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Old 07-21-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
veinbar
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Ford Solenoid Mod Question

There are several links and articles out there to guide someone through this conversion, but there are different ways of doing it. I would like a guidance from someone who has done this, and could give me instruction on the best way to do this.

This illustration shows one way:

This illustration shows a different way:

Which is better? Which do you prefer? Is there a 3rd option out there?
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #2
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

I don't know if this helps much, but here is a pic of my remote solenoid professionally installed by a local auto electrical shop. The big wire on the top left is to my dump hoist (always on), so disregard that one. The big wire on the right is to the starter. The other wires on the left are: battery cable for power in, larger red wire in separate sleeving on top to alternator, tan and green wires. Purple/lavender? wire in the center terminal. I am not sure what all of the colored wires represent.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:14 PM   #3
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Those colored wires look like additional accessories to me. The picture does help in fact. Of the diagrams above, I prefer the 2nd method. The 2nd method matches what you have here in your picture, which was professionally installed. Right or Wrong I'm running with it... Thank you.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Why do this set up ? Ive replaced so many of these solinoids on fords they seem like crap to me
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

The select beige ones from Oreily's hold up pretty well. I used to run 4 on my Cadillac.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Example 1 is closer to meeting the needs. This solinoid is used when everything is good and it just won't start at times.

The idea behind this is to give good amperage to the S terminal on the Bendix solinoid on the starter. If you think of it the Bendix Solinoid on the starter is an electro-magnet. It takes a good amount of amperage to get the solinoid to react, and sometimes more than the Chevy harness can deliver. So by adding the Ford solinoid it can deliver plenty of amps to make the Bendix electro magnet operate.

10 gauge wire from battery or battery terminal at the starter (no need for both battery and starter hot wire), to the Ford solinoid.
10 gauge wire from the other large post of the Ford solinoid to the S terminal on the starter.

Wire from ignition switch (formerly the wire going to the S terminal on the Bendix solinoid on the starter) to the S terminal on the Ford Starter.

We used to put these on 6V VWs years ago.

Last edited by 1LowToy; 07-21-2011 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

In my case, I had a hard start when hot condition due to excessive heat from my big block 454 in the Arizona desert heat. The remote solenoid is supposed to isolate the solenoid from the heat of the big block and improve hot starts. I had this done to my 73 big block, and that was helpful also. The brand of solenoid the shop used on this truck is Echlin.
I have not had a solenoid fail yet, but these are often used with isolators (used to isolate second auxiliary deep cycle battery for truck camper or towed trailer.) Those isolators never lasted me even one year before they failed, so I never have those isolaters installed now. I have read that there are heavy duty isolators which are guaranteed to last a long time, but they are like $100-$150 instead of $40 for the cheap ones. The purpose of the isolator is to prevent the auxiliary battery from draining the main start battery and leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
I do have dual start batteries to help the hard start condition also, but with no isolator between them I use both batteries to start the truck and both batteries drain at the same time. So, theoretically, I could end up with two dead batteries, which has happened when I left the lights on - twice. Fortunately, Autozone exchanged both batteries for free both times. I also have a 160 amp alternator to help with the dual battery charging.

Last edited by tucsonjwt; 07-21-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

The question is why do you want to add a solenoid, or what problem do you think it will solve?

If your starter is currently making the engine turn, you're not adding a ford solenoid for the right reasons.

In any case, this solution is a bandaid to mask or avoid fixing another problem. A better idea would be to actually fix the real problem.

Adding a solenoid doesn't change the operation of the existing solenoid.
Adding another part makes for another part that will eventually need to be replaced.

I think most of the ford solenoid installs that make a difference do so because of the nearby wiring that was replaced, or at least touched, thereby cleaning the contact points.

I'd probably wire it differently than both drawings above if I used one.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:44 PM   #9
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

I have done the second version you posted several times. It's the only way I have ever seen done by anyone else.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:00 AM   #10
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72lb4x4 View Post
The question is why do you want to add a solenoid, or what problem do you think it will solve?

