by Bill C. -
Starter won’t turn the motor over. Solenoid may or may not be heard
“clicking” with key into the start position.
Worn out ignition/starter switch.
FIX or PREVENTATIVE
The simple & inexpensive installation of an
add-on “starter relay” will keep you going if you have a worn starter switch
(contacts) and can also make your existing, good switch last longer.
Installing a relay moves the semi-heavy
current required for the solenoid actuation away from the switch, to the
Basically, this procedure installs a fog light (30 amp) relay in line with
the starter switch-to-solenoid wire and provides good “juice” directly from
the battery. On my 70-something bugs, I installed it under the back seat,
driver side, right where the solenoid wire has a male-to-female inline
TOOLS & PARTS:
Fog Light Relay
– 12 Volt, 30 AMP Autozone sells a Pilot brand that works
2 or 3 feet of red 10 –
12 gauge wire
6 – 12” of black medium
3 or 4 each, ¼” Female
Locate the rather
heavy (about 10 gauge) red wire (w/a black stripe) that runs from the
starter solenoid. A good place to start is under the rear seat on the
driver side. This wire will probably have a connection, enclosed in
clear plastic. If you find this connector, pull it apart.
Once this wire is
opened at the connector, cut the male connector off and install a
¼” female spade connector in its place. If the other end does NOT
already have a female connector on it, install one on it too. You should
now have female connectors on the 2 (pieces) of the solenoid wire.
Connect the wire
(from step 2) that is still connected to the solenoid, to one of the
“switch” contact tabs on the fog light relay. The relay should have a
pin layout painted on one of its sides.
Connect the (other)
side of the wire, that leads towards the front of the car, to one of the
“coil” tabs on the relay.
Fabricate a ground
wire from the black wire stock, by stripping the end and crimping a ¼”
female spade connector.
Using a screw,
ground one end of the black wire to chassis ground, nearby. Connect the
other end, with the female spade connector, to the remaining “coil” tab
on the relay.
Fabricate a “battery
power” wire from the red, 10-ga wire stock. Strip both ends and install
a female spade connector onto one end.
Connect the female
connector end of the “battery power” wire (step 7) to the remaining
“switch” contact tab of the relay.
Connect the other
end of the battery power wire to the positive (+) side of the battery.
locate the relay to ensure the wires do not short out. The wire
connections are diagramed below:
You are done! It is
really easier than it sounds. I recently mis-diagnosed my “clicking
solenoid” problem as a bad starter solenoid and replaced the whole thing
with a known, good starter… to no avail. This fixed it immediately!