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Update: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blue85, May 22, 2001.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    I have read all the old posts about using a Summit or Ford solenoid to fire the stock Chevy starter. However, I think that the method presented on the <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.novaresource.com/>http://www.novaresource.com/</A> website, which is the method most of the people posting here are using, is wrong! My reasoning is this: The mod is not replacing the stock solenoid, you can't do that with a Chevy starter. The advantage to the mod is that it delivers more current to the solenoid coil. The drawback to it is that your starter motor current is now passing through 2 sets of contacts in series. As anyone familiar with connectors and switches can tell you, switch contacts have high resistance in comparison to the bolt on connections and 2-4 gauge cable in the circuit, especially after repeated arcing through the switch (from the starter motor's high inductance).

    What I propose is to eliminate one set of contacts from the circuit, thereby dropping the overall loop resistance and delivering more power to the starter. This can be done 2 ways: First, you could bypass the contacts on the stock location solenoid and use it only to push out the gear set to engage the flywheel. Unfortunately, this is not a good idea, because you lose the timing inherent in the integrated relay/solenoid on the stock starter and you may begin to spin the starter before the gearset has engaged. This brings me to the second approach. The other way to eliminate one set of contacts, which is what I am proposing, is to eliminate the remote solenoid from the starter power loop. To do this, you leave the heavy cable from the battery to the stock solenoid in place. Then you remove the "start" wire from the "S" terminal on the stock solenoid and connect it to the "S" terminal on the remote solenoid. Then you run a good sized cable (no need for giant, but big is good) from the battery to the "A" terminal of the remote solenoid and more of this good sized cable from the "B" terminal of the remote solenoid to the "S" terminal of the stock solenoid. This setup uses the remote solenoid only to supply power to the stock solenoid and not to the starter motor. It retains the stock property of not spinning the motor until the gear is extended. You also retain the advantages of being able to "bump" the starter from under the hood and wire accessories via the remote solenoid "A" terminal (although to do this, you should use good size cable from the battery).

    Can anyone think of any reason why this wouldn't work or why it wouldn' t work better than the setup on the Nova website?

    The other alternative is to use an aftermarket starter that throws the gearset out just by the spinning motion and use a purely remote solenoid, which would be like a total Ford setup.

    <font color=green>"I don't have the brains for business. I want to go into politics" -Mao Xinyu </font color=green>
     
  2. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    I don't think that there are really any drawbacks to the setup on the Nova site (the same setup that I'm using). As long as you're using some good quality 0 or 1 gage cables and a high quality factory style starter or an aftermarket high torque starter you shouldn't have any problems with this setup. A 2 to 4 gage cable is really too small for starting a V-8 on a hot day in my opinion. I've been running this setup for a few years and don't have any problems since I stopped buying the "lifetime guarantee" starters. Thats my take on the situation.
     
  3. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    I'm not saying that the "Nova" setup won't work well, I'm just suggesting that my new take on it will work better. The power and reliability of 2 sets of contacts really can't be as good as that with only one set of contacts.

    BTW: if you have any pitting on either set of contacts, it won't really matter whether you're running 0 gauge or 4 gauge. The resistance of the cable will be a lot lower than the resistance in your solenoid(s), so it won't be the limiting factor.

    <font color=green>"I don't have the brains for business. I want to go into politics" -Mao Xinyu </font color=green>
     
  4. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    Hmmm, well I may be way off here but this is what I think the problem is.
    We all know that Heat and Resistance increase with each other, more heat more resitance. Thoes little molocules are jamin around crashing into eachother creating friction/heat/resistance.
    OK so now you have a 'hot/positive' cable running to the stock silinoid. It's just siting there waiting for a ground so the current can start to flow. Even thou there is no current yet the cable is still 'live' and the little dudes are moving around creating friction/heat/resistance, a very small amont! Now the engine running heating things up the little dudes start cruzin around even more and creating more friction/heat/resistance,allot more! So when the ground is applied the current begins to flow but cuz of all the resitance build up it ain't enough to push that HOT starter and make it turn.
    SO, with the dual siliniod set up were the GM sili is jumped and not connected directly to the battery thoes little dudes inside your #2 cable are all sleeping not moving at all no friction/heat/resistance. Now you motor starts to heat things up and the little dudes are woken up and start to sleep walk, just a little bit. You provide the ground and POW full current flow to that hot starter with the jumped silinoid and veeerrrrrruuummmm your rig starts....EVERYTIME!!!
    Has ALLWAYS worked for me and cured many HOTSTART issues on many differnt GM vehicles even my buds Impala.
    hope that made sence.
    Ho the little dudes are atoms or molocules(sp?)
    Burt

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
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  5. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    Burt,
    Bill Nye would be proud!

    Here's the thing: You are building up resistance in the "start" wire, but it is only about 12 or 14 gauge and it runs all over the truck. More length, smaller wire and more heat all equal more resistance in the wire. The resistance of the solenoid also increases with heat. The advantage to the remote solenoid is just that you are decreasing the resistance from the battery to the starter solenoid and therefore delivering more voltage TO it and pushing more current THROUGH it. That makes it pull harder and make better contact.

