There is not just one solenoid valve out there. There are a variety of valves and they all have different uses. One thing that is constant though is that a solenoid valve is a mechanical device that allows an electrical item to control the actual flow of either gas or a liquid. The device causes an electrical current to flow through the wires of the valve and then it creates a magnetic field that is then connects to a valve within the solenoid itself.
Step 1 - Understand the Types of Solenoid Valves
A solenoid valve can be found in different shapes and sizes, all depending upon what the valve is going to be used for. They can be open, closed or can also be a two-way valve as well. An open valve allows for gas or a liquid to pass through and the closed does just the opposite. The two-way valve has a common port, an open port and finally a closed port.
Step 2 - Find Your Solenoid
The solenoid valve in your starter actually has an electrical switch that is supposed to turn on to get your car to start. The solenoid is generally found mounted right on the engine. Locate it before proceeding. Remove the black cable from the battery. You will need to get a jack in order to elevate your vehicle to be able to get under it in case the solenoid valve is mounted on the engine on the bottom side. It is important that you put your starter as close to its mounting bracket as possible. If it is possible, you can use the jack to balance the starter on while you try to make electric connections.
Step 3 - Wire the Solenoid to the Starter
Take a wrench and connect the batteries red cable to the large bolt that is found on the solenoid valve. If you want, you can thread the bolts that are the mounting bolts for the starter. Do not tighten them before the connections are made.
Step 4 - Mount the Starter to the Engine
Make sure that the wires are all connected well and then go onto mounting the starter to the engine. Lower the vehicle off of the jack and then reconnect the black cable to the battery.
Notes for Remote-Mounted Solenoid Valves
These directions are for those valves that are remote-mounted, usually found on Fords:
As stated above, remove the black cable from the vehicle battery. With a wrench, put the valve onto the engine. Take the red cable from battery and connect it to the valves bolted on the left. Take the starter cable and connect it on the right side of the valve. Grab the control wire and connect it to a small control circuit on the left side of the valve. Use the next wire and connect that to the bypass for the ignition. Take black battery cable and reconnect it.