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Old 05-15-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
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car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

the car is a 89 formula 350 tpi. motor is stock only work done is exhaust (shorty headers, magnaflow cats, nascar style exit) it starts fine when cold but after about 20 min of ideling it will not start as if the battery is dead. when it cools down it starts fine again. could it be that the starter is getting too hot? the VATS? a bad relay? much thanks
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Joining in as i'm having the same problem.
Had the car at the inspection place of all things, they ran the car for a good 20 minutes screwing around trying to get their equipment working right. Didn't pass because of NOx but that's another thread.
Anyhow. After turning the car off to finish paper work, it wouldn't turn back on. Turn key gauges all peg and nothing else. No sounds, nada. After 6-7 minutes of checking fuses for the alarm and remote start, I jiggled the ignition coil and it fired right up. So I'm not 100% sure it's a short, dying ignition coil or it just had time enough to cool down.
Would like to find out the real answer before spending money.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Sounds like heat soak on the starter. With the starter being close to the headers, heat bleeds in making the starter too hot to function properly.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #4
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

If you find your exact problem fill me in as well. Iam driving a 91 rs with a built 350 and t5 5speed. Mine is running fine and strong however if the oputside temp is above 75 my car will just die as if you just shut the key off. Totally losing fire. I have replaced distributor cap, coil, new wires, ignition module, and rotor button. It is still doing it. After talking to a few people thinking my computer may be faulting out. Some of the problems here may be that also but if you guys find something other than that let me know please really up against a wall here.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:34 PM   #5
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Will heat soak on these cars only make it hard to start or will it cause other problems?
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

A starter getting hot will cause it to function poorly or sometimes not at all. It may even lead to the starter crapping out permanently. If it gets hot enough to melt wires, it can cause shorts which will lead to other electrical problems.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

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Originally Posted by Dr.NickRiviera View Post
Joining in as i'm having the same problem.
I jiggled the ignition coil and it fired right up.
No connection between coil wire and engine not cranking
Two seperate systems
No crank = starter /starter solenoid /battery / battery connections /starter relay or VATS (if equipped) problem
Crank w/no fire = Ign or fuel problem and VATS as well
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:45 AM   #8
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

where is the starter relay?

I'm having the same problem. I installed a mini starter but still having the "hot starts" issue. Im starting to consider a heat shield now.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

The start enable relay is part of the VATS system. Its located under the driver side kick panel, usually under a square of black gooey stuff. The VATS system just grounds the relay when the correct key is inserted in the column allowing current to flow to the starter solenoid when the key is turned.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:33 PM   #10
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Well I was just about to make a similar thread but I'll just add to this one. I've got an 89 pontiac 350 in my camaro, stock exhaust manifolds, stock starter, timing at 6*. Car cranks fine when cold but after a few mins of driving it will drag and tick like the battery is dead.

With the stock manifolds I don't think heat is the issue, but a while back the battery cable+a couple other wires got against the exhaust. The rubber was burnt off where it touched and the wire was exposed. Instead of replacing them like I should have, I doctored them up with electrical tape and wrapped them up with one of those plastic wire "sleeve"/protector deals and got them off the exhaust. After doing so, the car ran fine and I didn't have any problems. Thinking back on it this problem didn't start until the weather started to warm up. Could my wires just be getting extra hot from only have electrical tape protecting them?
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #11
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Unless the wires get hot enough to melt off the insulation and cause shorts/grounds it shouldnt cause problems. If its the stock starter, it could just be on its last leg.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:28 PM   #12
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Well, it shouldn't be. I didn't really make this clear but the starter is a stock style starter(not original) that I had bought from autozone a while back and only used about 6 months. It sat on my old third gen for about 2 years until I was fixing my burnt wiring on my current car and cracked the solenoid when I was tightening it back up. It seemed to work fine for the next few weeks but now it's been doing it every since. I'm thinking I may just go ahead and get a mini starter and see if that fixes the problem. Anybody got any part numbers for what I'd need? I think I read something a while back about there being some sort of issue making certain ones fit?

EDIT: I don't know know the if I have a 153 or 168 tooth flywheel either. Can somebody fill me in on that one?

Last edited by Boogie123; 05-16-2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:01 AM   #13
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Ok I'm getting confused here. From what I'm reading, I should have a 153 tooth flexplate with an in line bolt pattern starter. I've been underneath my car and around my starter enough to say that I am 99.99% sure mine is staggered.

