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xntryk1

How to correctly connect a remote starter switch/tool?

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Time for another one of my silly questions. I won't bore you with an irrelevant explanation of WHY I need to do this. Suffice it say it's because I'm too broke at the moment to do anything else.

 

What I'm hoping someone can tell me is exactly how/where to connect one of those cheapie remote starter switches (2 alligator clips connected to a button) under the hood, so I can start the car and get it running from there. I've never used one of those switches and I don't want to risk shorting anything out. 

 

This would be used on my 1995 5-speed Legacy L wagon. Any guidance greatly appreciated as always.  :)

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one end clips to the Battery + post.

 

The other end clips to the small spade on the rear of the starter (solenoid)

 

You will want to connect a "double up" spade onto the starter, and then reconnect the original wire to one spade, and with your starter switch on the other spade.

 

If you don't, the ECU won't see the signal for cranking voltage.

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If you don't, the ECU won't see the signal for cranking voltage.

It'll still start if you do that, but it'll throw a neutral safety code, I seem to recall.

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Hmmm... on the old "remote starter" that I've got, the wires don't seem long enough to connect to both the battery and the ground on the solenoid. I'm guessing there's probably a good reason that I should NOT try to clip at the positive connection on the starter?

 

And I don't mind codes. I can clear those. 

Edited by xntryk1

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Thanks. OK, now I'm not seeing a way to connect one of the alligator clips to that negative spade on the solenoid - at least not while the plug is connected to it. Can I connect to ANY grounded surface? Or does it have to be that one on the solenoid?

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Found this advice somewhere online:

 

"...get a jumper wire long enough to reach the small terminal on the starter and tap the the battery positive terminal with the other end - did the starter crank the engine over? This is the only wire we need you don't even have to put key in the ignition switch it'll crank the engine over if the battery is good."

 

Is that something that might work? I just don't know enough and I don't make things worse by shorting something out.  :( 

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Thanks. OK, now I'm not seeing a way to connect one of the alligator clips to that negative spade on the solenoid - at least not while the plug is connected to it. Can I connect to ANY grounded surface? Or does it have to be that one on the solenoid?

That's not a negative terminal, you put 12v to the solenoid spade terminal to run the starter. You have to connect the other end to 12v. If you're using a starter button, clip the other end to the positive terminal of the battery.

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OK. See? That tells you how much I know. Not much. And since my old "remote starter" doesn't seem to have wires long enough to connect to both the starter and battery, would just a "jumper wire" work (as described above)?

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Yea, that works, just be careful when you're connecting things to the battery cable on the starter you don't short anything to ground. There's a lot of current there, i'll light up in a hurry.

 

I still fail to see the motive behind any of this, but it'll get the job done

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Here's the short version. At 215K, I'm pretty sure the starter solenoid contacts and plunger are shot. I just need some kind of emergency fix, until I've got the time and $$ to replace the starter. I'm getting real tired of having to push the car to bump start it. Way too many completely flat parking lots in my area. 

 

When you say "the battery cable on the starter", you're talking about the little spade on the solenoid that has a plug attached to it - right? Not the bigger one that's bolted down. 

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This can't fix that... No external hack is going to fix the plunger or starter contacts. You can buy replacement starter contacts for around $15 at a dealer and replace them yourself, though. Clean up the plunger with some sandpaper and you're good for another 200k miles.

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Dang. I was afraid somebody was going tell me that.  :( Yeah, I've looked at a few threads and videos about that replacing the contacts thing. Simple enough, I suppose. But still a lot more complicated than just buying another (used) starter and slapping that in there. I can pick up used starters for under $25 on eBay (total price, including shipping). 

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You already have a used starter... Why go from where you are to where you are minus money and time. Just take yours apart, replace the contacts and clean/grease the moving parts. You'll be way ahead of the game.

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I'm just leery of it, because there's too many little areas where I could screw up something. Insert a washer in the wrong order or something. K.I.S.S. usually works better for me.  :) And with any luck, maybe I could get a cheap used starter that doesn't have 215K on it...

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Alright, I think I've talked myself into replacing just the solenoid contacts, instead of the entire starter. I can pick those up - with a plunger - for under $10 on eBay. It's not that complicated, I guess. And I have to pull the starter either way. 

 

Now my big concern is, can I replace the starter from the top? I don't have ramps or jack stands and I try to avoid climbing under cars that are only held up by jacks. Getting it out doesn't look too difficult (famous last words). It looks like there's enough room to lower the starter down after removing the 2 bolts. Then I could simply reach under there and grab it. But putting it back in could be a problem, though...

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'95 Legacy L wagon. There's all kinds of hoses over the starter (heater, a/c, etc.). It turns into a real pain if I have to disconnect all of those. But there does seem to be enough space below. I'm thinking maybe hook some kind of wire to the starter so that I can lower it down slowly and then pull it back up the same way...

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First disconnect the battery cable, very important. Then remove the two cables from the starter, the big high current cable and the spade connector. I think the big cable is held on with a 10mm or 12mm nut.

The bottom starter nut has a 17mm head and is a slight pain to get at from the top. You can use a long socket extension and swing the socket wrench between the starter and the firewall, it's a bit easier to get it from below.

The top starter bolt has a 14mm head and is pretty easy to remove. After everything is disconnected, the starter comes out the top. You have to play Tetris a bit to get it past other hoses and whatnot, but it's not a big deal.

 

Important: The starter grounds through the top bolt, you'll notice the ground wire is bolted in there. It's extremely important to clean the mating surface between the starter and the transmission, and the surface between the ground lug and the starter. If you don't do that, it probalby won't work due to corrosion.

Edited by 987687

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Thank you! I can find and feel the bottom bolt from above (without seeing it). So I should be able to get some kind of socket setup down there. I'll probably go with a wire backup (to lower/raise it) in case I lose that game of Tetris.  :)

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It'll still start if you do that, but it'll throw a neutral safety code, I seem to recall.

 

First off...there is NOT a neutral safety ANYTHING in a manual trans subaru.  There is a clutch switch interlock, so you can't start without depressing the clutch.  No codes for ECU not connected to ECU.

 

Nuetral switch in trans is to tell ECU wether it needs to idle rolling in nuetral to a stop or let you keep rolling, pushing the engine when in gear.

 

It may not start actually.   It must see the cranking signal to properly set mixture for cold starting.  Many people end up with no starts on EJ swaps from not connecting the start circuit to the ECU.   Sometimes it will still start, but with excessive cranking needed.

 

 

Alright, I think I've talked myself into replacing just the solenoid contacts, instead of the entire starter. I can pick those up - with a plunger - for under $10 on eBay. It's not that complicated, I guess. And I have to pull the starter either way. 

 

Now my big concern is, can I replace the starter from the top? I don't have ramps or jack stands and I try to avoid climbing under cars that are only held up by jacks. Getting it out doesn't look too difficult (famous last words). It looks like there's enough room to lower the starter down after removing the 2 bolts. Then I could simply reach under there and grab it. But putting it back in could be a problem, though...

 

 

Ebay plunger sets are notorious for being incorrect.

 

contacts may work, but the plunger length may be wrong.  I stopped buying any Ebay parts they've gotten so bad.  Just be careful. 

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