Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Concord, CA USA
One wire to the starter
Hoping to get some validation or confirmation on my one-wire starter hookup.
Back in 2005, when installing a crate engine, I also made several upgrades in the engine compartment, specifically the electrical wiring. I did several of Mark's MAD Electrical upgrades (headlight relays, single wire alternator, main dash power upgrade) including the "Start Em Up" remote solenoid wiring method.
All this has been working flawlessly for 13 years. About 3 weeks ago, I went to start the car and all that happened was a hard clicking noise from the remote solenoid. I swapped out the solenoid thinking it was somehow "weak," but the replacement did the same. I verified 12v was passing thru the solenoid during start and going down to the big lug on the starter. I figured I had a bad starter and got it swapped out under warranty (the parts house I got it from said they don't test starters, so i had to declare it bad so they would give me a new one) Came back home, bolted it in, connected the one wire, and same result - nothing spins.
Now, in Mark's wiring plan, all that goes to the starter is a large gauge wire that is only hot during cranking. No connections to either of the small lugs. Been working this way for over a decade.
After doing a bit of research and looking at a lot of wiring diagrams, it was becoming clear that most (similar) wiring setups use a jumper between the big lug and the one closest to the block.
Since I had nothing to lose, and nothing seemed to be working anyway, I fashioned a jumper and connected it as described...and the starter spun and the car started.
And before anyone asks, " Are you sure you haven't been using the (necessary) jumper and it just fell off?" No, definitely no jumpers used. In fact, 3 years ago I cracked the starter housing and had to replace the starter. I was also going thru a "back issue" - pinched nerve in my L5 spinal lumbar and could barely walk upright, let alone crawl under the car to do the swap. I had to have my 17yr old son do the swap for me. He was told to get under there, put the 2 bolts in to mount it, and connect the big battery-sized wire to the center lug - no more than that.
In fact, it was actually a bit tricky (for me) to add the jumper this past weekend - so there is no way he was going to be able to do it without a bunch of instruction, explaining, hair pulling, etc.
Anyway, back to my question: How has the one-wire hookup been working all these years, and then stop working 3wks ago?
I'd love to hear from others who are familiar with the MAD Electrical wiring schemes and can confirm the one-wire starter hookup is valid.
'68 Camaro RS... zz383 in 2005 and still runnin' strong!