How to Wire a Ford Starter Solenoid

Written by max stout
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How to Wire a Ford Starter Solenoid
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Ford motor company starter solenoids are electrical relays connecting the battery of the automobile to the starter motor of the engine. When the ignition switch of a Ford is turned to the start position, the flow of current energises the solenoid. The solenoid then connects higher amperage 12-volt cables which supply the power to the starter motor. You can make the necessary solenoid wiring connections in ten minutes with a few tools and materials.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Battery clamp puller
  • #400 grit emery paper
  • Clean shop cloth
  • Cotton swab

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet of the vehicle.

  2. 2

    Locate the Ford starter solenoid on the right front fender well. It is conspicuous in appearance with two large threaded connections on either side and two small threaded connections protruding from the front. The body of the solenoid is round with a heavy metal strap secured with two bolts.

  3. 3

    Remove the positive "+" post from the battery. Loosen the post clamp with an adjustable wrench. If the clamp is tight on the post, use a battery clamp puller to remove it. Do not attempt to pry the clamp from the battery post.

  4. 4

    Clean both sides of the connection end of the solenoid cable from the battery with #400 emery paper. Wipe any residue with a clean shop towel.

  5. 5

    Install the cable end from the battery onto the left-side terminal of the Ford solenoid. The left-side terminal faces the front of the vehicle.

  6. 6

    Place a round washer onto the terminal next, followed by the terminal nut. Tighten the nut in a clockwise direction with the adjustable wrench.

  7. 7

    Install the cable end from the starter motor onto the right-side terminal of the Ford solenoid. Place a round washer onto the terminal followed by the terminal nut. Tighten the nut with the adjustable wrench.

  8. 8

    Locate the two 12-volt wires with snap-on connectors. The wires are in front of the solenoid and each connector has a 90-degree bend.

  9. 9

    Roll a small amount of #400 emery paper and insert it into each connector. Turn the paper a few times to clean the inner contact surface of the connector. Wipe any residue out from the connector with a cotton swab.

  10. 10

    Snap the two wire connectors onto each of the small connection posts on the front of the solenoid. These two wires are interchangeable.

  11. 11

    Connect the positive cable clamp to the battery post. Be sure the clamp is fully seated onto the post. Secure with the adjustable wrench.

Tips and warnings

  • A back and forth turning motion by hand will sometimes loosen a stubborn battery post clamp. Wear gloves to protect your hands if this technique is used.
  • Do not allow tools to come in contact with metallic parts when disconnecting the battery.
  • Account for all tools and materials before closing hood.

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