"Long screwdriver" method for dead starter - mod idea (1 Viewer)

kcjaz

SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
794
Location
Olathe, KS
My starter is fine but I'm at 152K so I'm going to replace it. "While I'm in there" (words very close "hold my beer") I was thinking about adding as wire to power terminal between the starter motor and the solenoid. The same place where you would be trying to touch with the long screwdriver. Then run the new wire up into the engine bay somewhere and have a more easily accessible solenoid bypass terminal. Other than doing work and spending time on something to make a low probability event more convenient, anyone see anything wrong with this? I would cover the end of the new "terminal" as it would go hot every normal start.
 

CharlieS

GOLD Star
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
3,890
My starter is fine but I'm at 152K so I'm going to replace it. "While I'm in there" (words very close "hold my beer") I was thinking about adding as wire to power terminal between the starter motor and the solenoid. The same place where you would be trying to touch with the long screwdriver. Then run the new wire up into the engine bay somewhere and have a more easily accessible solenoid bypass terminal. Other than doing work and spending time on something to make a low probability event more convenient, anyone see anything wrong with this? I would cover the end of the new "terminal" as it would go hot every normal start.
I don’t see anything wrong with it. Seems pretty clever.

I wonder how much of an edge case this is though. Clearly starter failure happens, since we read about it here pretty regularly, but if you’re replacing your starter now, odds are you won’t need your emergency start wire for many years, if ever. No real downside to it though, as long as you are the owner and the wire is well protected.

Side note, I had a camaro as a teen where the prior owner had done an engine swap, and must’ve not secured the wires well, or just used low quality parts (both highly likely and equally plausible, in retrospect). At one point, when I was out with a friend, the power wire to the starter must’ve worn through chafing, and when I tried to start my car I had a big puff of smoke and when I opened the hood, the positive cable had melted. We thought the engine had caught fire... Lots of amperage at play.
 

kcjaz

SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
794
Location
Olathe, KS
I don’t see anything wrong with it. Seems pretty clever.

I wonder how much of an edge case this is though. Clearly starter failure happens, since we read about it here pretty regularly, but if you’re replacing your starter now, odds are you won’t need your emergency start wire for many years, if ever. No real downside to it though, as long as you are the owner and the wire is well protected.

Side note, I had a camaro as a teen where the prior owner had done an engine swap, and must’ve not secured the wires well, or just used low quality parts (both highly likely and equally plausible, in retrospect). At one point, when I was out with a friend, the power wire to the starter must’ve worn through chafing, and when I tried to start my car I had a big puff of smoke and when I opened the hood, the positive cable had melted. We thought the engine had caught fire... Lots of amperage at play.
Yeah, I think that there's a 99% chance that I'd never use it. Also, there are multiple things that could go bad in the starter/solenoid. The long screw driver only works if its the contacts in the solenoid that send power to the starter motor fail. If the "plunger thingy" in the solenoid fails or the motor itself, your done. The jumper trick won't work.

On my own side note, I've seen a car being pushed out of a garage after a high amp short caught it on fire. Total loss. Saved the house though...
 
Last edited:

1world1love

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
1,081
Location
Bay Area
Interesting idea and you will definitely need to think about the amps involved.

My question is how often/likely this actually happens. It would be nice to know the design specs (MTTF) and prevelance. I’m having a hard time finding anybody (competent) that will replace it as a maintenance item.
 

40Man

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
1,472
Location
Spokane
Interesting idea and you will definitely need to think about the amps involved.

My question is how often/likely this actually happens. It would be nice to know the design specs (MTTF) and prevelance. I’m having a hard time finding anybody (competent) that will replace it as a maintenance item.
Agreed it is hard to find someone. One mechanic argued with me that the intake manifold would need to be removed. After I told him he was referring to the 100 series and he refused to back down I quit using him. Thankfully my current mechanic is very good.
 

Slow Paddler

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
129
Location
Northern Ohio, USA
Everything old is new again! 😁

I have a 1958 MGA Roadster that uses a very similar device as the starting method. I turn on the ignition key, then pull a cable on the dash that closes the spring-loaded contactor on the positive starter cable. Once the engine starts, let go of the cable to break the starter circuit.

I don’t know if it has the capacity to handle the big LC starter, but might be worth a bit of research.

Moss Motors link: 145-800 STARTER SWITCH | Moss Motors - https://mossmotors.com/starter-switch


99DF6637-1C8D-4B2F-B1E4-322F75C8AFBB.jpeg
 
Last edited:

CharlieS

GOLD Star
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
3,890
You can just use a high amperage solenoid. They’re not hard to find, not terribly expensive and readily available. You’re just creating a redundant starter circuit. It is a lot like what I use to link my dual batteries to start when the primary battery is dead.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom