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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys new here and relatively new to ramchargers. First off I'll give some specifics of my issue I'm attempting to diagnose then I'll get into the build so yall have a better understanding. First off I drove my truck to work at the dealership last week and at lunch got in turned it over and click, didn't turn over. I pulled the starter and found the starter nose that sits in the bell housing had sheared off. Also this was a old school starter from the late 70s more on that later. I replaced the starter with a ultima reman (cheaped out) it trys to turn the motor over just boggs down motor turns maybe quarter turn and stops when attempting to start. I checked battery voltage and cranking amps (new optima battery btw) which was 12.4V and 1040 amps respectively. Next I checked for power at the starter with a DMM which was battery voltage. I've inspected the battery wiring all grounds and can't find an issue. I pulled the starter and bench tested it and it worked fine. I turned the motor over by hand 4 times to insure its not locked up this one has me stumped. Now for the build I have a late 80s 360 bored 60 over, mild flat tappet cam, mated to a 97 cummins NV4500 5 speed manual, rpm performer intake, hooker headers, holley sniper fuel injection and holly duel sync distributor holley coil and ignition box. Also the truck no longer has the starter relay on the fender, plug is there though. Been driving the truck for two months since installing engine without it having a starting issue. The power wire running from the starter to the battery like I said is good however there is a small wire that comes off the positive battery terminal that runs to a connector along with the small wire from the starter. The connector wiring runs into the fender somewhere I'm assuming that is for the ignition switch I could be completely wrong. Trying to find material on this is hard plus the previous owners of the truck have done some let's say strange things with the wiring I have found previously on unrelated things, trying to work out stock from joe bobs back yard job can be difficult at times LMAO. But seriously I'm wondering if this new starter has the same torque as the old school starter because the old one never had a issue turning the motor over. I cant find specs on the new or old one anywhere. Im close to ordering a dynomax starter but before i spend 400 bucks i would like to eliminate all other options. So if anyone can steer me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it!
 

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'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
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Just look at the wiring in the steering column or other areas related to the starter and that will tell you if the wiring has been butchered or not. If everything was fine before the starter sheared off I'd try a different and better starter first. Did the old starter shearing off damage the bellhousing area? Is the new starter aligned and engaging properly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I checked the seat for the nose of the starter and saw no issues and I ran a bore scope into the bell housing and didn't see any damage or pieces of metal wedged anywhere. And yeah the teeth fully engage the flywheel and the starter alignment is perfect.
 

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'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
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I'd try a better starter. I doubt you're going to have wiring and relay and other demons just because you changed a starter. Did the other starter shear off while you were starting your truck? It had to have been loose. Starters don't typically shear off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just trying to cover all the bases because the wiring on my truck is terrible lol. But I was thinking either starter or ignition switch and no I started my truck that morning no issues no weird sounds drove to work and at lunch turned it over and all it did was click. And you're correct I've never seen one sheer like this but it was full of oil due to a leaking valve cover gasket that has now been fixed. So that probably played a roll in its demise.
 

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'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
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Do you have a local auto electric store in town you can go to? They produce better starters every time. Even a used factory starter from an auto wrecker is better than the new CHINA starters.
 

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the ONLY thing l know that,ll blow a starter nose off and bind the motor up is if the timing chain an gears JUMPED and the timing is way off , there is either "excessive cylinder pressure" or a piston is hitting some valves
 

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So the engine has obviously been rebuilt, so whats the compression ratio? Many years ago i saw a 68 Charger with a new rebuilt 440 and it had 12:1 compression. Stock starter with 30 year old wiring made it unlikely to start if hot out.
Its be awesome if you could provdie piston part #, what heads being used and cam number or specs, especially duration


Just read your post closer- I would suspect a resistance issue, ie corrosion somewhere, though the broken snout off the starter would have me worried.
 

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Also this was a old school starter from the late 70s more on that later. I replaced the starter with a ultima reman
Return the starter and get one for a Magnum engine. They are a smaller high torque design and bolt right onto an LA engine. Most "high torque" LA starters are just rebadged magnums with jacked up prices.

And to eliminate the ignition as a source of the problem you can touch the small terminal/wire off the starter to 12v and the starter will turn over. Since your little wire doesn't go to a fender relay anymore like it should you can just lay a screwdriver across the big terminal and the little terminal on the starter itself to jumper the 12v. Just make sure the screwdriver (or piece of wire if you are doing it the safer less lazy way) doesnt ground out on anything or it will weld itself.

Also how is 12v fed to the starter? If the relay is gone is the large starter wire direct from the battery to the starter or is there a splice? Have you checked voltage at the starter itself to see if it matches the battery?
 

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Yeah I got the new magnum small high torque starter on mine. Sounds great.
 
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