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  #11  
Old 07-14-2013, 03:26 PM
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Rock&Roll Firebird Rock&Roll Firebird is offline
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Hello guys,

I'm paging to you from my garage so any kind of immediate reaction would be greatly appreciated. I just did the following on my 'slow starter' issue:

- cleaned the positive lead connection to the starter
- cleaned both positive connections on the starter relay
- checked, cleaned and measured the ground connection from the battery to the engine block (less 1 Ohm)
- checked the difference between Park and Neutral when cranking (no difference)
- used brand new high-energy VARTA battery
- did not try to start with the plugs taken out from the engine sofar

Unfortunately neither of those steps helped sofar.

I forgot to mention that the last time when I tried to crank the engine repeatedly (and the starter was slow already), there came a slight smoke from the firewall on the drivers side (from an electric isolation I guess).

Can you guys please advise the following?

a) how to perform the voltage drop test (did not find it in the shop manual)
b) how to remove the starter (is there a need to remove the steering?)
c) how to bypass the starter relay
d) is the starter connected to ground by it's mount to the engine block?
e) which connections do you recommend to check/clean
f) can you advise a part number and reseller for the new heavy duty leads to the battery
g) and finally - can you please recommend a new heavy duty starter

Thank you guys. If any other thing pops up on your mind, it would be greatly appreciated. Starting to be a bit desperate...
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2013, 03:52 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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If there is any question about the condition of the engine, I would pull the plugs and rotate the engine with no compression and see how it spins. It should turn over with little effort, even if you do it by hand using the fan blades.
When I got frustrated trying to remove my starter, I did a google search on starter removal for a thunderbird. You do not need to remove any of the steering components. If I remember you turn the wheels all the way to right and it should give you clearance with a lot of wiggling to get the starter out. I did have to drop my exhaust pipes to get enough clearance.
If you get the starter out, there is a good link in the TRL on how to check and rebuild the starter, or just take it to a starter shop if you can still find one. The bushings were badly worn in mine and it caused the starter to drag enough where it would not turn the engine over when hot. The cold engine was okay as I would get a few cranks before it failed to turn over.
The starter is grounded through the engine block and the engine block is grounded to the battery and also has a separate battery cable to the car chassis.
I wouldn't recommend trying to bypass the starter solenoid with the starter still in the car. You would have to put positive voltage to the starter by putting the 2 cables together, and under load you will get a pretty heavy spark. Starters pull a lot of power. It would be easier to just buy a new solenoid and try that if in doubt. They are not that expensive.
Good Luck
Nyles
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2013, 07:02 PM
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Nyles hits on a good point. Electrical current must overcome mechanical resistance. In other words, the harder your engine is to turn, the more current your starter requires to overcome that force. Of course, the starter motor can only produce so much horsepower, and no more.

You said your engine overheated, which tends to warp the metal. That could also make the engine harder to turn.

You indicated that your funds are limited. Knowing that, I hate to see you do this overhaul in small pieces. That process will cost you the most money.

You can remove the starter motor and rebuild it or at least clean the internal components and determine the status of the components. Good luck. - Dave
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2013, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock&Roll Firebird View Post

Can you guys please advise the following?

a) how to perform the voltage drop test (did not find it in the shop manual)
Here 'Ya Go- http://www.engine-light-help.com/voltage-drop.html
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2013, 07:53 AM
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Thank you guys for your help. I'll be continuing on the starter today. How can the starter be removed - I tried to loose those two bolts but couldn't move the starter a bit after removing them. Any idea?

And how to bypass the starter relay? I'd like to test it as well.

Finally, can you recommend one of these tho new starters (if there's the need)?

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/eca-2073
and
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/tci-313100

Thank you.
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2013, 10:16 AM
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The starter motor is held with three cap screws.

The starters that you are show are for later model engines. The starter drive is different. Usually to use the later style starter motor, the flex-plate has to be upgraded to a later style though I have heard mention on the FE FORUM there is a starter drive available that will make the conversion possible on an early flywheel/flex-plate.

Do you understand the method of performing a voltage drop test? It will ID any defects and/or poor ground(s). You need to perform the test before actually pulling the starter motor.

Here is your remote starter bypass switch tool-

http://www.tooltopia.com/star-tu-9p....aign=nextag_r1
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2013, 05:44 PM
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Rock&Roll Firebird Rock&Roll Firebird is offline
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So... A bad news and a good news. The bad news is, the starter is dead (the motor is burned). The good news is that the cause of the slow/hard starting was not a wrapped engine.

Now, I'm going to order the new starter but there is a huge price difference here. Mac's and other TBird shops are selling the reman starters for around $150. On the Rockauto though, there is an offer on Pure Energy reman starter for $46 (inc. the core).

Can you give me your thoughts on the quality/price difference here?

The rest of my starter is in a good shape (according to my electrical guy) so I can use the rest for parts if needed.
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File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 22.32.49.jpg (29.3 KB, 26 views)
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:02 PM
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The one on Rock Auto does not include the drive. If you can reuse your old one then I would go with the one from Rock Auto.

John
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
...You can remove the starter motor and rebuild it or at least clean the internal components and determine the status of the components...
This is preventive maintenance. New brushes cost US$8.00 new. I cannot help but think, if you pulled the starter motor at the first sign of trouble you might have saved it. When brushes wear, they arc and burn the commutator segments. Then, the starter motor is toast.

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope you do preventive maintenance on your other components (like your generator or alternator because both use brushes). - Dave
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  #20  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:45 PM
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Rock&Roll Firebird Rock&Roll Firebird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
This is preventive maintenance. New brushes cost US$8.00 new. I cannot help but think, if you pulled the starter motor at the first sign of trouble you might have saved it.
I have the very same feeling Dave. Well, sometimes we need to learn from our mistakes. Hopefully, there will not be lot of similar situations in the future.

Speaking of the generator, I would definitely like to exchange it for an alternator. I know only about the Powermaster alternators to fit the Squarebirds directly but a) they are 'only' 90 amps (I'd like at least 100 amp one) and b) they are bloody expensive

Have you any tips on suitable alternative here?
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