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1971 GTO 400 Positive Battery Cable having a hard time finding SIDE MOUNTED one. Most options say they only work for 455 motor. Anyone know a vendor and/or how many inches is the cable so I can have one made. Or a picture of one??
 

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I made my own and incorporated some design improvements along the way.

Pick the gauge you want - most will say 4 ga. is fine, but you could go with 2 or 0 -- all sold at any auto parts store by the foot.
 

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Thanks for the picture. I was hoping there would be a very specific one that would be like the original factory one. The car I am working on did not have any of the accessories, cables, etc. Only the engine. It looks like you have a solenoid between the starter and the battery---is this original??
 

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Thanks for the picture. I was hoping there would be a very specific one that would be like the original factory one. The car I am working on did not have any of the accessories, cables, etc. Only the engine. It looks like you have a solenoid between the starter and the battery---is this original??
The solenoid is not original. Some guys like to add a Ford solenoid.
 

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Thanks for the picture. I was hoping there would be a very specific one that would be like the original factory one. The car I am working on did not have any of the accessories, cables, etc. Only the engine. It looks like you have a solenoid between the starter and the battery---is this original??
This is not original, but makes the car much safer as the cable to the starter is ONLY hot when cranking. Also I purchased a battery with the poles in opposite position as I did not want to have the positive terminal so close to the fender. The other wires have fusible links so there really is no chance of an electrical fire.
 

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I made my own and incorporated some design improvements along the way.

Pick the gauge you want - most will say 4 ga. is fine, but you could go with 2 or 0 -- all sold at any auto parts store by the foot.
This setup with 2 or 0 gauge would be what I would recommend highly.

If you are doing a restoration, then I would recommend this from Ames, the best and oldest Pontiac supplier in the USA: https://secure.amesperf.com/qilan/Search_Web;jsessionid=EF401175E06662242F1CEA3B2865452F

Best of luck!
 

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Have not ran across '71-72 side terminal cables properly reproduced. Aftermarket positive cables that are close in length as well as GM service replacement positive cables avail in the 80's & 90's & now sold on eBay as "nos", LOL, have a small lead that comes out of the molded side terminal end.

Length wise, the side mount negative cable is the exact same as used on a '71-72 B series with 455. The '71-72 side mount positive cable is slightly different length than the one used in the B series chassis, am watching for the box with several of these original cables. On '71 & 72 455 HO A-bodys, the positive cable is routed differently, through clips that parallel the bottom of the block versus typical Dport deal where there is a vertical tube to route the positive cable down to the starter solenoid. this routing also contributes slightly to the length. Def the way to go if running RA manifolds.
 

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The solenoid
I made my own and incorporated some design improvements along the way.

Pick the gauge you want - most will say 4 ga. is fine, but you could go with 2 or 0 -- all sold at any auto parts store by the foot.
is there already a solenoid on the starter? thats a second one? what about the two other smaller terminals on the ford solenoid? thank you
 

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does the 65 have a solenoid on the starter already, so that ford solenoid is a second? also what about the two smaller terminals on that ford solenoid?
Yes, your GM starter has a solenoid. It functions exactly as the one pictured, which is a Ford type. The difference is that a GM starter has the solenoid mounted directly onto the starter motor. This means that the heavy gauge battery cable is uninterupted all the way to the starter motor, thus hot all the time. There are advantages and disdvantages either way.
 

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does the 65 have a solenoid on the starter already, so that ford solenoid is a second? also what about the two smaller terminals on that ford solenoid?
Is there a way to edit posts? Meant to add....
The small posts on the pictured solenoid are where the switch wires connect, the large posts are where the load leads attach. Both solenoids have the same (basically) connections. You just can't see your GM solenoid unless you get under the car...or maybe if you have headers....
 

