Last post on May 20, 2013 at 7:41 AM
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#24773 of 25638 Re: foreign rarities [qbrozen]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Oct 22, 2012 (12:33 pm)
I think the Corolla project is a better investment than the Volvo with its rusty rockers (scary) and with the $2000+ in body damage, and the Corolla will be way more fun to drive when done.
Oct 22, 2012 (4:38 pm)
my '76 LeMans has been acting up lately. I drove it to work last Thursday. It fired right up, and got me to work without issue. On my lunch break I did my every-other-week beer run up to the discount liquor store, and it got me up and back without issue. When I got home, I pulled up close to the house to unload the beer. Started it up to drive down to the garage, and again, no problem. But, I turned it off so I could get out and open up the garage, and when I went to put the car away, it refused to start.
The negative battery cable had bee getting a bit iffy, and last year I bought a new one, but never bothered to install it, because the current one didn't get iffy enough, I guess. Well, I put the new one on, hoping that would cure it, but nope. So, I pushed it into the garage as far as I could, thankfully not throwing out my back. Then I used my Catalina, with one of the DeSoto's old tires as a cushion, to push it the rest of the way (getting it over the lip from the gravel driveway onto the concrete slab can be a real be-atch).
A coupe hours later, i came out and tried it, and the damn thing fired right up. A few times since then, I've tried it, and if it's cold, it'll fire right up, but let it run long enough to warm up, turn it off, and it won't re-start until it cools.
Tonight, I tried to start it, and there was a spark from the positive side terminal. I had the hood up, so I could see it. Then, the interior lights went dead. I loosened the positive cable, re-tightened, and it started right up. I drove it around the "block", about 3 1/2 miles. Parked it back in the garage, turned it off, and tried to re-start. Nothing but clicks. So, I swapped its battery with the battery from my '85 Silverado, to see if the problem was the battery. But, nope. The Silverado fired right up, and the LeMans just clicked.
After about an hour though, I went out and tried the LeMans, and it started right up. So, it seems fine if it starts cold, but refuses to start when hot. Any idea what that could be? Could it be the starter getting weak? I can tell from the sound it makes when cranking it, that the starter seems weaker than the one in my '67 Catalina. And, my '67 Catalina gets a bit cranky when trying to start it hot, although I can always depend on it, at least, to start. Or, if not the starter, any other ideas on what it might be?
#24775 of 25638 Re: I'm in a mood... [andre1969]
Oct 22, 2012 (6:42 pm)
Starter. I bet that if you have someone tap on the starter with a hammer (or similar) while you try to start it (warm), it will fire right up. Put a new starter in that puppy (probably $50-60) and it will work like a champ again.
#24776 of 25638 Re: I'm in a mood... [andre1969]
Oct 23, 2012 (3:58 am)
Tonight, I tried to start it, and there was a spark from the positive side terminal.
That sounds like a connection problem to me. I had one where the cable coming off the positive terminal looked fine, was clamped down tight on the battery terminal, but still had intermittent starting. Turned out the crimp where the cable came into the clamp was not done right and the wire had developed some corrosion inside the clamp.
Replacing the positive battery lead fixed this problem.
Oct 23, 2012 (11:12 am)
I'll look into the starter and battery cable.
Just for some sadomasochistic kicks, I drove the LeMans to work this morning. Fired up just fine and got me to work with no issues. I turned it off in the parking lot, but didn't bother to try re-starting. Came out at lunchtime to drive it back home. Again, started just fine, got me home. Parked it in the garage, turned it off, and then tried to re-start, and sure enough, click.
I guess I should consider myself fortunate that it decided until I got home last thursday to start acting up. It could have died during lunch that day, when I went on my beer run. Which would have made it the second time it died in front of a liquor store!
#24778 of 25638 Re: Thanks guys... [andre1969]
Oct 23, 2012 (4:25 pm)
I would guess starter also.
#24779 of 25638 Re: Thanks guys... [toomanyfumes]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Oct 23, 2012 (4:25 pm)
Dead spot on starter armature maybe? Or internally corroded battery cables?
#24780 of 25638 Re: Thanks guys... [Mr_Shiftright]
Oct 24, 2012 (5:35 am)
All this talk of not starting takes me back to my college days.
At the time, I was driving a '79 Pontiac Sunbird (2.5L Iron Duke, 4 speed manual). I was living in Phoenix, so hot weather was the order of the day for about 6-7 months of the year.
I had the exact same problem Andre is describing --- would start fine when cold, but if I'd driven it at all, then tried to start it again, nothing. Click.
I don't think I ever was able to figure out what the problem was --- or maybe it was the starter.
#24781 of 25638 Re: Thanks guys... [andre1969]
Oct 24, 2012 (7:11 am)
Andre- sounds like the common hot start issue that plagues Pontiacs...the position of the starter wrt to the block and the manifold restricts the airflow...so the starter is essentially a heat sink. So over time...well you see where this is going.
#24782 of 25638 Re: Thanks guys... [blh7068]
Oct 24, 2012 (10:20 am)
Andre- sounds like the common hot start issue that plagues Pontiacs...the position of the starter wrt to the block and the manifold restricts the airflow...so the starter is essentially a heat sink.
Yep, and my Catalina does it, as well, to a lesser degree. However, the Catalina will usually only do it in hotter weather. On a hot start, I can hear it give one quick growl, then a pause, then a couple more cranks and it fires right up. If the battery's getting weak though, it'll sometimes simply refuse to start until it's cooled down.
And to its credit, I've had the Catalina 18 years now with the same starter (I'm sure it was replaced at some point in its life though) and it hasn't gotten any worse.
So, maybe the LeMans's starter is just further along in its decay than the Catalina? Back in 2009 the LeMans had been getting real bad in hot weather, until it finally died one scorching afternoon at the liquor store. I let it sit about 4 hours, came back after dark, and while the weather was still stifling even then, the car fired right up.
The mechanic said that part of the problem was the distributor was messed up and way over-advanced to compensate. I remember him saying the number "54 degrees". So, he replaced the distributor, intake manifold, and a bunch of other junk, and it seemed to run fine afterwards. Much better starting, both cold and hot. He never could get the fast idle to work though, but another mechanic was able to fix that for me about two years ago. So now, it still starts up great when cold. But, when hot, it just clicks.
I'm probably going to wuss out and just take it to the mechanic and have him check the starter. I know I could probably replace it myself (I've done it on a '69 Bonneville at least), but these days I'm just paranoid about jacking up a car and climbing under it!
Oh, and I do have a confession to make. Way back in 2005, soon after I bought the car, the mechanic said the starter was getting weak. So, I guess I've had this coming for awhile now. I just figured I'd put it off, since it never seemed to get any worse.
In the past, when I've had starters fail, they'd fail completely....no start at all, hot or cold. So, this "partial" failure is a new thing to me I guess.
I wonder if there's any kind of heat shield you can get for the starter? I even remember my Dad saying about how Pontiac engines could get cranky with respect to the starter, so yeah, I guess it's a fairly common problem.
Another thing I was wondering...those insulated blanket thingies they put around car batteries these days. I wonder if one of those would help out my LeMans any? I'm sure all that under-hood heat cooking the battery isn't exactly helpful, either!