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Hi gang - sorry long time no visit. That's because the wagon has been running BEAUTIFULLY after my opti and related seals overhaul. HOWEVER, at 333,000 miles, I have oil leaks which I am tracking down - here's my question: would hot oil on the starter cause the starter to not want to crank? I've noticed recently that after a long or hard drive, the starter needs "coaxing" to turn the engine over. Once everything's cooled down, it's fine. I've gone over all the electrical connections, but one of my oil leaks is running down onto the starter, so I think when the engine is hot, and hot oil is on the starter, then it's not happy. I have read a very good post on the forum about where that oil might be coming from, and now that the snow is almost gone (I live in eastern Oregon and have no indoor work space) I'm going to investigate. I've been watching my oil leaks for awhile now, and this is the year to address them!


The starter is only a couple of years old, and is one of those gear reduction types. I bought it from O'Reilly's but can't remember if it's a "new" or rebuild. I also tried to follow a link to replacing the intake manifold gasket, but the link was too old (2007 I think), so any newer info (current links) would be greatly appreciated. I've got a 95 Caprice wagon.



V
 

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Hi gang - sorry long time no visit. That's because the wagon has been running BEAUTIFULLY after my opti and related seals overhaul.
HOWEVER, at 333,000 miles, I have oil leaks which I am tracking down.
Here's my question: would hot oil on the starter cause the starter to not want to crank? I've noticed recently that after a long or hard drive, the starter needs "coaxing" to turn the engine over.
Once everything's cooled down, it's fine.
I've gone over all the electrical connections, but one of my oil leaks is running down onto the starter, so I think when the engine is hot, and hot oil is on the starter, then it's not happy.
I have read a very good post on the forum about where that oil might be coming from, and now that the snow is almost gone (I live in eastern Oregon and have no indoor work space) I'm going to investigate.
I've been watching my oil leaks for awhile now, and this is the year to address them!

The starter is only a couple of years old, and is one of those gear reduction types. I bought it from O'Reilly's but can't remember if it's a "new" or rebuild.
I also tried to follow a link to replacing the intake manifold gasket, but the link was too old (2007 I think), so any newer info (current links) would be greatly appreciated. I've got a 95 Caprice wagon.

V
No relation to the humble vaudevillian veteran who vowed to vanquish the venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition?

Any starter should be able to operate normally even when its engine has been heatsoaking for a while or is close to overheating.
Starters that are too close to headers typically get protection via some form of heatshield for fear that they'll succumb.
Blablablah, point is, hot motor oil on the starter seems well beyond its operating envelope. Till you find that oil leak, maybe protecting it from oil landing on it would help.
 

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Before checking out starter damage have the battery tested in the car when the car is hot.


I've gone over all the electrical connections
This would mean cleaning the battery terminals, battery clamps, ground connection to the engine, and the ring terminal at the starter.


The next check would be to the battery cable to the starter. When hot very carefully connect a voltmeter lead to battery + and the other to the starter + stud. When the starter is cranking there should be only a small voltage loss in the cable. Less than 1 volt? Voltage lost in the starter cable reduces what the starter can use. Battery cables can corrode over time and cause starter problems. Ohm measurements will not show the problem.
 

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If the oil were the problem, why would it start normally after it cools down?

I had so-called no-start-when-hot starter problem with my other Cadillac. It is a known problem and caused with thermal deformation of armature.

You drive for a while, turn the engine off to buy a pack of cigarettes, come back in a few minutes and ... no crank! You wait for some 15-30 minutes (depends on how hot the engine was and on outside temperature) and it starts. They say spraying water on starter or whacking it slightly with hammer helps, but I never tried that. You could try.
 

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Voltage drop seems to be 0.2V to 0.5V. Preform the same test on the negative cable from the battery to the block. You can google voltage drop test for more information. Bottom line is large cable problems show up when hot and large current is run through them. Ohm meter tests do not use enough current to show the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your info. I did not know that large cable problems show up when the cable is hot. I carefully went through all my electrical connections as soon as I started having this problem, but suspect the positive cable has internal corrosion. I will check the voltage drop.



Huf - my theory was thermal warping of the armature, (caused by hot engine oil heating up the starter) also. But thought I might just be crazy. I drive this car between Pendleton and Portland, Oregon, and it's really disconcerting to stop for a pee and not be able to start the car again. This JUST started, and seems to coincide with an increase in oil leakage. Is there a current thread about R&Ring the manifold gasket? If that indeed is where the leak is coming from. I tell you, if it weren't for this forum I would never have been able to keep this car running.



