: How to replace starter's piggy back connector



WesH8398
03-16-11, 12:22 AM
Hey guys. My starter's been on the fritz and I'm replacing it this weekend. I had a look the other day and snapped a few pics of the toasted and broken piggy back connector. I wonder if the starter itself is actually fine, but the broken connector is actually what's causing the problems. Regardless, I want to know how I can replace this connector, or of it's even possible. Any ideas? Part numbers would be great too, if anyone knows em.

Slithering_Joe
03-16-11, 01:19 AM
For reference:

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z130/Slithering_Joe/My%202005%20CTS-V/IMG_0666.jpg
ACDelco PT170 (GM 12101763) starter connector and wire replacement pack.
(Cooked connector shown at right hand side in photo.)
Don't be surprised if the connection internal to the solenoid body is bad.

WesH8398
03-16-11, 09:02 AM
AWESOME!! thanks a million!

CI-V-IL
03-16-11, 04:02 PM
Mine was roasted too! I have it temporarily held in with a zip tie until I can fix it.....ghetto!!!!

kevm14
03-16-11, 08:55 PM
What orientation is the solenoid connector normally? When looking up from the bottom, I am looking at the top of the connector, where the clasp is. It seems like I should be looking more at the side of it, similar to the orientation shown in the pigtail image.

crazybiker51
03-17-11, 11:41 PM
mines toasted a bit too, and for a while my car wouldn't start, i have tightened up the power wire like crazy, and it seemed to help for a few months, now when i tighten it the solenoid pack starts to move, worked good a while longer after that, crapped out yesterday again tho! im thinking it may be either the solenoid connection? or that wire that looks nice and toasted, maybe i'll order in that delco part number and giver a shot

Slithering_Joe
03-18-11, 07:16 PM
The connector on mine roasted. Then about a week later the connection inside the solenoid opened.

Stepside
03-18-11, 10:41 PM
I've read enough of these stories, so I purchased a Starter Heat Shield Blanket from Summit Racing. Fast delivery, too.

WesH8398
03-19-11, 03:20 PM
Hopefully you guys are still watching this thread. I have a concern/question about the new piggy back connector. I've got everything installed and the V is starting like a champ again, but I didn't foil/heat/protect wrap the new piggy back wire like GM did with the rest of the wiring in that area, nor did I shrink wrap the sleeve connector that connects the original piggy back wire to the new one. I didn't have that foil type of tape, and to be frank I didnt have much time and I just needed to get the job done.
What I DID do was cut that starter heat wrap blanket in half (~4" wide) and wrap it around the solenoid, starter motor, and connections. There wasn't enough room to get the 7" wide wrap around the entire assembly, which is why I cut it in half and protected from where the solenoid starts, forward. So the plastic piggy back connector itself is protected, and I tucked the new wire behind the starter/heat wrap and away from the exhaust manifold as much as possible, but it's still going to be exposed to some significant heat.
My question is, Is that thing just going to melt if it's not insulated in some type of tape?

Slithering_Joe
03-20-11, 02:19 PM
... nor did I shrink wrap the sleeve connector that connects the original piggy back wire to the new one. I didn't have that foil type of tape, and to be frank I didnt have much time and I just needed to get the job done.

Not quite following you on your explaination but make sure the connection can never touch ground. (???)


...What I DID do was cut that starter heat wrap blanket in half (~4" wide) and wrap it around the solenoid, starter motor, and connections. There wasn't enough room to get the 7" wide wrap around the entire assembly, which is why I cut it in half and protected from where the solenoid starts, forward. So the plastic piggy back connector itself is protected, and I tucked the new wire behind the starter/heat wrap and away from the exhaust manifold as much as possible, but it's still going to be exposed to some significant heat.
My question is, Is that thing just going to melt if it's not insulated in some type of tape?
Looks fine from the pics above. I couldn't either get any material around the mounting base (cast) of the starter but I did get most around the solenoid and the stamped steel portion of the starter. Any protection is way better than what GM offered. As long as the heat shield can block the infrared radiated from the pipe/cat to the starter you should be fine. I used a temp gauge to measure the temp off the pipe/cat and see 650F+ off this area. This will blast a starter.

