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Ford E350 bus is on its 5th starter in one year!

A 7.3L diesel E350 1989 shuttle bus eats starters! I’m installing the 5th one in one year. The hot leg into the starter on the starter cylinoid (not cylinoid on firewall) is melting. Has anyone experienced this? Any advice? Thanks!

From where are you buying the starters ?
Are they warrantying them each time ?

Not common in this shop.
Mechanic guesses a cheaper, or cheap, starter.
Either the cheap solenoid can’t take the amperage or a cheaply built starter draws too much.

Could aslo be that age old engine is struggling to turn thereby drawing more amps from the starter to turn it.

How are the starters failing? What do you mean the hot leg is melting?

When you say melting I say bad ground. Get the negative battery cable changed and make sure you have a ground wire between engine and body, even if you have to buy a battery type cable and use it as one. Then you wait and see.

Perhaps make sure you use brass washers and not steel ones. You may have too high of a contact resistance between the wire and the terminal. To high resistance drops too much voltage across the contact. With the starting currents being high, the power dissipated will be considerable as well.That is turned into heat.

I’ll check my grounds and connections, thanks for the tips. JayWB- I mean that it’s literally melting. And Ken Green, I’m getting them all over, I travel around the country for work, so anywhere the bus breaks down is where I buy it…napa, advance, etc.

Does it crank really slow when you start it in the morning, and do you have to crank it a long time to get it to start? It might be worth having the amp draw of the starter checked.

High amp draw might be the cause. Check the voltage while the engine is cranking. If the voltage drops below 11 the amperage may be spiking to handle the current demand. One of the batteries may be weak.