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10/31/2021 5:54 AM  #1


Starter Solenoid

I am having the occasional issue with the starter solenoid. I am finding it sticks and I lose all power. I give it a tap and check connections and I am good to go. It's happened a few times lately. In the past I have gone through a couple of solenoids due to this same issue.
Does anyone else have issues like mine? Can anything be done about it?
I've checked all the terminals and grounds.


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
 

10/31/2021 7:09 AM  #2


Re: Starter Solenoid

A sticking solenoid is going to be caused by either something internal to the solenoid (not repairable) or a bad ignition switch.  If taping on the solenoid gets it to release I doubt its the ignition switch.  I'd swap out the solenoid and my guess is it goes away. 

 

10/31/2021 7:12 AM  #3


Re: Starter Solenoid

You might want to get the battery load tested to verify the battery isn't causing the issue by low voltage.  I understand that can sometimes behave this way.  Also, since the solenoid grounds to the body maybe remove it and check for a good ground connection since this might also be the cause.  Otherwise, I would only imagine a new solenoid might be needed.


1968 T-code Coupe with a 302.  Nice car, no show stopper for sure, but I like it.
 

10/31/2021 10:48 AM  #4


Re: Starter Solenoid

Switch to the new(er) mini-type starter and they have the solenoid built in.........eliminating the old cumbersome one screwed-on-the-fender-skirt! They are smaller so more clearance between header and starter. They are stronger...spinning the engine over faster. Lotsa win-winz!
6sal6


Get busy Liv'in or get busy Die'n....Host of the 2020 Bash at the Beach/The only Bash that got cancelled  )8
 

10/31/2021 2:14 PM  #5


Re: Starter Solenoid

Thanks guys.
I think its the solenoid. These aftermarket ones seem to be junk.
I do like Sal's idea as my starter is quite noisy, but budget wise... I may be stuck with replacing another solenoid. Does anyone make a decent one?


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

10/31/2021 2:15 PM  #6


Re: Starter Solenoid

6sally6 wrote:

Switch to the new(er) mini-type starter and they have the solenoid built in.........eliminating the old cumbersome one screwed-on-the-fender-skirt! They are smaller so more clearance between header and starter. They are stronger...spinning the engine over faster. Lotsa win-winz!
6sal6

Can you post me some links on what ones you think are good? My starter has always been a noisy starter.


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

10/31/2021 2:24 PM  #7


Re: Starter Solenoid

Toploader wrote:

Thanks guys.
I think its the solenoid. These aftermarket ones seem to be junk.
I do like Sal's idea as my starter is quite noisy, but budget wise... I may be stuck with replacing another solenoid. Does anyone make a decent one?

Standard Products is a good choice if Motorcraft isn't available.

Last edited by josh-kebob (10/31/2021 2:25 PM)

 

10/31/2021 2:25 PM  #8


Re: Starter Solenoid

Logic says the gear reduction mini starters spin the engine slower, but with more force.  I still have an original style starter on my 427 stroker. Works first time, every time.

A battery with low cranking amps can cause solenoid contacts to weld together. A badly grounded solenoid can cause loss of function.  Those sheetmetal screws attaching the solenoid to the inner fender are always suspect.


Money you enjoy wasting is NOT wasted money... unless your wife finds out.
 

10/31/2021 3:13 PM  #9


Re: Starter Solenoid

I chased that exact problem for many months. Turned out to be a bad battery cable from the solenoid to the starter, even though the cable from the outside looked pristine.


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
 

10/31/2021 4:28 PM  #10


Re: Starter Solenoid

MS wrote:

Logic says the gear reduction mini starters spin the engine slower, but with more force.  I still have an original style starter on my 427 stroker. Works first time, every time.

A battery with low cranking amps can cause solenoid contacts to weld together. A badly grounded solenoid can cause loss of function.  Those sheetmetal screws attaching the solenoid to the inner fender are always suspect.