If your starter is currently making the engine turn, you're not adding a ford solenoid for the right reasons.

In any case, this solution is a bandaid to mask or avoid fixing another problem. A better idea would be to actually fix the real problem.

Adding a solenoid doesn't change the operation of the existing solenoid.
Adding another part makes for another part that will eventually need to be replaced.

I think most of the ford solenoid installs that make a difference do so because of the nearby wiring that was replaced, or at least touched, thereby cleaning the contact points.

I'd probably wire it differently than both drawings above if I used one.
The problem is Heat soak... which happens when you usually have headers that are close to the solenoid... when it heats up, the solenoid will not function... moving it out of the way of Heat solves this problem...

Here is mine....

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Old 07-22-2011, 09:24 AM   #11
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

You can also get a shield that goes over the stock solenoid to deflect heat, or a insulated sleeve to do the same thing, but those have never worked for me.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:38 AM   #12
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Ford Solenoid Conversion gone wrong. The instructions seem idiot proof, but whoever wrote them never met me... Look carefully at the image below. Where did I go wrong? I had to use a screw driver to get to work.

  • First off, I did the 10 gauge piece of wire from the "S" to the BAT terminal on the GM Solenoid.
  • I hooked a BAT cable to the BAT terminal on the GM solenoid.
  • The BAT cable was then connected to the large terminal on the Right on the ford solenoid.
  • I took the wire that used to be located on the GM S terminal and relocated it to the ford S terminal.
  • I took the wire that used to be located on the GM BAT terminal and relocated it to the large left Terminal on the ford solenoid.
  • I then connected the batter to the large Left post on the ford solenoid. COMPLETE... or so I thought.




Just to be clear, the ford solenoid is properly and securely grounded. So when I got it and turned the key... NOTHING HAPPENED. I had power (radio, dash, etc came on) but no turning. So I grab the diagram and go over and over in my head where I could have messed up. I can't find it. I just feel like I have a wire in the wrong place.

My next step was the screw driver test... Started right up with the Key in the run position. Where did I go wrong?


Last edited by veinbar; 07-22-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72lb4x4 View Post
The question is why do you want to add a solenoid, or what problem do you think it will solve?

If your starter is currently making the engine turn, you're not adding a ford solenoid for the right reasons.

In any case, this solution is a bandaid to mask or avoid fixing another problem. A better idea would be to actually fix the real problem.

Adding a solenoid doesn't change the operation of the existing solenoid.
Adding another part makes for another part that will eventually need to be replaced.

I think most of the ford solenoid installs that make a difference do so because of the nearby wiring that was replaced, or at least touched, thereby cleaning the contact points.

I'd probably wire it differently than both drawings above if I used one.
As mentioned by jrcaprai, the issue is heat soak. In Austin we've had a summer filled with 100 + degree days, plus my new headers, and crispy old wiring. These elements added together leave me stranded a couple times a week. There are too many benefits from this conversion to ignore.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #14
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Unhappy REALLY NEED HELP! Ford Solenoid Mod...

I'm posting again to see if anyone can help me resolve my issue. I posted a picture and a diagram of my attempt to do the conversion. It did not work. For now I'm stuck using a screw driver to start my car. Glance at my post from two posts ago. thank you in advance. I am in a bind.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

I know nothing about this, which is why I paid a shop big $$ to do it for me, but I notice that my center(lavender) wire is on the other terminal. Where does your alternator wire go?
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:47 PM   #16
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by veinbar View Post
Ford Solenoid Conversion gone wrong. The instructions seem idiot proof, but whoever wrote them never met me... Look carefully at the image below. Where did I go wrong? I had to use a screw driver to get to work.

