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Hi- torque starter...neccessary?
I know many people have or want, and recommend hi-torque starters, especially for any kind of high-performance or high-compression motors.
My 71 suffered slow cranking almost from the very beginning. The 429s were 11.3 compression...pretty stout for a big block and generally on the higher side. This high-compression of course causes harder cranking, especially if you have your timing slightly-advanced for better performance.
Over the years I tried everything: huge batteries with 1000+ CCA, far more than the stock group 27F battery from the factory. Minimal improvement.
High-torque starters: again, no noticeable improvement.
New "Heavy Duty" battery cables, which looked suspiciously like the stock cables never made any improvement.

One day about 10 years ago while looking around on the 'net I ran across custombatterycables.com

Lots of good info, with the general consensus being that inadequate battery cables are the source of nearly 95% of all slow- cranking problems.

He custom-makes the cables for each individual customer. Uses nothing but the best of everything.

A 3-piece set custom made to fit my Mustang with every connector in the correct spot was $120.
Pretty damn pricey, for sure...but I really, REALLY hate the slow-cranking I was used to. Kind of subtley makes the car seem "weak" when starting it up after a show or in a crowd.

I took a chance and ordered a set. Once installed, I was blown away!

That motor cranked faster and easier than it ever did in its entire life!

I have since removed that hi-torque starter on the Mustang to use on a seriously built 460 going in my Torino, and put a stock starter in its place. I have also taken the huge battery out and reinstalled a 24F battery so I can use the fake "Autolite" cover, and I keep the timing as far advanced as I want: It still cranks just as well as with the high-torker.

I have since purchased 5 sets of cables over the years from him, and have convinced several others to do so as well. Without fail, every one of them has been wowed at what a huge difference it makes.

I strongly recommend them to anyone with a classic car, small or big block.
I don't know that they are necessary... but the one I'm getting is smaller, lighter, less susceptible to damage from heat, and draws less current. Obviously not wanted for a concourse quality car, though.
I agree that the quality and size of battery cables have decreased over the years. Not only that, but the connectors have gotten worse, most are now crimped on instead of being molded on. You can improve them by soldering the crimped connections.
I'm looking at a hi-torque starter, but only to increase header clearance and reduce the radiated heat from the headers to the starter.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
I love the additional header clearance on my PMGR Starter. Add that to the improved starting from the higher torque and we got a winner. When I installed my PMGR starter I also installed a larger gauge to replace the 40 year old original.

While I agree that undersized wire can cause issues. I always tend to think about the seriously over priced speaker wire that supposedly improves music clarity with special materials and manufacturing. I never heard a difference when compared to speaker wire of the same gauge. One of the things they often fail to do. Apples to apples.
it is neccessary if you are running headers. if you run most headers, they will come close to the start and that will cook the starter making it go out sooner. all these OEM large case starters go out alot sooner. the hi tq mini starts are so much smaller and won't get cooked as bad. i've had my share of starters in the past.
I went through some similar rigors with mine . My car would start great every time it was cold , drive it to temp. shut it off , grunt, grunt , grunt . ( how embarrassing Blush) Leave it 30 min. it takes right off . Same thought in my head .... bigger wires = more amp flow . So with batt. cables that look like welding cables , great , wrong , same thing . It had the newer style ford starter with more magnet less copper , no help . The headers run about an 1 1/2 " next to the starter . Tried a mini hi-torq.starter , starts like a champ every time , no matter how hot . Big Grin I have a stock lower end so not high comp. , but the header heat was the gremlin in my case .

[Image: 1_11_01_14_4_00_47.jpeg]
460 , Edelbrock Performer carb. + intake , 204 / 214 cam , Pertronix Flamethrower 2 billet dizzy + coil , Crites long tubes , C6 .

mdan575;162025 Wrote:While I agree that undersized wire can cause issues. I always tend to think about the seriously over priced speaker wire that supposedly improves music clarity with special materials and manufacturing. I never heard a difference when compared to speaker wire of the same gauge. One of the things they often fail to do. Apples to apples.

Yup...Over kill for car systems ....I worked for years hooking up huge systems for some pretty big bands "like BTO and such" and we never used any cable even close to the size of monster cable they stick in cars now days.regular guitar and speaker cables "monster cables about 3 times the size of what we use"..I laughed at my freinds system that had 800 watt amp and cables bigger than what we use for 5000+ watts every weekend on stage for our little gigs..lol..We have no issues shoving thousands of watts down normal speaker wire size..No loss of signal...When it comes to speaker wire...Regular is just fine.

Agree with Kit that big wire on starter could help alot...The new wire is getting so small for starters.
I made the battery cables from 80 square millimeter (equals 1/8 square inch) welding cable (or from 70 square mm, can't remember for sure anymore). Mach’s battery is located in trunk, so I wanted to make it overkill. Battery + cable goes to solenoid. I’ve grounded the battery from the minus to the body at rear and from the battery minus with the same size cable to the engine’s bellhousing via same route as + cable goes to solenoid. So there are no grounding problems. And the large cable is very capable of let the “big cat” jump to the solenoid.

With these cables I used a rebuild stock 429/460 factory starter, it worked ok but decided to upgrade to hi-torque started and only by changing the OEM starter to Powermaster XS was a night and day difference. Stock starter is now as a backup starter if needed. Those hi-torque starters can many times be rotated to any desired position to make clearence - it was handy for me, I could move the starter as far as possible from the headers.

I also protected the Powermaster from the heat with wrapped heat shield:

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