Thanks for this. I will take the screws out and remove a bit of paint to get a better ground.
I was worried that this solenoid might be a crap part. Failing that, I will look for Motorcraft.
With your starter, is it a noisy one?


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

10/31/2021 4:30 PM  #11


Re: Starter Solenoid

Bearing Bob wrote:

I chased that exact problem for many months. Turned out to be a bad battery cable from the solenoid to the starter, even though the cable from the outside looked pristine.

This is interesting... I may need to check this also. How long are these?


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

10/31/2021 8:26 PM  #12


Re: Starter Solenoid

Not sure, 40 sumpin rings a bell.


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
 

10/31/2021 9:32 PM  #13


Re: Starter Solenoid

Toploader wrote:

Bearing Bob wrote:

I chased that exact problem for many months. Turned out to be a bad battery cable from the solenoid to the starter, even though the cable from the outside looked pristine.

This is interesting... I may need to check this also. How long are these?

Test resistance through the cables.  If its sky high they are bad.  Sometimes they corrode internally where it can't be seen.  Usually after 15 years plus or minus they could stand being replaced. 
 

Last edited by TKOPerformance (11/01/2021 3:13 PM)

 

10/31/2021 10:34 PM  #14


Re: Starter Solenoid

Toploader wrote:

MS wrote:

Logic says the gear reduction mini starters spin the engine slower, but with more force.  I still have an original style starter on my 427 stroker. Works first time, every time.

A battery with low cranking amps can cause solenoid contacts to weld together. A badly grounded solenoid can cause loss of function.  Those sheetmetal screws attaching the solenoid to the inner fender are always suspect.

Thanks for this. I will take the screws out and remove a bit of paint to get a better ground.
I was worried that this solenoid might be a crap part. Failing that, I will look for Motorcraft.
With your starter, is it a noisy one?

My starter sounds like a stock Mustang starter.  I don’t hear it much. The car starts when I touch the key.


Money you enjoy wasting is NOT wasted money... unless your wife finds out.
 

11/17/2021 1:07 AM  #15


Re: Starter Solenoid

I'm getting a new starter solenoid relay and wanted to confirm that Motorcraft is the best. I don't mind paying more for quality.
I have tried finding some NOS, but they are crazy money, if you can find them.
I suspect the one on the car might be from our favourite Country and is of a sub-par standard...

Last edited by Toploader (11/17/2021 1:08 AM)


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

11/17/2021 4:21 AM  #16


Re: Starter Solenoid

If Motorcraft is available that's what I would use. 

 

11/17/2021 9:48 AM  #17


Re: Starter Solenoid

Lots of fake Motorcraft solenoids out there made in China.


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
 

11/17/2021 10:02 AM  #18


Re: Starter Solenoid

Bearing Bob wrote:

Lots of fake Motorcraft solenoids out there made in China.

 
Recently performed an autopsy on a non Motorcraft solenoid that went crazy on the hot rod Lincoln.

Contacts got fried....

https://i.ibb.co/xHHSqJD/20211104-163947.jpg

 

11/17/2021 10:12 AM  #19


Re: Starter Solenoid

Cheap recycled copper contacts are the problem, they have the tendency to stick or corrode. In industry, silver is the standard for solenoid contact material.
I guess that solid state relays would be a better option. I have used them on some of my projects and so far have seemed to be very reliable.


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   Simple Man
 

11/17/2021 4:20 PM  #20


Re: Starter Solenoid

Rudi wrote:

Cheap recycled copper contacts are the problem, they have the tendency to stick or corrode. In industry, silver is the standard for solenoid contact material.
I guess that solid state relays would be a better option. I have used them on some of my projects and so far have seemed to be very reliable.

I am tired of the China crap that is everywhere on the market. I have also heard that Motorcraft are now Chinese too. Is there anything that is good quality anymore and preferably US made?
With the solid state type, I have wondered about these. Do you have any links to some worth looking at?

