It's got a hot engine with a set of headers that wrap tightly under the chassis, and you're having a blast cruising around town. But you turn your ignition key to restart your ride and nothing happens. If you've ever had this experience, then welcome to the Hot No-Start Chevy Club. As great as Chevys are, add a little heat near the starter solenoid (via a set of headers or closely routed head pipe) and a little drive time, and you might experience no-start syndrome.
Heat builds up electrical resistance, and exhaust systems are all about high temperatures. When you turn the ignition key to start a hot engine, the electrical voltage encounters major resistance and cannot activate the solenoid that has been basking in exhaust and engine heat.
This happens because the large solenoid on the starter pulls 40 to 50 amps at the moment the ignition key is turned to the Start position. That large amount of power must flow through a long circuit from the battery to the dash area, back through the underhood wiring, and finally to the starter. Sounds like quite a job, doesn't it?
The good news is that the folks at Mad Enterprises have an easy cure--an electrical solenoid remounting kit. Truth is that they've been making it for quite a few years. All it takes is some splicing, soldering, and following simple instructions, and you can mount a solenoid remotely away from exhaust heat in about an afternoon's time. You'll be rewarded with a Chevy that always starts, and a great place to access 12 volts from your electrical system. We recently installed one of these kits with great results. Here's how we did it.
First, we disconnected the battery. The safest way to do this is by removing the negative cable. Next, we needed to pick a mounting location. The best place we found was near the battery's stock location on the passenger-side wheelwell. Of course, if your battery is trunk-mounted, it will be best to mount the solenoid near that location.
Remember that the solenoid must be mounted so that it is grounded. On metal fenderwells, the mounting screws will provide the electrical ground for the solenoid. If you're mounting the solenoid on a nonmetal surface, you'll need to run a separate ground wire.
For all the wirework we preformed, we began by crimping the connector, soldering, and insulating with shrinkable tubing. This procedure provides the most permanent connection and reliability.
If you'll be adding or reinstalling any 12-volt power-up cables to the new fenderwell-mounted solenoid, be certain to attach them to the battery side of the solenoid (not the starter side) where the battery cable is connected.
Next, remove the wire from the "S" terminal on the GM solenoid. This is the purple wire on the small stud closest to the engine block. Now route the purple wire to the small stud "S" terminal on the new Start 'M Up solenoid. If needed, use the provided blue wire to lengthen the purple wire. The opposite wire (on some GM solenoids) is yellow and will not be used on vehicles with electronic ignitions. If your vehicle is equipped with points and a condenser, this wire must run from the "plus" side of your coil to the "R" terminal on the Start 'M Up solenoid.
Finally, a metal plate (supplied in the kit) is installed between the large stud on top of the solenoid and the "S" terminal.
Now you even have a handy location to hook up a bump-start switch. Just be sure the trans is in Neutral and the parking brake is set. By simply hooking one wire to the new solenoid's battery-side positive lug and the other to the "S" terminal, you can bump the starter using a remote button. And best of all, your new Start 'M Up solenoid has cured those hot no-start blues.