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1988 F250 351W starter heatsoak?

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
This truck fires off fine cold, but once warmed up, it turns a bit harder. It slows down enough that it is difficult to fire, but once it does, runs fine. I haven't checked the cables out yet, but since it has been a long running issue, thought it may be heat soaking the starter. I put a different but used starter on it and seemed to be better, but now it is back. It is still the old direct drive starter as well. Thoughts?
 

5.0Flareside

GingaNinja
14,444
365
La Vergne, TN
This truck fires off fine cold, but once warmed up, it turns a bit harder. It slows down enough that it is difficult to fire, but once it does, runs fine. I haven't checked the cables out yet, but since it has been a long running issue, thought it may be heat soaking the starter. I put a different but used starter on it and seemed to be better, but now it is back. It is still the old direct drive starter as well. Thoughts?
We had the same issue on Ann's 88 F150 and it took putting a rebuilt unit on it to go away. May try heat/header wrap to see if it helps it.
 

fatherdoug

Tonto Papadapolous
A starter that is clockable so you can move it away from the heat source? I also went through 3 NAPA starters with the same problem. Starter #4(from NAPA) was a miracle and has lasted about 5 years.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Thinking about switching it to a gear reduction starter. I know on the old 6.9 diesels it made a huge difference.
 

d-kuzmen

Master Ford Tech
2,064
64
Connecticut
This truck fires off fine cold, but once warmed up, it turns a bit harder. It slows down enough that it is difficult to fire, but once it does, runs fine. I haven't checked the cables out yet, but since it has been a long running issue, thought it may be heat soaking the starter. I put a different but used starter on it and seemed to be better, but now it is back. It is still the old direct drive starter as well. Thoughts?
I recall back in the day there was a shield that hooked onto the starter solinoid and was made of ceramic if I remember correctly. Unsure what models it was used on. Also I had a 460 that had similar issue but it was due to the distributor being off, started great but cranked real hard when hot.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
This original has no solenoid on the starter, it is on the fender. I went ahead and got a gear reduction starter ordered since it was the same price as the original replacement. We'll see how that does. GM starters are notorious for heat soak due to the exhaust running right by the solenoid on the starter. Headers made it worse.
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others
Make sure to use a 94 wiring harness for the battery. It comes with the hot wire from battery to starter, battery to solenoid. also has a new trigger wire, half the size of the original.

Have done this swap on 3 of my bricks. The 90 351 starts so fast I doubt the flywheel goes all the way around

I bought my cable set on rockauto.
One thing keep in mind you have to turn the battery around on the newer trucks, the posts are opposite in the newer years starting in 92
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Put it on yesterday before loading up the snow fence. I store it at my dad's farm about a mile away, then come back and restart it many times. Worked just fine, just have to get used to the gear reduction sound... ;) I reused the factory battery cable, just driled it out to 5/16" and ran an independant wire for the solenoid back to the fender solenoid. I then switched the factory cable to the same side as the battery cable on the fender solenoid and use the fender solenoid to trigger the starter solenoid. Saw this from somebody else on the net, so not my idea but thought it would be a good way to go. Works pretty good. No trouble with hot starts. Cold starts seem a bit better than before as well.
 
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