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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 66 with 383 small block. It is a new build 3 years ago. I’ve had starting issues since. It just clicks at random times. Hot or cold. Here’s an example, Drove it last week and it started fine but when I got to my destination and shut it off it sit for probably 5 minutes and then just clicks. Had a guy with jumper cables and it started fine. So we unhooked jumper cables and let it sit for 15 minutes and went to start without cables and it started fine. Can’t seem to nail this down. This has happened several times at random. Have tried new battery and starter still does the same.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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The first thing I would check is the positive and negative battery cables and the terminals that are crimped on the ends.
  • What gauge are the cables?... possibly too small a diameter?
  • Do the cables look damaged anywhere?
  • Are the cable terminals tight and corrosion free?
Another thing to look at is your initial ignition timing. If it is set too high, it could cause starting issues.
- What is your initial ignition timing @ idle?
Next, remove the distributor cap and check the mechanical advance weights for proper movement. Confirm that the advance weights fully return to their resting position after they are advanced by hand.
  • What type of distributor are you using with this engine?
  • Is there a distributor advance curve kit (using lighter return springs) installed on your distributor?
I have seen some advance kits were the lightest tension springs will eventually stretch out and cause an over-advanced timing during starting.

I would also consider installing a remote mount starter solenoid (Ford type)... if not done already. The remote starter solenoid will act like a relay and supply more amperage to your starter mounted solenoid to improve "hot" starting issues.
 

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Sounds like possibly a loose ground or even loose positive connection.Have you checked the voltage at the battery when it's clicking? That'll tell you right away if it's a battery or something else. Make sure your battery terminals are tight and not cracked in any way that would cause a loose And make sure your terminals are clean as well. I've seen battery cables clamped pretty tightly but still not making a positive connection which could make it appear as if the battery was dead.

Typically a clicking solenoid is a sign of low voltage. Since you replaced your starter already I'm assuming that came along with the solenoid too? Sometimes solenoids can overheat and cause that sort of symptom but if you replaced It along with the starter I wouldn't think it was the solenoid.

Also check the voltage when the car's running and make sure it's charging. You should be about 12.5 at the battery with the ignition off and about two more volts with it running. Around 14.5 volts. Give or take...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I’ll check also these suggestions. Most are addressed. My question is why it does it sometimes and other times it cranks over just fine without me touching anything.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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My question is why it does it sometimes and other times it cranks over just fine without me touching anything.
A hot engine will heat up the starter mounted solenoid. A hot starter mounted solenoid needs more amperage to pull in the solenoid's plunger to engage the starter. Weak connections are more noticeable when the engine/starter is hot.

Also... if the mechanical advance weights within the distributor are sticking intermittently (or advance springs are too weak/stretched) and staying in an "advanced" position at various times, it could be causing the random non-starting issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fixed. I hope. I put a 30 amp relay on it basically like a solenoid and it cranked over fine. Let me know if this may cause other issues. Thanks for all the input.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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Thanks for the update!
The remote relay should work out fine as long as the wires used to connect the battery voltage to the relay... and from the relay to the starter solenoid "S" terminal are large enough to handle 30 amps (10-12 gauge wire).
 
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70 Nova, 427, TKO600, Vintage Air, Terminator EFI
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Fixed. I hope. I put a 30 amp relay on it basically like a solenoid and it cranked over fine. Let me know if this may cause other issues. Thanks for all the input.
Should work out fine. I hope you put a fuse or breaker close to the battery in the wire supplying power to the #30 connector on the relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the update!
The remote relay should work out fine as long as the wires used to connect the battery voltage to the relay... and from the relay to the starter solenoid "S" terminal are large enough to handle 30 amps (10-12 gauge wire).
Yep, 10 gauge
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Should work out fine. I hope you put a fuse or breaker close to the battery in the wire supplying power to the #30 connector on the relay.
Well no I didn’t But what size fuse should I use? 30 amp or 25 amp
 

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If it is a 5 terminal relay and the middle terminal is bare, I would run terminal 30 to the solenoid and 87 to the source of power. 4 terminal relays will not have an 87a terminal so it doesn't matter which terminal (30 or 87) goes to the source of power.
If you do have a standard 5 terminal relay and wire terminal 87 to the source of power and 30 out to the device it now has terminal 87a dead at all times. If you run terminal 30 to the source of power, then 87a while the relay is at rest will show power and if shorted out could cause an issue with the relay not being actvated. I'm VERY guilty of now and then wiring terminal 30 to the source of power and it really needs to be the other way in this situation and this is just my opinion. Other wiring options or setups though might need to have terminal 30 going to the source of power.

Also too if you have any sensitive electronics in the car, run a diode across the coil portion on the aftermarket relay.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If it is a 5 terminal relay and the middle terminal is bare, I would run terminal 30 to the solenoid and 87 to the source of power. 4 terminal relays will not have an 87a terminal so it doesn't matter which terminal (30 or 87) goes to the source of power.
If you do have a standard 5 terminal relay and wire terminal 87 to the source of power and 30 out to the device it now has terminal 87a dead at all times. If you run terminal 30 to the source of power, then 87a while the relay is at rest will show power and if shorted out could cause an issue with the relay not being actvated. I'm VERY guilty of now and then wiring terminal 30 to the source of power and it really needs to be the other way in this situation and this is just my opinion. Other wiring options or setups though might need to have terminal 30 going to the source of power.