Marky - yes, I am familiar with heat shields on starters - my husband has an Alfa 164 where the starter is mounted between the transverse engine and the firewall, right below the exhaust manifold! The heat shield is one of the things that makes dealing with that starter so difficult. Change it out when you do the clutch, they told me. So I did. Anyway.


Am now trying to decide between doing taxes and working on the car in a muddy driveway.


That's why I am the V.
 

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I did not know that large cable problems show up when the cable is hot.
Good cables have more resistance when heated. Resistance ratings are at 20degC and will increase a small amount with heat. Engine compartments get much hotter, hence most engine wire insulation is rated for 105 to 125degC so the insulation(cover) does not melt off the wire. Corroded cables reacts worse to heat.



suspect the positive cable has internal corrosion.
The cable(s) may test bad when cold. If they do they will be worse hot.


Cold winter temperatures can mask problems like this. Spring temperatures may be your problem more than the oil problem. Please consider the battery as well.
 

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Good cables have more resistance when heated. Resistance ratings are at 20degC and will increase a small amount with heat. Engine compartments get much hotter, hence most engine wire insulation is rated for 105 to 125degC so the insulation(cover) does not melt off the wire. Corroded cables reacts worse to heat.



The cable(s) may test bad when cold. If they do they will be worse hot.


Cold winter temperatures can mask problems like this. Spring temperatures may be your problem more than the oil problem. Please consider the battery as well.
All good points, but because starters on these cars are so easily serviceable, next time it happens, a quick "whack test' could confirm (if positive) that the starter needs replacement.
 

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OP

We don't know how much oil is landing on your starter....at some point if the starter gets pissed on by any fluid it likely can effect its operation

I suspect the starter is fading, assuming your battery isn't, and/or the battery cables are done. at 330k mi they would be long done if originals. Even if they have been changed at some point if they are auto part store type....replace with IW ones

IDK what "gear reduction" starter you got but many of us got the Denso (new) "Corvette" one at Autozone if you wind up needing a new one.
 

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One more vote for the Innovative Wiring LT1 cables--it's nice to order, hold, and install such a high-quality product.

Hey, everyone, remember how we used to crank cars before fuel injection? If you kept your carb/choke/ignition perfectly adjusted, a pump of the gas pedal would bring a very quick start, but it's nothing like electronic ignition and fuel injection and ECM w/ sensors. Now it's like one second to start. Heck, my Fleetwood starts faster than my gf's Mercedes, which is almost as old.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
good info

Hey y'all thanks for the great info. I think the starter I got was one used in Camaros as well. The NAPA people tried to sell me a huge thing that looked like it was out of a tractor. The O'Reilly's guy immediately knew what I needed. This is the second starter I have put in this car, but that's been my experience with starters. They just don't last forever. I've put 2 in each of my 2 pickup trucks as well.


I would like to get new cables. The positive one definitely has corrosion, so no doubt the negative does as well. I will check out the IW ones.


The wagon usually starts on the first crank, and yesterday when I moved it, it started perfectly. It's only have the starter/car/wiring is hot that it balks. I have done the whack job on starters before, but the wagon is so low that it's a little difficult to get under it at the rest area...


As for oil leaks. Uggh! Well, the engine does have a lot of miles on it. The front main is leaking, slinging oil all over the lower front of the engine. The transmission cooling line is leaking at one of the metal crimp connections (I can see the red tranny oil on it, as opposed to amber engine oil every where else). There is a lot of oil on the sensor on the passenger side of the block - I'm not sure which sensor that is. I have to clean things well enough to see where the rest of the oil is coming from on that side. Interestingly, the starter electrical connections are dry, but the starter itself is oil covered.


On the driver's side, the sensor on that side of the block looks leaky, and I think the oil filter adapter is leaking also. I replaced the oil cooler lines last February and they are still OK.


I think the pan gasket is leaky too.


Now I can't remember just how much I have to take off the engine to get at the front seal. It wasn't leaking too bad when I did the Opti last February, but it seems to have gotten worse. Do any of those stop leak products help, temporarily, until I can replace it? One of my mechanic friends likes to tell me not to worry, but personally I don't like leaving a trail of oil that someone can follow...



One of my cats also needs replacing, and it seems from this forum that there are bolt-in replacements. The cat is broken up inside (the pieces rattle if I gun the engine) but it still seems to be working because my check engine light isn't coming on.


OK. end of saga. Just needed to share all the gory bits of a much-loved, much driven, vehicle!


V
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I climbed under the car and cleaned things up, and started the car and looked. There are no catastrophic leaks (and I don't use much oil, in spite of how ugly it looks down below). The current starter only has about 50K miles on it, was installed in Jan 2016, but I have had to replace starters on other rigs with way fewer miles than this before.


