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P400 in the Burb install

n8in8or

I never met a project I didn’t like
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For what it’s worth, I looked up the solenoid on Rock Auto. Pricey, but it gave me some part numbers. The Standard one is expensive everywhere, but I checked the GM part number and there are some cheap ones on eBay…..cheap Chinese knock-offs no doubt, but if you’re just trying to do something cheap to get you by, this may do it, especially with some heat shielding.

04A39BBA-368C-48C6-ACF0-74E361CF447D.png06E08DDA-D236-4E45-99C0-C61A15F600AA.png
 

n8in8or

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Years ago I had a 55 Chevy with a 396 and of course headers . Had a problem with heat soak . Older neighbor was happy to finish a beer and cut the top and bottoms off . Slipped the can over the solenoid and problem solved . Another thought is the older solenoids could be disassembled , remove and flip the big washer that connect the pos and starter terminals . The " contacts " get burned so there is not a good surface when pulled in . Similar to burned points .
My dad showed me the flipping the washer trick on my 70 C10. I haven’t looked if the solenoid on these starters can be disassembled, but I suspect not.
 

spdgofast

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@spdgofast I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier, but I recently smoked an OEM style starter, but the solenoid was still working ok. If you want to send me some money to cover shipping, I’ll pull the solenoid off that starter and ship it down to you.
Thanks Nate, I may take you up on that. I'm doing some testing as far as measuring what the voltage is at the terminal block on the firewall which is where the solenoid gets it's power from I believe, when it's cold and when it's hot. I was on a drive home on the highway a couple of weeks ago and stopped at a rest plaza to grab a burger and when I returned to the truck and turned the key no click from the solenoid so no start obviously. Luckily I had my push button starter trigger switch which I have a dedicated wire coming up from the starter solenoid with a bullet connector to connect to my trigger switch and a pinch clamp to clamp on the firewall terminal block for power and I turn the key to the on position and hit the trigger button and it starts. But it pretty much only does it when hot. So I want to measure the voltage at the starter solenoid trigger wire when cold and when it fails, hot or cold. So earlier today I put a battery charger on both batteries (my batteries are isolated when the key is off) so tomorrow I'll measure the voltage at the solenoid with the typical accessories which are on when I normally crank the truck which are...
1. lift pump
2. oil primer pump
3. both front and rear AC fans on high speed.
4. injection pump
5. transmission controller

So far when I do this test I get 9.6 volts to the starter solenoid trigger wire with these 5 items on or off so I'm thinking it's a heat related issue causing the problem. I'm going to see what the voltage is tomorrow after charging the batteries tonight, I'm betting the voltage will be the same but we'll see. And this reading is the same weather I use the ignition switch or the hand held trigger switch, yet when it's hot the remote hand held trigger switch will make the solenoid work 8 out of 10 tries when it's hot and the key won't trigger the solenoid. So I just want to eliminate a low voltage issue.
 

dbrannon79

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the wire your measuring voltage from is the purple wire on the solenoid, not the main lug on the starter right? with that low of voltage try measuring it with the solenoid disconnected so it won't crank. I am wondering if the starter it's self is not drawing too much when cranking and it's just enough to start causing issue with the solenoid.

low voltage and high amp draw is the #1 killer for starters and solenoids. this is where solenoid contacts begin to fuse and hang your starter leaving it engaged

if you have an amp clamp, load test when you crank. your main battery voltage should only drop to about 10.5 to 11 volts when cranking with good charged batteries. I forget what the max amp draw should be. I'm sure others will chime in.

also check your main ground from the battery to the engine block and there should be a ground strap from the block to the frame near the starter area too. bad grounds can cause issues that drive everyone crazy!
 

MrMarty51

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I think that the contact disk can not be removed from the stem on these solenoids.
I have though used a sanding rolock disk on a small right angle grinder and cleaned the disk. Also removed and cleaned the contact bolts.
Trying to get them sanded off as evenly as possible so that the disk dont have to tip one way or the other to make contact across both of them contact bolts.
I guess I should pull the starter from My truck and give it another once over, well, this time it would be the twice over. 😹👍😹😹.
I have also chucked the disk stem into a lathe and used black wet dry sanding paper. Keep the disk spinning. IIRC I was using 400 grit. Same with the contact bolts.
I used to use FLINT paper until it became obsolete, then I read in an old Motors Manual that if flint paper was not available to use the black wet/dry sand paper on the contacts of the armature. I figer if its good enough for the armature then it should be okay for the solenoid contacts. I dont remember what grit they said to use. A person can start off heavy then go finer once the rough stuff is about smoothed over.
 
