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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1969 cougar. For some reason the starter solenoid keeps burning out. I have installed a new alternator, voltage regulator, and ignition switch and have cooked four new solenoids. They will start once or twice and then freeze open. Any ideas?
 

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What do you mean they freeze open? Check that you are getting 12v at the wire that connects to the S terminal when you turn the key to on. Also check that your ground is good. From the sound of it you have been replacing parts uneccessarily.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the response. I say freeze open, that's my lay mans term since I dont know what to call it. They work briefly and then they stop. I tried touching Both of the small terminals with a screw driver and get no response at all. The negative side of the battery is grounded to the block along with the alternator ground.
 

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Just curious if you have the problem maker securely fastened to the inner fender...does it have good contact (scratch some of the paint away to make a "good" contact for grounding purposes)....on my Bronco (snow plow) that was the culprit...used sandpaper and refastened it and it worked like a champ. However, there is a turd that floats around out there and from time to time it lands on somebody...was it your turn?
 

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Just another thought. Are you sure it's the solenoid and not the starter motor itself? I believe started motors are typically good for only about 10+ years. You can try banging the stater motor with a crow bar or hammer a few times, and then see if it starts. A quick way to check the solenoid is take jumper cables, and connect same color (i.e. red only) to the Right bolt and then to the Left bolt. Your motor should kick over or even start with this technique.
 

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x2--sounds like one of spots on the commutator is bad--take it to a motor bebuilder and have the com tested--i think the tool is named a groweler
doctordesoto
 

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The 2 small contacts are the S for start, and I for ignition. Touching them together will do nothing. They come from the ignition switch. If you want to see if the solenoid works, take a screwdriver (make sure it has a plastic grip so your hand is insulated) and touch the terminal where the battery cable attaches and the 's' terminal. If nothing happens, it's the solenoid or really bad + battery connection.
 

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First thing to check/fix is the block to ground connection. If you are not sure make one! The factory one is NOT reliable. There needs to be a solid heavy guage wire from the block to the the frame/body. The cheesy one from the firewall to the block with a POS tin screw is a joke. Get a 10 guage or heavier piece of wire about 10" long, put some nice size ringe terminals on it and then mount it on some nice shiny clean BOLT points from your block to the frame. This will fix many electrical gremlins...after that you can troubleshoot with confidence your ground is good at least. Then like the doc says - get your starter tested - most parts sales places have the equipment for that and test it free. I would bet you have a loose/crappy ground.....( Or you can buy an already termiated ground strap/battery cable for about $5 from any parts store/farm store and use it)
 

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It's called a "GROWLER" haven't heard that description in years. I remember in the 40's dad was service manager at Buick, and often at night I would go back to the garage with him, and they had a special room for testing STARTERS, GENERATORS, and DISTRIBUTORS. I sure do remember that LOW PITCHED, DEEP THREATENING GROWL SOUND. Once you heard it, you never forgot it. Worked, for sure.

Dale in Indy
 

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LOL - yeah thought that too! Been many years since I heard the term.....I think it stems from when the starters didn't retract the nose gear very fast and they made that sound. Modern ceramic magnet starters are very fast and don't do that...but these old ones make a growliong noise whe they are out of the case.
 

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No, if I recall correct, you would take the ARMATURE of a starter, lay it in a CRADLE of sorts, turn on the machine, and the armature would GROWL. I kind of recall it would actually SHAKE in the cradle. I may be wrong, but that's how I remember it.

Dale in Indy
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Some great ideas, thanks. I've got a good list of things to try here. I won't be able to play with it until next week (have to work for a living) but I'll post when I get a chance. Oh yeah, I did install a new starter befor solenoid #2.
thanks again!
 

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get your starter tested, if the brushes are worn it will draw3x the amps and burn up solenoids, gets them hotter then heck and basicaaly welds the connects up internally.
 
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