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Old 08-27-2017, 01:59 PM   #1
jeepstir
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2001 SC2
Default '01 SC2 starter issue

I think I know the answer to this. However, even though I've installed many starters in my life this is my first Saturn starter, and I know there are people here with a lot more Saturn knowledge than I have. I want to make sure I'm right before I go pulling this new started back out.

Like I said, just installed a new starter in my '01 SC2. After I had it in and went to reattach the wires I realized the cap on the solenoid was rotated 180; the small wire was on top instead of on the bottom. The main battery terminal was basically in the same place. I didn't think a whole lot of it at the time as I know aftermarket stuff can sometimes have minor alterations.

However, when I went to reconnect the battery cables the starter began to immediately turn over. No key in the ignition, nothing. The engine didn't start, but it continued to turn over as long as the battery was connected (only a few seconds).

Thinking maybe there was something that needed to be reset, I went and put the key in the ignition and turned it to run. I reattached the battery cable and the engine started right up. But I could hear the starter was still running. I turned the ignition off and still the starter was turning the engine over until I disconnected the battery cable.

So, I'm thinking in addition to the top of the solenoid being turned 180, or maybe because of it, the solenoid is wired backwards. But before I go through the trouble of pulling the starter back out and getting another, I wanted to make sure there wasn't something else I'm not aware of. Thanks.

And Richpin, if you read this, thanks for the video, it helped a lot!

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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:17 PM   #2
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2001 SC2
Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Possible you have the battery cable lugs (left, larger stud) touching the solenoid lug (right, smaller stud), they are pretty close together.


If that's not it then check for power on the purple cable with it disconnected from the starter, and then check if the starter runs with ONLY the batter cable connected.

Another picture guide where I took the image from: https://www.saturnforum.com/forum/sa...s-saturn-2947/

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Old 08-27-2017, 02:45 PM   #3
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Post Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Or battery positive was connected to the wrong terminal....... If battery positive was connected to the other large terminal, as shown, power goes immediately to the starter, bypassing the internal electrical contacts of the solenoid starter relay. The starter motor immediately spinning up, sounding like a jet engine, without turning over the engine, will occur when incorrectly connecting battery to this terminal.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

I sure sounds like the solenoid was installed wrong. Take it back to where you bought.

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Old 08-27-2017, 07:56 PM   #5
jeepstir
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Thanks guys, appreciate the ideas.

I know the wires are connected to the proper terminals, and the starter is engaging and turning over the engine. But I'll double check is make sure there is no shorting between the two terminals. They are close together and I was careful re-attaching everything, but maybe something slipped and I didn't realize it.

The weird thing now is, I said the top of the solenoid was rotated 180 compared the the one I took out. Well, the new one I put in looks exactly like the one in your picture, fetchitfido. The one I took out is below. So I'm now doubting if there is anything wrong with the new one.

I'm going to go back tomorrow after work and check for a lug touching the other terminal. If that's not happening I'll pull the purple wire off and see what happens.

Thanks again to all of you.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Oh, I didn't understand correctly. The one you took out, that had been working, is the one with the solenoid "rotated" different than normal.

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Old 08-28-2017, 05:19 AM   #7
jeepstir
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
Oh, I didn't understand correctly. The one you took out, that had been working, is the one with the solenoid "rotated" different than normal.
The one I took out, that I posted the picture of above, was not working. It went through the issue of having to tap on it occasionally to work, until finally it wouldn't work at all.

So until fetchitfido posted the picture above, the only 2 Saturn starters I've ever seen were the new one I bought and the old dead one I took out (and posted the picture above of).

Since the solenoids were oriented differently I assumed the old one I took out was correct and the new one was wrong. Now, after seeing the other pictures it seems the old one I took out is the odd one.

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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1979 Jeep CJ7

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Old 08-28-2017, 02:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Well, I'm now really confused about which is the old and new. Regardless, the small stud, with PPL wire, should be closer to the engine block, away from the firewall.

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Old 08-28-2017, 07:01 PM   #9
jeepstir
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Well, now fixed.

Bill, the way you describe the posts is exactly the way the new starter I just installed is. The failed starter that I took out had the post for the purple wire on the opposite side of the solenoid top, away from the engine. Look at the picture I attached. I hope that helps.

The problem occurred because there was very little play in the wiring harness or the purple wire to make it easy to reach the new post. Even though I had tried to hold the purple wire connector in place while I was tightening the bolt, it still managed to twist around and contact the battery cable. Just a dumb mistake. Even though I thought I had everything right I should have double checked.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:39 PM   #10
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2001 SC2
Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Or battery positive was connected to the wrong terminal....... If battery positive was connected to the other large terminal, as shown, power goes immediately to the starter, bypassing the internal electrical contacts of the solenoid starter relay. The starter motor immediately spinning up, sounding like a jet engine, without turning over the engine, will occur when incorrectly connecting battery to this terminal.
Second for this... I'm fairly certain our starters ground through the frame (can't remember...)

If you connect positive to the extra post that's used for jumping the starter it will automatically start it.

Try connecting to the other posts, it won't really hurt the starter unless you let it stay running

...
At this point... Feel like I've had to do everything but replace the engine.

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Old 08-29-2017, 07:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: '01 SC2 starter issue

jeepstir explained straining and shorting the START terminal to the battery terminal, automatically powering up the starter.

And you are correct - all starters in every vehicle with a negative ground system uses the engine block and chassis tied to battery ground. Large current devices like starter, ac compressor and alternator uses engine/chassis ground connections, in effect the starter/alternator/compressor clutch coil grounds their circuit thru their case assembly. Since current flows from negative to positive, alternator output is thru its frame and back to the battery. The same for starter - battery positive waits for the solenoid to ground connection to power the solenoid. When the solenoid closes the two electrical contacts, positive connection to one side of the starter motor waits for electrical contacts to close to allow ground connection to power the starter thru the case connection.

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