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  • Starter on a rebuilt 430 runs slow

    Greetings,

    I just rebuilt the motor in my '60 bird, it's a 430. Other than a higher lift cam and the flat pistons, the motor is stock. The ONE part that I did not replace in the rebuild was the starter, as it looked good and worked pretty well before I rebuilt the motor. I did of course clean it on the outside and paint it.

    After getting the motor rebuilt, I bought a new battery, 750 CC Amps; it was the highest amp battery they had, as my car was not listed.

    Now, when I turn it over to start, the motor turns very slowly, stopping at times. I was barely able to get the motor running a couple of times.

    My question is - is this normal, is higher compression of a stiff new motor the culprit, or should the starter be rebuilt/replaced? Is the battery too weak?

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Steve

  • #2
    Did you try turning the motor over with out plugs in it first. I did that with mine to break it in before stressing the starter. It's not unusual for a newly rebuilt motor to turn over slow until it's broken in. Were you able to turn the crank by hand before you installed the motor. That would've given you some idea how easy or hard it would be on the starter.
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jopizz View Post
      ...Were you able to turn the crank by hand before you installed the motor. That would've given you some idea how easy or hard it would be on the starter.
      Exactly... An engine that is put together too tight really taxes a starter. Starter current is in direct relationship to the torque it must produce to spin.

      If you told us you could turn the crank with a long wrench at the damper pulley, then I would say your electrical connections aren't tight. But, first things first. Try turning the crank by hand.

      Where is your ground wire attached? Is it close to the starter? Also, make sure your car body is grounded with a separate wire coming off the battery (like modern cars have).

      Let us know what you find. - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, let's see..

        Yes, I've taken the plugs out, and even put *a bit* of oil in each cylinder just for kicks and ran the starter with the plugs out for a while...

        Yes, the motor seems to turn OK with a breaker bar on the crank. Stiff, but it moves.

        The ground off of the battery is mounted to the top bolt on the bracket for the generator, which I believe also goes through the water pump. Could you suggest something better? I wasn't comfy with it myself...

        Dave, could you clarify "Also, make sure your car body is grounded with a separate wire coming off the battery"?

        For the starter, upon rebuild I noticed that the bolt for the cable to the starter came perilously close to the exhaust manifold. To make it work, I had to cut the bolt down, as well as cut the nut in half to get a clearance that I was comfortable with. I know from Dave's page that the body of the starter for the 430 bird was modified - my guess is this was the reason (perhaps the starter may be from a Lincoln?).
        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          In 'electrical', we try to take all the resistance out of the path as possible. Ford tries to save money by cutting as many corners as possible. Consequently, your small copper ground wire was connected to the shortest practical point on your engine.

          Both stranded copper conductors of sufficient diameter, should be connected as close to the starter motor as possible. Iron and steel have a higher resistance than copper, which isn't evident until you pump hundreds of amps through it.

          I suggest using oversized wires with CRIMPED connections. #2 or #1-AWG (American Wire Gauge). I won't get into the 'solder' arguement, but I never solder. Neither do any car manufacturers. If your system is 6-volt (like '55 'birds), you need much larger wire.

          For vibration areas, Welding Wire makes the ultimate conductor because it has hundreds of strands and is super flexible. 'Fixed' areas, like between your battery and starter solenoid can use regular #2 THHN wire from Home Depot or Lowe's.

          It doesn't matter if the starter nut is cut down, but it must be tight. It can nearly touch the exhaust manifold as long as there is some air gap. Your starter lug is soft copper. All the parts stores sell rebuild kits for that lug because it bears the brunt of heavy, vibrating, wire.

          When I route my starter wires, I use a spare block hole that's drilled and tapped (anywhere around the motor mounts). Then I strap the wires to the block before they get to the starter. That relieves the starter lug. I connect my ground wire to the bell housing, close to the starter motor.

          The car body needs a solid ground. Squarebirds came with a braided strap at the firewall. After awhile that strap fails and current goes through your U-joints and bearings.

          Modern cars have a small (#10), short, wire running from the battery's NEG post to the radiator support. You should do the same. Your headlights will love it.

