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Hot Fiat Troubles

I have a '73 Fiat 850 with an engine that runs well. When cold, the starter cranks just fine. However, after I have been driving the car and the engine warms up, the starter will barely crank. I can push start the car at that point. As soon as it cools down the starter works again. A battery boost has no affect. I have had the starter rebuilt and the problem remains. Help, it’s Dream Cruise season here in the Detroit area and I’ve got to get it going!

Is it an 850 or an X1/9? Anyway, I once had a Fiat starter that the armature would swell up when heated and bind. This could be caused by a coil that is not fully tightened to the body of the starter. It might also be in the brush holder, there might be a build up of old brush dust in there.

Thanks for the tip. It is an 850 - there was no choice for it when setting up he discussion. I had the starter supposedly rebuilt so I’ll take it back and have them follow up on your recommendations. I suspect all they did was clean it and put in new brushes. Thanks again.

It sounds like you’re missing a heat shield, did you or was it someone else who replace the started? I’ve seen many a person toss out the heat shield thinking it wasn’t needed, and when the weather is cold you can get by without it, but in the summer you need it.

I think I drove for months in my 76 Fiat 128 with a bad starter by parking it on a hill. You could open the door and stick your left foot out on the ground and just give it a little push to get it rolling a little, then pop the clutch. That was a no cost feature this car came with back in the day.

You could try your luck at getting a re manufactured one at RockAuto. com,carcode,1104781,parttype,4152

Fiat 850’s were made for people who don’t mind walking home a lot…

It sounds like the rebuilder didn’t do a spectacular job, or simply couldn’t test it under your conditions. Maybe it would be worth the expense to try and find another starter and not just have this rebuilt. It may be there’s a problem with the starter windings that just doesn’t show up until it gets good and hot.