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Solenoid only clicks

Ok, yes this is my third solenoid thread, but I'm stumped...

Broke the electrical stud on my old solenoid so I went down to the FLAPS and had a new one ordered.

Took out old solenoid, installed new, then put the starter/solenoid assembly back in the car...

Now when I turn the key all the way as if to start the car/turn the engine over, all I get is a click from the solenoid.

I CAN turn the engine over from the starter itself, by jumpering the main positive post on the solenoid to the starter/ignition switch terminal FIRST (makes the solenoid click), and THEN move the wires to the main positive solenoid post and then the other smaller post. Starter engages and engine turns over.

A few things...
I replaced the ignition switch in the steering column last year, and have barely driven the car since. So I do not suspect it's my ignition switch because it's practically brand new... :

I tried starting the car/turning engine over with the key AND the lights on. When I turn the key to start it, the lights go dead.

I cleaned my grounds (tranny and battery), cleaned battery terminals, tightened posts on the solenoid.... still the same.

Any ideas? Much appreciated.... - Zack.
Old 05-14-2006, 07:01 PM
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I'd put a volt meter on the started to see if you're getting 12 volts. If not, your problem is somewhere else.
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:36 PM
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if your lights are going dead, it sounds like the battery is low on juice, and probably not giving enough volts to the starter
Old 05-14-2006, 07:52 PM
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I was thinking the battery too...
But I recharged it full.
Maybe it's toast?
Old 05-14-2006, 07:57 PM
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But you said that you jumped the poles on the starter and the engine turned over. was the starter brisk or did it lag. If brisk check the start circuit.
Old 05-14-2006, 08:23 PM
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I think it lagged a bit...

is it safe to try a another battery from a different car?
Old 05-14-2006, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
I CAN turn the engine over from the starter itself, by jumpering the main positive post on the solenoid to the starter/ignition switch terminal FIRST (makes the solenoid click), and THEN move the wires to the main positive solenoid post and then the other smaller post. Starter engages and engine turns over.
There's a clue in there boys. The plunger is working, but it's not passing the juice.
Old 05-14-2006, 08:31 PM
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When juice gets to the solenoid, it is supposed to do two things: Engage the starter gear (the solenoid/plunger part), and pass power to the starter motor (like a relay).

The first part is working. The second part is not. I suspect (especially since it was recently replaced) that you have a simple wiring problem.
Old 05-14-2006, 08:41 PM
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Re: Solenoid only clicks

[QUOTE]Originally posted by hammy
[B].

A few things...
I replaced the ignition switch in the steering column last year, and have barely driven the car since. So I do not suspect it's my ignition switch because it's practically brand new... :



When you changed the ignition switch, was this done because the start portion was bad or was it something else?

Yes you could try another battery from another car at least you
will know if it is the battery.

Pull starter check solenoid funtion, check switch, check starter circuit.
Old 05-14-2006, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyLok
When juice gets to the solenoid, it is supposed to do two things: Engage the starter gear (the solenoid/plunger part), and pass power to the starter motor (like a relay).

The first part is working. The second part is not. I suspect (especially since it was recently replaced) that you have a simple wiring problem.
Wiring where? On the outside posts or internally ?
Old 05-14-2006, 08:48 PM
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Re: Re: Solenoid only clicks

[QUOTE]Originally posted by So.Cal.914
[B]
Quote:
Originally posted by hammy
.

A few things...
I replaced the ignition switch in the steering column last year, and have barely driven the car since. So I do not suspect it's my ignition switch because it's practically brand new... :



When you changed the ignition switch, was this done because the start portion was bad or was it something else?

Yes you could try another battery from another car at least you
will know if it is the battery.

Pull starter check solenoid funtion, check switch, check starter circuit.
I changed the ignition switch because I was getting intermittent starting. I would turn the key and only get the fuel pump. The new switch didn't fix the problem though, but the old one was cracked badly so it was needing replacement anyway.
Old 05-14-2006, 08:51 PM
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So it is not the switch, and because you can jump the starter it is not

that eather. Do you own a VO meter or a continuity checker?If so

start at the switch, check manuel for switch leg (which prong #/color

wire) and check continuity from switch to solenoid switch leg wire. You

can make a longer lead with a piece of wire. If you have a clean run to

the back (meter moves or the light comes on) re-attach plug to switch

and hook meter to wire at the end of the run you just checked (at the

solenoid) one lead to it and one to ground, see if you have power when

key is turned to START. If so most likely it is in the solenoid. R&R

Last edited by So.Cal.914; 05-14-2006 at 11:28 PM..
Old 05-14-2006, 10:47 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions SoCal and everyone.
I'll get a voltmeter tomorrow and try all suggestions.