Also too if you have any sensitive electronics in the car, run a diode across the coil portion on the aftermarket relay.

Jim
B1067DDF-93A4-42BD-80DF-429A94BB57C6.png
I did it like this
 

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If you look or test, 87a will show power with the relay not working as terminal 30 and 87a are in contact with each other when the relay is not activated and at rest. The reason I suggested wiring 87 to the source of power and 30 out to the device like a starter solenoid is "maybe" later you are looking for a spot to grab some more power for something and "think" you found 12V on this terminal (87a) and you wire too it only to have this power go away when the motor is cranked over. It might not be a big deal now but who knows later down the road. You will forget things due to time.

There was a forum member I helped out with something and he had terminal 30 going to the battery and 87 out to something like in the above picture you show and then forgot that 87a with the relay just sitting there has battery voltage coming out on it and wires something too it and could not figure out why he lost power off of terminal 87a when that relay got activated. It was how it was wired. These relays have a lot of flexibility and can be wired in more than one way and if wired in some ways can have one wondering what is going on as they do not understand how the relay actually works. Just like the diode across the coil. You might never see an issue from the relay not having one but one could.

For some good information, try the below site and scroll down on the right side to different things like relays, fuses, wire, diodes, switches, and so on. It might help with some electrical situations that are out there.


Jim
 

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Well no I didn’t But what size fuse should I use? 30 amp or 25 amp
Either is ok. You just don't want that wire from the battery to get worn somewhere and short out because it won't stop metling things it touches until the battery goes dead or the wire burns away. And of course it could cause a fire.
 

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Always fuse to the gauge and type of wire. If I had a 10 gauge wire, the most I would fuse it at would be 30A. Less is fine also but never higher in my book.

On the website: http://www.bcae1.com/if you scroll down on the right side to a section labeled "Wire" there are charts in there for recommended fuse sizes for wire gauge.

In the reference on that site:

Wire Gauge​
Recommended
Maximum Fuse Size​
00 awg​
400 amps​
0 awg​
325 amps​
1 awg​
250 amps​
2 awg​
200 amps​
4 awg​
125 amps​
6 awg​
80 amps​
8 awg​
50 amps​
10 awg​
30 amps​
12 awg​
20 amps​
14 awg​
15 amps​
16 awg​
7.5 amps​

Jim
 

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70 Nova, 427, TKO600, Vintage Air, Terminator EFI
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Always fuse to the gauge and type of wire. If I had a 10 gauge wire, the most I would fuse it at would be 30A. Less is fine also but never higher in my book.

On the website: http://www.bcae1.com/if you scroll down on the right side to a section labeled "Wire" there are charts in there for recommended fuse sizes for wire gauge.

In the reference on that site:

Wire Gauge​
Recommended
Maximum Fuse Size​
00 awg​
400 amps​
0 awg​
325 amps​
1 awg​
250 amps​
2 awg​
200 amps​
4 awg​
125 amps​
6 awg​
80 amps​
8 awg​
50 amps​
10 awg​
30 amps​
12 awg​
20 amps​
14 awg​
15 amps​
16 awg​
7.5 amps​


Jim
Oh nice! Jim, that is good info!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you look or test, 87a will show power with the relay not working as terminal 30 and 87a are in contact with each other when the relay is not activated and at rest. The reason I suggested wiring 87 to the source of power and 30 out to the device like a starter solenoid is "maybe" later you are looking for a spot to grab some more power for something and "think" you found 12V on this terminal (87a) and you wire too it only to have this power go away when the motor is cranked over. It might not be a big deal now but who knows later down the road. You will forget things due to time.

There was a forum member I helped out with something and he had terminal 30 going to the battery and 87 out to something like in the above picture you show and then forgot that 87a with the relay just sitting there has battery voltage coming out on it and wires something too it and could not figure out why he lost power off of terminal 87a when that relay got activated. It was how it was wired. These relays have a lot of flexibility and can be wired in more than one way and if wired in some ways can have one wondering what is going on as they do not understand how the relay actually works. Just like the diode across the coil. You might never see an issue from the relay not having one but one could.

For some good information, try the below site and scroll down on the right side to different things like relays, fuses, wire, diodes, switches, and so on. It might help with some electrical situations that are out there.


Jim
Thanks for that information
 

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Thank you for this Jim! Very insightful and informative, as always. Bookmarked for reference.
 

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70 Nova, 427, TKO600, Vintage Air, Terminator EFI
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85 Posts
Always fuse to the gauge and type of wire. If I had a 10 gauge wire, the most I would fuse it at would be 30A. Less is fine also but never higher in my book.

On the website: http://www.bcae1.com/if you scroll down on the right side to a section labeled "Wire" there are charts in there for recommended fuse sizes for wire gauge.

In the reference on that site:

Wire Gauge​
Recommended
Maximum Fuse Size​
00 awg​
400 amps​
0 awg​
325 amps​
1 awg​
250 amps​
2 awg​
200 amps​
4 awg​
125 amps​
6 awg​
80 amps​
8 awg​
50 amps​
10 awg​
30 amps​
12 awg​
20 amps​
14 awg​
15 amps​
16 awg​
7.5 amps​


Jim
Jim, that site has so so much more valuable basic information that can be applied every day in solving many issues in fabrication, in suspension setups, in general everyday things. Just tons of great information.

Thank you again for posting that link.
 
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