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First Long Haul & minor problem

S

sac001

Guest
Well, I did it. Took the vette up to NY to visit family for the weekend. About 300 miles each way and for the most part trouble free. :D

Minor problem #1, it seems I've developed an exhaust leak. It looks like the gasket between the passenger side exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe broke and is working it's way out. This was just installed a year ago, any idea how difficult it will be to loosen those bolts and install a new gasket?

Minor problem #2 (I hope). Being that I was on Long Island and didn't want to fight Sunday evening traffic, I left this morning at 4 am. After driving about 2 hours with lights & radio blaring, I stopped at a rest stop, and the car wouldn't restart. Tutned the key and NADA, nothing, zilch. The Choke and Brake lights came on as normal with the key, but when I hit the start position, they barely dimmed and not even a clunk at the starter.

I waited about a half hour, and bang, started up like normal and ran fine. Drove another 20 miles or so (in daylight, no headlights), stopped for gas, and again it restarted no problems. Drove the rest of the way home and still no problems.

Is it possible that driving with the lights on put some sort of load on the wiring and helped heat things up to the point that the juice just didn't get to the starter? When I first had the problem, I checked battery connections, all ok, and tapped at the starter, no help, and actually thought it might be the cutout switch on the clutch. But just letting it sit and cool off did the trick, so I'm thinking wiring.

All engine indications were normal, volts, temp etc for the whole trip, lights on or off, and when it restarted, the battery didn't sound drained at all.

Any suggestions?

By the way, while in NY I got some pictures of my car with my brothers white 80 vette. I'll post them later. :D

Steve :w
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
Sounds like starter, did you just tap it or have somebody hold the key over and really wach the starter?

Fire it up and let it run on a hot day, see if you can reproduce it.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Steve,

Are you talking about the donut gasket? If so, you'll need a deep socket to get it off. Once you get the three nuts off from underneath you may be able to work the pipe down far enough to slide the new gasket in but most likely you will have to loosen the pipe clamp ahead of the cat to work it down. One catch, those things can be a bear to get out of the pipe sometimes.

If you need a hand just drop me a line.

- Eric :w
 
S

sac001

Guest
Wolf, on the starter problem, I was alone and didn't enlist anyones help. I went underneath and gave a few light taps on the starter but nothing happened. I had to wait about a half hour then it fired right up. Like I said, I drove another three hous non-stop, pulled into the garage, shut it down, waited a few minutes and fired it right back up again. The only difference being the second half of the trip in daylight, with no headlights. :confused

Eric, yes I'm talking about the donut. I'm going to go out at lunch today to pick one up, and try to replace it tonight. Should I be able to get the bolts loose without heat, or am I going to have to heat it up? Thanks for the help offer, I'll let you know. :D

Oh by the way, the good news is 600+ miles averaged about 20 mpg, and only burned / lost about 1/2 qt of oil (most of it seems to be leakage, just don't know where from). Temps never exceeded around 205, but I did notice the alternator belt should be replaced.

Steve :w
 
Joined
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Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
sac001 said:
Eric, yes I'm talking about the donut. I'm going to go out at lunch today to pick one up, and try to replace it tonight. Should I be able to get the bolts loose without heat, or am I going to have to heat it up? Thanks for the help offer, I'll let you know. :D...Steve :w

Mine didn't require any heat, just a blast of WD-40 and some soaking time did it. However, some heat may help getting the gasket out if it's stuck.

- Eric:w
 
S

sac001

Guest
Actually, I can see the gasket has broken and started to work its way out already. Either it wasn't bolted up too tight originally, or it was just a piece of junk to begin with.

Steve :w
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
Steve,

It sounds like "Starter HEAT Soak" due to the design and where the starter is located, the starter gets very hot then everything expands, including winding connections.. once it cools down and contracts back to making good contact the strarter works ;)

I had a '67 that had this problem ALL the time, even with a new starter I used to carry a long screw driver and jump the connections on the seleniod, if I was in a hurry.. I finally put a heat shield around the starter and problem went away..

Good Luck, I sometimes used to think the ole '67 just wanted to give me some time for myself and test my patience :J
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
You can also fix the starter heat soak problem with the official GM Field repair:

Snip 2 coils off of the starter solenoid spring.

It's true! The GM fix was a replacemnt spring that was 2 coils shorter than the original. As a field fix, GM techs were told to simply snip 2 of the coils off of the original solenoid spring. Many have done this fix and not needed to spend the money on the heat shielding!

Russ
 

Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Interesting fix Russ. I'd never heard that one. That was a major hassle with my '72. The '81 has never had this problem. I have a buddy with a '72 Chevelle SS that has the same problem too.

Thanks............... Nut
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
Nut,

Got that little piece of info from Joe Lucia on the NCRS.org website when my starter was going out. As it turns out, my starter was bad so trimming the coil didn't help me, but those guys and gals swear by it! It's kind of a touchy subject because not all cars came with heat shields so the NCRS folks can't add them and they definitely can't add remote solenoids. All of the folks that chimed in on my started problem said that clipping 2 coils off of the spring worked perfect! (all except Joe :))

Russ

Read through this post for a bit of advice on hot starting
http://www.ncrs.org/forum/archive7.cgi?read=30174
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
farm out siezed exhaust manifold studs

When I pulled my 71's exhaust manifolds during disassembly for engine rebuild ... I found the studs & steel nuts at donuts were heavily corroded ... also studs firmly siezed in manifolds. The nuts came off with just a bit of penetrating oil. But the studs' threads were nearly half-depth from corrosion. I tried to remove studs for replacement ... having only propane I succeeded in shearing-off 2 or 3 ... so I had machine shop (w/ acetylene) remove all six for a $30 fee total. At local parts store, I bought two kits that contain 3 new studs & 3 long BRASS nuts each. I highly recommend replacing all 6 studs & nuts (use long brass nuts). If you can find someone to properly (without cracking manifold flange) remove all 6 studs for $30, it'd be one of the better values you'll find. Note that, at $30, my manifolds were off the car; thus easier for the machinist to work on.
JACK:gap
 

Nut

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Joined
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Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Great suggestion Jack, Thanks!!!

........... Nut
 
S

sac001

Guest
Well I may have found both problems in one spot.

When I checked the exhaust from underneath, I found that of the three studs that should hold it together, one stud and nut was completely gone, one nut was missing from a stud that was only hand tight, and the third was holding everything together. It also seems that the exhaust leak was coming from the gasket between the valve and manifold, which had worked its way loose since there wasn't much holding it together.

I also found a ground strap with the insulation so burnt that it crumbled in my hands. The strap is located near the starter and straps from the frame to the front suspension part of the frame.

Tomorrow I will try again to post pics to explain, but will also need to get new hardware (the long brass nuts were previously installed) and a new ground strap. I also found a loose connection to the starter from the battery.

Thanks for all the help, as usual you guys were right on.

Steve :w
 
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sac001

Guest
Pictures, I hope.

This is what I saw upon first inspection.
 
D

Dave L.

Guest
I would say you have found all your problems.That should be a pretty easy fix.

Dave
 
S

sac001

Guest
Exhaust is now all back together and sounds just right. :J

Replaced the ground cable, and haven't had the starter die on me again, but I also havent driven it for 2 hours with the lights on either. I'll be careful for awhile. ;)

As usual, thanks for all the help! :beer

Steve :w
 

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