Starter Solenoid ?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Starter Solenoid ?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Friday, June 08, 2018 - 12:08 am:

Was thinking about adding a starter solenoid to the mix when i swap out my 30+ year old cables, which are definitely showing their age. My question is this. Will a stock 6v 3 pin tractor solenoid be suitable for a T application, or should i look for something more heavy duty? Uncle Milt recommended one from a 48 Ford V8, but i wonder if the ones made today are just as strong and durable. Thanks. :-)

http://evmtfc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Milts-article.pdf

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073KZQVWN/ref=psdc_15731411_t2_B014HJKQAI


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C west central, MN on Friday, June 08, 2018 - 02:08 am:

Should be just fine. No, the modern's are not as good as the old ones. Can you find one off'n an old Ford car or pickup inner fender-well that's good?
Possibly better than new.
I have one in one of my T's I picked up at my local parts store as my starter switch is NOT up to snuff for the amperage.
But my starter switch will operate a solenoid!
Be certain you know what type you get. I chose one that is GROUND the small post to engage.
Ya know what they say. Ya don't need no stinking solenoid!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Friday, June 08, 2018 - 09:21 pm:

Thanks Duey. Still pondering whether to do it, or just leave it be. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Saturday, June 09, 2018 - 10:07 pm:

If you have good new wiring, you certainly do not need a solenoid!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Saturday, June 09, 2018 - 11:15 pm:

OK, thanks Larry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Saturday, June 09, 2018 - 11:49 pm:

Problem has been with the switches. High current has caused failures. With a solenoid the switch only has to handle a few amps. The mod works good and is easily reversed. I have done it on several cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 06:40 am:

1 reason I thought a solenoid was a good idea on my T pickup is if I wanted I could add a "safety" switch somewhere to cut the power to the foot switch.
If you think about it,if a kid was to jump in,they would not know not to stomp that switch and the car could lurch or whatever.
No it aint factory but easy to remove.
I chose a solenoid that fits a Ford pickup ,about a 74-9 model. The steering column bolts,the solenoid will mount to 2 of them with a small amount of filing on 1 of the solenoid mounting holes. This way,no drilling in the T is needed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 07:14 am:

Mack, Your "safety switch" idea is exactly one of my intentions when I installed a 25 amp inline/weather proof fuse holder when I installed the solenoid on my car. Since it is inline before the before the battery it can protect the whole car's wiring system from overload as well as conveniently disable the whole car if I choose. Just crawl underneath and pull the fuse, and no more worries about folks running the battery down at car shows or displays by stepping on the starter button, honking the horn, or turning the lights on and leaving them on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carey on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 10:21 am:

Make sure that you that you use a solenoid from an older car (6V) NOT from 1955 and newer unless your car has been changed to 12V.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 03:20 pm:

Is there a commonnoff the shelf solenoid that people usually use? I may install one on mine after I rebuild the starter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 04:19 pm:

I just went to a farm store and got one for a six volt tractor. Works fine. Tim, you could probably find one at Canadian Tire. Just remember that if it has two small posts on the front of the solenoid; one goes to the hot (battery positive), and the other goes to ground. If there's only one, it goes to hot, then make sure the solenoid is mounted to a good ground.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 05:50 pm:

Thanks Kevin, I hadnít thought of just going with one for a tractor. In any case it will be a while before I get to it, the T starts so well on the crank Iím going to deal with the starter after my next project is done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 06:25 pm:

To add to what Kevin W. just said, I think I'd just go to Tractor Supply and ask for a solenoid for a Ford N Series tractor. I think they're all 6 volt and at least that keeps it "all Ford", right? I have two Model T's that each had a solenoid already installed by the previous owner and they both work great!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Jensen on Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 09:52 pm:

A Ford N series tractor uses a solenoid that mounts to the starter and has just one smaller terminal that gets grounded when the starter button is pushed. On the N tractors the starter button is on the transmission and the gearshift needs to be in neutral. It will work, you just need to make sure you wire it with the battery side and the starter side correctly, and the small terminal goes to a button that goes to ground when pushed to start. Don't put 6 volts to the small terminal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 04:31 pm:

One of the good things about adding. solenoid is providing an interlock so the ignition switch is in Battery before it becomes active. This helps avoid accidentally operating the switch inadvertently. I have friend who was seriously hurt getting in his T and stepping on the switch.
Also the solenoid is self cleaning and will last ďfor everĒ.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Zibell, Huntsville, AL on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 05:05 pm:

