Random No-Start - Starter Clicking

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G_RIDE_81

Apprentice
Oct 30, 2019
82
19
8
1981 Chevy Monte Carlo – 350 stock rebuild – Edelbrock Performer intake – otherwise stock

My starter seems to work fine at the cool 5am temperatures when I head to work. However, under current 85-90 degree temps at 2:30pm, the starter simply clicks for up to 5 minutes before it fully cranks. The is full power to the car/accessories during cranking attempts. The car sits in an open lot all day so I’m not talking about engine (exhaust) heat, just ambient heat.

Ill drive home on the streets for 45 minutes and about once a week stop to gas-up close to home. When starting the car after fueling, its about a 50-50 chance it will either start or click.

These are my observations. So, I feel confident it is not the battery, alternator. The starter is just over a year old. The afternoon clicks went from once every 2 weeks to almost daily over the past 3 months.

I’ve done some research and I’m deducing the solenoid (parts) have gone bad. Thoughts?

Just came across a video where a guy disassembled, cleaned, flipped the pieces inside the solenoid and claims will provide you with a new starter life-cycle. Has anyone “rebuilt” a solenoid on their own? Results?
 
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g0thiac

G-Body Guru
Sep 6, 2020
939
582
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1981 Chevy Monte Carlo – 350 stock rebuild – Edelbrock Performer intake – otherwise stock

My starter seems to work fine at the cool 5am temperatures when I head to work. However, under current 85-90 degree temps at 2:30pm, the starter simply clicks for up to 5 minutes before it fully cranks. The is full power to the car/accessories during cranking attempts. The car sits in an open lot all day so I’m not talking about engine (exhaust) heat, just ambient heat.

Ill drive home on the streets for 45 minutes and about once a week stop to gas-up close to home. When starting the car after fueling, its about a 50-50 chance it will either start or click.

These are my observations. So, I feel confident it is not the battery, alternator. The starter is just over a year old. The afternoon clicks went from once every 2 weeks to almost daily over the past 3 months.

I’ve done some research and I’m deducing the solenoid (parts) have gone bad. Thoughts?

Just came across a video where a guy disassembled, cleaned, flipped the pieces inside the solenoid and claims will provide you with a new starter life-cycle. Has anyone “rebuilt” a solenoid on their own? Results?
Just grab another one, any time I’ve heard of it being a problem with heat a new starter solved the problem.
 
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g0thiac

G-Body Guru
Sep 6, 2020
939
582
93
1981 Chevy Monte Carlo – 350 stock rebuild – Edelbrock Performer intake – otherwise stock

My starter seems to work fine at the cool 5am temperatures when I head to work. However, under current 85-90 degree temps at 2:30pm, the starter simply clicks for up to 5 minutes before it fully cranks. The is full power to the car/accessories during cranking attempts. The car sits in an open lot all day so I’m not talking about engine (exhaust) heat, just ambient heat.

Ill drive home on the streets for 45 minutes and about once a week stop to gas-up close to home. When starting the car after fueling, its about a 50-50 chance it will either start or click.

These are my observations. So, I feel confident it is not the battery, alternator. The starter is just over a year old. The afternoon clicks went from once every 2 weeks to almost daily over the past 3 months.

I’ve done some research and I’m deducing the solenoid (parts) have gone bad. Thoughts?

Just came across a video where a guy disassembled, cleaned, flipped the pieces inside the solenoid and claims will provide you with a new starter life-cycle. Has anyone “rebuilt” a solenoid on their own? Results?
However, since it is a year old. It might be a good idea to check your connections.

I know the negative battery cable should also be inspected, as a grounding problem may be the reason. However if that is the case, usually after the crank nothing else will work until the connections at the battery are re done.
 

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
9,071
15,117
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Elderton, Pa
Another factor to visit is if the starter is getting heat soaked due to how close the exhaust is to it. You said basicly stock other than the Edelbrock but are you running the stock/OE manifolds, older style or headers?
 
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G_RIDE_81

Apprentice
Oct 30, 2019
82
19
8
Another factor to visit is if the starter is getting heat soaked due to how close the exhaust is to it. You said basicly stock other than the Edelbrock but are you running the stock/OE manifolds, older style or headers?
Yes, stock manifolds and exhaust pipes. I have a heat wrap on the starter thinking it was exhaust related but it made no difference.
 

G_RIDE_81

Apprentice
Oct 30, 2019
82
19
8
However, since it is a year old. It might be a good idea to check your connections.

I know the negative battery cable should also be inspected, as a grounding problem may be the reason. However if that is the case, usually after the crank nothing else will work until the connections at the battery are re done.
They appear to be snug and in good condition but I'll give them another look.
 
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ELCAM

Royal Smart Person
Jun 19, 2021
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You say the solenoid is clicking but you don't say whether the motor is turning. The fork you turn around in the front housing is something you do when the solenoid clicks and the motor turns but it does not engage in the flywheel. See yellow arrow the solenoid pulls that lever toward itself pivoting the lever on the pin and there are round pins on that lever that push the starter gear into the flywheel when the pins wear you can reverse that lever and the other side of the pins is still round. If the starter is not turning free it is not that lever being worn out.

I would check all cables and wires and make sure the solenoid to motor connection is tight and clean (the red arrow).

Wrapping a starter with insulation will shorten it's time to failure by making it run hotter than it was designed for.

GM starter1.jpg


Are you running the starter brace? Not running it will also shorten the starters life.

Starter brace.jpg
 
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86LK

Royal Smart Person
Jul 23, 2018
1,889
1,925
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ELCAM is correct, you don't want to wrap your starter, you want a heat shield between your starter and the engine block/exhaust pipes
 
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