Could be starter heat soak, was it acting up while warm/hot? If all of
a sudden it won't start when hot and after setting a bit it'll fire
right up that would be the first thing I'd check. If the starter is
new, it should have the spring in the solenoid update. I used to have
the new spring number but that has been 25+ years ago so you may have
to do a search for that number to change just the spring. Few, if any
of the new breed of parts counter people will know what you're talking
about if you ask for the spring update.
My only concern with it as a possibility is that it makes no noise while trying
to re start, and it can drive for many trips where a over heat could occure, but
does not. Then when you least expect it to happen, it does. I believe it is a
original 1980 starter that came with the car, I have had the car for 10 yr it
could very well need a starter re build with a up grade spring!
You got it right, it makes no noise when trying to start and happens
without warning indicators. The GM part #1958679 spring is lighter and
lessens the power required to engage the starter. Clean all your
grounds and the piston in the solenoid and add a light film of hi-temp
grease. The piston is normally aluminum and can be corroded so polish
up that surface a bit. If that doesn't fix the problem go with the
mini starter but remember that replacing all the connections and
starter is about the same as cleaning the grounds and connections
which is a bit cheaper.
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