Checked out the IW cables. A little rich for my blood right now. Am finishing up taxes, and being a self-employed farmer, well, it's a little ugly financially right now.



Might just stick a "new" starter in and see how she goes. As one of you said - the starters on these cars are easy to service.


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It would seem you've got a handle (just pending cash) on the starter battlefront. The "oil everywhere" on a motor with only 333k has me interested though. hahaha

.......
As for oil leaks. Uggh! Well, the engine does have a lot of miles on it. The front main is leaking, slinging oil all over the lower front of the engine.
You're not giving credit where it's due for a major culprit of oily engine leaks = the intake. A really really thorough cleaning of entire underhood will offer up if time (or more likely overdue) to pull it for new sealer on the china walls. It's actually way easier than a timing cover, while even that ain't so hard if you put a 1/2 hour into searches for how the smart guys here do that.

The transmission cooling line is leaking at one of the metal crimp connections (I can see the red tranny oil on it, as opposed to amber engine oil every where else). There is a lot of oil on the sensor on the passenger side of the block - I'm not sure which sensor that is.
The only stuff on that side is the temp sender intha head and one of the knock sensors way low. Both screw into water not oil. More likely it's a valve cover gasket. Or even more likely that vent grommet on the cover.

I have to clean things well enough to see where the rest of the oil is coming from on that side. Interestingly, the starter electrical connections are dry, but the starter itself is oil covered.
Intake.

On the driver's side, the sensor on that side of the block looks leaky, and I think the oil filter adapter is leaking also. I replaced the oil cooler lines last February and they are still OK.

RE: oil filter adapter. At your mileage just:
(I love that one)
Arm yourself though with search on tips and tricks (and favored tools) for the job. The original gasket material is/was metal based and had a habit of "welding" itself to the block and resisting removal.


I think the pan gasket is leaky too.
I hear millionty times more oil filter adapter than pan gasket = really good cleaning helps show which

Now I can't remember just how much I have to take off the engine to get at the front seal. It wasn't leaking too bad when I did the Opti last February, but it seems to have gotten worse.
If you did an opti then there ain't much more but dropping the front of the pan. Mostly Search, or FSM, or even YouTube will help. lol

Do any of those stop leak products help, temporarily, until I can replace it? One of my mechanic friends likes to tell me not to worry, but personally I don't like leaving a trail of oil that someone can follow...
I like your mechanic freind. I say F'em if they can't take a few drips from your rig at its age and miles. For just leaks I would call anything in the motor except oil is a default "NO-NO". It was stated in another recent thread that any additive for leaks will be accomplishing it by rotting and swelling the gaskets - while also speeding up their failure altogether. And all that at the potential of poorer lubrication. So not no, but hell no.

............


OK. end of saga. Just needed to share all the gory bits of a much-loved, much driven, vehicle!

V

Stay the course. With a little Purple Magic, brush and warm water you'll be able to narrow down the lead angles of attack on them leaks.
 

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Checked out the IW cables. A little rich for my blood right now. Am finishing up taxes, and being a self-employed farmer, well, it's a little ugly financially right now.
The IW cables are the top of the line option, Some cable measurement and a trip to a tractor or truck supply company could be much cheaper. If you farmer's ingenuity fails you PM me for a workaround for a new alternator cable.


Might just stick a "new" starter in and see how she goes. As one of you said - the starters on these cars are easy to service.
I got a new(not rebuilt) "Professional Series"AC/Delco Vette starter. I do not have many miles on it but it was actually cheaper than the Caprice one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks!

Black - thanks for the point by point answers to my leaks. I will proceed! And the comments about cables. All good info.

Took the entire heater hose/attachment bracket/tee/restrictor assembly off the car today, because the hose from waterpump to restrictor has been seeping at the crimp connector. (read and printed out an earlier thread from this forum about all of this) I cut off the connecter and have enough hose to reconnect to my new restrictor but wondered: is it possibly to "pop" that bracket apart that holds the two heater hoses to the alternator bracket? Or do you just wiggle the old hose out and the new one in? My past experience is that these type things never go back together well.

Didn't approve of the new ground cable I got at O-Reilly's, the old one is pretty spiff still, so will leave it on. Am expecting arrival of a new positive cable on Thursday, so will install that one. My positive cable does look dodgy.

When I pulled the "home plate" off today, I found a rather large mouse nest under it. (hubby took picture which I will post) Now there is a trap there...I haven't driven the car for awhile because we had so much snow. I was using the Subaru just so I could get out of our driveway! Guess the rodents were happy about that.

