Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Viperpete

Starter Solenoid

Recommended Posts

What's the deal with these things? Are they all just poorly built/design? I have driven the car approx 60 miles since I got it in January. Started maybe 50-60 times id say- mostly moving the car in and out of my workshop. I am on my 4th starter solenoid. Doesn't matter where I buy it from they all seem to fail. Autozone, NPD, Advance Autoparts... all the same garbage.

What could the cause be? I have 4 gauge power wire for starter, alternator, and from the solenoid to the battery. 4 gauge ground from the block to the frame. 4 gauge ground from the battery to the frame. Strong battery. New starter, Powermaster 1 wire alternator, new coil, new wires, new plugs.

Car has been completely rewired. Solenoid is firmly bolted to the engine bay. The first one I had I saw smoke come from it because it had bad connections, but the last 3 have not smoked. One was stuck ON and would not stop the starter unless i disconnected the battery and the alternator... what a freak thing that was. This last one rotated the engine for a brief moment, then would just make a loud CLICK when I tried to start. 

There is also a drain on the battery somewhere. I can't leave the battery connected for more than a couple of days or the battery will be completely drained. I don't know if that is related but it might be. I have the AAW kit. I really can't think of what could possibly be draining the battery. There is nothing connected other than the alternator, coil, head/tail lights. Nothing else electric is connected.

Replaced the solenoid again with a new one from Autozone and the car fired right up.

Ideas?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For stock replacement parts my first source is my local NAPA Auto Parts.  I do my best to avoid places like Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, Oreilly Auto Parts, etc.  Many of NAPA's parts are from OEM suppliers.  NAPA often has more than one grade of parts.  In my experiences I have found that NAPA's lower grade parts are often the higher grade stuff at the other parts stores.  If I cannot get to my local NAPA store I will order from Summit Racing.  Summit now carries a lot of replacement parts.

I'm certain the solenoids you purchased are the same.  Even the one from NPD.

For battery drains, if everything is shut off and the drain still exists, disconnect the wiring to the alternator.  Alternators are a very common cause for battery drains.  Two bad diodes in the rectifier bridge will cause the drain.  It will still charge fairly well.  But drain the battery when not running.  I've never used a 1-wire alternator and frankly don't see the benefit other than a few less wires.

I wonder if your starter is drawing too much amperage and damaging the starter solenoid.  What type of starter is it, stock new or rebuild, PMGR high torque style?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starter is a autozone replacement. I doubt that it is the starter. The original factory ford starter was on the car and I thought it was the problem, and turns out it wasn't. Just the solenoid. Still have the original.

I have to use a 1 wire alternator because of the AAW wiring harness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd disconnect the alternator and see if that stops the drain on the battery.  I think I would have tried a Ford 3G small case alternator.  It would take a little extra wiring, but not much.  I've always just rebuilt/repaired the original wiring harness.  It might be worth searching out a better auto parts store than Autozone in your area.

In my experience the parts store rebuilt starters for these cars are not very good.  When I fist got my engine running I went through 4 of them in a couple of months.  I switched to a Powermaster PMGR high torque starter and haven't had any more issues.  If your car has an auto trans I think original PMGR starters for early to mid 1990's F150's with 5.0L or 5.8L motors and auto trans will fit.  Possibly Mustangs as well with a 5.0L and auto trans.  You'd have to double check that the number of teeth on the flywheels (ring gears) and the offset are the same.  They work much better than the older style originally on these cars.  They have more torque because of gear reduction and draw less current since the fields are permanent magnets and not electro-magnets.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar problem as you with a repro solenoid I purchased to look correct on the car (battery drain, not turning over, etc).  I did some research on the forums and found out the horror stories about the cheaper solenoids available, and purchased a factory Ford Motorcraft unit from NPD (one of the higher priced options available).  My problem was solved immediately, and had never came back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×