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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a '37 Ford with 350 Chevy 350Turbo that I have only had since September. The car usually starts immediately but sometimes it does not leaving me stranded for 15 - 30 minutes before it starts again. This happens when the engine is hot or cold. I have replaced the high torque starter thinking that there was a bad spot in the windings. I wrapped the new starter and the header pipe adjacent to it thinking that it was heat related and it still is happening. When it does not start, the solenoid clicks but the engine does not turn over. After a period of time, it will start right up so I am puzzled by what is going on. A mystery is why a diode was installed in-line to the coil line running to the solenoid - see the attached photo. The spade connection to the starter was a little loose and I have tightened it up. Haven't tried it since. So, in my way of thinking, the problem is either the ignition switch or the neutral safety switch. There's only so many elements in the equation. What's the deal with the diode though - why would that be placed in-line to the coil wire?
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Race it, Don't rice it!
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Whats the voltage/amps at the starter when the problems occurs?
This thing have a Ford type relay on it?
 

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First , that style universal ignition switch usually doesn't last long , the good news is they're only worth about $15
Second , why at there 2 wires running to the solenoid trigger terminal ?
 

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More for Less Racer
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The diode prevents the coil 12V+ power from the ignition switch "Run" terminal backfeeding the solenoid and keeping the starter engaged after the engine is running and you've released the ignition switch from "Start" position to "Run" position
 

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Eliminate the netural safety switch. No need with a automatic.
Use a GM or aftermarket GM based starter with a solenoid on the starter.
3 wires.
4 (or larger) gauge from battery,
4 (or larger) gauge ground going from battery to engine block.
10 (or larger)gauge off starter (batt) terminal to power fuse panel and key that then runs to the starter solenoid.
Simple setup that works.
 

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Eliminate the netural safety switch. No need with a automatic.
Use a GM or aftermarket GM based starter with a solenoid on the starter.
3 wires.
4 (or larger) gauge from battery,
4 (or larger) gauge ground going from battery to engine block.
10 (or larger)gauge off starter (batt) terminal to power fuse panel and key that then runs to the starter solenoid.
Simple setup that works.
Why would you suggest eliminating a neutral safety switch ? Why would it matter if its automatic or manual ?
 

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Why would you suggest eliminating a neutral safety switch ? Why would it matter if its automatic or manual ?
With a manual you have a netural safety switch to prevent you from starting the thing in gear. It is alot harder to start a automatic in gear by accident then a manual.

Eliminating the netural safety switch just removes one weak link that could require a tow truck. Acceptable with a automatic not recommended with a manual.

A parking brake is the same way in my book. The cables rust up/freeze or can get crushed on some low clearence rides going over speedbumps etc then when you use the parking brake it does not release.
So with a automatic you dont need the parking brake as most columns or shifters lock or have a gate to prevent the shifter from moving out of park. Of course with a manual you want the parking brake in case the shifter that is designed to easily slide from gear to gear slips into netural.

If you have state inspections that say you need a working netural safety switch and/or parking brake on a automatic then you simply need to run one.

But if you don't then building a weak link into a starting circuit where that weak link serves the rare chance your going to overlook the gear selectior indicatior is slim.

I have had netural safety switches fail. Some times they give you warning as it is often a sliding connection wearing down or loose terminal that causes a failure. But sometimes that terminal or sliding connection has been hanging on then one day it brakes/comes loose.

Your either bypassing it there or calling a tow truck.
On factory fuel injected ride removing/bypassing the netural safety switch may cause issues with the anti theft system. So LEAVE those factory ones intact just replace that switch every 100-150k and you should be fine.

But on something like a 30's ford with a carburated sbc turning a th350 a netural safety switch is only needed if the inspector wants to see it to check a box.
 

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Cerial, Like I've mentioned before , I'm glad you're not working on anything of mine. You exhibit some of the most flawed reasoning of anyone I've ever encountered ! To say , emphatically, that you're a danger to yourself & others is putting it mildly . How you've been able to survive is truly a show of mercy . Just WOW !!
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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I’m gonna agree with Frosted Flakes up there.
bypass it and see if anything changes or replace it.
Accidents do happen, a switch does help with that. Some people tend to need more help preventing accidents than others.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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I'm with Cerial on this. If you don't put your car in park, you've likely set the parking brake. If you didn't do either, your car is now down the street when you wake up the next morning. The likelihood of starting your automatic in gear is incredibly rare. When was the last time you parked your automatic car and left it in R or D?

Yes, you need it for inspection, but for diagnosis and a temporary repair until you get around to fixing it, go for it.
 

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The main reason for neutral safety switches & other safety related systems is that most of us are fallible humans & unlike a few here , most of us make mistakes .
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First , that style universal ignition switch usually doesn't last long , the good news is they're only worth about $15
Second , why at there 2 wires running to the solenoid trigger terminal ?
Tested the ignition switch. It is working properly
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The diode prevents the coil 12V+ power from the ignition switch "Run" terminal backfeeding the solenoid and keeping the starter engaged after the engine is running and you've released the ignition switch from "Start" position to "Run" position
That's pretty much what I figured. I was thinking of deleting the wire (orange with diod) as it appears to run to the positive side of the coil but I thought that it was there for a reason. "If it ai'nt broke, don't fix it."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Eliminate the netural safety switch. No need with a automatic.
Use a GM or aftermarket GM based starter with a solenoid on the starter.
3 wires.
4 (or larger) gauge from battery,
4 (or larger) gauge ground going from battery to engine block.
10 (or larger)gauge off starter (batt) terminal to power fuse panel and key that then runs to the starter solenoid.
Simple setup that works.
Not enough space between the block and the headers hence the mini-starter. I tested the neutral safety switch and it is working correctly so that is not the problem.
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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I'm thinking what your gonna have to do with intermittent problems is connect a voltage meter to the starter and keep on eye on the voltages/amps draws. When the problem happens, what you see on the gauge should indicated where to go from there.
Typically a clicking sound is the solenoid moving with the key position. On a Chevy starter, the solenoid that throws the pinion out is also a relay, so if the solenoid is clicking, then power isn't being relayed to the motor.
 

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just because a solenoid clicks does not guarantee that the main contacts are energized it has energized only the coil. Poor or burnt contacts often act this way. Mini starters come in various varieties and prices PowerMaster is my favorite but to each his own.
 

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'23 T-Bucket Pickup
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That's pretty much what I figured. I was thinking of deleting the wire (orange with diod) as it appears to run to the positive side of the coil but I thought that it was there for a reason. "If it ai'nt broke, don't fix it."
The wire with the diode looks like old school thinking when there was a resistor bypass wire for breaker type ignition. (points). Totally unnecessary with HEI. I put a relay for the solenoid wire to cure a starting problem with my T-bucket when it wouldn't start. Simple job and great fix. Never failed again. Starter solenoid slammed in like hit with a hammer afterwards. Loved it.
 
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