Can’t Energize Starter Solenoid - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 7:56 PM Thread Starter
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Can’t Energize Starter Solenoid

Cut purple wire, added spade connector so I can use remote starter button.

Worked for several months.

Now, key will not energize starter solenoid. It shows 10v to connector, if I’m reading meter right.

Jumper is for testing.

Remote switch energizes just fine.

I’m lost !
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 8:04 PM
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Re: Can’t Energize Starter Solenoid

Have you tried straight battery to the solenoid? With a way to disconnect it from the battery so it doesn't keep spinning of course.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 8:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawkMC View Post
Have you tried straight battery to the solenoid? With a way to disconnect it from the battery so it doesn't keep spinning of course.
Yes, with remote starter button, battery to button to existing wire, works fine.

Should 10v be enough to work solenoid ?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 8:12 PM
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Re: Can’t Energize Starter Solenoid

10V is pretty low. Do you have 12+ at the battery and firewall connector?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 8:37 PM Thread Starter
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I don’t know,
check tomorrow

I’ve been fighting this sometime. First a battery, rebuilt starter, replace solenoid, new starter today.

Now, not working thru switch at all.
Repeated working switch has never helped.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 9:34 PM
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Re: Can’t Energize Starter Solenoid

Is that jumper a solid core single strand wire ?.

While a short section of smaller gauge wire from what I'm seeing in your one picture should not cause any issues, (but who knows what might be hiding under what looks like crimped on connectors ?) it to please try and get into the habit even if it's a 6" section of wire going between two larger wires is to use the same gauge wire in the short section as what it is being connected to. In other words, most starter solenoid wires might be of a 12 gauge stranded wire. If this wire cut cut somewhere along it's length or needed to be extended some, then use a 12 gauge wire to fill in this length or use it on the end to extend things. Never go from something like a 12 gauge wire into let's say an 18 gauge wire and then back into a 12 gauge or extend off of a 12 gauge wire using an 18 gauge wire for the extension.

With your remote button connected at a point and to the battery, from that connection point to the solenoid should be fine.

You said you had 10V on the solenoid wire using the key and how much power are you getting at that test point with the starter button switch ?.

Jim

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 10:16 PM
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Re: Canít Energize Starter Solenoid

What does the voltage read at the battery? 10v=dead battery

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bypassing ignition switch with remote start switch, everything is fine. I tie in at break in wire pictured.

Remote switch is common partshouse assembly. 2” solid wire is for access only. It reduces any chance of bad spade connector.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 11:42 PM
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Re: Canít Energize Starter Solenoid

Just because the purple wire is good at the solenoid doesn't mean that the purple wire you're connecting to is the same wire where you are over there.Just run a new wire right down to the starter and connect that to your remote starter.
The purple wire you are on up there, may go in under the dash to the neutral safety switch and not down to the starter.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 11:50 PM
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Re: Canít Energize Starter Solenoid

^^^^^

What he said.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 20, 12:17 AM
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Re: Canít Energize Starter Solenoid

Your battery voltage should be about 12.6 at rest tested at the battery. If you test at the purple wire with it disconnected from the solenoid you should still see close to that number. When testing with the starter engaged and cranking, 10 volts at that same wire is not uncommon and should be enough to energize the solenoid. Your starter itself will see the full available cranking amperage through the pos battery cable.

Start with the basics. Make sure your battery terminals and grounds are clean. Battery fully charged. Your engine should be grounded to the battery in a sufficient manner. You can take voltage reading at various points while cranking to find a voltage drop. At each of these points inspect and clean the contacts. Battery term, radiator support terminal in front of the battery, horn relay, Ignition switch, neutral safety and/or clutch switch, solenoid wire. By doing this you can narrow down your areas of current loss. You can also see an appreciable loss through the bulkhead connector under the brake booster if the terminals are corroded or loose.

All wires can look good, but internal resistance caused by age or corrosion or resistance at the splices or connectors can hamper their ability to carry sufficient amperage. The same goes for any switch like the neutral safety switch or ignition switch that is inline with the purple wire.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 20, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Does the purple wire go thru bulkhead connector ? If so, then where ?

I would like to test purple wire under dash.

So, I should have 12+v on purple wire with key in crank position ?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 20, 1:23 PM
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Re: Canít Energize Starter Solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reelysalty View Post
Does the purple wire go thru bulkhead connector ? If so, then where ?

YES. BULKHEAD CONNECTOR IS BELOW THE BRAKE BOOSTER ON THE FIREWALL. There's a bolt that runs through the center you need to remove to get the plug AND FUSE BOX loose. 2 MORE SREWS ON FUSEBOX SIDE TO RELEASE FUSEBOX FROM FIREWALL.

I would like to test purple wire under dash.

IT GOES OUT THE BULKHEAD CONNECTOR AND RUNS THROUGH THE DASH HARNESS. IT ORIGINATES AT THE IGNITION SWITCH, GOES THROUGH THE RIBBON CONNECTOR ON THE COLUMN, THEN THE NEUTRAL SAFETY/CLUTCH RELEASE, THROUGH THE BULKHEAD CONNECTOR, TO THE ENGINE HARNESS THROUGH THE FIREWALL ELECT TRAY TO THE START SOLENOID.

THE IGNITION SWITCH GETS ITS POWER FROM THE BATT POS TERMINAL TO THE JUNCTION BLOCK INFRONT OF THE BATTERY ON THRE FIREWALL, WIRE CROSSES RAD SUPPORT TO HORN RELAY, THEN THROUGH A FUSIBLE LINK THEN HOERN RELAY BUSSBAR, THEN OUT THROUGH FUSIBLE LINK TO FUSEBOX, IGNITION SWITCH, HEADLIGHT SWITCH. A DAMAGED FUSIBLE LINK MAY ALSO CAUSE ADDED RESISTANCE SO CHECKING EACH SIDE SHOULD SHOW NO VOLTAGE DROP WHILE CRANKING.

So, I should have 12+v on purple wire with key in crank position ?
You should see very close to battery voltage with no load on the circuit. As you add load, you'll see higher voltage drop numbers. 10-11 volts while cranking is probably close to normal. Since you also need to check the circuit running into the cab from the junction block, turning on your bright lights and tracing back towards the ignition switch and headlight switch should make it easier to find a voltage drop in the supply feed to the cab without the need to constantly crank the engine. The drop numbers will be lower than cranking, but might help isolate the cause.
\
Most of my photos are 70=72, your 68 will be similar, but not necessarily exactly the same.
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Last edited by DUTCH MAX HEADWORK; Mar 29th, 20 at 1:53 PM.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 20, 1:29 PM Thread Starter
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I’ve lost 2 MSD RTR’s in past 18 mos. Coincidence or is there a link ?


Thanks Dutch Max !
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 20, 1:42 PM
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Re: Canít Energize Starter Solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reelysalty View Post
Iíve lost 2 MSD RTRís in past 18 mos. Coincidence or is there a link ?


Thanks Dutch Max !
Possibly linked. Low voltage might be the cause. Poor grounding might be the cause. Inferior Chicom's might be the cause. YMMV.

Your ign gets power through the same circuit from the horn relay to the ignition switch then the pink wire out to the ignition. Between the horn relay and the ignition switch is a 4 way splice that splices in power from the alt. If the alt is producing enough or more power than the batt can supply the batt is charged. If alt output is lower than batt can supply, the power flows from the batt into the system. The splice seldom deteriorates, It's easy to check the wire from the batt to rad term junction to horn relay, so check and clean first, then work your way into the spider's nest.

I can't tell you where the issue lies or if there is an issue, I can only supply the map of the route.
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