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Discussion Starter #1
My 1995 4.6L with 185k on it just had the starter solenoid fail.

The starter unit itself is good -- it fires up like nothing's wrong when you ground out the terminals with a screwdriver (that's how I started it to drive it home)

I checked my battery terminals, made sure my negative was making a good ground, the car just won't turn over. It had been doing this no-start thing intermittently for a few weeks now and this time it wouldn't start for anything.

Now here's my problem. I need transportation, and I've got virtually NO money. Replacing the starter/solenoid unit is out of the question.

I'm also told that changing the starter is a complete and utter ***** on our cars. Like, the worst thing ever. I'm also told you cannot replace the solenoid (at least not very easily) with the starter still in the car.

I already have a hole drilled in my firewall for a couple of extra accessories, so I was thinking, why not simply make a switch that will do the same thing as the solenoid?? Using thick, well insulated wire and an appropriately rated switch, of course, but yeah.

Is there a way I can fix the solenoid? I've heard you can hit the things with a hammer and sometimes that will fix it, kinda like how you can tap a fuel pump to life.

What do you think? I would really appreciate some input.

Thanks,
Ghost
 

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It could be the ignition switch that is failing, not the starter. Do a search, I don't think it's especially rare.

But to answer your question, yes, you can rig a switch to take the place of the screwdriver.

Replacing the starter is a pain, and it is not a cheap part either. Good luck.
 

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wiggle around the shifter, and try starting in neutral.
 

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If you find out it is the solenoid you could always buy one of the older style remote mounted solenoids and use that. You can get them at the parts store cheap $10-$15. Ask for one for a 85 bird any motor and you got the right one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How would I use a remote solenoid??

By the way, it's DEFINITELY the starter solenoid. The ignition switch works fine, and the voltage drops like a rock when you turn it all teh way like it does when you go to start a car
 

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the solenoid isnt hard to change. Try doing it with kooks headers... just take the whole thing out and change the solenoid
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hmmm...

well, I'm gonna put in a remote solenoid since it's only 10.99
 

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here's a really cheap solution, beat the starter from all directions with a hammer. believe it or not that has been known to revive old starters. obviously don't hit the solenoid :)
 

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How would I use a remote solenoid??
Disconnect your battery first. Mount your new solenoid so it has a good ground. It grounds through the mounting bracket so find some nice clean bolts to use also. Look on your starter. See where the battery cable hookup is on the solenoid? The large terminal opposite that is the solenoid output to the starter motor, should have a braided metal strap on it but it might be an actual cable running into the motor housing. Run a cable from this output terminal to one side of your new solenoid. Go back under the car and disconnect the battery cable from the starter and run it to the other side of the new solenoid. Run a wire from your starter switch or your factory ignition switch starter control to the small terminal on the new solenoid, making sure that if you run your own wire it is fused. Apply +12V to this control wire and it should turn over.

Good luck and let us know if you run in to any problems.
 
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