Starter solenoid wiring for fan? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 09, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Hello, can I use my 4 post starter solenoid as a source of ignition controlled positive for purposes of wiring an electric fan? Specifically I am eyeing the two posts coming off of the solenoid inbetween the positive battery-in and starter button controlled-out (to starter) lugs on sides of the solenoid. If yes, which post?

Wiring the fan to an ignition controlled source will restrict operation to only when the car is running. If I cannot use the starter solenoid posts, where in the front end might I obtain a clean source?

Thanks
Brian

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 09, 07:46 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

The two small terminals on the solenoid are only for cranking (engaging the solenoid via the 'S' terminal) and providing a temporary 12V source for breaker point ignitions during crank. It won't work as a general purpose power feed.

What you need is an adequately sized relay that gets a direct 12V feed from the battery via a properly sized fuse or breaker or fusable link. The relay would be actuated by a 12V IGN source such as from the coil or from an alternate wire tied into the IGN circuit. I would advise against using a "ford solenoid" since it not rated for continuous duty and would probably overheat.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 09, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Thanks. So would I likely need to install this relay or do they usually exist? I'm very much an electrical novice. This detail is the only part of my fan instructions with not much to go on. There are already direct heavy wire (10 AWG) connections to the fan controller from both battery pos and neg terminals. This additional 14 AWG IGN pos connection is also required.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 09, 08:57 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Check out this web site: http://www.madelectrical.com/electrical-tech.shtml
Lots of good info if you need to learn about the electrical system in our cars and how to make it better. The Tech book(let) is good reading on wiring many accessories and would be worth getting IMO along with a relay kit which has what you need to wire your electric fan. Their kits have good quality wire and Bosch relays.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 09, 01:35 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

And Dave's advice about the Ford solenoid is rock solid. I tried one on my boats refrigeration system and it nearly burned the boat down. I had to specifically ask for a continuous duty solenoid (they are really a relay). After six years, an hour a day, it's still going strong.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 09, 09:13 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

The "ignition keyed" source you need is only for the fan relay or control voltage, right? You can use a female spade terminal and connect it to the spade by either the ACC, RUN, or IGN positions on your fuse block by the emergency brake pedal. If you don't already have a handy place in the firewall through which to run a new wire, you can tap into the windshield wiper feed. Is it a Flex-a-Lite fan by chance?

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 09, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Yes it is a flex-a-lite. They do provide some hardware to supposedly do this. But the instructions are sparse and like I said I know very little about my car's electric. Add insult to injury, what is there looks like a total mess. I think people have screwed with it in the past. It's a mess of untraceable wires by my observations.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 09, 07:43 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Camaro Guy View Post
Yes it is a flex-a-lite. They do provide some hardware to supposedly do this. But the instructions are sparse and like I said I know very little about my car's electric. Add insult to injury, what is there looks like a total mess. I think people have screwed with it in the past. It's a mess of untraceable wires by my observations.
Alright, so it probably has a four connector controller board right on the fan, right? You said you've already got your heavy gauge ground and power wired to it so the 12V source you need is only control power that will not have a high current draw. There is usually a fourth connector that is wired to either the a/c clutch or to a switch for manual control.

I had one of the Flex-a-Lite's before and the control board died on me. Hopefully yours will give you good service.

For your switched 12V source, you may want to fuse it and run it from one of the spades on the fuse block. On the one I had, the control circuit for the fan was so dirty that it caused bad feeback wherever I connected it however that was on a newer vehicle. I first ran it to the windshield wiper circuit and when the fan came on the wipers and washer would run. I wound up using an unused circuit on the fuse block and it did OK.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 09, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Hey Steiner, thanks. Yup the controller is just as you describe. It's basically a little black box with a knob, and it requires +/- from the bat, +/- from the fan, IGN +, and another attachment if you have AC (I don't). I have plenty of holes in my firewall from abuses of the past that I can run wiring. I swear this car had one foot in the grave after some of the previous owners muffed it up. I like to think I rescued it.

I'll have a look at the fuse block as you suggest, and see if I have an available terminal to clip to. At least now I know there is no chance in heck it's going to run with that connection over to the solenoid. If no open fuse block spot, then I guess it's relay world. Fun. I'll also fuse it coming from the block as you suggest. Hopefully I can dial the controller down all the way that it would run as soon as power is applied (no temp) to see that it works. I'm getting close to being able to break in this motor and don't want to start that process without cooling. Would be bad.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 09, 01:26 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Camaro Guy View Post
Hey Steiner, thanks. Yup the controller is just as you describe. It's basically a little black box with a knob, and it requires +/- from the bat, +/- from the fan, IGN +, and another attachment if you have AC (I don't). I have plenty of holes in my firewall from abuses of the past that I can run wiring. I swear this car had one foot in the grave after some of the previous owners muffed it up. I like to think I rescued it.

I'll have a look at the fuse block as you suggest, and see if I have an available terminal to clip to. At least now I know there is no chance in heck it's going to run with that connection over to the solenoid. If no open fuse block spot, then I guess it's relay world. Fun. I'll also fuse it coming from the block as you suggest. Hopefully I can dial the controller down all the way that it would run as soon as power is applied (no temp) to see that it works. I'm getting close to being able to break in this motor and don't want to start that process without cooling. Would be bad.


The terminal that you "should" use is labeled IGN, it will be a male spade. If that terminal is currently being used you can purchase a connecter that allows 2 connections on the single male spade. They are available at O'Reilley Auto Parts. If needed I can post a picture of the connector in question.

David F.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 09, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Dave thanks! I'll get my head under there and see what's what and come back to report! Maybe I will also take a picture so you can laugh at all the wires

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2.02/1.63 & 234/244 Vortec
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 09, 06:22 PM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

If you're worried about the fan running when you start breaking in the motor, here's what I'd suggest. Just make a little pigtail with a spade on it and connect it to the battery positive terminal. Then you can just plug it onto the a/c terminal on your fan controller and it'll run.

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TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Steiner--- I got distracted and I'm only now coming back around to this one. So you are saying that if I plug into the male spade on my fuse block labeled "BAT" and then loop it around and plug to the AC terminal on the Fan controller that will make the fan run from the battery so I can test that it works? I had forgotten that I raised this thread some time ago. My IGN terminal is currently in use but I could get a double on it. The terminals available are LPS (open) IGN (in use), ACC (in use) and BAT (open)

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 09:17 AM
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Yes, if you but 12V on the A/C terminal of the fan controller it will run regardless of engine temperature as long as you have 12V control power and have the battery connected to the +12V terminal on the fan (and ground of course). Some people use a switch on the A/C terminal if they don't have A/C because that will let them turn on the fan at will.

For testing, you don't need to run it from the fuse block....you can just make a short jumper from the battery + post.

I would also suggest that you not used the IGN spade for your 12V control power....there's no reason for the fan to turn on when starting the car. That would just be another load during cranking. Just use a pigtail on your ACC spade....it's just low current control power.

BAT is full time 12V.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter solenoid wiring for fan?

Great. Thanks man... will let you know the results! I work out of a warehouse that doesn't have heat but does seem to have everything else I could ever want... as I live in Pennsylvania the weater has turned and I can get stuff done without freezing my fingers off!

1969 Camaro 383
2.02/1.63 & 234/244 Vortec
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