This FAQ is a compilation of my experiences as well as other's with the V8 Chevy Monza, Vega, and other H-Bodies. There are some sections that have no information in them yet, but I'm always adding to it, so if you don't see what you're looking for check back regularly or e-mail me. Also, read this information the same as any information you find on the internet and make your own decisions about what you read. If you find errors, have any suggestions, personal experiences, or information you think would be useful here, please e-mail me. I make no attempts to mislead you, I only know what worked for me and I won't be liable for any damage to equipment, injury to persons, errors in judgement, or depletion of your finances. Hey, I gotta protect myself.
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Remote Starter Solenoid
If you have headers, run trunk mounted batteries, or if your engine puts out a lot of power and heat, you probably have experienced starter drag when the engine is hot. This can have a number of causes, all of them resulting in absolute disgust at your starter or battery or whatever. One fix for this is to have a remote mounted starter solenoid. Follow these steps to do it.
Picture by Mike Gomez
- First, disconnect the battery ground cable from the negative battery post. I choose the negative post to remove because while removing it, if the tool you're using contacts the body of the vehicle or any metal surface, nothing will happen. If you were disconnecting the positive cable and your tool contacted the body or any metal on the car you'd be showered in sparks and possibly damage the battery and/or the charging system.
- Trace the wires running to the factory GM starter solenoid. The big one is the battery wire, the second one, much smaller, is attached to the starter solenoid and is energized when the ignition key is in the start position. There is sometimes a third wire, which right now I don't recall exactly what it goes to or its purpose but I believe it connects to the large battery connection on the starter and is used in charging the battery.
- Now, having identified and removed all the wires, find a good out-of-the-way location for a Ford starter solenoid, like the firewall, and mount it. Attach a new battery cable with loops on each end to the GM starter solenoid large battery post and to one of the large posts on the Ford solenoid. Before tightening the end connected to the GM solenoid, attach a large 10-guage jumper wire about 2 to 4 inches long between the GM solenoid battery post and the GM solenoid start wire post and tighten the connections.
- Attach the positive battery cable to the opposite large post on the Ford solenoid and attach the start key wire to the start wire position on the Ford solenoid. Reattach the battery ground cable to the battery negative post and you're done, start the vehicle to test it. If you've used good quality parts, you should see an improvement in the ability for your car to start under hot conditions.
- One last tip. I painted my starter and factory solenoid silver to help combat the high under-hood temperatures caused by using headers. The silver actually reflects the heat away from the starter and keeps it quite a bit cooler than you would think. If you don't have silver, try white paint. I have had success with both colors in controlling underhood temperatures. So far I have had no starter drag at all.