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Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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  #1  
Old Aug 16th, 08, 09:42 AM
gearheadtx gearheadtx is offline
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Mark
 
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Default jump starting a solenoid

I have been reading the posts on various starter problems. Mine fits a few where it will start without any problem for a few times and then it is completely dead. No sound or action coming out of the starter. I have not installed a safety switch yet so it could not be that. I realize my solenoid could be getting hot from the headers so I have let it sit a couple of days and still no action. I had read in one of the posts about jumping my solenoid using a screw driver. How is this done and what happens when you jump the solenoid. Will it help start the car. My other alternative is to put the 67 on the back of a flat bed and take it to the shop.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Mark
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  #2  
Old Aug 16th, 08, 11:17 AM
onovakind67 onovakind67 is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Jumping the solenoid coil terminal to the battery cable applies 12v to the solenoid and will engage the starter, You can accomplish this with a screwdriver, but I'd wrap the blade with electrical tape down an inch or so from the end to keep from shorting anything out.
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  #3  
Old Aug 18th, 08, 11:25 AM
oakster oakster is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Please be SUPER careful if you're going to jump your solenoid. You are bypassing all the safety features of your car. If it is an automatic it could start in gear and manuals in '67 didn't even have a neutral safety switch.

The car needst be jacked up to get at the solenoid so if the car starts in gear you can get really hurt. Also jumping the solenoid should have the same effect as turning the key. If the solenoid is getting heat soaked, jumping it probably won't make a big difference.

The reason I'm posting about being careful is a long time ago one of my good friends called me over to his house b/c he couldn't get his Camaro to start. I swung by his house and he had his car jacked up in front w/jackstands under it. He was under it about to jump the solenoid. I took my test light and wanted to check things out before he did that. I went over the car for 5 or 10 minutes and could see the solenoid wasn't getting any juice when he turned the key. Something got me to look inside the car and I noticed he had shut the car off in drive.

To this day I get freaked out about what could have happened if he or I jumped the solenoid that day. One of us would have been under a car as it pushed itself off the jackstands and crushed whoever was under there.

Please be careful out there.
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  #4  
Old Aug 18th, 08, 09:49 PM
Dale8346 Dale8346 is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Oakster is correct.

This is the type of thing that makes me nervous when you rookies are working on a car.
Example: Pretend that you car won't start and now you have heard about this "jumping the solenoid." If your car is IN GEAR, it won't start. Now you get under the car and jump the solenoid and NOW YOU ARE DEAD (because the car will start and take off.) Like Oakster said. He did this with a lot of thought (and experience). I have jumped the solenoid on many cars and my experience will not let me do it in this type of unsafe environment.

You guys that have not worked on cars until you started restoring you Camaro's really have to talk to EXPERIENCED mechanics before you do some of this dangerous stuff. The problems is that YOU don't always know what the dangerous stuff is. I just started a new thread called "Dangerous Stuff", so that you NEW guys won't do some of this stuff. Please add to it.
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  #5  
Old Aug 18th, 08, 10:49 PM
RamAirDave RamAirDave is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Back in HS, my 72 truck's solenoid would "stick" (dead key), and I would crawl under it just to bump it with a screwdriver just to "unstick" it. I would never try to actually start one that way though.
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  #6  
Old Aug 20th, 08, 11:59 AM
oakster oakster is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Mark,

I would first check to see if the solenoid is getting power when the key is moved to start.

The best way to do that is to
1 - Take off the small wire that attaches to the solenoid
2 - Hook up a test light or multi-meter that goes between the wire and a good ground
3 - Have someone turn the key to the start position and see if you have power going to the solenoid.

Based on the PM you sent, it seems that the starter isn't doing anything when you turn the key.

Another issue that can cause this is a loose battery cable or a bad connection. Be sure to look at the ground cable as well as the positive cable.

Let us know what you find.
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  #7  
Old Aug 20th, 08, 12:26 PM
Aaron67 Aaron67 is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Mark,
i had this exact same problem on my car. sometimes it would start, sometimes it wouldn't. couldn't figure it out for the life of me. turned out the solenoid wire was broken somewhere along the line, but the insulation remained intact. It "looked" like a good wire but the strands inside the insulation had broke. sometimes those broken strands touched each other, sometimes they didn't. Run a new wire from key to solenoid, see if that helps.
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  #8  
Old Aug 20th, 08, 12:33 PM
Aaron67 Aaron67 is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

Oh yeah, there is a safe way to "jump" the solenoid... a remote start switch. or just take a length of wire, attach one end to the solenoid with a terminal/clip, and just touch the other end of the wire to your positive battery terminal... which is okay for a couple starts, but i know harbor freight has some cheapo remote start switches for a couple bucks, much better off if you're going to be doing lots of starts from under the hood. Also great to have when you're working alone and don't have a friend to crank while you fiddle under the hood.

I've done the screwdriver across the terminals thing, it's tight quarters under there, half the time i'd accidentally touch the screwdriver against the block and make some fireworks.
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  #9  
Old Aug 22nd, 08, 05:27 AM
oakster oakster is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

To Aaron67's point, you may have a bad solenoid. The best way to find out what component is not working is to get the car to not start and then see if you are getting power to the solenoid.

If the solenoid is getting power when the key is turned and your other grounds are good, it is likely the solenoid that is your issue.
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Almost done January 2006
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  #10  
Old Aug 22nd, 08, 09:23 PM
Dale8346 Dale8346 is offline
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Default Re: jump starting a solenoid

The chances are so high from what you have said, it is the first thing you should do if you jump it and it starts and if you do check it and it has power.
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