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Starter wire melting---re-routing suggestions???

2756 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  fordnut
I seem to be melting starter wires with the long pipe headers on my '69 CJ and I was hoping someone has a better solution than my mechanic's.

When I got the car, I replaced the starter and discovered that the wire to the solenoid was toast--the plastic shroud was cracked and missing in multiple places and some of the copper wires were broken. This "original" wire was wrapped in heat tape.

I ran my new wire the same route, which is directly forward and up, kind of through but not touching the header pipes. I used two little "heat sock" things from Napa (they recommended these rather than wrapping my new wire in heat tape) around the wire to protect it as it runs through the headers. The car has been driven only 3-4 times since replacing this wire, only 50 miles max, and I am told that my new wire is melted and will soon fail.

I did not have very much fun doing the initial R&R of the starter, and I don't want to be replacing cables every 100 miles I put on this car. My mechanic wants to drill holes and run the cable from the starter, out the engine compartment, along the frame, and back in at the solenoid. My CJ may not be show car...alright, I admit, it may actually be kind of junky, but I don't want to adulterate it in this fashion. Suggestions? (I do not have the stock exhaust manifolds to go back to)
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I have a '67 with a 289 and Tri-Y headers. I had to change my starter and cable last year (not due to heat). I bought a replacement cable from Napa and it was much longer than the cable that came on the car. I was a little worried until I ran the cable...It now runs along the pan rail forward, out of the way of the headers and then out to the solenoid behind the alternator. I covered the cable in a heat reflective sheath from a local hotrod shop. It cost about $15. The routing of the wire looks good and doesn't go close to the header.
You might want to try an alternate routing before you let them cut up your car.

That is pretty close to the stock routing on my 66 C code. That should solve you problem and keep them away from the headers....
Also, is heat tape superior to the "sock things?" The sock things are really made to protect spark plug wires from header heat. Maybe both together?

I would assume your starter wire is moving or is in
bad location. When you put your starter wire on route
it away from the headers as you secure it. Also, most
stock wires have a bracket near the front of the motor
to secure them away from movement and header/manifold
contact, do you have this piece still?

Good luck!

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Flexible-Conduit is your answer !!!
The heat protection sheath that I used had a reflective covering with a fibre insulation inside. It came in various lengths, 12", 24", ... I would use this over the tape or spark plug boot covers because it is continuos. Check out a hipo shop instead of Napa. I think you will find more of a selection.

Good Luck,
When I put the 460 in my '70, I had the same problem. (Wild shape of the motor swap headers) I bought a lot longer cable from the starter solinoid to starter, and made a cable bracket for it. I mounted the cable bracket to the bolt for the frame mount for the pitman arm. Where it is mounted to the frame with 2 bolts. These bolts go all the way through the frame with nuts on them. Just remove one of the bolts. put the cable bracket on it, and then put bolt and nut back on. Now the cable will come straight out from the starter to the frame. Then route it like it was originally. Hope this helps you...
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