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Hi folks, so, I took my 1970 Nova 350 on it's first "long" drive over the weekend, from Reno to Pleasanton, CA for the NorCalNovas Family Reunion.

This is about a four hour drive, and traverses the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which means a lot of altitude changes and long highway runs.

The first heat related issue is with the starter. After a good two hour run, I stopped for gas, filled up, turned the key and got nothing. I suspected right away it was the starter solenoid getting too hot, since I had been driving the car around town for the last 3 months without issue. So, I pulled my hammer out of the tool bag and gave the starter a few good taps. Yup! After that she turned over and we were on our way again. I have read a few common solutions to this problem, and right now I am leaning towards relocating the solenoid, but I wanted to hear some of your opinions on options to correct this annoying issue.

Second heat related (I think) issue was on the drive home yesterday. About 20 miles out of town the car started heavily surging, especially going up hill. I am pretty sure it was vapor lock. It was around 93F as I came down the mountain. This is when the car started to surge and continued to do so all the way home, to the point where I couldn't really go faster than 40-45MPG without it really chugging. The car has the original Quadrajet carb. I have read a few things about correcting this problem on various vehicles, but I wanted to see if there is anything specific for the Nova 350 that might help.

Thanks, all!
 

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Hotter than a two dollar pistol

1. Move the solenoid to under the hood.
2. Install heat shielding, on what ever gets hot.
 

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You can't relocate the solenoid. It is part of the starter and the starter won't work without it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can't relocate the solenoid. It is part of the starter and the starter won't work without it.
No, you cannot relocate the solenoid, but you can buy one of these and bypass the solenoid attached to the starter.

https://www.summitracing.com/nv/parts/smp-ss588/overview/

That is what I think I will do. I was hoping someone on here has done this with a 3rd gen so I know exactly what parts work. The one I linked should...I think.

As for the vapor lock, I have read a lot of different stuff, maybe fuel pump related or maybe the lines are too close to the exhaust somewhere... or maybe the fuel is boiling at the bowls in the carb, not sure. I'm gonna check it out. Just wanted to see if anyone else with a 3rd gen has had the same problem and what they did to fix it.

Thanks!
 

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No, you cannot relocate the solenoid, but you can buy one of these and bypass the solenoid attached to the starter.

https://www.summitracing.com/nv/parts/smp-ss588/overview/
You can't bypass the solenoid either. The solenoid is the device that engages the starter gear into the flywheel. It is also the device that energizes the starter after the gears are engaged, preventing any grinding of the gears. Installing a relay in the starter circuitry as described in the http://www.novaresource.org/starter.htm link serves to maximize the power available to actuate the original starter solenoid, assuring that it fully engages and supplies maximum current to the starter motor.
 

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You can't relocate the solenoid. It is part of the starter and the starter won't work without it.
I’ve always wondered why people think that running a remote mounted solenoid will make the starter work better. You still have to come out of the remote mounted solenoid and go through the same hot heat soaked solenoid that is mounted to the starter. Like you said Mike, the solenoid does the mechanical work of engaging the drive pinion of the starter into the flywheel...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You can't bypass the solenoid either. The solenoid is the device that engages the starter gear into the flywheel. It is also the device that energizes the starter after the gears are engaged, preventing any grinding of the gears. Installing a relay in the starter circuitry as described in the http://www.novaresource.org/starter.htm link serves to maximize the power available to actuate the original starter solenoid, assuring that it fully engages and supplies maximum current to the starter motor.
Right, yeah, I've read the novaresouce site and I see how the remote solenoid is just adding power to the starter solenoid as you described.

I’ve always wondered why people think that running a remote mounted solenoid will make the starter work better. You still have to come out of the remote mounted solenoid and go through the same hot heat soaked solenoid that is mounted to the starter.
If there is a better fix for this, lay it on me. But all the searching I have done says the remote mounted solenoid will fix the hot start issues. It seems like a fairly common problem. From what I have read also, heat shields don't work all that great either. My car does not have headers or anything, just standard exhaust manifolds in the stock config, so I am surprised this isn't a more common problem then I am already reading. So, if adding the remote solenoid isn't the best fix for this, then what is? Is there a better aftermarket starter that is more resilient?

