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Old 25-11-2016, 09:51   #1
txg
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Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Well, that's what happens when you get the stupid idea to just add other high-current devices to the starter post...

We're on the canaries right now, weekend is approaching and i need to know how to repair this without paying hundreds of bucks for a boatyard.

The solenoid is fixed to the starter with two screws from the back, they are quite hard to reach but it could probably work out to remove the solenoid from the starter without removing the whole unit. Would this make any sense or will the whole thing disintegrate when i remove it this way? Is it possible to dismantle the solenoid and just remove the post or do i have to get a new one?

Does anyone have an easier idea to get this back to work? I was thinking about having just one wire on the post as there is some thread left, but at the moment it is impossible to get a nut on the bolt so this won't work.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:54   #2
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Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Pull the starter to make it easy to wok on, usually the studs are replaceable, if not just buy another solenoid, they are easy to replace.

A die will straitened the threads enough to get a nut on
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Old 25-11-2016, 12:12   #3
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

File the damaged threads down so you can get the nut on for one cable.... or for a flat piece of copper then attach other cables tot hat as a buss ...or better... use a buss!
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Old 25-11-2016, 12:25   #4
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Here is an unorthodox "temporary" repair idea. Clean up the threads so you can get the starter cable back on. You did not say the make of the engine/starter. If US, it is probably a 3/8-16 thread. I do not know what the metric equivalent would be. Locate a stainless threaded rod coupling nut, and use that to bolt the starter lead to the starter solenoid. Then get a stainless bolt about 3/4' to 1" long, and use that to bolt the other cables to the open end of the coupling nut. Its not perfect, but for a temporary fix, it should last quite a while. Yes, I understand that stainless is not the best current carrying conductor, but most of the current during starting is through the cable end and inner post flange. With the mass of the coupling nut, the electrical resistance will be fairly low, and should not cause a heating issue with the other heavy current connections. If you can not locate a stainless coupling nut, a regular carbon steel one will work, just make sure you paint it after installation to help prevent corrosion.
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Old 25-11-2016, 13:07   #5
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Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

If you have a spare nut cut it in half and then place both halves of the nut on the part of the stud where the tread is still good. Put a socket or ring spanner over the nut and reverse it off, that will clean up the tread so you can get a bolt on.
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Old 25-11-2016, 15:22   #6
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holbrook View Post
If you have a spare nut cut it in half and then place both halves of the nut on the part of the stud where the tread is still good. Put a socket or ring spanner over the nut and reverse it off, that will clean up the tread so you can get a bolt on.
Slick idea John... does not appear there is room to chase threads with a std die, but your split nut idea would fit. Suggest a steel nut if available. Tougher than a copper or bronze and more likely to do the job.

Stud does not appear to be replaceable. Those will usually have a jamb nut just above the solenoid body.
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Old 25-11-2016, 15:29   #7
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

You could also take the solenoid apart and swap the two studs as the other stud just has the hot to the starter. Just push out the studs from the outside. Probably a good time to rotate the studs 180 degrees so good metal is across the buss bar inside. Easier to see once its apart then to describe.

I like the 3/8 coupling nut idea too.

If the buss bar is bad, I have made one from 1/2" copper tube flattened in a vice or with a hammer, before too.
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Old 26-11-2016, 03:54   #8
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

I knew this was the right place to ask, thanks for these extremely good ideas!

After posting this yesterday i was quite frustrated and stopped thinking about all this stuff, but now i'm motivated again to get this sorted out.

The engine is a vetus M4.35 and i just found out that the base engine is a Mitsubishi S4L. I also found the service manual for it and it looks like removing the starter is an easy task, just two screws.

I will take it out today and try to dismantle the solenoid to exchange the two bolts. If this is not possible, will recut the thread with a a cut nut and get out the folding bike to find a coupling nut somewhere nearby. We're in Calero Marina on Lanzarote right now and there are no shops but i'm pretty sure now i will get this sorted out.

This manual is quite interesting:
http://tym-mitsubishi.ru/booklets/Mi...viceManual.pdf

While Vetus says to do an oil change every 100 hours, Mitsubishi claims every 250 hours is enough. That's quite a big difference.
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Old 26-11-2016, 04:27   #9
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

For a temporary or quick fix you can use a long nut (1" long internally threaded hex bar) usually used as spacers on the existing damaged thread and a short bolt in the end holding your battery cable. This will put extra load on the copper of copper plated stud though.

As others have stated removing the starter and swapping out the stud is not too hard if you have time.

Good luck.
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Old 26-11-2016, 05:39   #10
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch K View Post
...Locate a stainless threaded rod coupling nut, and use that to bolt the starter lead to the starter solenoid. Then get a stainless bolt about 3/4' to 1" long...
Stainless is a poor electrical conductor.
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Old 26-11-2016, 06:05   #11
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Stainless is a poor electrical conductor.
Oops I see I duplicated someone else's suggestion, it's a quick fix that works to get you going.

I don't condone quick fixes but I also don't like asking for services or parts when looking desperate. "I desperately need this repaired can you help me".... "Sure....!"
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Old 26-11-2016, 07:05   #12
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Getting the starter out was much easier than i expected, just remove two screws and there you have it...

I wasn't able to open the solenoid as the case doesn't have any screws, but i was able to get the rest of the thread that's left usable again by carefully pressing a nut on it. There's enough thread left for one cable and a locking nut, so my very brave girlfriend got out the folding bike and is now doing a 40km there and back ride to the next boat chandler to buy a busbar. If they don't have one i will simply use a screw with a wooden backing plate, should at least work until we go to las palmas.

I do have AWG 3 and AWG 2/0 cable here for the short (<0,5m) connection from the busbar to the starter post, currently i tend to use the smaller cable because the ring terminal of these is thinner which means the thread of the solenoid post will be in the nut completely. Should probably work fine for this short distance, or do you think not? The cable going from the solenoid to the starter itself seems to be even thinner...
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Old 26-11-2016, 07:14   #13
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

As long as the large battery cable is on there the unit will start, the other wires can go to the other end of the starter/battery wires I.e battery. Also the connector nut idea would work here as the main cable could be clamped by the 'long nut' and the aus electric power to the other end of it with the short bolt.

Anyway sounds like you have it under control.
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Old 26-11-2016, 10:43   #14
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

Problem solved for now. As it seems to be impossible to get a busbar on Lanzarote on a Saturday afternoon, i just built a connection point myself out of some spare wood and a screw.

Obviously this is nothing permanent and will be replaced as soon as we find the next marine chandler, but for now we're ready to go again.

When installing the busbar i will also change the stupid original way too thin 16mm˛ alternator cable (110A alt) with something appropriate, as this was the original plan when i found out about this problem. But for today it is enough.

Thanks to all of you for your help!
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Old 26-11-2016, 16:07   #15
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Re: Repairing stripped starter solenoid post

A quick and dirty trick is using a vise grip plier to join wires together or to a stripped stud. Not pretty but it has worked
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