  • First off, I did the 10 gauge piece of wire from the "S" to the BAT terminal on the GM Solenoid.
  • I hooked a BAT cable to the BAT terminal on the GM solenoid.
  • The BAT cable was then connected to the large terminal on the Right on the ford solenoid.
  • I took the wire that used to be located on the GM S terminal and relocated it to the ford S terminal.
  • I took the wire that used to be located on the GM BAT terminal and relocated it to the large left Terminal on the ford solenoid.
  • I then connected the batter to the large Left post on the ford solenoid. COMPLETE... or so I thought.



Your wiring looks correct, mine is the same way. Did you check your neutral safety switch? I have to jiggle the shifter every now and the to get mine to start.



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Old 07-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #17
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Make sure your smaller wire is in the "I" terminal. It could be on either side.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #18
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy View Post
Make sure your smaller wire is in the "I" terminal. It could be on either side.
The "I" terminal is used on pre HEI ignitions.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:05 PM   #19
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Sorry. I meant "S".
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:32 PM   #20
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

If you are using a screwdriver to jump the two small terminals in the center, doesn't that mean you have your center wire is connected to the wrong center terminal? (Bear in mind, this is a question from an automotive electrical incompetent).
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #21
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

As I recall, the electrical tech who installed my solenoid said one advantage of the remote solenoid is that you can jump the terminals with a screwdriver and start the vehicle without getting crawling under it if the solenoid ever went bad. So, maybe you are connected to the wrong terminal or have a bad solenoid?
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:08 PM   #22
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

There are too many people to quote and respond to so suffice it to say...

I'M AN IDIOT...............

I had the "S" and "I" terminals mixed up. When I say I followed the wiring diagram exactly, I followed the wiring diagram exactly. I put the wire exactly where the picture "told me to" without checking for S or I. So... Going forward I am required to wear a helmet while working on vehicles.

My truck works perfectly now. I'll give you more feedback after I crawl home in 100+ degree 5pm gridlock traffic. That ought to be a good enough heat soak test.

Thank you to everyone who chimed in and gave advice.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #23
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72lb4x4 View Post
The question is why do you want to add a solenoid, or what problem do you think it will solve?

If your starter is currently making the engine turn, you're not adding a ford solenoid for the right reasons.
I had a lot of problems with heat soak on my big block. The solenoid worked fine, the wires werent corroded, and they had good continuity. However, when I drove any distance and tried to restart the truck hot, it would immediately drain the battery during the process of trying to free up the solenoid. That was with stock manifolds and y-pipe. So after doing my top end rebuild, I installed a heat blanket and a remote solenoid to ensure that problem wouldn't happen again.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #24
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72lb4x4 View Post
The question is why do you want to add a solenoid, or what problem do you think it will solve?

In any case, this solution is a bandaid to mask or avoid fixing another problem. A better idea would be to actually fix the real problem.

Adding a solenoid doesn't change the operation of the existing solenoid.
I'm with 72lb on this one.

Of all the big and small blocks I've had, ranging from a 305 cubic inch in a daily driver C10 to a 555 cubic inch in a drag/limited street Nova, I've never had a hot start problem using a good GM starter and on-board solenoid.

As 72lb states, the existing solenoid (which operates the bendix) is still there, and is still used to convert electrical energy to a mechanical motion to move the bendix to mesh with the flexplate or flywheel.

Using a remote mount Ford solenoid doesn't lessen the heat that the factory solenoid is exposed to, and therefore doesn't change if it will operate or not.

Likewise, the Ford solenoid doesn't move the bendix.

If the existing wiring is properly sized and maintained, including grounds, switches, etc, a second solenoid should not be required.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:58 PM   #25
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Re: Ford Solenoid Mod Question

I can see where this thread is going... It's been discussed many times. This is one I pulled off of a chevelle forum debating the same thing. Good points by both sides.
http://www.chevelles.com/forums/arch...p/t-56167.html

Benefits overlooked:
1. Only one BAT cable connected to the GM starter. (You'll appreciate this when you have to hold that 45lb lava rock in your hand)
2. If the ford solenoid goes out... Easy to access and change out.
3. Very easy to add accessories using the remote locaish (location shortened)
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