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Old 12-04-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
djjsc
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Default SL1 starter solenoid

SL1 does nothing but click. Has to be the contacts inside solenoid. Is the solenoid replaceable? I know other similar Delco solenoids can be refurbished by cleaning/replacing contacts and/or reversing the contact surfaces. Rebuildable or no? Maybe someone can point me to a video specific to repairing a Saturn starter solenoid. Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-04-2017, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

Not worth the effort. Just get a whole new DBElectrical starter. They are cheap and work like a champ

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Old 12-04-2017, 03:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

And, it may not be the solenoid (contacts or other). You would get the same symptom if the starter brushes were bad. A few voltage checks down there can confirm specifically which is bad.

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Old 12-04-2017, 07:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

$40.00 DB Electric, just replace it as it is not economically fixable.

https://www.dbelectrical.com/

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Old 12-04-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default SL1 starter solenoid tests

All the tests have been done. Car was stranded in town; jacked & blocked, crawled under & jumped w/ prybar & 3/8 extension. Now that I'm home in garage & starter off; won't even click (but does arc) on bench test using fully charged battery but spins like a champ when solenoid out is hooked direct to 12V +. Only drive will not engage. What would make it click in the car but not on bench? I know I need a starter; no need to discuss that.

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Old 12-04-2017, 08:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

bad ground to starter case usually or the coil has completely opened.

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Old 12-04-2017, 08:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

Starters for 12 volt systems are usually made in one of several ways but they all use an external starter solenoid to yank the starter gear into the flywheel to engage. The starter solenoid, large electrical contacts, brushes and commutator are some of a few wear items for every starter, If you never disassembled one and are interested with some skills, electrical and mechanical, you can disassemble some parts for examination and learn what makes a starter run. Be prepared to get filthy as starters keep worn parts inside and will show lots of carbon particles from brush wear. Some starter solenoids are sealed with rivets that may be removed by drilling off the mushroomed heads. Others may have nuts and bolts for easy disassembly. It all depends on a person's curiosity, a desire to learn something, have basic electrical and mechanical skills. Even if you're prepared to replace it and have time to disassemble one, it can help anyone understand exactly what goes into starter operation.

Once apart, solenoids are simple electro magnets with a par of electrical contacts that act as the largest switch to pass welding current thru to the starter motor (anywhere from 50-150+ amps). Some original Saturn starters can be refurbished with new brushes and cleaning solenoid contacts for reuse provided the commutator can be machined down (drill press/file/sanding paper) and solenoid isn't blown. The large metallic click sound is the starter solenoid powering up, slamming the starter gear into place while closing a set of electrical contacts. I can tell you without doubt that starters can be repaired as long as the parts can be refurbished, cleaned or replaced before tossing into the garbage or used as a core for rebuilding places. As you know some places want the old starter where they send it back to a place that will rebuild them to like new condition. Yes, some are not worth the time for inexpensive replacements while some are interested in learning about them. If I can make a new electrical contact from scratch using material from electrical panels and some hand filing, cutting to shape to repair a perfectly good starter that already had 140k miles on it but showed hardly any wear except for one well worn contact to allow another 140k miles of service, anyone can. Time, patience, some skills and a desire are some of the requirements to repair starters and alternators. Google provides the rest with info along with youtubers helping put things in perspective.

A well known adage not used anymore still applies - the more you know........

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Old 12-04-2017, 09:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

I've saved my last dead starter so I can do a post mortem sometime. I'd like to see if there is a way to make them last longer.

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Old 12-04-2017, 10:04 PM   #9
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Default SL1 starter solenoid

So....... took starter off the SW2 (currently not plated); bench tested fine & even better in car. Used to have an awesome rebuilder (LaBelles) in Saskatoon but suddenly shop was closed; heard later for health reasons. Now there's no one. A jobber starter here is $200 +/-. DBelectrical is $74 USD shipped; be $100+ @ my door. Even better is RockAuto @ $75 CAD shipped ($62 + $12.70 ride). The choice is clear.

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Old 12-04-2017, 10:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

When you take it apart you will find the elastomer seal between the stator frame and the brush plate is rotted out from being oil soaked and the commutator is completely black with charred engine oil. The commutator must be turned to clean this mess up. Replacement solenoids are not economically available and the basic parts cost for a casual rebuild is between 25 and 30$. Then there is the time. The DB Electric at $40.00 makes this a throw away part. The primary cause of early failure is this oil coating on the commutator and brushes. Take a real close look at the plastic camc cover on the firewall side of the fill opening and take note of the depression that serves as an oil overflow drain path, this runs right down on the starter. The plastic cover has only 1 drain path down into the engine that will not rapidly flow oil. It is incredibly easy to pour oil right down onto the starter and not into the engine. This thing will overflow very easily and it is also hard to detect unless you are actively looking for it. The oil runs off the starter onto the lower engine - transmission support plate which keeps it off of the floor so you do not see it on the ground.

The starter lasts a very long time if not accidentally filled up with oil.

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

Interesting, thanks OldNuc. I should be good for a while then, I have no leaks.

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Old 12-05-2017, 08:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

The majority of starter early failures are associated with oil burning DOHC 96 and newer engines. And usually it is a rebuilt local auto parts product as well that fails.

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Old 12-05-2017, 11:22 PM   #13
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Default SL1 starter solenoid

The SL1 dud starter is an exception; no oil on it, NONE. The SW2 starter I swapped in was somewhat dirty. Yes, the SW2 has a plastic valve cover.

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Old 12-05-2017, 11:25 PM   #14
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Default SL1 starter solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
And, it may not be the solenoid (contacts or other). You would get the same symptom if the starter brushes were bad. A few voltage checks down there can confirm specifically which is bad.
Nothing wrong w/ starter brushes; spins like a champ w/ solenoid bypassed.

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Old 12-06-2017, 01:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: SL1 starter solenoid

Yep, I saw that you tested further and clarified that after I posted.

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