    I did the conversion this weekend as a described above. It works better than any setup I've ever had on this truck. I have to be careful to just turn the key really quickly because then it's started. The starter is new (ly rebuilt) and it has always started well with a new starter, but never this good. So it's basically all stock wiring to the starter except that the solenoid is now powered directly from the battery through 6 gauge cable through the remote (Ford) solenoid. The only way to improve this is to run bigger main cable to the starter and to the block.

    An intersting thing is that my old solenoid cover was broken. When I got just a new solenoid, it would not pull the starter gear out. I could pull the plunger by hand easily, but neither my old or the new solenoid would pull it, and that's using jumper cables from the solenoid to a full battery! The only conclusion that I could reach is that the magnetic properties of the plunger had changed.

    <font color=green>Why does everyone worry about my gas mileage, but not think twice about an Excursion owner?</font color=green>
     
  6. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Watch for the muzzleflash!
    Should I be taking notes, and when is the test...Thanks I did not know that[​IMG], you always learn something new!!

    <font color=blue> I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy!
     
  7. K5RON

    K5RON 1/2 ton status

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    Burt,
    Not to burst your bubble here, but those little dudes (electrons) are all stored in the starter and when you "click" your starter, POW!!!! They jump to the cable.

    I like the way you " painted a picture" of the explanation though. :)

    Ron
     
  8. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    OK, it looks like I'm gonna have break down and respond to these descriptions with a little bit of actual physics. Please don't be afraid [​IMG].

    Yes the flow of electrons comes from the battery, but all of the wiring also contains many, many electrons. The reason that copper is a good conductor is that like many metals, the copper atoms bond together in what is called metallic bonding. As opposed to covalent or ionic bonding found in other materials, metal atoms basically share all of their electrons in the outer orbit. So each nucleus (middle part of the atom with the positive protons and neutral neutrons) holds on to most of it's electrons, but allows the outermost electrons to run free. This is like a big sea of electrons and you can't really say anymore which atom each of these "free" electrons belongs to. This effect allows electrons, and therefore electric current to flow through the conductor. Moving any single electron from one end of your cable to the other could take days worth of time since the thermal energy causes it to bounce around in all directions while it on average moves from one end to the other. This sort of average speed is called the "drift velocity" of the electron. As the temperature of the wire increases, the kinetic engergy (thermal motion) of the electrons increases and the effect is to increase the resistance of the wire. The reason the electric current moves so fast is that you are not relying on moving individual electrons all the way through the wire. Instead, you are creating a giant flow of many electrons. The wire must maintain a neutral charge, so there must always be the same number of protons and electrons in the wire. That means that whenever you receive an electron from the battery, another electron must leave the wire and it does that at the other end, going into the starter. So every time you push an electron in one end, you bump one out on the other end. That is why the flow of electricity in a wire happens at the speed of light even though the drift velocity of an electron is very slow.

    You can make an analogy to a garden hose. The water is coming out of the end because the faucet is pushing it from the other end. The water that comes out of the faucet right now will not come out of the hose for some period of time, depending on the pressure and diameter of the hose. It only works because the hose is full of water, just like the wire is full of electrons. Water pressure is like the voltage at the battery and flow is like current. A smaller hose is just like a smaller wire. For a given pressure (or voltage) the flow (or current) depends on the restriction of the hose (or resistance of the wire). Both depend on size and length. A long skinny hose has lower pressure at the end just like a high resistance wire has less voltage at the end.

    The test is tomorrow and will be 30% of your final grade. Class dismissed! [​IMG]

    <font color=green>Why does everyone worry about my gas mileage, but not think twice about an Excursion owner?</font color=green>
     
  9. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    wow groovy dude I feel like i'm back in tech school in 1987. I knew thoes little dudes were cruzin everywere[​IMG]

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
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  10. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    At the risk of sounding stupid, what's the purpose behind the remote solenoid? Heat avoidance? Is this why my old K5's starter would never engage after long trips in the summer? I figured it was the actual starter motor being too hot, not the solenoid.



    Ratch
    **Hmmm. Land or Mall? Land or Mall? Let's see. Lotsa SUV's around here... Let's build a mall.**
     
  11. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Yepper, the good ole "Chevy Hot Start" issue.

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
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  12. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Well, you would think that it was the starter, but if you do a search on this site on other Chevy sites, you will see that the remote solenoid works. The fact that it does means one of two things:
    1) when people put in the remote solenoid, they are also putting in new, heavier wire and that makes the difference
    2) The hot solenoid and solenoid wiring make the solenoid not pull hard enough and the contacts inside it don't engage as well as they should and poor performance results.

    All the remote solenoid is doing to help you is to put more current through the starter solenoid.

    <font color=green>Why does everyone worry about my gas mileage, but not think twice about an Excursion owner?</font color=green>
     
  13. K5RON

    K5RON 1/2 ton status

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    Re: New (improved?) remote solenoid method

    "As the temperature of the wire increases, the kinetic engergy (thermal motion) of the electrons increases and the effect is to increase the resistance of the wire."

    Ah yes, college days! This statement is true for all but one element! I'll leave you in suspense.......................................................................................................................................................

    Ron
     

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