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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #1
1978f-150
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Default starter solenoid issue

i took my old solenoid off of my mustang a year ago and just put a new one on and its not working its just clicking as if the battery was dead it has a full charge and ive replaced all of the cables the starter also tested good dose anyone have a diagram i think i might have crossed the wires any tips?
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Old April 28th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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a Ford style starter solenoid has either 4 or 5 connections (some have 2 small posts, some have 1)

of the two large studs, one goes to the battery positive, and the other goes to the starter

of the two small terminals (if your vehicle uses two) one is the "S" terminal, which is the start signal from the key switch, and the other is labeled "I" for ignition, this one will send out 12v+ during cranking to run the ignition system if your key does not...this is the one that may or may not be used, and is left off of some solenoids

the last connection is the ground ,which is done through the mounting bolts of the solenoid to the fender...you can try running a temp jumper wire from the battery neg terminal to the mounting plate of the solenoide to see if this is the problem


use a voltmeter and test battery voltage with everything off, should be slightly above 12v...now watch the battery voltage as you energize the solenoid (jumper from the batt + to the small terminal "S", or have someone else turn the key while you watch the voltmeter)...if the solenoid is only clicking and the starter is not engaging, then the voltage should remain very close to what it was with everything off. If the voltage drops significantly, you probably need a battery, but may also be a cable or connection problem.
When the starter is turning, the voltage will drop to about 10 volts

If the battery voltage reamins about the same when the solenoid is energized, then connect the voltmeter positive lead to the side of teh solenoid with the starter cable attached, and hit the key again...you should see 0 volts until the solenoid is energized, at which point you should see battery voltage...if you see none, or very low, then the solenoid or the pos battery cable between the solenoid and the battery is the problem...if you do see good battery voltage on the output side of the solenoid, then connect the voltmeter to the starter pos post, and repeat the test...low or no voltage here would mean the cable between the starter and the solenoid is the problem

if everything up to this point checks out OK, then connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the starter case, and leave the negative lead of the voltmeter attached to the battery negative, and the meter set to read DC voltage, as it was for all the previous tests...yes, I know that means that both leads are conected to ground...energize the solenoid again, and if everything is working correctly, you will see 0 volts at this point, and the starter should be turning...If you see battery voltage, or really anything above about 1 volt, then your starter is not grounded properly...you can verify that by using a set of jumper cables and connect the neg cable between the starter case and teh battery negative, and leave the positive jumper cable unhooked
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Old April 28th, 2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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Thank you that was very informative I will try that tomorrow
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