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Discussion Starter #1
Yep another starter thread....

So I have had this problem for a bit and wondering if anyone has a suggestion.

My setup is a 421 SBC with 11.7 static compression. Timing is locked at 34 and I have an MSD step and start retard set to -20 on startup.

The starter is a powermaster high torque mini.

When I first start the car cold it turns over fine. When I start it hot it drags real bad, like almost wont start bad. Here is where I'm confused, if I let the car sit for 20-30 minutes with a fan on it ( like at the drag strip between runs) it STILL drags...

I guess I would have thought this type of time cooling off would have helped if this drag was caused by heat soaking the starter.

Maybe my start retard is not working? I tried to put my light on it and think it's working but slow rpm makes it hard to read.

Battery has a full charge too but could it not be putting out the cracking amps when it was new?

Any suggestions on where to start? This happens all the time on the street too.
 

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ARe ya that’s the retard is set? That starter should spin the engine over easily. WE are using a dB mini on my Nova and my sons 406 locked at 36*.
I used a stock starter for years before the mini with a remote solenoid and spun it over like its cold. EVERY time Hot or cold
I don’t think the 1.2 difference in comp could make that much difference but ya never know.
Double chk retard procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did a quick test today.

Started it and shut it down about 6-7 times in a row. Just kept it running for 1 minute each time. It spun over no problem.

Took it for 20 min Drive and once i got back it was dragging again.

No room for a stock starter.

Pretty sure the retard is working but like I said not really sure. I'll double check the wiring but last time I checked it was fine. Anyone know the procedure to verify a MSD 8987?
I know the timing pulls when I arm the nitrous so have that covered, tried to see if doing that helped start the car and that didn't help... that only pulls 10 out anyway.

So remote selnoid huh...??? Maybe I'll look into that.
 

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My son has the digital 6al with start retard. I’ll look it up. Yeah, $15 solenoid worked flawlessly for 15yrs. Big plus for running valves too!
Load test battery?
Remember, voltage drop goes way up when hot too!
Especially in a dc circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'll load test the batt again but it was good last time I checked. Just got into paying attention to electrical so I guess this is just another step in the process.

Never knew heat impacted current. I guess I thought there was some mechanical issue with heat soak.

Is there a need for a relay if I do a remote solenoid? Also is there any issues placing the solenoid somewhere on the frame rail under the car? Sure would make installing way easier since the battery is in the trunk!
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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I would check the voltages down at the starter on both the battery cable and the S terminal (purple) wire. I had the same issue and was only getting 7 volts on my S terminal wire. My issue was that I was losing the voltage through the B&M neutral safety switch. I just ended up running my S terminal circuit through a 40a relay after the neutral safety switch. No issues now.
 

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My stuff goes through my quicksilvers nut switch too.
Cool, check battery again, do what 68 said to trouble shoot, hook timing dial back light to ignition set to what it’s supposed to be at and have buddy crank engine to see timing marks come in at.
This should confirm retard.
I guess my car and my sons bu is are freaks. Lol
He eliminated the Ford noid with the pgm starter/retard.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dug thru the stuff I never got to and found a ford noid from a 1990 F250 with a 7.5L. Since I had wire/cable I threw it in the trunk next to the cutofff switch. I added a full steel jumper to the starter between the S and Batt.. And finally ran a 10 gauge ignition wire to the ford noid.

Took her for a ride and no bueno, still won't start hot.

Took the battery for a load test to auto zone and they said the battery was at 65% but load tested fine... gonna charge it and see how it goes, I'm not sure I believe the autozone guys...

Should I still throw a relay on the ignition wire to power the noid? I have a bunch hanging around but I don't know if that helps?
 

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I would maybe put together some numbers with voltages at different points and at different times such as motor off, cranking cold, motor running at idle, motor at higher RPM, voltage after shutting it off, voltage with it being off a while, cranking hot, motor at a higher RPM, voltage after shutting off, voltage with it then being off a while.

I don't know if you have a volt gauge but maybe the alternator is not keeping up, or has not been always working to keep up with things when different things might be coming on not right away like cooling fans, and other variables. I remember not too long ago another member having issues with a fan that originally drew minimal current but started going out and it was drawing more than originally designed and depending on the charging system, this additional draw may be past the limits of the alternator.