I installed a solenoid when restoring my 26 Tudor. Reason being the original foot switch is the same age as the car as far as I know. By reducing current flow at the foot switch and having the solenoid carry the high amperage load my thinking is that would greatly extend the service life of the foot switch. T vendors do carry the 6 volt solenoid.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 07:22 pm:

I have to say when I replaced my old original cables with some new ones from Snyders it sure seemed it would start easier. The copper in the new cables seemed fresher to me besides having new insulation.
After that I replaced all the original wiring in my Coupe including new coil box bolts. Just makes sense to replace almost 90 year old wiring. IN my opinion anyway.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie, Memphis TN on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 07:45 pm:

I used a Ford N tractor solenoid, or a pre- '50's Ford car solenoid - I don't remember which, and they're essentially the same.

I went to an over-the-road truck parts & service place out by the Interstate, and had them make new cables for me. they have the wire in 2 or 3 sizes (bigger is better), and the lower the number the bigger the wire, which goes down to Number 1 then to 0, then 00, then 000.....

They also have terminals in different shapes & sizes, which they swedge onto the wire.

These cables are designed to handle the enormous current required to spin a huge Diesel engine when it's cold, and to them the current required to spin the Model T engine is child's play.

Replacing the old cables and installing a solenoid made more difference to my daily use of the car than any other single thing I can remember doing.

By the way, installing a cutoff switch in the small wire from the foot switch sounds like a capital idea. It not only eliminates accidental cranks, but if you hide the switch it makes it that much harder to steal your car - although you can still hand crank it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie, Memphis TN on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 07:50 pm:

Two P. S.'s:

Don't forget to replace the grounding cable, and make sure its terminal and the frame where it attaches are bright and clean. I also used a Grade 8 bolt on it, so I could crank it down especially tight.

I also installed a cable between the engine and the frame, just to make the current path shorter. Since it doesn't carry all the current, I used a modern 12 volt cable. I connected it between one of the 4th. main bolts and one of the bolts nearby on the frame - I don't remember which.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 10:49 pm:

This has been a very informative thread, thanks to all that have chimed in. :-) A few more questions if i may. Considering that there are two versions for the solenoid, 3 post and 4 post, would it be better to use the 4 post and run a wire to a good known ground rather than rely on the 3 post and the ground obtained from the mounting bracket? Also, as far as cables are concerned, has anyone noticed a major difference between 1/0 and 2/0 on a 6v system? Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie, Memphis TN on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 06:50 am:

When cars went to 12 volts, it was found that was too high a voltage for the coils and points, so a dropping resistor was added to the circuit. It was usually a ceramic block with a coil of resistance wire, mounted on the firewall. Then, in order to give faster starts, a second small post was added to the starter solenoid, that gave a direct 12 volts to the coil while the starter was spinning the engine, thus giving a hotter spark during starting.

That's why there's a second small post on a 12 volt solenoid. But remember, a 12 volt solenoid handled half the current a 6 volt solenoid carried, and they were made lighter-duty.

If you're putting a solenoid on a Model T, you need to use a 6 volt solenoid. It will have only one small post.

Just to remind you, the actuating coil of the solenoid picks up "hot" juice from one of the large posts, and gets its "ground" from the small post. Therefore, it's important the big cables are hooked up correctly. If they're reversed, the solenoid won't work.

Some 6 volt solenoids have a + sign on the case. That's where the battery cable goes. Others, without the +, can be done by trial and error, or you can use your ohm meter to find which large post has a connection to the small post.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 06:56 pm:

It took me two years to learn the original cables were 0 or 1/0 gauge.

Most of the replacement cables sold are 2 gauge or 12 Volt cables with the correct end fittings.

The replacement ground strap is normally also a 2 gauge rated cable.

I use all 00 or 2/0 gauge cables with great results and replace the ground strap with a cable of the same size.

The initial starter draw is about 400 amps and it drops off to about 275 amps.

Look at this chart for the recommended correct size.

wire size


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 06:59 pm:

It took me two years to learn the original cables were 0 or 1/0 gauge.

Most of the replacement cables sold are 2 gauge or 12 Volt cables with the correct end fittings.

The replacement ground strap is normally also a 2 gauge rated cable.

I use all 00 or 2/0 gauge cables with great results and replace the ground strap with a cable of the same size.

The initial starter draw is about 400 amps and it drops off to about 275 amps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 07:02 pm:

Here is the missing image.

|image{wire}


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 07:03 pm:

Sorry about that!

I hit the wrong key that time.

Wire


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