This is an 89 350 from Formula firebird. I also failed to mention that when it does does crank when it's cold, it's a pretty hard and loud crank. Is it possible I could have some kind of mismatch going on here? I did replace the flexplate about the time all this happened. Hell it might have started as soon as I bolted it back up I honestly can remember. I wouldn't think this is possible but I'm just lost now. Please help.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:11 AM   #14
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

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Originally Posted by Boogie123 View Post
I've been underneath my car and around my starter enough to say that I am 99.99% sure mine is staggered.
If you have a staggered starter then you have a 168 tooth flexplate.
The two different starter / flexplate combo don't interchange so it would be impossible to have a mismatch
Staggered starter on 153 would miss altogether and parallel on 168 would not engage
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:12 AM   #15
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

If it happened when you replaced parts then thats were you should start. You may have gotten the wrong flex plate or wrong starter, or both.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:22 AM   #16
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Quote:
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If you have a staggered starter then you have a 168 tooth flexplate.
The two different starter / flexplate combo don't interchange so it would be impossible to have a mismatch
Staggered starter on 153 would miss altogether and parallel on 168 would not engage
Well, this might be irrelevant, but I would think the difference in the flexplates would be year? The 2 starters I have, I have used on my 89 pontiac 350 and my 83-84 chevy 350 and cranked both. Again I may be off, I'm just trying to be sure.

I'm probably looking to deep into this but I just can't help but wonder what determined which engine got what flexplate. Thanks for the help, man.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:45 AM   #17
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

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If it happened when you replaced parts then thats were you should start. You may have gotten the wrong flex plate or wrong starter, or both.
Yeah the problem is I can't remember exactly what order I did all this in. I've replaced basically everything on this car except the rear end. I'm gonna hunt down my old starter with the busted solenoid first thing tomorrow and compare the two. I'm thinking they were both staggered but I'll know for sure in the morning. If everyone says a flexplate/starter mismatch isn't possible, then I believe ya. I just don't know it could be. The starter cranks fine when it's cold and has never failed me completely, it just cranks very slow when it's warm. I would think if a mismatch was possible it would give me trouble even on the first attempt. I don't know, I worked the night shift last night and haven't a chance to sleep all day, my mind is burnt. lol This is problem I'll worry about tomorrow.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:36 AM   #18
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Common causes of slow starter operation when hot:

Too much initial spark advance.
Starter or solenoid going bad, worn or loose connections at starter.
Main positive power cable old, corroded, or damaged from heat.
Ignition module going out.
Coil going out.
Ignition malfunction causing misfires when cranking.
Weak grounding of starting and/or ignition system.
Failing head-gasket.



I'm sure there are some others that I'm missing.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:00 PM   #19
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by 305sbc View Post
Common causes of slow starter operation when hot:

Too much initial spark advance.
Starter or solenoid going bad, worn or loose connections at starter.
Main positive power cable old, corroded, or damaged from heat.
Ignition module going out.
Coil going out.
Ignition malfunction causing misfires when cranking.
Weak grounding of starting and/or ignition system.
Failing head-gasket.



I'm sure there are some others that I'm missing.
Yeah I'm wondering about the positive wire. I've got all next week off so I'll probably just replace the wiring and see what happens. The positive was in pretty rough shape so I really wouldn't doubt it could be the problem.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:32 PM   #20
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

the car is now either just cranking with out starting, or when you turn the key nothing happens. the gauges pin and thats it. im pretty sure its not the vats because it was disabled, it is getting spark, and im pretty sure it is getting fuel. when it does decide to start it dies after about a min or two.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:21 AM   #21
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

Another member had similar problem - wire from NSS going to starter enable relay was intermittently shorting out on the tranny.
On the subject of starter wiring particularly positive & ground cables. The insulating jacket does more than insulate it also keeps the strands bundled together once the insulation is removed, or damaged the strands begin to separate and corrode which reduces the amount of current that can be carried not to mention the heat produced by this condition.
Temporarily taping a cable to get you home is OK, but they should be replaced as soon as possible. When cables become stiff especially near the end indicates internal corrosion and should be replaced.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:13 PM   #22
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Re: car starts fine cold but when it gets warm it will not crank

one of the problems was bad plug wires, and a bad injector. replaced both. runs better needs to be boosted to get it running. think the battery has to be replaced
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:13 PM
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