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Yes, the Pontiac starter already has a solenoid as do all GM starters. A Pontiac starter can experience what is called "heat soak" due to the position of the solenoid near the exhaust manifold or headers. You can shield the solenoid with an aftermarket aluminum shield that fits/bolts over the solenoid to help keep heat off it.

Often heat soak can also be due to too small of a battery cable wire gauge size, especially when replacing with store bought cables which can be a smaller gauge than needed. You want a "2" gauge or "0" gauge cable.

Any form of corrosion will create additional resistance and the solenoid may not get the needed amps to crank the engine as well as it would when cold. The corrosion can build up inside the casing/wire even though it looks good on the outside. This includes the Purple wire that runs from the ignition switch to the "S" terminal lug on the solenoid.

Improper timing or even high factory compression ratios will make a starter labor when the engine is hot. It is not a starter problem, it is a timing/compression problem.

The Ford solenoid is a fix that some like to use and add to the starter system. I am a little ignorant on just how this works because you still have to run a battery cable to the GM starter solenoid which is what kicks in the starter gear that spins the engine.

I would not wire up a Ford solenoid. Just does not look clean and you have to run wires. And it is too easy to jump and steal your car.
The other alternative is to use a mini starter which allows you to rotate the solenoid away from the exhaust manifold - like the RobbMc mini. It also has more torque to crank the engine faster.

Here is a discussions in using the Ford solenoid.
 

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Yes, the Pontiac starter already has a solenoid as do all GM starters. A Pontiac starter can experience what is called "heat soak" due to the position of the solenoid near the exhaust manifold or headers. You can shield the solenoid with an aftermarket aluminum shield that fits/bolts over the solenoid to help keep heat off it.

Often heat soak can also be due to too small of a battery cable wire gauge size, especially when replacing with store bought cables which can be a smaller gauge than needed. You want a "2" gauge or "0" gauge cable.

Any form of corrosion will create additional resistance and the solenoid may not get the needed amps to crank the engine as well as it would when cold. The corrosion can build up inside the casing/wire even though it looks good on the outside. This includes the Purple wire that runs from the ignition switch to the "S" terminal lug on the solenoid.

Improper timing or even high factory compression ratios will make a starter labor when the engine is hot. It is not a starter problem, it is a timing/compression problem.

The Ford solenoid is a fix that some like to use and add to the starter system. I am a little ignorant on just how this works because you still have to run a battery cable to the GM starter solenoid which is what kicks in the starter gear that spins the engine.

I would not wire up a Ford solenoid. Just does not look clean and you have to run wires. And it is too easy to jump and steal your car.
The other alternative is to use a mini starter which allows you to rotate the solenoid away from the exhaust manifold - like the RobbMc mini. It also has more torque to crank the engine faster.

Here is a discussions in using the Ford solenoid.
The reason it's "safer" is because only the cable over to the solenoid is hot all the time, but the cable down to the starter is only hot when in crank in a "remote solenoid" setup. This also cures hot solenoid, no crank situations as obviously, the solenoid is wherever you put it.
Could not agree more that this is FORD folks. It has no business in a GTO.
Take care when you rounte your wires. Shield them as they should be. All will be well!
 

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Is there a way to edit posts? Meant to add....
The small posts on the pictured solenoid are where the switch wires connect, the large posts are where the load leads attach. Both solenoids have the same (basically) connections. You just can't see your GM solenoid unless you get under the car...or maybe if you have headers....
thank you. thought the ford solenoid splice could be a simple remedy. but i think i will start with the new battery cable ends, notice some greening around the positive clamp wire and the cable may be compromised farther underneath the plastic coating. although have been using starting fluid when the car won't start hot and it fires right up. or the old bump start if gravity is in my favor
 

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Yes, the Pontiac starter already has a solenoid as do all GM starters. A Pontiac starter can experience what is called "heat soak" due to the position of the solenoid near the exhaust manifold or headers. You can shield the solenoid with an aftermarket aluminum shield that fits/bolts over the solenoid to help keep heat off it.

