Starter seloioid won't kick in... Ignition test points??

Starter solenoid won't kick in... Ignition test points?? I've got a 74' Merc Montego that recently failed to turn over when the key was put into the
start position. The standard 'screwdriver' test, where the screwdriver is used as a bridge between the positive side of the main relay lugs and the field pole of the relay, works just fine. Car starts (with key in on position). In the short term, I have adopted a 'starter switch' to crank the engine. The wire going back to the firewall looks OK (no breaks), So I suspect something either in the firewall or in the ignition circuit. Any Ideas?
Wa.
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The solenoid could be bad.

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Solenoid can't be bad. He manually worked it with his screwdriver. It's a problem with the wires going to his switch, or perhaps the connections at the switch.

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Cory Dunkle wrote:

Sure it can. The screwdriver just proves there's power going across the solonoid; not that the coil that operates the solenoid is working. You could very well be right, but the solenoid can also be bad. It's also much easier to work on than the switch.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.BARF
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Act, it does prove the solenoid works as the current from the battery is applied to the 'field winding' then energizing the magnet that throws the switch and kicks-in the starter. Also, the solenoid was replace (making the engine compartment look nice and the old one looked like crap anyways. Same result), The new unit also does not 'throw the switch'...
I know the 'key' moves a rod down the column to the actual 'Switch'. Is this where we think my problem is?, and is it a matter of replacing this unit (if it's available)? Wouldn't think that part would go bad... but hey...
Wa

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Cory Dunkle wrote:

the reason why it cranked over with the screwdriver is that he bypassed the defrective selenoid.... so the selenoid is bad..... and for about $12.00 or less he can replace it...
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74'
into
screwdriver
the
crank
breaks), So

Any
No, he activated the solenoid by applying 12v to the proper terminal of it. If he used the screwdriver to jump the low gauge 12v wire on teh battery side to the low gauge wire on the starter side then he would have bypassed the solenoid. He simply took the ignition switch out of the equation.
As Neil mentioned, it could also be the neutral safety switch. I didn't think of that. I bypassed mine in my '68. In '68 ford installed these cheesy-assed neutral safety switches with plastic 'clip-on' part into the column shift linkage and a cheesy casing and internals for the switch. I tried replacing the whole thing and it worked twice then broke in the same way the original broke. Very low quality, when compared to the high quality part used the previous model year, but the collapsible steering column necessitated a new type of neutral safety switch.
Anyway, it could be the wiring, the neutral safety switch, or the ignition switch. I would first bypass the neutral safety switch, then check the ignition switch with a multimeter to ensure it is making the connection when in the 'start' position. If neither of those does it the problem must be wiring.
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Ah, never thought about the neutral safety switch! That would be an easier fix! This is a fixed column car (no tilt), but I will take a look at the switch. Where should I be looking for it? What does it look like?
Wa

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If you have a column shift it should be on the steering column down low near where it goes through the firewall. If you have a floor shift it is probably mounted on the side of the transmission or below the shifter. The column mounted one should look like a little half-moon shaped thing wrapping around maybe 1/4-1/3 of the column. It may also be a different type with a peg sticking out into a linkage that you can see. It ought to be fairly obvious. I'm not sure what the column shifted type looks like as I've only worked on one column shifted car before and never needed to touch the transmission or neutral safety switch. It should be connected somehow to the shift linkage though and have wires coming out of it.
You can't just disconnect it, you need to 'jump' a connection between the two wires that it connects when in neutral. On my '68 the plug has 4 wires (neutral safety switch controls reverse lights too), so I didn't get the right two wires the first time.
Cory

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My Pinto is in the same boat, exactly. I have the cheap universal horn button on the center console to jump the starter relay. My problem is only intermittent, so I use the button when necessary. My neutral start safety switch is ~$30, so I'll get around to replacing it sometime in the future...

quality
when
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In article

Neutral safety switch (or clutch safety switch is a manual)
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Put a test light on the wire that energizes the relay and ground. Turn the key to start. If the light laminates everything up to that point is ok. The relay is grounded through the relay housing to the body. Are the fasteners tight and clean? Use a ohm meter to test the primary circuit to ground. Again with the test lamp, this time at the starter motor. Install the test lamp on the wire from the relay to the starter. Turn the key to start, does the lamp light?

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