Maybe too, try starting the motor cold with the MSD not powered and then connecting it up then after it's been driven a while and heated up, see how it cranks over with the MSD not powered and then powered. I remember a friend years ago that had a toggle switch on the ignition as he had the timing locked out with a lot of advance and with the ignition powered up and cranking it spun over slower that turning the ignition system off, cranking over the motor and then activating the ignition system.

Jim
 

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Are you running a negative battery cable directly to the block? Or did you go bat to frame and frame to block? If you don’t have a single uncut line, try throwing jumper cables on between the negative terminal and the block and see if that helps when it’s dragging...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey Jim,

Last year I had a thread going with you, Gobal, and a few others about charging. Finally figured out I needed a much larger cable from the alt to the batt. Since then all the volt measurements I have taken are good at all points HOWEVER I might have missed a few, like the ignition wire to noid. I didn't take them hot either as I was chasing low volt reading right from the start. During that time I grounded everything and installed a 140 alt as well.

I'll take more measurements and see what I get.

Patman, did you ever sell your car? The rearend you sold me is still going strong, I constantly run a 1.4 60' and sometimes get a 1.3 out of it and no worries!
 

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I’d do like Jim said. Take measurements at your starter before the issue (cold) and during the problem (hot). And see what you come up with. He builds up resistance and you are more than likely dealing with a big voltage drop. When I was having issues with mine, the solenoid would just click since it wasn’t getting a good 12 volts or so to it. I was only getting around 7. Like I said in my other post, I was losing the voltage through the tiny cheesy B&M neutral safety switch. A 40a relay took care of that for me. Ran it the other night at the track with no issues. And it was really hot and humid.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Charged the battery and have 12.7 initially then 12.5 after the first startup. Then I took a few measurements cold and hot at the battery which is in the trunk.

COLD
With just the fuel pump I get 14.4.
With pump, lights, stereo, and fan I get 14.1
** big drop here is the fan.
When I add the Nitrous heater it drops to 13.2
** I knew this was going to be a problem!

HOT
Same as above

I took the same measurements at the power distribution point in the engine bay and at both sides of my cutoff in the trunk, all had the same measures.

I then ended by checking the battery after I shut it down and it was at 12.5.

the last check I did was to check volts of the ignition wire located at the remote starter, I found it to be 12.2. I don't know enough about electrical to know if that is bad or good.

So the car started fine during this test, still a little slow after hot but it did fire up pretty easily after getting over the first revolution. I probably started it 10-15 times during this test as well just to put it thru it's paces.

I guess what I need to be careful of is the nitrous heater, I knew it was going to be a pig. I only use it to keep the bottle warm since I have a water bath to get the bottle to temp.
 

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If you have a good 12-13volts at both the battery wire and the switch wire on the starter, and it still starts hard when hot...then your starter is probably junk. I have a DB electrical mini starter in my car. It was like 50 bucks. I thought I was having issues with it not working once it was hot. I called them and they sent me a new one. Didn’t even want the old one back. Started having issues again. And that’s when I found out I was only getting 7 or so volts through my neutral safety switch. The relay I wired in after the neutral switch took care of it. But for safety measures I did go down to oreillys and bought one of those DEI starter wraps. It fit the starter real nice and keeps the header heat away from the starter.
 

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Charged the battery and have 12.7 initially then 12.5 after the first startup. Then I took a few measurements cold and hot at the battery which is in the trunk.

COLD
With just the fuel pump I get 14.4.
With pump, lights, stereo, and fan I get 14.1
** big drop here is the fan.
When I add the Nitrous heater it drops to 13.2
** I knew this was going to be a problem!

HOT
Same as above

I took the same measurements at the power distribution point in the engine bay and at both sides of my cutoff in the trunk, all had the same measures.

I then ended by checking the battery after I shut it down and it was at 12.5.

the last check I did was to check volts of the ignition wire located at the remote starter, I found it to be 12.2. I don't know enough about electrical to know if that is bad or good.

