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Old 12-30-2009, 06:34 AM   #1
Invisiguard
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Default Starting/Charging sytem problem finally FIXED!!

well after 2 months of intermittent problems and changing out my alternator, battery, and even swapping in the stock spark plugs it was finally..

the STARTER

yep, got the first warning couple months ago every few days. Voltage looked low and its been a few years so I though it was a good time to saw the battery. didn't get another warning for a couple weeks so I thought I was good. then it started again, warning light and voltage drop. It would start fine in the morning and voltage looked good then the warning light and voltage dropped as I drove. Swapped in a new alternator, still no good, but I noticed some days were fine and some days I would get the warning warning/drop.

I was so desperate I swapped in the stock plugs a couple weeks ago since I heard those might trip the warning light light, still no good, finally today after I drove to work my car would NOT start at all, even though it drove a couple hours earlier, wouldn't even take a jump, Im totally stumped now. Luckily i was working at a garage and one of the guys brought out a jack so he could whack the starter, I didn't never brought that into the equation since the voltage drop symptoms should not have had anything to do with the starter. But no, as soon as he was underneath the battery terminal on the solenoid was COMPLETELY melted!

40K hard miles next to the headers had apparently taken its toll, and it had been intermittently going in and out of contact till it totally fried. worse part is when it goes out the ECU throws a starting/charging system fault and stops you alternator from charging the battery. Why it does this I have no idea except maybe to confuse the hell out of you when you the warning and the voltage drop because you would never think a bad starter would make the voltage drop.

so anyways, any of you guys that have this prob and are pulling out your hair check under your car. bad news is there's off the shelf replacement solenoid for the C6 right now so you have to replace the whole starter $$$ Good news is the only difference between our solenoid and those off most all LS starters over the last ten years is this one little ignition switch signal lead, switch your to a ring style terminal and you can use any of the old ones. we used one off an old Tahoe and it started right up and No warning lights and 14v all day for the first time in 2 months, REJOICE!!!

Click the image to open in full size.

hope this helps some of you guys!
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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I would have to think if anyone is running headers, they better think about wrapping vunerable components with some kind of heat shielding?
ymmv
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Good information Jeremy. Thanks for letting us know about the potential problem. I just installed ARH long tubes and am glad that I paid extra to get them coated now.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mracer View Post
I would have to think if anyone is running headers, they better think about wrapping vunerable components with some kind of heat shielding?
ymmv
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My starter has an insulation blanket.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Great info! Thanks for sharing, especially the trick of using an older solenoid. What kind of headers do you have?

Thanks,
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSteck View Post
My starter has an insulation blanket.
Smart! I run a lot of heat shielding on my turbo set up on my other car! Any time your working around exhaust, you have to take into account the heat that can be produced by aftermarket systems. Theres a reason why factory manifolds will run heat shields! Here's a link to a pic of some heat shielding wrap that I've used, it's shown about half way down the page:
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/179116/4
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mracer View Post
I would have to think if anyone is running headers, they better think about wrapping vunerable components with some kind of heat shielding?
ymmv
Mike
yeah i didnt install the headers myself so I wish I was told about it at the time. Oh well I'll be running some shielding now!
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:26 PM   #8
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Was your car cranking but not starting, clicking but not cranking or was it just dead?
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invisiguard View Post
yeah i didnt install the headers myself so I wish I was told about it at the time. Oh well I'll be running some shielding now!
What kind of headers do you have?
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #10
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Mracer or others. What heat shielding wrap works best on the starter and where is a good place to purchase it? Thanks
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:00 PM   #11
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The solenoid is the electrical center or distribution point of the car. Alternator, battery, fuse boxes and of course the starter, all meet there. If that connection loosens up, it'll create a resistive connection which generates heat and melts things. Good find!
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:01 PM   #12
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Default How old was the Tahoe ? ? ?

I tried GMPartshouse.com, Autozone, and NAPA websites, and none had a separate solenoid for an LS series engine, just the starter with solenoid. But backing up to 1999, Napa shows a solenoid for an older 350 V8 that looks like your picture.

Could the solenoid you used be from the pre-LS era ? ? ? Might be nice to have one on the shelf "just in case".
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:27 PM   #13
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Not saying this is what happened to the OP, but keep in mind that a lean mixture and/or overly retarded timing can result in headers getting far hotter than normal. My old supercharged LT1 Camaro liked to melt polyurethane engine mounts.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 01-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #14
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The solenoids can be had from ANY starter alternator repair facility for around $50. There fairly easy to replace but you have to remove the starter to replace them.

Most of those melting/burnt terminal issues are caused by a POOR CONNECTION on the main terminal lugs. When theres a poor connection at the starter solenoid,,it WILL effect the charging system because the alternator doesn't see battery load.

The poor connection causes very high resistance in a very HIGH current circuit and that causes Lots of heat and burnt terminals.

If you ever see charging system issues "low charging voltages at the battery" you can test that theory by running a temporary 10 ga wire from the BATT terminal on the back of the alternator (under the rubber boot) directly to the POSITIVE battery terminal. If you see good charging voltages, you most likely have a poor connection at the starter lug. I've see this too many time on C5's. Now it starting to effect C6's.

