Starter is beginning to drag.

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Mar 25, 2009
Eastern U.S.
The starter on my 1979 Cadillac is dragging somewhat during cold cranks (and occassionaly when engine is warm). The car only has 13k miles on it, so I don't think it's from excessive use, but the starter is 32 years old. Just replaced the battery last year, and the alternator and cable/connections are fine.

Can the solenoid cause the starter to drag? The solenoid engages fine, but the starter seems to drag or strain a few seconds before the car cranks.

I may just rebuild it if I can get the parts. Or, what are some recommendations for a remanufactured unit?
seems you could rig a test light to the solenoid output/ motor input wire and keep an eye on it. If it's real dim when cranking the solenoid would not be passing enough current.
I would try to measure the voltage at the power terminal to the starter (after the solenoid) with respect to the chassis while cranking. This would show up a voltage drop caused by battery or cable or solenoid.
I had that last year. Was the starter. First I thought it was the battery so i ignored it. Time from when the slow starts began to when it wouldn't start was a couple weeks. Replaced the whole thing because I ended up in a bind, so I don't know what exactly on the starter failed.
PS. Obviously this is your baby and want new but if you cant find one - junk yards are now dismantling cars and selling parts on eBay. You may be able to find something at a reasonable price.
I think the problem may have been a cracked solenoid housing. The large positive terminal on the solenoid was loose where it mounts to the housing, and when I tried to tighten it, several pieces of the housing crumbled. So, it looks like I just need another solenoid. Thanks!
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