          Steve, with proper connections and good wire sizes, your starter will perform much stronger than it ever did. Right away, you will notice a big change. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          Comment


          • #6
            I had similar problems with starter motors on my 430 until I found the "right" autoelectric shop. One of my starter motors have 6 volt coils in it, another one had the smaller coils for a 352 in it. The 430 starter motors have a higher torque than the 352s - hence the different part number. Also, as Dave says, a really good ground is essential. and yes, the stud is periously close to the exhaust manifold.
            sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

            Comment


            • #7
              In addition to all the ground and power cables being in place, I would add that often on a restored motor, paint on the connections could inhibit the flow of current or the ground.
              I recently did some research on the 430 starter, having been faced with a close fit of the stud and the manifold. What I found was that by checking all the part numbers of the two starters, 352 and 430, is that they are identical EXCEPT the drive housing. This housing is threaded for the starter bolts that hold the casing together and has the 3 holes to mount the assembly to the bell housing.
              The drive housing on the 352 puts the stud near the 12 o'clock position where it interferes with the 430 manifold and pipe. The 430 drive housing puts the stud near the 1 o'clock position and provides ample clearance for the 430.
              My presumption is that over the years these starters made one or more trips to a large rebuilder where they were disassembled, and the parts put in a big bin. With the slight variation in the position of the stud threads in the housing, it was difficult to get the correct one to add to the other rebuilt components (if anyone even knew there was a difference). Since the variation is so slight, it is not noticeable on the 352 (and perhaps the 390) and there were no complaints. With the limited number of 430's the installers made other provisions or searched for the correct ones.
              Carl

              Comment


              • #8
                I had the same problem with my old starter on a the rebuild engine .I got a rebuilt starter ,but the battery cable stud was in the wrong place (to close to manifold ) so I used the end plate from my old one that bolts to the bell housing to get the right clearance it seems to trun over fine now.Carl is right about the way the 430 starters are for the stud to mount the cable.Tom

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by partsetal View Post
                  I recently did some research on the 430 starter, having been faced with a close fit of the stud and the manifold. What I found was that by checking all the part numbers of the two starters, 352 and 430, is that they are identical EXCEPT the drive housing. This housing is threaded for the starter bolts that hold the casing together and has the 3 holes to mount the assembly to the bell housing.
                  The drive housing on the 352 puts the stud near the 12 o'clock position where it interferes with the 430 manifold and pipe. The 430 drive housing puts the stud near the 1 o'clock position and provides ample clearance for the 430.
                  Aha! So that is the difference. I was led down the garden path again! Oh well! Now I know. Thanks Carl.
                  sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Starter on a rebuilt 430 runs slow

                    Hi Carl,

                    Do you happen to have the information on the starters as to which part number is for the 430 and which for the 352? That would be information that I am sure that our members would love to know. Especially since this thread was started regarding the problems encountered with working on a 430 model starter. I could also put it in the TRL. Thanks!

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks to all for the great info, I appreciate it.

                      @Dave - Just to be clear could you please clarify:

                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      Both stranded copper conductors of sufficient diameter, should be connected as close to the starter motor as possible.
                      Specifically, which conductors? I assume one of these is the ground off of the battery.



                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      'Fixed' areas, like between your battery and starter solenoid can use regular #2 THHN wire from Home Depot or Lowe's.
                      I just have the regular battery terminal type cable here - I assume this is OK.


                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      I connect my ground wire to the bell housing, close to the starter motor....
                      ...The car body needs a solid ground. Squarebirds came with a braided strap at the firewall. After awhile that strap fails and current goes through your U-joints and bearings.
                      An extra wire from the firewall to the housing, yes?

                      Thanks again,
                      Steve
                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Steve, run a #2 cable from your battery NEG to your bell housing. Run a small (#10) from your battery NEG to your radiator support. That's two wires coming off your battery NEG post. One is large (#2-AWG) and the other is small in diameter.

                        A "fixed" cable is one that never moves; one that doesn't go to the engine, so there is very little vibration. The POS battery wire going to your starter solenoid is 'fixed'. The POS wire from your solenoid to your starter motor flexes.

                        Specifically, you should have two flexible #2 wires running to your starter. One is POS (that comes from your starter solenoid lug with ring terminals on both ends. The other is your NEG wire from your battery to your bell housing.

                        If you run the small ground to your radiator support, you shouldn't need any extra ground wires for the body. After having said that, I run a bare #10 copper wire from my battery NEG to my trunk! All along the way, I tap off of it for my DASH grounds, my WINDOW & SEAT grounds, Convertible top motor ground, GAS TANK ground, TAIL LIGHT housing grounds, TRAILER ground, and any other device that needs a ground (like my power antenna, and power inverter).

                        I have learned not to depend on 50 yr-old spot welds for good current flow. Remember... we need TWO wires to complete any electrical circuit. The ground wire is equally important as the hot wire, so don't take it for granted. How many times have you seen cars with one headlight dim, or a stop/tail light that 'floats' back and forth between bulbs? It's all about propper grounding.

                        CLICK HERE to see my, Ford Starter Motor Rebuild. - Dave
                        My latest project:
                        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                        --Lee Iacocca

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just a follow-up: I've connected the ground on the bell housing and the starter runs noticeably better. Still sluggish at times, but getting better every time I run the car for a while.

                          Thank you all for all of the info - great help!
                          Steve

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