for the wiper motor, you might have a bad ground or the speed switch has a short in it that is triggered by the engine running. Does it have that issue with the ignition on, or only when the engine is actually running?
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #11
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The wiper problem is when the engine is actually running. The blades just barely move back and forth. With the engine off, the speed is pretty much normal.

As for the ignition system, no, it's not 1965 original. It's a Ford Duraspark system straight off a 1985 Granada (and y'all thought they were only good for the disc brakes!). I've connected the tach wire to the "green" wire and also the "orange" wire (as instructed by Auto Meter tech support) coming off the ignition module, as well as directly to the coil (which is one of those TFI models), and the results are the same. The tach "works" in that the needle moves with rpm changes, but only registers around 400-500 at idle, and about 1200 at 50-55 mph.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Mine was connected on the dist. side of the coil. Scratch out the X1000 and replace it with X2000.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:23 PM   #13
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yeah, yeah...very funny! Some other joker also suggested switching the selector in the tach from the 8-cylinder to 4-cylinder setting! Which actually would work...but wouldn't solve the underlying problem.

I'm just going to take it to a local auto-electric shop, where they specialize is this kind of crap, and see if we can't sort out what's going on. Have to wait for a sunny day, though, since the wipers won't work with the engine running! I'll post whatever we find...
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:50 AM   #14
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Gun Jam,

I checked out that starter you mentioned. Unfortunately, neither of the 2 Ford Racing starters will work on my car, since it has a Toploader 4-speed. In fact, most all of the high-torque mini-starters I looked at were specifically for automatics or 5-speeds. Hardly any (if any!) were compatible with a 4-speed-equipped car. Odd....!
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:17 PM   #15
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It should work if you have the right flywheel. My starter from the 3 spd bolted right up to a 90's bellhousing with the t5. Didn't you say you had a 160T flywheel?
Sorry bout the joke, couldn't help it.
No idea about the wiper blade, though my best guess is that it is some interference from your ignition coil or alternator drawing power from the rest of the system. Maybe try running a seperate power supply to the circuit for testing to see if the problem persist. If it does then it is probably the ground.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:26 PM   #16
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Dang thats a bummer. Those FMS starters are worth the 300...
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #17
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On the electrical issue, I just noticed this weekend that the engine has no ground strap, you know, the one that runs from the rear of right-side head to firewall. Not sure if it will make a difference in my case, but I'm going to attach one and see if things improve.

On the flywheel...don't know for sure, since PO claims it's off a '68 model 390 (more on this point in another previous post).
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #18
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Take your car for a spin long enough for the symptom to kick in then drive back to the house, turn it off and start cutting the legs off the elephant.

When it happens again take a jumper cable directly from the battery and touch it to the starter side of the solenoid bypassing all other wiring in your car. If the starter kicks over then heat soak isn't your problem. At least not starter heat soak.

I don't think it's a component issue. I'm betting wiring. Weak grounding, connections heating up or wiring breaking down.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:33 PM
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