Problems Restarting Truck

A truck on the road.

If you've ever had trouble restarting your truck, you probably have some questions. Here, we answer on Forum user's question.

Q. When driving for a long distance in hot temperatures, my car will not restart after filling up at the gas station. The relay that picks up the solenoid does not operate and will not until the vehicle has cooled down for 30 minutes to an hour. Then it starts and runs until the next stop. Can you tell me where this temperature switch is located so I can bypass it and be on my way again? Filling station operators don't appreciate us tying up a whole row of gas pumps, especially on a busy day.

A. A lot of us at some time or another have experienced problems with the solenoid on a Chevrolet starter not working when it gets hot. The high amperage required engaging the Chevy solenoid causes this. Headers and high ambient temperatures compound the problem. I like to head off these problems by installing my own hot start kit from the get go when building a rod. Many kits are available to do this in the price range of $35 to $75. For the price of a $15 Ford remote mounted starter solenoid, you can do the same thing yourself.

Mount the Ford starter solenoid in a convenient location between the battery and the starter. I located the one on my 38 Chevy Coupe under the floorboard on the passenger side since I have the battery mounted in the rear of the passenger side fender. That way, I can use the shortest battery cables possible and the extra solenoid is out of view.

Attach the + battery cable (along with any other wires that would normally be attached to the large post of the Chevy starter) to the large terminal on the Ford solenoid which is next to the start switch terminal.

Remove the wire from the small starter switch terminal on the Chevy starter solenoid and attach it to the corresponding starter switch terminal (usually labeled 'S') on the Ford solenoid. Next, a jumper needs to be placed from the large battery cable terminal to the small starter switch terminal on the Chevy starter solenoid. I simply flatten out a short piece of 3/8" copper tubing and drill a 7/16" and a 3/16" hole in it to serve this purpose.

Finally, purchase a battery cable with a 3/8" lug on each end and attach it from the other large terminal of the Ford solenoid to the large terminal on the Chevy solenoid where you removed the original battery cable and attached the jumper. If you have an original point type distributor, then you can attach the 16 gage wire that goes to the coil terminal on the Ford solenoid.

You can purchase a Ford solenoid with this extra terminal if you plan on doing this or this wire can be simply attached to the large terminal that goes to the starter. Don't attach it to the battery side or the engine will continue to run with the switch turned off.

Having the start circuit wired in this fashion serves several purposes other than just eliminating a hot start problem. You now have a place away from the heat of the starter to attach power taps such as alternator leads, amplifiers, fan relays, and more. You also have a more convenient location to attach a remote starter switch for bumping over the engine.

A 12-gage wire is no longer needed in the start switch circuit. Other pluses are that the Ford solenoid takes much less amperage to engage than the Chevy solenoid (which can burn out the neutral safety switches of most aftermarket shifters), and the cable on the Chevy solenoid is no longer hot at all times eliminating the need to remove the battery cable to replace the starter.