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Old 12/08/18, 06:44 PM   #1
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starter solenoid question

Please bear with me, learning everything on the fly
I am using a 98 explorer engine with a carb setup
using the explorer starter, do I still require the bronco starter solenoid?
I am trying to understand it's purpose and if I am looking at the correct diagrams because most still have it present but the starter itself seems to serve the same purpose if I understand correct
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Old 12/08/18, 09:33 PM   #2
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The starter can have a hard time disengaging its solenoid if you do not use the remote one. Sometimes it will work for a while, but it will eventually keep the starter teeth engaged after you let go of the key and damage the teeth. This is because the starter can act like a generator and power its solenoid.

Last edited by EricLar80; 12/09/18 at 12:09 PM..

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Old 12/08/18, 09:52 PM   #3
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I use both solenoids, but the stock Bronco solenoid only switches the signal wire for the Explorer soleniod. Makes it simple, not to move a lot of the factory harness.


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Old 12/09/18, 07:10 AM   #4
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Iíve always done the same as Mark. No issues.

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Old 12/09/18, 11:15 AM   #5
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If you look at an 96-01 Explorer wiring harness they still use a solenoid (relay).
So Ford thought it was still a good idea.

... I've got skills, ingenuity and no regard for maintaining any kind of historical preservation or authenticity...My Dad called that sick and wrong
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Old 12/09/18, 11:48 AM   #6
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alright thank you very much.
as im doing this build it's interesting working with non ford/bronco people. I always try to say "the forum says" and whenever I have a question usually I can find it super quick on here. But sometimes it seems like I need to have more confidenc in myself in what I read here instead of listening to others even if they are mechanics.
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Old 12/09/18, 01:57 PM   #7
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As the others have said, even Ford continued to use their fender mounted relay (it's a relay, never was a solenoid and Ford always called it a "starter motor relay" in the diagrams) even after changing to the new PMGR (permanent magnet, gear reduction) starters with the piggybacked solenoid (which actually IS a solenoid). Primarily for two reasons that I can see.

Isolation of electrical signals and wiring convenience.
Most older GM vehicles that used the starter solenoid's large battery post as their common termination point also had heat and contamination issues after a few years of use. And to access any of those wires you had to get underneath or reach way down into the engine compartment.
Ford changed the relay's basic layout, but left it on the fender where it stayed away from most heat, and remained a very easy to use "power point" to connect a lot of wiring.
Oh, and it uses less current to energize than a solenoid does too, so continues to take some of the load off of the dash mounted ignition switch. Almost forgot about that part.

The "isolation" aspect is that the starter motor turns into a generator as it's spinning down, and can energize the piggyback solenoid momentarily. This causes the starter motor to run-on for a few seconds after starting.
Probably not good, but at the very least it freaks everybody out when they've just done all this re-wiring work only to have the starter stick on!

I'm not really sure what was different about all the years of GM starters that did not run-on after the key was released, but it happened way too often after swapping in the new starters on our Fords, so it was deemed best to leave the relay in place.
Just like Ford did.


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Old Yesterday, 08:01 PM   #8
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I know that there used to be a wiring kit to put a ford relay on gm products with the solenoid at the starter. I put one on a buddy's 77 chevy pu for him.

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