Often heat soak can also be due to too small of a battery cable wire gauge size, especially when replacing with store bought cables which can be a smaller gauge than needed. You want a "2" gauge or "0" gauge cable.

Any form of corrosion will create additional resistance and the solenoid may not get the needed amps to crank the engine as well as it would when cold. The corrosion can build up inside the casing/wire even though it looks good on the outside. This includes the Purple wire that runs from the ignition switch to the "S" terminal lug on the solenoid.

Improper timing or even high factory compression ratios will make a starter labor when the engine is hot. It is not a starter problem, it is a timing/compression problem.

The Ford solenoid is a fix that some like to use and add to the starter system. I am a little ignorant on just how this works because you still have to run a battery cable to the GM starter solenoid which is what kicks in the starter gear that spins the engine.

I would not wire up a Ford solenoid. Just does not look clean and you have to run wires. And it is too easy to jump and steal your car.
The other alternative is to use a mini starter which allows you to rotate the solenoid away from the exhaust manifold - like the RobbMc mini. It also has more torque to crank the engine faster.

Here is a discussions in using the Ford solenoid.
thanks, thought the ford solenoid could be a quick fix. have been using a couple squirts of starting fluid in the primaries and it fires right up, hot and all. or the old bump start if circumstances allow. probably a few small kinks, as you mentioned the timing , compression, corrosion... i do get that pinging sometimes starting off lately. chalked it up to 93 octane with 10% ethanol gas. the motor is a 1968 ye code 400. 340 hp, 10.5:1 comp
 

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The reason it's "safer" is because only the cable over to the solenoid is hot all the time, but the cable down to the starter is only hot when in crank in a "remote solenoid" setup. This also cures hot solenoid, no crank situations as obviously, the solenoid is wherever you put it.
Could not agree more that this is FORD folks. It has no business in a GTO.
Take care when you rounte your wires. Shield them as they should be. All will be well!
OK, thanks for clearing that up for me. Now I understand why. But, not being argumentive, even though the stock cable has a constant 12V all the time to the solenoid, how does this cause a hotter temperature at the solenoid? You are still having a battery cable going to the solenoid which will get heated up by the same heat that affects the stock cable, so you are not eliminating any heat from the Ford solenoid battery cable set-up, nor the factory GM solenoid.

Corrosion in/on the battery cables can increase the resistance (flow of the electricity) through the battery cables. Electrical current flows due to the exchange of electrons through atoms. As electrons move through a battery cable, some collide with atoms, other electrons, or impurities (corrosion). These collisions cause resistance and generate heat rather than supply the full voltage to the starter.

Heat should only build up in the starter motor as that is where this energy is being used. If the terminal on the battery is not making a good connection, heat is the result. A poor ground cable where it connects to the engine or the body can cause premature failure of the starter motor by burning its brushes due to increased resistance. Some cars can fail to start simply because of a bad ground and by connecting a jumper lead from the negative battery terminal to the engine they will start.

I found this description and testing that seems easy enough to read and understand. We have seen issues in the past were it was also the ground straps from engine to body and engine to frame that have caused electrical problems which were solved once these were either cleaned, replaced, or added.

 

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OK, thanks for clearing that up for me. Now I understand why. But, not being argumentive, even though the stock cable has a constant 12V all the time to the solenoid, how does this cause a hotter temperature at the solenoid? You are still having a battery cable going to the solenoid which will get heated up by the same heat that affects the stock cable, so you are not eliminating any heat from the Ford solenoid battery cable set-up, nor the factory GM solenoid.

Corrosion in/on the battery cables can increase the resistance (flow of the electricity) through the battery cables. Electrical current flows due to the exchange of electrons through atoms. As electrons move through a battery cable, some collide with atoms, other electrons, or impurities (corrosion). These collisions cause resistance and generate heat rather than supply the full voltage to the starter.