OK. Got to run. Hubby is feeling lonely.

Y'all are really the best. Thank you for all your help. Thank goodness spring is here and it's fun to work outdoors!

V
 

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Discussion Starter #17
oil leaks, cont'd

Hey, I am such a moron (but you probably already knew that) - one of the first things I noticed on this '95 Caprice wagon (that I inherited from my rocket scientist leetle seester in 2005 with 90K miles, she thought it was ready for trade-in!) was that the valve covers seemed to be leaking. Of course I was intimidated by all the stuff I would have to remove to get the valve covers off. That was before I had done the Opti, so not so intimated now, but still ignorant...

I have been reading old threads about this. What gives: is replacing valve cover gaskets so basic that I should have thought of/fixed this, years ago? And yes, the grommet for the PCV whatever on the pass side does need replacing, that's easy to see. And I have NOT not done a thorough cleanup on my engine, but I am pretty sure that the intake manifold is leaking also. BUT, what about the valve cover gaskets? Is this a given, oh masters of the LT1? This is something I can probably do immediately, whereas the intake manifold will require a few more days of good weather, given my abilities and lack of covered space...

I look to thee for guidance (boy am I in trouble...).

Also, please explain the "china wall". I am still learning to speak LT1.

THANK YOU! :x

VM
 

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progress, or not

More clean up of oil mess on engine. Working on easy fixes. New grommet for valve cover PCV hose or whatever it is. OBVIOUSLY this has been leaking forever. Wanted to do valve cover gaskets also, but, can't tear into them right now. Just cleaning things up in anticipation.

New O-ring on upper oil cooler line where it connects to radiator. I thought there shouldn't be one needed, but it was.

Getting gasket set for oil filter adapter, and have been reading all old threads in reference.

Waiting on new positive cable for starter, and not putting things back on (heater hoses) until I get that installed. At least I will have fixed the leak in the heater hose and replaced the restrictor. Have the "T" on order, but mine is quite fine, thank you.

I am pretty sure I will be facing the China wall (where does that come from?????), since that seems to be involved with the intake manifold gasket, but I'm going to try to wait a little on that. Will TRY to use the car Monday and Tuesday for some travel, and see how she do. I have AAA 200 mile towing, so I can usually get towed to one of my houses (where my tools are) no matter what. I'm pretty darn sure I will be watching the "pretty girl does the manifold gasket" again (and again). Gee, isn't it fun to work on an engine that clean? Why, I could have my nails done BEFORE I started.

And, am going to replace my radiator drain cock. I hope. I've got the RF all drained out, so seems to be the perfect time!

I'm not due for an oil change quite yet, so will duel with the filter adapter then. And lord only knows what else.

A lot of fun, and the weather is getting nice. But, I'm out of beer. Better get to the store! :laugh:

VM
 

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[quoted V-]
Do any of those stop leak products help, temporarily, until I can replace it?


Here's some growth of thought from my post above:

This old codger offers up some innersting info. 2:15 - at your miles waddaya got to lose? Scott Kilmer - 'Doing This Will Save You Thousands in Car Repairs'







EDIT: But then again on the other other hand:


t swartzbaugh

Repeat of earlier post that never received a reply:

Please retract your endorsement of AT-205 Re-Seal. I read it can actually eat plastic/teflon/delrin?? type seals. I checked with ATP Automotive. It took some work (they wanted to only answer with what it does work on) but finally pinned them down and they admitted it can destroy non-rubber components. I would not use it unless ATP starts maintaining an explicit list of particular engines/transmissions where this product is safe and effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Before checking out starter damage have the battery tested in the car when the car is hot.


This would mean cleaning the battery terminals, battery clamps, ground connection to the engine, and the ring terminal at the starter.


The next check would be to the battery cable to the starter. When hot very carefully connect a voltmeter lead to battery + and the other to the starter + stud. When the starter is cranking there should be only a small voltage loss in the cable. Less than 1 volt? Voltage lost in the starter cable reduces what the starter can use. Battery cables can corrode over time and cause starter problems. Ohm measurements will not show the problem.
Well, replacing the positive cable seemed to do the trick! The car just performed a marathon trip from Pendleton to Portland to Olympia, and back, and started flawlessly every time. Thanks! I figured that was the cheapest, fastest thing to try, and it worked, so far.

As soon as I can have the car out of commission for more than 1 day, I will do the gasket fest, beginning with the oil filter adapter, since it will now be time for an oil change. And when I had "homeplate" off and was cleaning stuff, I familiarized myself with the intake manifold and associated parts which will have to come off. Should be very interesting for me. I was going to do valve covers, but decided to wait on that also.

V
 
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