<VV> Starter Mystery - Solenoid wiring

kenpepke at juno.com kenpepke at juno.com
Tue Jul 6 11:04:21 EDT 2010

Well, the first thing I would do is make sure the wires are on properly located on the solenoid.  One of the wires, the larger of the small wires [usually purple] comes from the ignition switch and supplies power to engage the 'S' terminalon the solenoid.  The other is slightly thinner and picks up 12 volt power from the other small terminal on the solenoid while it is engaged and sends it to the coil by-passing the resistor for starting proposes.  Once the solenoid is engaged power can back feed through the coil and back to keep the solenoid engaged if these two wires are crossed. 

And I would check the starter circuit harness for overheating damage.  

Hard to tell the problem from a distance ... Wires melted together can happen in many locations.  Do you have a knowledgeable club member in your area that can help?  
Ken P

"Brian" <bmoneill at juno.com> wrote:

So I should disconnect the primary wire to the distributor and try again, right?

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "kenpepke at juno.com" <kenpepke at juno.com>
To: virtualvairs at corvair.org
Subject: Re: <VV> Starter Mystery
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 10:56:13 GMT

This sounds like a case of back feeding the solenoid through the distributor coil primary wiring bypassing the ignition switch.   May be caused by overheated and failed wiring insulation.
Ken P  

"Brian" <bmoneill at juno.com> wrote:

I'm stumped!  Here's the story.  The car is a 1968 110 PG.  Three weeks ago while 
the owner was going 65-70 MPH on the interstate, he began to hear a loud knocking sound 
from the engine.  within a mile the engine had seized.  He pulled to the side and turned 
off the ignition.  He then turned the key to the run position.  For just a moment, the 
warning lights came on but hen the entire electrical system was out.  No lights, nothing. 
The battery ground cable and some other wires were HOT!
The car was flat bedded home.  About two hours later, the electrical system again 
functioned.  Needless to say the engine was locked solid.  A tear down showed number 6 
rod bearing welded to the crank.  A total rebuild followed.
Before installing the engine, the oil system was primed and checked with a guage,  It had 
more than 45 PSI at about 800-00 RPM using  a big electric drill.  The engine turned 
freely and smoothly by hand.
After installation, the engine was static timed.  When the starter was used the engine 
turned over slowly as if the battery was weak. The mystery began when the key was turned 
off and removed.  The starter continued to slowly turn the engine. Two starter, a new 
ignition  switch and a new neutral safety switch failed to cure the problem.  As the 
starter turns after the key is removed the battery negative cable get HOT!
All types of tricks have been tried.  Disconnecting, the alternator among other.  Nothing 
stops the starter from turning.  The car has a new engine compartment and body wiring 
harness. It also has a new stater 'mini-harness'.  The car has a Pertronix ignition.
I'm stumped.  Any ideas? Thanks in advance   

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