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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
There may come a time after you add a few electrical accesories to your ride that you run out of room on the power lug of a Ford starter solenoid. Most stock Fords have two or three terminals and the battery cable on the positive power lug of the solenoid. Add in an aftermarket ignition, headlight relays or any other accessory that requires direct battery power, and you realize that the power lug is not long enough to accomodate them all. You can buy an extension lug which consists of an isolated power lug and a heavy gauge wire that connects to the solenoid, but it adds clutter to the engine compartment.

I have an easier, cheaper and neater way to extend the power lug with common hardware store items. I use a 5/16" coupler nut that is used to connect lengths of all thread rod. The coupler nut is 3/4" long. I have only been able to find 5/16" coarse thread coupler nuts and most solenoids are 5/16" fine thread but that is easily remedied. Read on.

Here is the problem, too many wires trying to compete for the same power lug on the solenoid:


The stock Ford solenoids power lugs are too short:


A common 5/16" coupler nut, and a 3/4" long 5/16" bolt are all that are needed to fix the problem:


The coupler nuts I have been able to find are 5/16" coarse thread, and most starter solenoids are 5 /16" fine thread. I fix that by re-threading the coupler nut with a fine thread tap:


Half of the wires are placed over the lug and the coupler nut is tightened. The remaining wires are secured to the open end of the coupler nut with the 5/16" fine thread bolt:


Here is another installation:




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Discussion Starter #2
I have had a few PM's stating that steel is not a good conductor, but most wire terminals are steel, so are the blades that hold the fuses in your fuse block, as are the lugs on the front of the starter solenoid and most of the nuts that hold the cables on the solenoid itself. I have been using this method for over 15 years with no problems at all.
 

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Clever solution! I was pondering a solution to the same problem, that is, too many wires and not enough bolt! Thanks for posting this.
 

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That's a nice write up, and installation... However, I would be worried about all that positive battery terminal surface area next to metal, unfused... Your solution combined with a quick battery disconnect might be variation on this, JMHO
 

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I always look forward to reading your newest stuff, however I think in this case a remote fuse block like the ones Painless sells would be a much better way to reduce clutter to the engine compartment. Just my two cents...
 

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it's pretty damn retarded that someone would PM you and tell you that steel is NOT a good conductor...

Just reply to them that the 400 or so people per year that die from electrocution just simply dead because they're weak, not because they jambed a steel knife or a steel screwdriver into a 120V socket, or some other avenue of electrocution....... :rolleyes:

Good write up though! I need to get off my arse and do a few of these!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's a nice write up, and installation... However, I would be worried about all that positive battery terminal surface area next to metal, unfused... Your solution combined with a quick battery disconnect might be variation on this, JMHO
Most people just cram all the connectors onto the one solenoid post and get the nut on any way they can, even if it is with one thread. Setting up a remote power post still requires you to run a heavy wire from the solenoid to the post, plus you still have the wire from the alternator on the solenoid as well as the wire from the ignition switch and the battery cable right next to metal components. I didn't do anything that the factory didn't do, I merely extended the post to hook up a few extra wires. Plus I always install inline fuses, so nothing is un-protected.
 

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Although steel is a good conductor, you don't have to have a good conductor to get killed with electricity. I'm not one that PM'd him, so don't jump on me. In this type of application it would be beneficial to use a dielectric grease or antioxidant type paste at all the connections, dissimilar metals are notorious for corrosion. Only concern I see otherwise is tapping the coarse hole with a fine tap, not really the best choice. Try buying a 1/4" coupler and running the proper drill through it and tapping all the way through with the 5/16 fine tap, should still be plenty of metal left in the 1/4" coupler.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Although steel is a good conductor, you don't have to have a good conductor to get killed with electricity. I'm not one that PM'd him, so don't jump on me. In this type of application it would be beneficial to use a dielectric grease or antioxidant type paste at all the connections, dissimilar metals are notorious for corrosion. Only concern I see otherwise is tapping the coarse hole with a fine tap, not really the best choice. Try buying a 1/4" coupler and running the proper drill through it and tapping all the way through with the 5/16 fine tap, should still be plenty of metal left in the 1/4" coupler.
The threads come out great, and you cannot tell that they were ever coarse thread before tapping.
 

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Thats a pretty easy fix but theres alot of weight and pressure on the bolt. Whet I did is got some plexiglass and run an aluminum buss bar across held with 1 1/4 screws from the bottom. Then I sandwiched another plexiglass below to isolate the screws. You can tap the buss to how many and what ever size you need. Pos battery on big lug and tap as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thats a pretty easy fix but theres alot of weight and pressure on the bolt. Whet I did is got some plexiglass and run an aluminum buss bar across held with 1 1/4 screws from the bottom. Then I sandwiched another plexiglass below to isolate the screws. You can tap the buss to how many and what ever size you need. Pos battery on big lug and tap as needed.
There is not any weight on the extension at all, as the battery cable is installed on the original solenoid stud. I have tried all of the other fixes, and in my opinion, this is the easiest and cleanest way to do it.
 

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IME hooking additional accessories to the solenoid still gets too messy with this quick solution. A small distribution block cost how much, 4-5 dollars in radioshack? ending up with 3 or 4 wires at the solenoid (block wiring, 12v from battery, battery wire from alternator possibly 100 amp subwoofer), and feed 12v to cabin, electric fan, ignition box, aux light from the FUSED block.
 

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I think it's a great idea for simplicity and function. If someone wants neat or sexy or something, then they should write another article about their ideas or versions. However, in the spirit of condemning good ideas, punishment for original thought, and spanking for selfless sharing, I would say I would modify the idea with only a bit of heat shrink over the coupler or a split rubber cap over all the terminals to help fend off the paranoid types. A Paranoid Deflector of sorts.

Sorry, that's the best scolding I can do right now. I promise to try harder next time.

David
 

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If some one was to try this now you are going to have a problem becouse it seems all the solennoids are made in China. The threads are metric. the tap you need to use is 8.0x 1.25 & bolts up at ace hardware are not measured ( 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4, in. ) its something like 8-8, 8-10, or 8-12 ?
BTW the ferist Chines solenoid I bought the studs for the cables were to short. So I went to a differant auto parts store & thay had one with longer studs.
 

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First off I haven't cheaked every auto parts store in Tacoma, I have hit two. the first solenoid I bought was a Standerd (short studs ) the second one was a BWD ( engine management technology ) From Oreillys,Iknow the manager real well. Both places told me that the solenoids are no longer made in the USA, there made in China & I'm willing to bet where ever thay made out of the USA are going to be metric, these are. The reason I posted was to save any one the hassel I went though . I felt like ping pong ball running around all day in a 4x4 p.u.
 

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That stinks. I hate running everywhere for one item.

But Europe is the place using the metric system... China is not Europe, and they've been making crap to sell to us for over a century, seems they'd still sell us American Standard threads for the old school stuff. But I've not seen any new ones lately...
 
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