Normal Start Current for 1998 Chevy with 454 engine

Does anyone know what normal starting current is for a 1998 Chevy dually with a 454?

If all else is right, the starter shouldn’t draw more than 360 amps.


Thanks tester.

I have two measurements. One at about 307 amps and another at 342 amps.

Technician at autoparts store was giving mixed advice. Reported that current test was ok but that the reading was high.

It depends on the weather and the health and charge state of the battery too. Based on what Tester said, it sounds normal. Bear in mind that if your battery is partially discharged, less voltage is available for starting, so the starter will draw more current. Power=Amps X Volts, and the power requirement of the starter is unchanged. So if the battery can deliver it, more current will flow to make up for the reduced voltage. A cold start in cold weather with dino oil in the crankcase will take more starting current as well.

With most vehicles I’ve seen a healthy starter may pull 3-400 amps on the intial surge before settling down to a steady 125-150. (much depending on engine condition, type of oil, temperature, etc.)

What problem are you trying to diagnois?

Yeah, what’s the problem. Late models often use permanent magnet pole pieces and draw considerably less current than the older field coils wired in series with the armature. And also, gear reduction starters are found on more than MoPars these days and they also drop the current required to crank an engine. Domestic V-8 engines for years took an initial 500+ amp surge and then dropped to about 350 amps as the engine was spun until it started when everything was in proper order. All manner of deviations are possible and a good mechanic with a volt/amp tester should diagnose starting and charging problems relatively quickly using one. Do you have a problem, leithcr?

I bet this is the dreaded “click” when the key is turned (caused by voltage drops). You can rewire GM’s so all is not bussed off the big nut on the solenoid. I have no idea why GM made this a buss point but it has caused trouble for many years.