So the car started fine during this test, still a little slow after hot but it did fire up pretty easily after getting over the first revolution. I probably started it 10-15 times during this test as well just to put it thru it's paces.

I guess what I need to be careful of is the nitrous heater, I knew it was going to be a pig. I only use it to keep the bottle warm since I have a water bath to get the bottle to temp.
With a fully charged battery sitting at 12.7V is good and then the slight drop to 12.5V seems inline as you started the car and depleted it slightly.

If then with the motor restarted and it rose to 14.4V is good and then the slight drop down to 14.1V is still good in my book, the issue I see after this with the drop going down to 13.2V is too low. I like to see at least 1V over the nominal battery voltage. Why I say this, is I think I read about this years ago and it makes sense as if you do not have a high enough input voltage to a lower voltage battery the juice cannot be forced into it. This means if I have a 12.7V battery I like to see at least 13.7V to keep it happy and charge it. Granted we might be splitting hairs here with you having 13.2V which is 0.5V over the nominal voltage, it might be enough as you are skirting on the edge and seeing the results. Some charts online for battery state of charge show a 12.7V battery as being 100% while if it's at 12.5V it might be around 80% but this info might not be tuned to your setup but is seen as a basic chart with limited inputted information.

Now on these voltages, is this with the motor at idle ?. If it is, what happens if the RPM's are slightly increased and then held at a normal higher driving RPM ?. Alternator outputs vary by how fast they are spun and maybe it just might take a slightly higher idle RPM to get the alternator to output an additional 0.5V ?. I know on a test I did on my 68 a while back I was checking how my voltage regulator reacted and tool measurements with the car off, car started at idle, headlights on high beams, and such and I started with 12.6V and with it running and different accessories on or off I always had at least 1V over this. You can also see in the video I put together is right before I started it, the voltage was at 12.6V and then once started at idle, the voltage slowly kept going higher up to around 14.2V which is good and then at a higher highway RPM, the voltage rose to 14.7V which is touching on the edge of a limit of 14.4V I like to see and then after I let the motor return to an idle, the voltage did drop but only down to 13.7V and this is still a volt over than what I started out with being at 12.6V.

If you want to see the tests I did, here is the video:


Another test to try is get some measurements when cold and hot and then go for a drive and then when returned, before you shut it off take some measurements and then with it still running and if the voltage is below 13.7V (1V over your initial 12.7V starting point) is throw a charger on it to raise the voltage back up and give it some time to put juice back into the battery, then shut the motor off, disconnect the charger, and see how it is on a restart.

Also too, maybe go over connections on the main power and ground sides of the starting circuit and charging circuit and give them a quick clean.

Also too, is when you are measuring things are you keeping the ground point of the meter in one spot such as the battery or are you moving it to different points for different tests ?. The reason I'm asking is if you move the ground test point around, you may think you have a supply voltage issue but in fact it may be on the ground side.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay so I brought the idle RPM up to about 1500 and with the Pump/Fan/Lights/heater running I see 13.7 at the power distribution block in the trunk... So that is not the problem. Thanks for the tip Jim!

Had a relay hanging around and tossed that on there for the ignition wire to starter noid. Figured I might as well get this plumbed in anyway just to make sure I have it covered.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z2gGboeqQrhJ8MHq8
*** I'll clean it up in the winter!

While just running it at the house I still get an initial drag when hot, like it is trying to get past the first revolution, followed by the engine spinning over as expected.

I then took it out for a drive to get gas and some groceries. The car runs at about 190 degrees max in any heat but once you stop for a bit the temp is generally around 195/200 degrees so I thought this would be a great test. I stopped for gas first and when I re-started it was dragging but managed to catch and fire. Being the committed sort I went for groceries and she dragged bad again but caught and fired so I got her home. Once home I tried to fire her back up and it really dragged bad and I just called it.

Let the car sit a bit once home and checked the battery, it was right at 12.5. Starting to think the battery might be okay but that the starter is not happy. I wonder if last years problems with charging as well as the heat could have hurt the starter.
 

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Glad the rear is working for ya, and yes I sold the Nova about 2yr ago. Just picked up a 68 Camaro that I’m resurrecting, check out the pix in my bs area post...
 
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