1967-- engine barely turns over after being driven

Started by Cadillac Nut, March 23, 2012, 03:43:38 PM

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Cadillac Nut

Hi Guys,
I have a '67 Fleetwood 75.  Starts strong after sitting overnight or for several hours.  However, after I drive & park it, it is very difficult to start, even after short 5 mile or so trips.  The battery is new and the starter is new, the alternator was rebuilt a while ago.  Everything else is original or very old replacements.  This has got to be a heat issue, correct?  Any pointers as where I should start-- battery cables, grounds? Car has never failed to start.  Thanks in advance for your help.


Garrett Baker

Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

I think you've nailed it. Battery cables, connections and ground is where I'd start looking.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

The Tassie Devil(le)

Yes, sounds like a bad earth (Ground) to me.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

cadillactim

Is there a heat shield on the starter? If not, the engine heat will cause the starter to drag until it cools off.  Real common problem.

Tim
Tim Groves

Glen

I am pretty sure these cars did not come with a heat shield when new.  If there is a problem with engine heat causing problems in the starter there is most likely something wrong, either in the starter or maybe an exhaust leak onto the starter. 

More likely the problem is the battery cables are too small or there is corrosion in the connections on the battery post, or the post on the starter, or ground connections at the frame.

Battery cables should be 2/0 or larger.  Many replacement battery cables you find in the stores are made for Hondas etc. they are not big enough for big engine like in a Cadillac.
Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

62droptop

you also may want to check ignition timing
a hot engine and too much advance will make a slow cranking engine
also may want to check the battery cables like others mentioned, it is possible the cables ,even if proper size, are corroded inside the rubber casing causing way too much resistance when hot

i have seen cables in the machinery i work on, less than 20 yrs old and never exposed to road salt and such, be completely green and corroded the entire length of the cable

make sure you have a perfect ground connection, ideally should go from battery to starter bolt(or other place close to starter) with a heavy cable


mafed451

hi, I just joined the forum, hope I'm posting right.just trying to get the hang of this here.Well, sounds crazy butI had an oldsmobile did this for a while, ran the gamut, batt cables, starter, checking grounds. Came to find out the distributor shaft was full of filth and rust and eventually chewed up the housing.When it was cold there was enough clearance for it to rotate okay but as it warmed up the clearances tightened up on it. If I started it and just went to the corner , I would get away with starting it again but if it had run for an hour or so it would act as if the engine were stiff.Pulled the dist. after it was hot and it cranked normal.Good luck.

Cadillac Nut

Thank you all for your ideas!  This afternoon I am going under the car and will check a few things out, the grounds, connections, etc.  The battery cables look real old  to me. I am betting they are corroded, they don't look good.  Where can I find correct replacements? Currently they are blue, does anyone know if that is the factory color for them?  There is no heat shield.  Tim, do you know where I could find one that will fit?  They didn't come with them new, to my knowledge, but it's something to try.  I have been through 3 starters-- the original, a rebuilt replacement that broke, and a new one.   I replaced the original starter to try to avoid a problem.  Why I purchased a rebuilt one instead of a new one I'll never know.  It failed, and I had to tow the car.  Bought a new one and seems fine.   Could be an exhaust leak, I think there is one near it.  Battery post connections are fine.  Will know more this afternoon & will post my findings.  Will check out timing and the distributor once I have eliminated the other possibilities.  Thanks again!

Garrett

cadillactim

If you have a big enough exhaust leak a heat shield may not solve the problem. You can probably get a heat shield from your local parts store. GM used the same heat shield on many models, and you can use one from one up to ablout 1981.

Tim
Tim Groves

Cadillac Nut

Thanks Tim, I will try to buy one at my local parts store.  I definitely need new battery cables, looking under the car, one looks so-so (white deposits on it), on the other the end is painted over.  So... can anyone tell me what the correct color is for those?  The exhaust looks ok in this area, though it is routed awfully close to the starter.   I cleaned up one ground strap.  I will be detailing the whole area as well as the bottom of the engine, it looks pretty bad under there now.   

Garrett 

The Tassie Devil(le)

Regarding the White Deposits, this can be removed by pouring boiling water over the terminal, and then removing, cleaning and replacing the terminal.

This deposit interrupts the electrical flow, and removing it makes wonders in starting.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Cadillac Nut

Thanks Bruce.  Was not familiar with that cleaning tip.  The white deposits are actually along the wire insulation. Don't know what that means.   The one painted over connection is my fault >:(   Wasn't watching when painting the frame....  Would the authenticity manual tell me the correct color for the cables?

Garrett

The Tassie Devil(le)

G'day Garret,

There shouldn't be much of the white deposits going back up the wire, unless there is a vast amount on the terminal and clamp.

I am not familiar with the Authenticity Manuals, but the Workshop Manual will give you all the colour coding.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Glen

The 67 shop manual shows both battery cables as black. 
Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

Gene Beaird

If you have white corrosion up on the cable itself, you've got acid intrusion under the insulation, and no doubt have corroded/broken cable strands inside the cable.  You definitely need to replace the cables.  That'll probably relieve your hard start issues, and would have also prevented the need to replace your OEM starter. 

Most battery cables these days are all covered with red insulation, unfortunately.  You can paint them with black vinyl paint.  It will help, but the paint can rub off. 

When it comes time to replace the cables, remove them from the battery, clean the terminals on the battery with a wire brush, vacuum off the oxidation crumbs, and then, when clean and dry, install the new cables.  After that, coat the cable ends at the battery and the battery terminals with some dielectric grease.  That'll cut down on the exposure of those lead parts to the atmosphere and acid vapors. 

I have to do the same on our 68.  The old terminals were long-ago cut off and those 'repair terminals' installed.  They rarely last long before causing problems.

Gene Beaird,
1968 Calais
1979 Seville
Pearland, Texas
CLC Member No. 29873

62droptop

the local interstate battery center will make up cables any size or length, and in red or black,what ever you want
pretty reasonable too

just might not have the correct end available to look original to the car

Cadillac Nut

Thanks Glen & Bruce.  Don't know how I missed that in my shop manual.   :o  I was able to find black battery cables, they are AC Delco.  Gene, thanks for the tips and info.  I should have done this a long time ago.  I don't remember if the starter I pulled out was OEM or not.  I was not as concerned with OEM and that sort of stuff then, but I am now. (I learned fast).  By the way my battery cable ends are the replacement screw down type, not helping either.  Will let you know when I have the cables installed.

Garrett

Cadillac Nut

Hi,
I got the battery cables, but they are 4 gauge wire.  Isn't that much to small?  What's the minimum they should be, 1?

Thanks,
Garrett

curly

I'd  use a 1, maybe a 2 gauge if you cannot find the length you need in 1

T Lewis

62droptop

i just had some 2/o cables made up in nice super flexable welding cable

i replaced some 4 gauge cables that were almost new on a v8 powered industrial lift, it struggled to crank when hot and actually burnt up the starter
i had the starter rebuilt and installed the 2 ott cables and now it cranks amazing fast,even when hot 

nice soldered on ends ,almost looks like a factory style cable

talk to a local parts place to see who they recommend

you can never have a  too large  battery cable
(as long as it fits anyway)