Thanks.
 

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I've been using a remote noid for 15ish years and a stock chevy 400 starter 168t flexplate.
10.5:1 406, Timing locked at 36* been as high as 38*
Starts the same if it's stone cold or 185*.:yes:
Just my experience.
I would go over ALL your grounds/Positive terminations and make sure your using the correct gauge cables.
Load test battery and try it when it's hot too.
 

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I run a DB electric mini starter. Only 50-60 bucks. I have mine wrapped with a DEI starter wrap. I also run my switch (purple) wire to the starter through a 40a relay. That way I know I’m getting good voltage and amp’s to the solenoid. I have no issues. And my header is pretty close to my starter...
 

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Unless you're madly in love with your stock starter replace it with a high torque mini starter. Got mine from Summit (their house brand) and it works like a champ. Clocked it so it's away from the headers and replaced the battery cables at the same time. 18° initial timing and 36° total down here in Florida. Average temps in the low 90's. Starts every time.
As for the possible vapor lock issue, you might want to try a wooden or plastic spacer.
Good luck
 

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Hi folks, so, I took my 1970 Nova 350 on it's first "long" drive over the weekend, from Reno to Pleasanton, CA for the NorCalNovas Family Reunion.

This is about a four hour drive, and traverses the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which means a lot of altitude changes and long highway runs.

The first heat related issue is with the starter. After a good two hour run, I stopped for gas, filled up, turned the key and got nothing. I suspected right away it was the starter solenoid getting too hot, since I had been driving the car around town for the last 3 months without issue. So, I pulled my hammer out of the tool bag and gave the starter a few good taps. Yup! After that she turned over and we were on our way again. I have read a few common solutions to this problem, and right now I am leaning towards relocating the solenoid, but I wanted to hear some of your opinions on options to correct this annoying issue.
I would be inclined to believe that if you can tap the starter and it starts working that your problem is not extreme heat but a faulty solenoid. It may be sticking internally or the contacts and/or contact ring at the bottom may be worn.

Second heat related (I think) issue was on the drive home yesterday. About 20 miles out of town the car started heavily surging, especially going up hill. I am pretty sure it was vapor lock. It was around 93F as I came down the mountain. This is when the car started to surge and continued to do so all the way home, to the point where I couldn't really go faster than 40-45MPG without it really chugging. The car has the original Quadrajet carb. I have read a few things about correcting this problem on various vehicles, but I wanted to see if there is anything specific for the Nova 350 that might help.

Thanks, all!
Have you checked the vent in your fuel tank? I would think that a vapor lock problem would have occurred on the uphill run where you are generating more heat. Vapor lock is a condition that occurs on the suction side of your fuel pump, any problems with heat on the pressure side are not vapor lock. Perhaps your fuel pump is failing? Have you driven the car since arriving home?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would be inclined to believe that if you can tap the starter and it starts working that your problem is not extreme heat but a faulty solenoid. It may be sticking internally or the contacts and/or contact ring at the bottom may be worn.
I had this exact same problem once before with an old Isuzu Trooper I had with a GM 2.8. Only when it got hot, the starter failed. In the case of the Trooper, I just replaced the starter and that seemed to work. I am thinking in this case, the same issue is happening with my Nova. When it gets hot, any gunk in there causes the solenoid to get stuck, and tapping on it frees things up.

Have you checked the vent in your fuel tank? I would think that a vapor lock problem would have occurred on the uphill run where you are generating more heat. Vapor lock is a condition that occurs on the suction side of your fuel pump, any problems with heat on the pressure side are not vapor lock. Perhaps your fuel pump is failing? Have you driven the car since arriving home?
Yeah, I might just replace the fuel pump and see if that solves anything...there. I have driven it but only briefly since I got back, I will fiddle with it some more this weekend. Thanks for the replies.
 
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