February 19, 2016

Electrical Parts Swapping

While reviewing my battery relocation diagram and checking it against various references two potential issues came to my attention. The first was that I was going to need a different remote starter solenoid relay.

Shown above right is the outgoing Allstar Performance solenoid (part #ALL76203) with its replacement, a Borg Warner "Select" solenoid (part #S5048), on the leftBoth are examples of a remote starter solenoid relay, commonly referred to as "Ford-style" due to the automakers use of fender mounted units. For many years the small-block/big-block Chevy crowd have implemented these as a solution for "hot start" issues, a condition where the starter is slow to crank due to heat-soak-induced electrical resistance. Of course on a Saturn S-Series LLO this is a non-issue (more on the remote solenoid "hot start" remedy can be found at the Crankshaft Coalition Wiki). When laying out my battery relocation I chose to include a remote solenoid as safety measure. By function a remote starter solenoid relay is only energized when the starter switch is engaged, bridging the connection between the battery and starter. What this ultimately means is that the cable run from the solenoid to the starter will only be live while cranking.

An easy way to clarify the difference between the solenoids shown is to describe each in terms of fuel delivery system. The Allstar item shares its design with solenoids used on carbureted vehicles. With the advent of electronic fuel injection a suppression diode (which the Allstar lacks) was added to remote solenoids as a means of protecting the electronics driving the fuel system from flyback (a voltage spike). Not only are the aforementioned electronics present on the Saturn, but so is an aftermarket fuel management system that I'd rather not cook. With the Allstar solenoid no longer on the table I started digging around the internet for a replacement. Fortunately sourcing a diode-suppressed solenoid was a simple matter of looking up service parts for any late model Ford. The Borg Warner solenoid I settled on is a new-old-stock item that had been floating around ebay. Despite the obvious physical differences, the Borg Warner fit up to the mounting arrangement that I had tailored around the Allstar without issue. An added benefit of the new solenoid is the orientation of the large posts (which will use the straight cable terminals I already have) and the lack of the unused "I" terminal (its the little things).

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