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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I like to think I'm not completely retarded when it comes to electricity, but hopefully you guys can help me solve this puzzle.

I moved the battery to the trunk, on my 63 after doing the TCI front end clip. I ran the summit battery relocation kits 1 gauge red cable to the rear and grounded the battery to the sheetmetal in the trunk. What I have happening is this:

1. After the car sits overnight, or a week, and I turn the key it cranks strong and fast usually on the first turn. If the car doesn't start right away and I let off the key, and I go to crank it again, the starter doesn't turn at all. Its like its not getting enough amps (?) to trip the solenoid on the second attempt or ? What I do next is fire up the other car next to it and put the jumpers to the battery at which points she fires right up.

2. I put a voltmeter across the battery to confirm the charging circuit is working (reads 13-14 volts). All good.

3. I go out for a nice long drive (say an hour). Stop for gas. 50/50 chance she'll start. Meaning, I turn the key and its either good strong crank, or NADA. Black or white. No slow turn of the starter, no whizzing sound, nothing. Get the jumper cables out again, and whalla, back in business.

Talking to some folks around town and at the hotrod shop the consensus was its either my neutral saftey switch (really?) or a couple of people said the summit 1 gauge thick strand copper wire is no good, I need to use fine strand 1 gauge wire sold at the welding supply store. So, I replaced the summit wire with the welding cable, same issue persists.

Hopefully someone else has ran into this and can help me pinpoint on the issue so I don't have to embarass myself and ask for a jumpstart half the time I turn my ride off!

Other ideas I have kicking around in my head:
1. Is it not getting a good enough ground? I have 1gauge going from the negative battery terminal to a nice big chunk of steel in the trunk, and three ground straps from the block to the frame. Do I need to run a 1gauge cable all the way to the block?
2. Is the Costco Kirkland battery just not up to the job of delivering enoug juice over 14' of 1G copper wire and the solution is one of those fancy expensive batteries?
3. Is there something wrong with my starter solenoid?

Thats all I can think of right now. As always your help is appreciated!
 

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I didn't see where you said you had the starter checked. Sounds to me like a bad solenoid, loose connection, or the starter motor windings are bad. It acts like heat soak, but it does it cold so that's odd. 1 gauge wire is 1 gauge wire, even if it's solid, so that's not the issue.

Do you have a remote solenoid hooked up, or are you using the one on the starter?

T,
 

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Odds are it's poor gnding. Unless you have a gnd strap/cable from the engine block to the frame/chaasis then the motor/trans. mounts will be isolating the gnd from the battery.
A gnd cable from engine block to chassis may solve the problem but the best way is to run anothe 1g cable from the battery -post direct to the one of the starter mounting bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies

I'm using the solenoid on the starter. The starter itself wasn't checked, but never had an issue before.

Regarding the grounding, I have no less than three ground staps going from the block to the chassis, but they are all in the engine bay. Then I have one gauge wire going to a clean piece of metal in the trunk.
 

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I would check/clean all ground connections first.I always use the sharp star type lock washers to go through the paint and bite into the metal.Have a good large ground going from the block to the front frame and make sure the core support has a good ground.
 

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Do you have a side post battery or a top post battery ?. I wonder if there is corrosion between the battery post and the main cable. On side posts I've seen people add ring terminals between the side post battery terminal and the cable and it's better to have the main cable terminal against the battery side post terminal with any ring terminals on top of the main cable terminal and under the head of the bolt.

It's possible it's the safety switch and a way to check this is when it doesn't crank, use a screwdriver to jump the main terminal on the starter to the S terminal. If it cranks then I would think something is wrong with the safety circuit. If it still doesn't crank then I would think a power and/or ground issue.

When you replaced the thick strand wire with the fine strand did you save the oold stuff ?. You could use this to run from the battery negative to the engine block for a ground.

Even though you have three grounds up front and one in back you are still going through spot welded metal panels in your car and more connections mean more voltage drop. A connection somewhere here would not heal itself by connecting jumper cables up to the battery but using the cars existing metal for a ground path is not always the best.

