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•••1955-56 Chevy Starter Wiring: Why Is There No "R" Terminal•••

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JeffreyJames, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I was trying to wire up my starter tonight and in my diagram it points to a wire that goes form the "R" terminal to the ballast resistor off of my coil. I got under that car 3-4 times second guessing myself thinking that maybe I just wasn't seeing the "R" terminal.

    Well I wasn't missing it, it just wasn't there. I dug around a bit and found some evidence that in 55-56 Chevy's there was no "R" terminal on the starter solenoid. That's kind of baffling because the "R" terminal is specifically for points distributors which to my knowledge would have been OE for 55-56.

    So why is there no "R"? I know that the "R" terminal allows for a full 12v to be supplied so what that idea or concept just not conceived in 55-56? Then in 1957 someone thought that would help the starting?

    Lastly will a NAPA part number ECH STK2 Solenoid kit remedy my issue?


    Here's a pic of what my 1956 265 Chevy starter looks like....
    [​IMG]
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    The ignition switch had two IGN terminals, one for when you're starting, one for when you're running, the resistor went to the running terminal, the coil went to the cranking terminal.

    If you don't have a factory wiring diagram I could probably find one around here somewhere to scan....
     
  3. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I appreciate it Squirrel. However my 265 is in my '35 ford which has a different ignition switch. I guess that's the answer right there though and it makes perfect sense.

    I guess I have to make a trip to Napa torrow to pick up that Solenoid kit to put an "R" terminal so I can wire it up properly.

    Thanks Squirrel and if you do have that factory wiring diagram handy, go ahead and post it up because it might help someone down the line that IS wiring a 55-56 Chevy with the correct ignition switch.
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
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  5. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Squirrel are you saying that if I go out and but the Solenoid Repair kit and put it on my '56 starter it's not going to work?
     
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    the early solenoid you have is not the same as the newer ones, which are smaller and no exposed linkage. Maybe it was 58 they went to the new one...I think I have a 57 starter that's like yours.
     
  7. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Awe hell, I just had this damn thing rebuilt!!!!! Son of a bitch!!!! I'll have to go take a pic of mine....
     
  8. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Here's a shot of mine which appears to be exactly like the one above.

    I read on a tri-five website that a simple repair kit would do the trick.
     

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  9. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,640

    terd ferguson
    Member

    Jeffy,

    Calm down. You should be able to make your wiring harness work with your starter.

    Here's two diagrams. The first is a '55 truck (kind of hard to read, maybe save it and magnify it) and the second is '57 or '58. One terminal on the starter should go to the battery, ammeter, and resistor. The other terminal should go to the ignition switch. And don't forget the ground!

    I have the same sort of set up on my pickup with the stock wiring harness. My non stock Cadillac starter has three terminals, I only used two. And as you know, it starts up just fine.

    I'll be at the shop tomorrow. Let me know if you're coming to pick up your chrome and you can take a look at mine. I also need to drop off my new (old) oil cap for plating.

    Love,
    terd
     

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    hmmmm....looks like mine has the R terminal. Interesting. I'm pretty sure this is a 57 chevy starter, I found it out in the desert near my house, been a while since I looked at it, and it's kind of hard to get to at night with the spiders and stuff.

    so maybe a solenoid repair kit would have a new phenolic piece? with the R terminal? or maybe not?
     

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  11. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,520

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    [​IMG]

    This is NOT the type on Krusty40's coupe ... :)

    The one on Vic's 40 looks like this

    [​IMG]

    Notice ... how it has the little brass tube between the solenoid and the housing. That means it is a BIG BLOCK starter. I took the starter head off a Big Block 427 BBC starter and installed the head off a 59 Chevy SBC starter.

    Really spins that little 292 ... :D
     
  12. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    what years is that kit supposed to fit?
     
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    They sell big block 3 bolt starters, you know....

    REMY Part # 25807

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1029855,parttype,4152
     
  15. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I input my car as a 1956 Chevy and it came up as a repair kit. I think it was up to 1959 for this particular kit.

    Also, I read that in 1957 they switched over to a Solenoid with an "R" so that one you posted could be in fact from '57.
     
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    Interesting stuff. I guess you could order the kit and see if it fits, might want to bring your starter with you to make sure it's the same.

    This period correct shit is a pain in the ass
     
  17. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I'm starting to think the same thing.:D:D:D
     
  18. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,520

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    :D :D

    Learn something new everyday :)

    But I had a BBC starter and the 58 style SBC starter ... so while I had the starter off ... I made it into a BBC starter for a 3 bolt :eek:

    No bucks ... changed hands

    .
     
  19. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    This seems like a crazy solution but Hot Rod Magazine in 1961 said....
     

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  20. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,640

    terd ferguson
    Member

    Yeah, that's crazy. So crazy its the same thing in the wiring diagram I posted. You're welcome.
     
  21. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Is it? I didn't see the extra solenoid that in your diagram but then again I didn't save it so I couldn't take a real close look.

    That one I posted would have two solenoids wire up with the one on the starter being a dummy I think. Then the other would be wired off of it so supply a full 12v to the coil during initial fire.
     
  22. redhumphries
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 420

    redhumphries
    Member

    used to run early ford solenoid on small block chevys that ran certain headers because the solenoid would get hot and car wouldnt crank. You can put the second one in a spot where it couldnt be seen easily and still noone would notice. if you need help getting the wiring done and it running give me a call at the shop and i may be able to get away and help you arent that far from me . Hope this help RED 704-509-6397
     
  23. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 275

    Dennis D
    Member

    IIRC, the "R" terminal went away when they started using the HEI dist. I have no idea why a sol. that old would not have one. If the Napa kit has that terminal on it, it should work. Dennis
     
  24. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,388

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Thanks guys!!! I'm going to head to NAPA in a bit and see if I can't at least get that part ordered. I've got a lot today and that's one of the first things!!

    Red thanks bud, you're a wealth of info and always willing to lend a hand.
     
  25. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,742

    tommy
    Member

    [​IMG]

    Hotrod magazines wiring diagram before the R terminal....even before the alternator.:D
     
  26. BobbyD
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 581

    BobbyD
    Member
    from Belmont NC

    Agree with Tommy, no need to spend money on something you don't need, wire it like this and all is good, forget about the "R" terminal......
     
  27. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,416

    sunbeam
    Member

    You can use the start terminal if you use a diode to keep it from back feeding.
     
  28. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,791

    Larry T
    Member

    It would be pretty easy to hook up a relay to feed 12 volts to the coil while the "start circuit" was engaged---if you need to. Have you tried starting the car on 9 volts? You might not need the 12 volt start circuit to the coil.
    Larry T
     
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,529

    squirrel
    Member

    Like Larry says, give it a try without the R terminal, if you have trouble starting it just put a hidden button under the dash to bypass the resistor....
     
  30. JJK
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 614

    JJK
    Member

    Try a Borg Warner S88 Solenoid, I'm looking at it in the catalog and there's a 3 term on the diagram.
     

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