OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

So I took apart one of my OEM cowl flapper solenoids today to see why it wasn't working. It's pretty simple inside, picture below.

The coil has 4 ohms resistance on it - does that sound right?

The plunger which is hexagon shaped is tight in the hole, tight enough the return spring doesn't push it back in place. I thought this would be magnetic but it's not, should it be?

Thinking I need to loosen it up some by maybe taking some emory cloth on a flat surface and triming it down so it slides easily, Thoughts?

Seems like it tries to move when I energize the coil but it's just too tight, perhaps the plastic guide hole has been deformed from heat or something over the years. Both of the solenoids do the same thing.



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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 09:27 AM
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

Both? The hood only has one solenoid that I remember. They are a strange beast and yes some part of any solenoid is magnetic. The coil should be wrapped around the plunger to which the piston screws into then the other end is attached to the flapper.

Back in the day when I first removed the aftermarket mouse nest in my cowl induction hood, I couldn't get the solenoid to move at all. It hummed but didn't move the piston. Tried soaking in PB for days. Tried sanding, grinding rebuilding. Then after yet another Saturday afternoon gone and it still not working I said why care about it? The part was then still on the shelf in a nice blue and white GM box in 82. Put down my 2 dollars and went for a ride.

Now the part is available at any of the major Camaro parts places albeit a bit more then 2 dollars. Not like its got numbers to match. So all I'm saying is don't loose any sleep about it.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

yes, only one per car - but I have 2 - one in the car and one in my tool box (or was, now it's disassembled on my workbench.

I've heard the aftermarket ones don't last very long so figured I would try my luck at making one of these work.

So the plunger is supposed to be magnetic? If so, that's a problem - its not. Guess I could let it sit on a rare earth magnet for a while but don't know which way the poles are supposed to be.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 10:15 AM
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

I dont think the metal plunger needs to be magnetic, Electro-magnets (the coil part) are attracted to iron (steel). As long as the coil generates an magnetic field the iron slug should be attracted to it. When you run 12v though the coil, does it attract a nail?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 10:31 AM
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

The plunger is internal to the coil assembly and should be steel and magnetic energy should attract it and repel it as the coil is energized. The piston which has the spring placed over it screws into the assembly and is an extension of the plunger.

You can always shop around for a NOS solenoid if you think the reproductions are going to fail less then the average GM life expectancy which was five to seven years - after all GM was or maybe is still in the service and parts business so the parts were not designed to last longer then the average life span of the vehicle. It is a testament that the Camaro has stayed in focus 40 years and its factory parts have lasted the course of time, but that wasn't the corporate focus back then. It was to sell you a new vehicle every five to seven years.

This part in particular is not used every second of the running life so a repro part most likely would last a long time unless every stop light you haul off from at full throttle cowl wide open


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

Well, guess I'm going to take some emory cloth to it to get it a tad smaller and see if I can get it to slide smoothly in the housing then see if it will work again. Nothing to lose but time.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 04:54 PM
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

As said, plunger should not be magnetized.
4 ohms, 12 volts = 3 amps of current for the field to pull in the plunger.
How much stroke is needed?
You might find a replacement at Newark Elecs, Mouser Elec, or maybe McMaster-Carr.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

Picked up the emory cloth today on the way home from work - spent a couple minutes polishing down each of the 6 flats laying the emory cloth on my work top and sliding the plunger back and forth on it - After the first time around it was still a bit tight,
2nd pass just snug and I slipped it into the housing and energized it with the spring and rod in it and it actuated full stroke and returned about 95% of the time. I'll go one more pass on it and put it back together then back in the car for this one. Before I started, it would not really move, just jerked a bit. Pretty easy fix, a few minutes work and some emory cloth.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 04:54 PM
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

Since the plunger is steel, you might pick up a jar of Testor's paint or a can of zinc chromate primer, yellow in color, and prime the plunger to prevent corrosion later since it's in the environment.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 11, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

Ya know Everett - I was thinking about doing some treating to it but interstingly the plunger didn't have a bit of corrosion on it when I took the solenoid apart. Wonder if it's some kind of alloy? Doesn't feel or look like stainless but I sure would have guessed it was something different from the lack of any rust etc. It sat in my tool box for probably 20+ years now.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 11, 06:47 PM
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Re: OEM Cowl Flapper Solenoid Repair

Would not be stainless as it is not autentistic unless it was made from 4XX series stainless and this would have been alittle expensive. If the plunger is any other color than steel gray, it has a coating on it, phosphate to a degree, I would imagine.

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