I do know the starter and solenoid combo work as they should, or at least how i think they should. I tested it outside the car and the solenoid plunger popped the starter gear out like it should, and then connecting the two posts with the starter body grounded would spin the motor.

How many ground straps should there be? I have: the transmission to body, battery to body, and wiring harness to body next to the relay board . . . . . ?

I just remembered I don't have my shift linkage or clutch cable hooked up yet... would that have anything to do with this?
Old 05-15-2006, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammy
I do know the starter and solenoid combo work as they should, or at least how i think they should. I tested it outside the car and the solenoid plunger popped the starter gear out like it should, and then connecting the two posts with the starter body grounded would spin the motor.


Remember the starter solenoid has two parts, one that kicks out the gear to mesh with the flywheel and the other part is a low amperage relay that lets the solenoid know that it needs to
kick. That is the part suspect in my mind. Good luck.
Old 05-15-2006, 08:26 AM
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There are TWO posts that count. One is the post to which the battery cable attaches. The other is the spade terminal to which the activation wire connects. If the B+ post is securely attached to the battery cable, and if the starter has a good ground, then applying 12v to the activation terminal should energize the solenoid, pulling in the shaft, engaging the gear, and spinning the starter motor. If these things don't happen, the starter's not gonna function. If the solenoid pulls the gear into place but doesn't spin the starter motor, then you need to check for voltage at the terminal to which the starter motor cable attaches. IF you have the solenoid installed properly and it doesn't do what it should, then you probably have a bad solenoid, Since you bought it at a FLAPS, that's a likely conclusion. If you don't have it installed properly, you need to fix that first, then retest it. The Cap'n
Old 05-15-2006, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The cap'n
There are TWO posts that count. One is the post to which the battery cable attaches. The other is the spade terminal to which the activation wire connects. If the B+ post is securely attached to the battery cable, and if the starter has a good ground, then applying 12v to the activation terminal should energize the solenoid, pulling in the shaft, engaging the gear, and spinning the starter motor. If these things don't happen, the starter's not gonna function. If the solenoid pulls the gear into place but doesn't spin the starter motor, then you need to check for voltage at the terminal to which the starter motor cable attaches. IF you have the solenoid installed properly and it doesn't do what it should, then you probably have a bad solenoid, Since you bought it at a FLAPS, that's a likely conclusion. If you don't have it installed properly, you need to fix that first, then retest it. The Cap'n
So let me see if I have this right... by giving the ignition activation terminal on top of the solenoid 12v, it SHOULD not only pop out the starter gear but spin it as well?

You mention the possibly of not having it installed incorrectly. It seemed pretty straightforward. Put the solenoid "hook" end over the starter arm inside the starter and secure/screw in the solenoid. What might have I messed up ?
Old 05-15-2006, 02:48 PM
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There appears to be the possibility of installing it 180 degrees out. In that case, the posts would be reversed. I've also seen solenoids with tabs on both sides of the posts, thereby making it even more difficult to get it right. One tab is an output, NOT an input. I see incorrect or junk parts from FLAPS nearly daily, so I can't rule out that possibility, either. The Cap'n
Old 05-15-2006, 02:57 PM
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At the FLAPS he did ask "automatic or manual". I just looked at him kind of funny. This makes me wonder about their inventory and if they gave me the wrong damn solenoid... The "plunger" part of the solenoid was a little shorter than my old one, and the new one also didn't come with a spring. I'm thinking of just throwing in the towel and buying a whole new starter setup from PP.

I'm pretty sure I have the thing installed correctly. The biggest post (+) is farthest from the starter.
Old 05-15-2006, 03:23 PM
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Not sure you need to go that route, but if you do replace the whole thing, you might want to consider upgrading to one of the hi-torque mini starters.

ebay
Old 05-15-2006, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammy
At the FLAPS he did ask "automatic or manual". I just looked at him kind of funny. This makes me wonder about their inventory and if they gave me the wrong damn solenoid... The "plunger" part of the solenoid was a little shorter than my old one, and the new one also didn't come with a spring. I'm thinking of just throwing in the towel and buying a whole new starter setup from PP.

I'm pretty sure I have the thing installed correctly. The biggest post (+) is farthest from the starter.
The very fact he asked "automatic or manual" is a VERY CLEAR sign you should have quickly and quietly left the store .................... The Cap'n
Old 05-15-2006, 03:53 PM
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