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1971 Avanti II - Trouble starting a hot engine (starter won't turn at all)

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  • 1971 Avanti II - Trouble starting a hot engine (starter won't turn at all)

    I am posting this on the forum for those who either have Avanti II's with Chevy engines and those of you who have Studebaker cars with either Studebaker engines or re-powered with other engines.

    I have a 1971 Avanti II with a Chevy 350 engine. The car has had an off-frame restoration including rebuilding the engine and transmission.

    The car will start fine when cold and after driving a short distance (less than an hour). However, after driving long distances on freeway driving (more than 1 hour), the starter will not work at all. I need to get it jumped to get the starter to turn. or just wait until the engine cools down. I have checked the battery wires and connections; it is all tight and secure. My attention is turning to the starter and the proximity to the exhaust header. The single pipe header is approximately 3-4 inches away from the starter solenoid. It is possible that the solenoid is getting very hot from the header.

    Have any of you experienced this type of problem? Have you considered different starters or a heat shield that can be wrapped around the starter? I am thinking of getting one to try it before into getting another starter.

    Experiences, thoughts, advice?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Hot soak on starter can cause the armature to expand, and drag a little, especially if the bushings are worn. Being as this is a 350, there are host of compact gear-drive starters available at speed shops for not a lot of money. Being compact, it will sit further from the hot header pipe. And being gear drive, the armature bushings aren't subject to the strong side forces that the drive-end bushing normally sees.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


    • #3
      You had better bet, that is the biggest complaint of all on the Chev. powered cars. But Studes had the same problem too. Back in the day (1960's) we would try and find a Cad. ambulance 4 pole starter and put the Stude nose on it. If you go to Speedway or Summit you will find all kinds of shields for the Chev starter and cheap. The best way I have found is a stainless steel shield and a high torque mini starter. You should be able to get starter and shield for less than $100.


      • #4
        Don't know it this will cure your problem, I did see a post a time back which swore by this work around. Using a remote solenoid (Ford type) to drive the GM starter. I found this description on how to wire it up:


        • #5
          This topic was recently discussed both here and on the AOAI chat forum. I've owned a 1970 since it was nearly new and have experienced what you mention. It was always an overheated start relay, which is combined with the solenoid on top of he starter, which is located very near the exhaust pipe......
          The way I took care of it was to install a Ford type starter Relay somewhere away from the excessive underhood heat. Run the starter cables to the relay then to the top post of the starter solenoid and you'll never have the hot soak problem again.
          My battery was moved to the trunk, which is where the relay is now, but you can situate it somewhere on the inner fender near the starter. You never hear of a Studebaker Avanti with this issue..
          64 GT Hawk (K7)
          1970 Avanti (R3)


          • #6
            Ditto on the Ford Solenoid. It will fix it. Another way of solving it is to use a 70 Amp relay. Either one will work and eliminate the problem.


            • #7
              That was me. I double posted the same question on the AOAI forum.