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ViewRVs 05-10-2003 01:19 PM

Help - starter solenoid
My 345 is having trouble starting. It's not turning over at all. I have to turn the key 30 times before the engine will fire up. There is no clicking. It does turn over really strong once it kicks in. At Mystic Springs, Alan, Don, and Brett said was not my starter but probably the solenoid? Where is this bugger and is it a standard part I can get? What does it even look like?

PeterH-Airstreamer 05-10-2003 01:47 PM

starter solenoid
Its the small thing on top of the starter.
Try a hammer and tap the starter and see if it will turn over.
All you have to do is get the spare starter you always carrry out of your storage compartment and install it.
PS: Don't forget to replace the spare with a new spare.;)

ViewRVs 05-10-2003 03:16 PM

If I had a spare, I'd know what the starter even looks like! :p Do I need to get the make and model of the starter to get a new solenoid?

74Argosy24MH 05-10-2003 03:48 PM

Check that you have voltage at the solenoid when you turn the key before pulling the starter, it could be an ignition switch or wires, and make sure you have good clean contacts at the solenoid. Most of the chain stores probably won't have just a solenoid, only the whole rebuilt starter. Parts stores probably will. The solenoids are the same for the older engines, even across different GM brands.


PeterH-Airstreamer 05-10-2003 03:49 PM

you buy the whole starter. It only costs about $50.-, unless you want a new GM starter for $200.-
If it turns out not be the starter you will have a spare.
Just give you GM year, engine size to the parts place.

74Argosy24MH 05-10-2003 03:50 PM

And make sure to ask for a hi torque, much better on a hot big block.


jim8860 05-10-2003 04:12 PM

Check your voltage to the starter and the "trigger wire" that the small one on the solenoid. Some times GM uses a term called "Fusable Link" to sum that up the wire it self is a fuse. After age and a lot of heat the wire breaks apart. Get your self a test light it a real handy tool for working on the MH. But first I would look at the starter first and check for broken wires. The starter is located on the passenger side of the motor on the back part. Take a look at this link it not for your MH but it is very close.

87MH 05-10-2003 04:45 PM

Replacement Starter
I just replaced my starter this past week -- same story

I did, however replace it with a Hi-Tork Hitachi mini starter, Even though it was expensive, I felt it was the best way to go. The model I got, the 9000, is clockable about 10 degrees both clockwise and counter clockwise from standard.

I also invested in a "starter wrap", about twice around the starter, and secured it with safety wire. While I was at it, I also redid the wires. I found considerable corrossion at all junction points, even though all nuts were tight. The wire end tabs were not difficult to clean, just hit them a couple of times with a wire brush, but I see hao the effects of all of the minor corrosion points could be cummulative. There were a total of 5 junction points, including the battery and starter connection, on mine. (Battery, kicker solonoid, inlet main breaker, outlet main breaker, starter.)

I did learn one thing I'd like to pass along, anyone else doing this, invest the extra 50 bucks and get the modol 9800. The starter is about 1" longer than the 9000, but the great thing is it is clockable 120 degrees. This means you can rotate the entire solenoid assembly clockwise and totally remove the proximity to the oil pan and exhaust manifold. This option is not usual on most automotive applications, due to cross-frame members being present on most BB cars or pickups.

Had I discovered this little gem (the 9800), you can bet it'd be on my rig right now, dangling in the breeze and staying cool.

ALANSD 05-11-2003 07:17 AM

I highly recommend

in Dallas. They make an aluminum cased hi torque starter for 120 bucks or so that has the rotatable head, so you can move it away from the manifold, and has lots of power, AND the solenoid is encased in solid metal so it does not get effected by the heat.

I also wrapped mine in a thermal starter jacket (15 bucks) that gives it even more heat protection. Should last quite a few years, and was easy to install.check this out-shows the burnt solenoid and new starter installed.

Silvertwinkie 05-11-2003 07:29 AM

I've replaced more startes than I care to comment on.

Most have been heat related failures. Getting some sort of heat protection (a shield or heat wrap) will extend the life of a starter and it's solenoid).

There was a time when GM sold the started and the solenoid sperately as well as together. I have had great luck sticking with GM starters. As a matter of fact, I ususally buy a started for the next engine size up. In my '80 Olds, I put a 350 starter in instead of the 307. Had more torque and power and all it took to do was simply get one longer bolt for one side to mount it to the block.

Given you have the 454, possilby, the 502 might be a bit more meaty?? If not Alan is on the right track, I would consider a good 3rd party unit that in most cases is smaller and packs more power than some of th OEMs.


59toaster 05-11-2003 08:04 AM

When ever I have a starter let go I also invest in some sort of heat sheild as well. Most hot rod shops keep these in stock. It's a must have with headers.
Summit Racing has them. I like the Morroso and Mr. Gasket styles. They are two peices of aluminum with a insulation layer between them. They let some airflow around the starter.
The blanket style scare me becauce the insulate the heat from the starter itself to the starter. Also it could promote condinsation inside the starter and cause a premature failure.

ViewRVs 05-15-2003 03:48 PM

Starters for dummies......
1) Is it possible that the neutral safety switch is going bad? (I guess no voltage to the starter would be a clue.)

2) I was going to clean the contacts first. How do I avoid getting shocked? From those diagrams, it looks like the battery positive is going directly to the starter. Do I disconnect the (engine) battery before I go to clean the contacts at the starter?

I have not yet checked for voltage at the starter. I will start there. If voltage when key is turned, I'll clean the contacts. After that, it should be clear I would need a new starter.

ALANSD 05-15-2003 04:43 PM

before you go to the disconnection, I would get down by the starter, and try to jump the posts on the solenoid with a PLASTIC handled screwdriver or something like that. DO NOT have the emergency brake off.
This will spin the starter and you can tell if it is engaging. You migh pull the coil wire off too just to be extra safe, so the motor will not actually start up. If the starter sounds like it is engaging and spinning the solenoid is the problem. It will spark when you make the connection of the posts either way if there is power to them.
This is an emergency technique to start the motor if the solenoid goes bad, I did it when mine burnt on a trip to the mountains. My wife sat in the drivers seat with the brake and emergency brake on.
Have the key turned on by the way....

Then disconnect the battery before you do anything else with the starter.

74Argosy24MH 05-15-2003 05:02 PM

12v won't shock you, too much resistance in the body. Same as if you laid a finger on each battery post, so little current flow you can't feel it. It is very possible that the neutral safety switch is going bad, they are a weak link. Power flow is battery (large battery cable terminal on the solenoid)-key switch-neutral safety switch-solenoid (S terminal).


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