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jrsavoie

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for junk yard searching. lookup your starter part number on one of the auto parts sites, I know advanced auto will show other vehicles that use that same starter so that tid bit of info might be able to help widen your search for one. it would be nice if they made them where you can dismantle them and get to the inner contacts. 9 times out of 10 it's just the metal disc and bolt head inside the solenoid that have arc corrosion and need to be cleaned up for it to work properly again!


Me being the backyard shade tree DIY'er and "up to no good" "get ya no where" projects I get into, I would be inclined to use a drimel tool and pull it apart on an attempt to make it work again for a while . haha!
I used to do a lot of that with starters when I was a low budget youngster. LOL

What am I talking about? I'm still low budget. Just not a youngster anymore. I gave up messing with starters after getting the 1989. as they seem much harder to change anymore. The older GM small blocks were pretty easy.


Going new hasn't always worked out so great and since the local rebuilder retired, I have yet to find another good rebuilder.

I might have at least one starter here that is of unknown condition. Might have been rebuilt by an untrusted local rebuilder. - their stuff doesn't seem to last.
 

MrMarty51

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Our local NAPA store here caters to the farmers/ranchers a lot. They stock components that the other parts stores would not dream of handling. That is the main reason I make out NAPA the first stop on the list when I need parts.
Last time I checked, they did have in their Balkamp line, solenoid repair/contacts kits. It came with a new cap, the copper contact bolts, the disk and stem and the spring.
Oriellys and Carquest never have such as that in stock and usually at their supplier 150 miles away.
Most components that are not in stock at either parts stores, can be obtained over night.
 

spdgofast

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Here is a schematic, yes I'm measuring the purple signal wire from the ignition, the other day I measured it when it was hot and not working and it was around 9.6 even with the solenoid not engaging the starter. I was mistaken in an earlier post that the solenoid gets its power from the terminal block on the fire wall, it gets it's signal from the engine control switch which I guess is the ignition switch. All of my grounds and battery terminals are in excellent condition. I wished I had an amp clamp.
 

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spdgofast

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Can anyone tell me the color of the two wires with the red X's on them in this schematic? It's a1994 Suburban
I'm thinking the top wire is purple and the bottom one is orange?
 

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spdgofast

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So I just went out to the shop and did this little test...With one battery reading 12.5 volts and the other at 12.15 with the big battery cable that powers the starter off so I can just measure volts to the solenoid. So with the hand trigger with no accessories on I get 9.5 volts. With the key switch with all of the below accessories on I get 8 volts. Which is I guess why I can start it hot with the hand trigger and not with the key switch. Keep in mind this is with the glow plugs off.

1. lift pump
2. oil primer pump
3. both front and rear AC fans on high speed.
4. injection pump
5. transmission controller
6. Dakota Digital tach signal converter
7. OEM PCM

Again this is reading voltage to the purple wire going to the starter solenoid.
I'm sure if I go back out to the truck right now and hook everything back up it will start just fine cold.
So I'm not sure if I have a combination of low volts & heat or just heat.
Here is a pic of the wires for the front differential and the 2 front PS glow plug wires, if I install the oem heat shield it just pushes these wires hard against the exhaust manifold which is one reason I don't have it installed, and I don't know if the bracket that I may be missing will solve anything. I'm thinking that the heat blanket from Summit that Nate posted may be the cheapest and easiest test at this point.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/dei-010402
 

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WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
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With one battery reading 12.5 volts and the other at 12.15

Full Stop! You likely have a bad battery. 12.5V should be 12.6V, but, the 12.15V reading battery is either dead or has a bad (shorted) cell. It's dragging what's left of the good battery down.

Start with testing the batteries aka full charge separated and then test voltage after 4 hours of sitting disconnected. Or have them tested while separated with the advanced parts store free testing equipment.
 

dbrannon79

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Here is a wire diagram I have for these trucks. it's for a vin S or F iirc but it should be the same for all the starter and other items. I had to compress it up in order to post it.. if you have trouble viewing it. I can possibly post a link to it from my google drive for easy downloading.
 

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