Heat should only build up in the starter motor as that is where this energy is being used. If the terminal on the battery is not making a good connection, heat is the result. A poor ground cable where it connects to the engine or the body can cause premature failure of the starter motor by burning its brushes due to increased resistance. Some cars can fail to start simply because of a bad ground and by connecting a jumper lead from the negative battery terminal to the engine they will start.

I found this description and testing that seems easy enough to read and understand. We have seen issues in the past were it was also the ground straps from engine to body and engine to frame that have caused electrical problems which were solved once these were either cleaned, replaced, or added.

It doesn't. I was referring to why it's safer, I used the term "hot". I should have said "live".
Having a live wire down to my starter isn't a concern for me. I make sure it's routed/shielded correctly and that's it.
Hot starter, no crank issues are almost always due to heat soak from close by exhaust parts. Usually headers. It can be the solenoid (The Ford type solves this) or the starter motor windings
Occasionally you see hot starter failure due to current. This won't be a solenoid issue, but rather the windings...trying to crank an engine that does't want to crank for a myriad of reasons. Prolonged cranking due to no run situations. Poor connections. Or just cranking off a poorly charged battery...ohms law will get you. Any of those and more will overheat your starter....sometimes permanently.
 

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OK, thanks for clearing that up for me. Now I understand why. But, not being argumentive, even though the stock cable has a constant 12V all the time to the solenoid, how does this cause a hotter temperature at the solenoid? You are still having a battery cable going to the solenoid which will get heated up by the same heat that affects the stock cable, so you are not eliminating any heat from the Ford solenoid battery cable set-up, nor the factory GM solenoid.

Corrosion in/on the battery cables can increase the resistance (flow of the electricity) through the battery cables. Electrical current flows due to the exchange of electrons through atoms. As electrons move through a battery cable, some collide with atoms, other electrons, or impurities (corrosion). These collisions cause resistance and generate heat rather than supply the full voltage to the starter.

Heat should only build up in the starter motor as that is where this energy is being used. If the terminal on the battery is not making a good connection, heat is the result. A poor ground cable where it connects to the engine or the body can cause premature failure of the starter motor by burning its brushes due to increased resistance. Some cars can fail to start simply because of a bad ground and by connecting a jumper lead from the negative battery terminal to the engine they will start.

I found this description and testing that seems easy enough to read and understand. We have seen issues in the past were it was also the ground straps from engine to body and engine to frame that have caused electrical problems which were solved once these were either cleaned, replaced, or added.

I'll share a funny story about how a low battery can cost you...
We had a late model Volvo XC come in for dead battery issues.
Start simple, test battery=bad, replace, test system=good. OK, easy.
Car sits in the bay for a few hours before it gets driven out. I jump in it to go. It's a push button starter and this one is like early 2000's GMs. You turning the key (or pushing the button) doesn't actually control the crank. You turn to crank which sends a signal to the PCM, which engages the starter.....until the PCM "sees" that the engine is running. You releasing the key doesn't stop the crank. You aren't in charge of that, the PCM is, and you said start.
So I hit the button on the Volvo....oh boy, I got the whole story now. This thing must have a dead short 'cause the starter is turning at about 2 RPM. I release the button, nope, push it again, nope, thing's trying to crank at like 9 volts and that's causing the amp draw to probably be 500. Now the smoke is rolling out from under the hood. That starter and wire are melting in front of our eyes...can't do anything about it. Battery in trunk under spare....one of my techs is furiously trying to dig down to it. Too late...it stops cranking as the starter melted down.
Low battery=new starter.
 

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I've seen the Ford selenoid deal on many cars at Goodguys shows. Here is a link to MAD Electrical which sells the kits (as does places like Summit) but MAD explains the whole thing real well where as Summit does not.


Hope this helps. Either way, do use "2", "1", or "0" cable as JIm recommended.
 

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The battery and solenoid are in the trunk of my racecar. I used 000 welding cable for the battery wires and the multiple ground wires.
 
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