Electrical Starter Solenoid Wiring

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by warriorpluto, Sep 26, 2013.


  1. warriorpluto

    warriorpluto Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Is there a better way I can wire the starter relay to clean it up? There is a lot of stuff on it and I think I might have fried three computers because of it. I have a problem with my car not wanting to start van up after turning the key to off position. Will not crank back up for an hour. Changed everything I can think of.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4
    #1
  2. madspeed

    madspeed Colonel Mustard Mod Dude Founding Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    8,038
    Showcase:
    10
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Trophy Points:
    174
    sounds more like a wiring issue than a solenoid. Got pics of how yours is wired?
    #2
  3. RacEoHolic330

    RacEoHolic330 I like to dress like a pretty girl SN Certified Technician

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    3,367
    Likes Received:
    604
    Trophy Points:
    153
    If the engine won't turn over after an hour of it running, that's typically a heat soaked starter issue. You may want to look at your starter as the culprit. The starter solenoid frying your computer doesn't really make much sense. There are ways to eliminate the starter solenoid if you have a high torque mini starter, but you need to fix your existing problem first.
    #3
  4. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2000
    Messages:
    21,461
    Likes Received:
    338
    Trophy Points:
    134
    No Crank checklist for 5.0 Mustangs

    Revised 05-Oct-2010 to update Fluke references.

    No crank, slow crank and stuck starter solenoid problems have the same root causes – low battery voltage and poor connections. For that reason, they are grouped together.
    Use the same initial group of tests to find the root cause of both no crank and stuck solenoid problems.

    Since some of the tests will bypass the safety interlocks, make sure that the car is in neutral and the parking brake is set. Becoming a pancake isn’t part of the repair process…


    1.) Will the car start if it is jumped? Then clean battery terminals and check battery for low charge and dead cells. A good battery will measure 12-13 volts at full charge with the ignition switch in the Run position but without the engine running.
    A voltmeter placed across the battery terminals should show a minimum of 9.5-10 volts when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position and the starter engages or tries to engage. Less than this will result in a clicking solenoid, or slow cranking (if it cranks at all) or a starter solenoid that sticks and welds the contacts together.

    Most auto parts stores will check your battery for free. It does not have to be installed in the car to have it checked; you can carry it with you to the auto parts store.

    The battery posts and inside of the battery post terminals should be scraped clean with a knife or battery post cleaner tool. This little trick will fix a surprising number of no start problems.

    The clamp on with 2 bolts battery terminal ends are a known problem causer. Any place you see green on a copper wire is corrosion. Corrosion gets in the clamped joint and works its way up the wire under the insulation. Corroded connections do not conduct electricity well. Avoid them like the plague...

    If the starter solenoid welds the contacts, then the starter will attempt to run anytime there is power in the battery. The cables and solenoid will get very hot, and may even start smoking. The temporary fix for a welded starter solenoid is to disconnect the battery and smack the back of the solenoid housing a sharp blow with a hammer. This may cause the contacts to unstick and work normally for a while.

    A voltmeter is handy if you are familiar with how to use it to find bad connections. Measure the voltage drop across a connection while trying to start the car: more than .5 volts across a connection indicates a problem. The voltage drop tests need to be done while cranking the engine. It's the current flowing through a connection or wire that causes the voltage drop.

    See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. .

    [​IMG]

    2.) Check the battery to engine block ground down near the oil filter, and the ground behind the engine to the firewall. All grounds should be clean and shiny. Use some sandpaper to clean them up.

    3.) Jump the big terminals on the starter solenoid next to the battery with a screwdriver - watch out for the sparks! If the engine cranks, the starter and power wiring is good. The starter relay is also known as a starter solenoid.

    The rest of the tech note only concerns no crank problems. If your problem was a stuck solenoid, go back to step 1.

    4.) Then pull the small push on connector (small red/blue wire) off the starter solenoid (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Then jump between the screw and the terminal that is connected to the battery. If it cranks, the relay is good and your problem is in the rest of the circuit.

    5.) Remember to check the ignition switch, neutral safety switch on auto trans and the clutch safety switch on manual trans cars. If they are good, then you have wiring problems.

    Typical start circuit...
    Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds
    [​IMG]


    6.) Pull the starter and take it to AutoZone or Pep Boys and have them test it. Starter fails test, then replace it. If you got this far, the starter is probably bad.


    Starter solenoid wiring for 86-91 Mustang
    [​IMG]


    Starter solenoid wiring 92-93 Mustang or earlier Mustang with upgraded high torque mini starter.
    [​IMG]

    Electrical checks for the switches and starter solenoid

    Remove the small red/blue wire from the starter solenoid. Use a screwdriver to bridge the connection from the battery positive connection on the starter solenoid to the small screw where the red/blue wire was connected. The starter should crank the engine. If it does not, the starter solenoid is defective or the battery lacks sufficient charge to crank the engine.

    If the starter does crank the engine, the problem is in the clutch safety circuit (5 speed) or Neutral Sense Switch (auto trans) or ignition switch.


    See the Typical start circuit diagram above for wiring information for troubleshooting.

    You will need a voltmeter or test lamp for the rest of the checks. Connect one lead of the voltmeter or test lamp to ground. The other lead will connect to the item under test.
    Look for 12 volts on the white/pink wire when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position. Check the ignition switch first.
    No 12 volts, replace the ignition switch.

    The next step will require you to push the clutch pedal to the floor (5 speed) or put the transmission in neutral (auto trans) while the ignition switch is turned to the Start position.
    Good 12 volts, check the clutch safety switch (5 speed) or Neutral Sense Switch (auto trans) for good 12 volts on both sides of the switches. No 12 volts on both sides of the switch and the switches are defective or out of adjustment. Check the wiring for bad connections while you are at it.
    #4
  5. warriorpluto

    warriorpluto Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Its not the starter. It will turn over. Just no crank. I have a new mini starter with shorty headers

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4
    #5
  6. warriorpluto

    warriorpluto Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    17
    Thanks for the info jrichker. I went over everything from the list but I cant find anything. What solenoid is everyone using? I have one from advance.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4
    #6
  7. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2000
    Messages:
    21,461
    Likes Received:
    338
    Trophy Points:
    134
    Did you do the voltage drop test with a load on the circuit (trying to crank the engine)?
    #7

Share This Page