 


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

11/17/2021 5:03 PM  #21


Re: Starter Solenoid

Toploader wrote:

Rudi wrote:

Cheap recycled copper contacts are the problem, they have the tendency to stick or corrode. In industry, silver is the standard for solenoid contact material.
I guess that solid state relays would be a better option. I have used them on some of my projects and so far have seemed to be very reliable.

I am tired of the China crap that is everywhere on the market. I have also heard that Motorcraft are now Chinese too. Is there anything that is good quality anymore and preferably US made?
With the solid state type, I have wondered about these. Do you have any links to some worth looking at?

 

 
I have not seen any SSR’s that could replace the starter solenoid.
To eliminate the solenoid altogether get a newer style starter.


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   Simple Man
 

11/17/2021 7:49 PM  #22


Re: Starter Solenoid

Finding a genuine USA made product is getting hard https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/depressed.png


1964-1/2 D Code Coupe - 289 V8 - 4 Speed - Autolite 4100 Carb, 15" tires, Pertronix ignition
     Thread Starter
 

11/18/2021 5:53 AM  #23


Re: Starter Solenoid

Excessive recycling is also an issue as noted.  I just bought a new set of batteries for my F250.  The minute it got cold the truck started having a hard time cranking over in the morning.  I got to thinking and it occurred to me that the batteries were maybe a year old.  Now, Diesels eat batteries, especially my generation of Fords, because at start up you are running glow plugs and cranking over an engine that's 22:1 compression.  They have a 90 amp alternator designed for the Fussion.  Instead of offering a better alternator on plow and ambulance prep trucks Ford just used two of those alternators.  I got two years out of my stock batteries, so I bought Interstate Megatrons, which lasted for 5 years.  Then kept going with the Interstates.  Two sets of Interstates later and at year 12 of truck ownership I got a set that only lasted 2 years, then the next set only one.  Then Interstate started giving me guff about the warranty saying, "Only one battery tested bad, so we only warranty that one." to which I respond "Batteries get replaced in pairs, they must be matched or the weaker one kills the stronger one.  I can have you talk to my father-in-law who did batteries in nuclear subs for 6 years in the Navy if you'd like a better explanation as to why."  All I got was a discount.  I talked to a company that specializes in Ford electronics (ficmrepair.com).  He said that Interstate bought another company and has been using recycled lead in their batteries and that's why they no longer last.  Sick of the ride I bought a pair of AGM batteries and a 170amp alternator.  Close to $800 in that setup, but I need that truck to be reliable and can't do the battery warranty dance any more.  I'm confident I'll get at least 5 years from my current setup, at which point $400 for batteries every 5 years beats $150 for batteries every year. 

On the solenoids, Motorcraft sources parts from a wide range of rebuilders/manufacturers, BUT they do have standards that must be met, so my confidence remains higher in Motorcraft than other brands.  I've yet to have a Motorcraft part die an early death.  I'd buy through Rock Auto to avoid typical internet Chinese fraud/scam parts. 
 

 

11/18/2021 11:38 AM  #24


Re: Starter Solenoid

Speaking of batteries, my 75 year old 40 year Ford mechanic neighbor recently had a stroke and didn't drive his 12 year old Toyota pickup for a month. He said when he got better and went to start it the battery struggled, so he thought he'd give it a charge but would probably have to buy a new one. I axed him how old the battery was, he said it was the original battery. Holy crap. I asked him if he'd ever heard of a battery lasting 12 years, nope.


Bob. 69 Mach 1, 393W, SMOD Toploader, Armstrong  steering.
 

11/18/2021 11:49 AM  #25


Re: Starter Solenoid

I’m thinking that gear reduction starters and better charging systems can make batteries last longer too.

Betcha it doesn’t have a carb.

Last edited by Nos681 (11/18/2021 11:51 AM)

 

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