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Never just a selenoid!!!

893 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Peter F.
I knew my starter selenoid was starting to go bad. It started fine when cold but would not start when warmed up. I would have to let it cool down for a while then it would start right back up I had this problem with another car and just changed selenoids and everything was fine from then on.
So today I dropped the starter, put a new selenoid on, it worked perfect on the bench. (I also checked all the brushes and everything looked perfect) I put the starter back in, hooked up all the wires just the way they came off. Went to start it, nothing. There was a power drain because the lights dimmed, but I could not here the selenoid click at all. I checked all my connections, nothing.
After checking everything with a voltmeter here is what I came up with;

- 12.4 Volts to the Starter from the battery.(Good)
-Wire from ignition, "ON" position 8.0V. (Bad)
-Wire from ignition, "START" position 12.2V. (Good)
-Two wires off other, only on when starting pole, both 12 volts "ON" and "START".(Bad)

This isn't my car, it's my dad's 66 1/2 ton. So I have no idea why there is 2 wires on the outside pole. From what I know there should only be one, and it provides additional power to a points distributor when cranking the engine. My Chevelle only has one.

Something else weird, is that I tride jumping the main terminal to the inside pole without any other wires hooked up. Same way I do it on the bench everytime, nothing happens. Only when I unhook the wire there is a spark, not when I touch them in a first place.

I also made sure the starter was grounded properly, by running a booster cable from the body of the starter to the (-) side of the battery. Did not help.

I there a chance the ignition switch could be toast? There should only be 12V from the igntion wire when cranking the engine and not when in "ON", right? The other two mistery wires should have no current threw them since they should simply add additional power to the distributor?

As you can see, there is deffinatley something wrong. But I did hook the starter up the exact same way, and it always worked properly before the heat soak problem.

Thank you for an Help

66 327 Malibu
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First off, it sounds like you have the wires at the starter crossed up. The start wire is purple and should go to the inside terminal. I believe the other wire is yellow and goes to the outside terminal. The 8V you're reading on the start wire in the on position is the coil voltage being fed back up the wire.

Secondly, if you jumper power to the inside terminal and the starter does not go then there is a problem with the starter. Maybe the gear is jammed against the flywheel not letting the solenoid move it out??? More than likely the solenoid is junk.

Does the solenoid click when it won't start.

If it does, then you are right - it's the starter.

If it doesn't, then it's a voltage problem or a solenoid problem. Usually when this happens, jumping the battery terminal to the S terminal will make it work. If it won't, then it's likely a solenoid/starter problem.

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