I too have headers on my 06 and made my own heat shield for the starter out of a flame retardant foil covered canvas. I sandwiched in some fiberglass industrial batting insulation and secures it to the starter with some stainless steel wire. That baby is cool now!!

Heres a picture of A very low mile 04 Coupe solenoid. You can already see the corrosion and discoloration on the terminals:

Click the image to open in full size.

I know its not a C6 schematic but you can see how the alternator/ battery/PCM and starter all tie in. I bet ya the C6 is very similar to the C5 schematic:

Click the image to open in full size.

WELL,,,,,,,,,,,I was incorrect. The C6 charging circuit is somewhat different but has a couple similarities.

Click the image to open in full size.

BC
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:54 PM   #15
Radian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invisiguard View Post
well after 2 months of intermittent problems and changing out my alternator, battery, and even swapping in the stock spark plugs it was finally..

the STARTER

yep, got the first warning couple months ago every few days. Voltage looked low and its been a few years so I though it was a good time to saw the battery. didn't get another warning for a couple weeks so I thought I was good. then it started again, warning light and voltage drop. It would start fine in the morning and voltage looked good then the warning light and voltage dropped as I drove. Swapped in a new alternator, still no good, but I noticed some days were fine and some days I would get the warning warning/drop.

I was so desperate I swapped in the stock plugs a couple weeks ago since I heard those might trip the warning light light, still no good, finally today after I drove to work my car would NOT start at all, even though it drove a couple hours earlier, wouldn't even take a jump, Im totally stumped now. Luckily i was working at a garage and one of the guys brought out a jack so he could whack the starter, I didn't never brought that into the equation since the voltage drop symptoms should not have had anything to do with the starter. But no, as soon as he was underneath the battery terminal on the solenoid was COMPLETELY melted!

40K hard miles next to the headers had apparently taken its toll, and it had been intermittently going in and out of contact till it totally fried. worse part is when it goes out the ECU throws a starting/charging system fault and stops you alternator from charging the battery. Why it does this I have no idea except maybe to confuse the hell out of you when you the warning and the voltage drop because you would never think a bad starter would make the voltage drop.

so anyways, any of you guys that have this prob and are pulling out your hair check under your car. bad news is there's off the shelf replacement solenoid for the C6 right now so you have to replace the whole starter $$$ Good news is the only difference between our solenoid and those off most all LS starters over the last ten years is this one little ignition switch signal lead, switch your to a ring style terminal and you can use any of the old ones. we used one off an old Tahoe and it started right up and No warning lights and 14v all day for the first time in 2 months, REJOICE!!!

Click the image to open in full size.

hope this helps some of you guys!
I thank you very much for this post. I too have been having intermittent "Service Charging System" warnings. I have a new alternator (Bosch) and a new Optima yellow top. I found the positive lug in my starter solenoid to be loose. Took out the starter and found the black insulation part cracked and the lug seperated from the cooper strip inside. Funny thing was the car would start!

Anyway, I ordered a 1999 Tahoe 5.7liter starter solenoid from my local Advance autoparts.

Cut the weatherpack jack off the starter wire and crimped on a circle terminal.

Put in the new solenoid and all is good now.

This is an excellent tip! Only about $50 for this solenoid when GW wants to sell the entire starter....

Humm.... Several hundred $$$ for a new starter or cut the jack off and crimp on a new connector and purchase a $50 solenoid?

Radian
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:24 AM   #16
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Hey guys... my car has been showing this service charging system light for a while whenever I was in high RPMs (I guess vibrating a connection loose at the solenoid)... and now it finally went nuts and wont even start up. It HAS to be the starter solenoid... to remover the starter... do you have to take off the passenger side cat down pipe? I took out the 2 starter bolts and it will not clear the cat to remove it.

Please let me know what you had to do to get the starter out!

Thanks,
Bryan

Last edited by FASTBLUEZ06; 03-19-2010 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:30 PM   #17
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If your car has an OEM cat/midpipe,,they come down as one unit. Not seperately. Most aftermarket mid pipes also are one unit because they have an X pipe or H pipe.

You migt as well frop the entire exhayust system. Its easy.

BC
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:35 PM   #18
Radian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASTBLUEZ06 View Post
Hey guys... my car has been showing this service charging system light for a while whenever I was in high RPMs (I guess vibrating a connection loose at the solenoid)... and now it finally went nuts and wont even start up. It HAS to be the starter solenoid... to remover the starter... do you have to take off the passenger side cat down pipe? I took out the 2 starter bolts and it will not clear the cat to remove it.

Please let me know what you had to do to get the starter out!

Thanks,
Bryan
If it is an '06 automatic and stock exhaust then it will come out with just the 2 bolts. PITA though and you have to twist it several ways. I was very frustrated. I remember I did remove or losen the little metal plate that covers the bellhousing gap on the side. It is held in by a single bolt onto the side of the motor beside the starter. This plate has to be installed though before I twisted the starter back in.

Radian
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:37 PM   #19
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My starter has an insulation blanket.
any pics? where did you get one?
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by GregC6 View Post
any pics? where did you get one?
JEGS.COM has them for about 25.00. i install them on every header installation i do. works great !!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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