solenoids don't last - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board -- Hot Rod Forum

Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Electrical
User Name
lost password?   |   register now

LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:51 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2006
Location: california
Posts: 29
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
solenoids don't last

Hi guys, I have an ongoing problem with the starter solenoid on my 350 Chevy. This will be the third one that I have put on in three years. The problem is, the contacts inside the solenoid become burnt and carboned up, then the contacts make a poor connection and the starter won’t engage or spin. I know this has been a problem with GM solenoids for ever but it seems that it has been getting worse in my case. I have tried different manufactures, including ones made in America but they all have lasted about a year. I am confident that my grounds are good. I have a cable from the negative terminal to the block and a second cable from the block to the frame. All connections are on clean bare metal surfaces. The last time I had the starter out I made sure the surfaces on it and the block were clean and no paint or oil. Is there anything else I can do to extend the life of my solenoid?

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:46 PM
Registered User

Last journal entry: New Rev wheels and BFG KDW II tires
Last photo:
Join Date: May 2013
Location: South Central MN
Posts: 550
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 107
Thanked 124 Times in 116 Posts
Have you thought about doing the Ford remote starter solenoid conversion? It will help eliminate burnt contacts by giving the solenoid full battery potential.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2013, 04:47 AM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
Last wiki edit: Crankshaft Coalition Wiki Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Stupidville, USA
Posts: 1,928
Wiki Edits: 1

Thanks: 13
Thanked 117 Times in 108 Posts
You made no mention of headers. If you are running them, how close are the tubes to the solenoid? Also make sure your cable sizes are adequate. A major mistake is running undersized cables. Those, with a bit of heat soak from hot exhaust will eat up solenoids. The best fix for both problems is a remote solenoid, as mentioned above and upgauging your cables.
If you have any interest in how to wire or re-wire your hot rod go to this site. - Mad Enterprises
There is a ton of info here and it is all applicable to our cars.
Here is a link to his remote solenoid kit.
He can be hard to get on the phone but keep trying, very knowledgable and he will talk to you and answer your questions.

Last edited by astroracer; 05-07-2013 at 04:55 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2013, 04:51 AM
EOD Guy's Avatar
Registered User
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,474
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 206 Times in 193 Posts
There are some that swear by the Ford Solenoid fix all, me not so much. I do have a heat shield on my starter and have never had an issue..... 350 SBC with long tube headers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2013, 10:31 AM
vicrod's Avatar
life is a ride

Last journal entry: 2014
Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Telford, PA
Age: 73
Posts: 1,513
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 91 Times in 86 Posts

Besides the carbon deposits on the contacts what else do you do the test for a bad solenoid?
This design has been around for many years and has proven to be very dependable. The contacts may have some deposits from arching but they are self cleaning. Meaning that they wipe or slide as they engage which helps keep the conductive surface burnished.
I have seen many cases of faulty battery cables causing symptoms of a bad starter. It's not uncommon for the cables to have hidden corrosion at the terminals where the wire contacts the terminal. It may look OK but can still cause a poor or intermittent contact.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2013, 10:22 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2006
Location: california
Posts: 29
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks to everyone for your input and advise. The car is a 65 Chevelle with stock exhaust manifolds. I'm not sure the remote solenoid will correct the issue. The first thing I will try is the heat shield, then larger cables (the current ones are less than a year old). Again, thanks for the input.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Electrical posts with photos
Gear in this thread - Powered by O'Reilly Auto Parts

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The word is solenoids 302 Z28 Hotrodders' Lounge 94 03-05-2009 03:24 AM
Door opening solenoids outlaw17 Electrical 2 07-07-2005 09:47 PM
Willys, don't do it, man, don't please don't!!! crazy larry Hotrodders' Lounge 16 09-15-2003 08:48 PM
Starter Solenoids Daved Engine 1 08-13-2003 04:14 PM
Holeshot Solenoids 39PlymouthRod Body - Exterior 1 10-27-2002 08:56 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.