Hot Rod Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does adding a remote solenoid to a Chevy starter only help when the starter is hot, or does it always help it crank a little better ,all the time?
 

·
True Hotrodder
Joined
·
1,354 Posts
This is one of those endless arguments. I always install a Ford -type solenoid with a Chevy engine. Been on this track for 30+ years. One of the bigger issues now with all the China junk is finding a good solenoid. Jegs carries some decent priced ones that are working for me but I have gone through 2-3 at a local parts store and never got a good one. My deal is that having the separate solenoid allows me to position it away from any heat source. The downside is the additional wiring that it takes and the cabling has to be good. And don't forget that you have to put a jumper on the starter mounted solenoid to make all of this work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,487 Posts
I've always thought of this as a band-aid for other problems, especially nowadays with the gear reduction starters . Ive been driving Chevy's since 1964 & never have had a problem , many of those engines were 10;1 compression & above .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,514 Posts
using the Ford solenoid connects the engine starter solenoid to a big, low voltage loss cable straight from the battery which helps the heat soaked solenoid operate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,514 Posts
the solenoid wire in a typical GM car goes from the battery, through a fuse/fusible link, through the steering column safety switch and then back down to the starter.

using the Ford solenoid, the battery cable is attached to the solenoid through a 3 inch jumper from the cable to the solenoid terminal.
 

·
Old(s) Fart
Joined
·
5,650 Posts
I’ve never seen an improvement using a Ford solenoid to trigger the Chevy solenoid that cleaning or replacing damaged, worn or dirty Chevy wiring between the start switch and the solenoid‘s S terminal didn’t fix.

Bogie
^^^THIS. The Ford solenoid is just a bandaid that also adds potential failure modes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,514 Posts
the other good feature of running a Ford solenoid is that the battery cable is not live while the car is operating. Mount the solenoid near the battery and the cable is only hot for starting, then accessory power can be run on heavy gauge wires through fuses or circuit breakers.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,173 Posts
When I worked at Chevrolet ,years ago, we were installing them on Motorhomes. Seems the length of wire, from the ignition switch, through the NSS , then to the solenoid, (voltage drop) accompanied with heat that weakens magnetism, would cause the solenoid on the chevy starter to not be able to pull the plunger .
Installing a ford solenoid was the fix.
It supplies more voltage /current to the "S" terminal which would be enough to overcome all the parasitic losses in the circuit , and the weakend magnetic field from heat soak.
I worked at Cox Chevrolet...Bradenton , Florida

BTW....My GTO has no problem starting when hot.
 

·
1949 Ford Coupe RESURRECTION
Joined
·
713 Posts
Implied in LMSPORT's comment is that when you have the battery and fuse box in the trunk, if ya get T-boned, the welding cable that feeds the starter has no voltage on it.... Probably only useful when the battery is a long way from the starter.. but that's just me....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
I think the biggest problem is heat, as the iron in the starter gets hotter, it becomes less effected by magnetism. And as the engine becomes hotter, it becomes harder to turn. Add higher compression, poor gas and fast timing, I don't think a remote solenoid is the answer. A starter heat shield and/or some header wrap would be a better investment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Interestingly enough, my 1999 F150 at work (long retired) was wired exactly this way from the factory.
Standard ford style relay on the firewall, and a Chevy style solenoid on the starter.

Did have an intermittent failure of the ford relay on the firewall that would cause a random no-crank.

Once found it only cost about $7 to fix it, though.

kind of supports both arguments

my one Chevy doesn’t usually get shut off until done working because of the hot start issue. Has never not started but the starter definitely has problems when hot.

Had the same problem with my F350 (460) too though. New 2awg wires are the battery and 2awg down to the starter fixed that issue permanently.
 

·
Race it, Don't rice it!
Joined
·
7,734 Posts
Funny Story, We once had a starter problem on the toter and couldn't figure it out between tracks so we just left it running...for 7 weeks straight.
 

·
bentwings
Joined
·
2,592 Posts
I had this problem a long time ago several starter and Ford solenoids heavier battery and ground wires didn’t fix it. S I took the latest starter to a local well known starter generator shop and had them go through it. $100+ later problem solved. The starter purred sounding like s sewing machine when cranking instead a growling dog. Same thing with my Diesel truck. Started like an air starter once it was re installed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
Run a relay located inside the cabin (usually under the heater).
I run a ring terminal 8 gauge wire off the large BATT wire on the starter to this relay then the factory starter S wire runs off the relay to the starter.

This lets you run factory crappy wiring. But keeps full voltage at that starter when that relay is triggered.

Idealy you would upgrade to a stud system where the alternatiors sensing wire can adjust voltage at the stud immediately and then you run relays off of that.

But this works to add more voltage with a factory intrigrated solenoid setup.
You just drill 2 holes. Mount your relay then run the factory and additional wiring to the relay. It is a weekend project.

With a seperate "Ford" solenoid you have a similar setup as the relay style one above. But the solenoid is further away and the factory wiring often T'd off several points before reaching the solenoid.

A couple heat shields is enough to protect the solenoid. Higher compression will require a gear reduction starter. Higher compression without a gear reduction starter is going to add additional wear and heat reducing the life of the starter despite where the solenoid is located.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,487 Posts
A solenoid is a remote activated electro - magnetic actuated switch. So is a relay . Fact is , when I started repairing cars , Fords had what was commonly referred to as a starter relay . Many other engines had a mechanically ( foot) activated starter switch .
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top