How are your ends/terminals connected to the wires ?. Ideally crimp the terminals on tight and then solder them.

Like any troubleshooting try replacing things. If you think the battery is suspect, replace it temporarily and see what happens. If you think it's the safety wiring, wire up a bypass right off of the starter to the S terminal with a bump style switch.

I've installed a lot of things in cars through the years and had goofy things break that I was not even close to working on like a starter or starter solenoid. You just need to go through a logical process to track the problem down.

Jim
 

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I actually JUST had the exact same problem. I moved my ground wire from my alt bracket to behind the battery (to sheet metal) purely for cosmetic reasons. The problem was that the battery would not charge back up while driving, it would be fine to start the car, then it would use X amount of energy from the battery and then run off the alt. Then it would not replenish X amount of energy and the battery would be low next time, and lower the next time untill it was dead, and would start right off a jump.

My solution was to buy a longer ground lead and run it to part of the alt bracket, ran it along the heater hoses to it hard to notice, but I haven't had the problem since then, So I believe that it is fixed. My suggestion is that the sheet metal is too poor a conductor and has too many places where continuity is reduced, so you may not be getting as good a circuit as you need. Maybe ground to the sub frame and use subframe connectors, or run a ground wire from the block to the negative terminal, and another one from the block to the sheet metal as you already have in place.

Hope this helps,
Brian
 

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Regarding the grounding, I have no less than three ground staps going from the block to the chassis, but they are all in the engine bay. Then I have one gauge wire going to a clean piece of metal in the trunk.

If everything in the engine bay is grounded to the chassis then the battery should be grounded to the chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ground eh?

If grounding the battery to the sheetmetal in the trunk is not a good ground, I would think it just wouldn't work ever, not intermittently. Is that a bad assumption?

I can run 1 gauge wire from the battery in the trunk to the block, but I am guessing this isn't what most people do (since the summit battery relocation kit only comes with enough 1 gauge wire for a one way trip and its red)
 

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Don't assume that most people don't run a dedicated gnd wire to the block epecially in a stock chassis car; I think you'll fine the majority do.
The kits are designed for race cars with full frames/roll cages whick provide excellent gnding especailly when the engine is on solid mounts.
That being said the gnd may not be your problem; if you have long enough booster cables you could connect the neg. battery terminal to the block when it won't statt as a test.
I had an intermitten problem on my 63 usually after the car had been running. I found I could crank the engine if I shorted the solenoid terminals whicn proved I had good battery conection. I eventually traced it down to a bad connection between the fuse block bulkhead and the wiring harness.
 

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negative cable is your problem. When you hook the other car up with the jumper cables you are helping your ground with the other car. Either run another length to the front of the vehicle or move your negative to a better spot like your frame rails.
 

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if you have long enough booster cables you could connect the neg. battery terminal to the block when it won't statt as a test.
BINGO! Exactly the test I'd suggest.

My guess: insufficient ground connection.

Keep in mind that there is a *circuit* that needs to be established, and the big chunky red wire is just half of it. The ground leg of the circuit needs to be just as beefy. If you have three small ground straps from the block to the chassis, that doesn't add up to enough. Remember that the stock setup has a big red + wire going from the battery to the starter...and a big black - wire that goes directly to the block, in *addition* to those factory ground straps.

Best solution: run a dedicated big ground cable from the battery in the trunk directly to the block. Cheaper-and-not-as-good solution: run a big ground cable from the engine block to a shiny clean spot on the chassis somewhere up front.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll try it

I'll head out later today and try grounding from the battery to the block when it doesn't crank to see if that does the trick. If that solves the issue, I'll jack her back up and run a second cable. Thanks gang :)
 

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Without reading any of the post on this thread and I see you have a 63 nova ss............

If you have a stock gauge set-up with the ss amp gauge connected..

A no start condition after the car is warm can be a bad ss amp gauge shunt!

Bring a small length of 12 gauge wire with you until the no start condition occurs.......

During a no start...jump across the shunt and see if it solves the problem..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ground was the problem

In a non-start situation, I used a jumper cable from the negative on the battery to the block, and sure enough it started. Thanks for your help...
 
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