WesH8398
03-20-11, 03:50 PM
Not quite following you on your explaination but make sure the connection can never touch ground. (???)
.

Sorry for the shoddy explanation. Here's another try. After you cut the old pigtail off, the new pigtail connects to the existing wire via sleeve connector that you crimp on each end. Often, people place a sleeve of rubberish shrink wrap over this connection and heat it up to make a water tight seal. I didn't do this. I dont imagine it'll be a big deal though. Just wondered about moisture getting in there.

kevm14
03-20-11, 05:13 PM
I don't have a ton of faith in those butt crimps in something exposed to heat and weather like that wire. But this is GM's official recommended repair. Probably enough to get through a warranty period in most cases, so I guess that explains it. Soldering would be a better approach and THEN shrink tubing. Sometimes soldering isn't practical, though.

Slithering_Joe
03-20-11, 08:57 PM
I solder everything but it was really difficult to get an iron up there along with not having the risk of molten solder landing on me. I just crimped it. The area is shielded from splash and I really doubt that any significant amount of water would reach it or affect it. The heat alone would dry it some. If it was a Jeep that gets submerged in a river than my approach would be different. The V would be in a junk yard with 250,000 miles on it before it would corrode from any water exposure.

WesH8398
03-21-11, 12:55 AM
The V would be in a junk yard with 250,000 miles on it before it would corrode from any water exposure.

That's reassuring...... I think. LOL

Thanks guys. Appreciate the input.

1badCTS-V
08-23-11, 12:14 AM
Could anybody tell me what that wire does, and could it cause a 'battery not charging' indicator on the NAV screen? I've had my battery and alternator tested, and both checked out, but that little wire in the pictures is fried and barely hanging on.

Thanks,
Mark

Slithering_Joe
08-23-11, 10:19 AM
Could anybody tell me what that wire does, and could it cause a 'battery not charging' indicator on the NAV screen? I've had my battery and alternator tested, and both checked out, but that little wire in the pictures is fried and barely hanging on.

Thanks,
Mark

That single wire to the starter provides power to the starter's internal solenoid when the starter relay in the underhood fuse box is activated/energized. For charging issues you need to verify the wiring for the regulator circuit between the PCM and the alternator's internal regulator (LS6: Gray wire, Orange wire).

1badCTS-V
08-23-11, 02:35 PM
That single wire to the starter provides power to the starter's internal solenoid when the starter relay in the underhood fuse box is activated/energized. For charging issues you need to verify the wiring for the regulator circuit between the PCM and the alternator's internal regulator (LS6: Gray wire, Orange wire).

Thanks! With the engine running, is that a 12V signal?

Slithering_Joe
08-24-11, 11:47 AM
Thanks! With the engine running, is that a 12V signal?

Make sure the starter terminals and the battery terminals are tight and clean. Clean doesn't just mean the outside surface of the terminals. A poor connection will raise havoc in all sorts of diagnostic quests.

Alternator:
The FIELD or "F" connection for the alternator is the GRAY wire. The voltage on this varies depending on how much current the field is creating.
The LIGHT or "L" connection, ORANGE wire, (conventionally used for the idiot charge Light) is the turn-on for the alternator.
Without a +12V signal to the "L" terminal the alternator will not charge. It looks like logic in the PCM will provide this signal to the internal voltage regulator of the alternator. Many cars use the ignition switch directly through the charge idiot-light. Assuming that the alternator was checked out properly, I would check the wiring and connections. One special note is that "F" won't work if "L" is not working properly.

Starter:
If you are talking about the single wire leading to the starter, this will only have +12V when the ignition key is turned to "START" AND the starter relay is switched on assuming everything else within the circuit is OK. The PCM has control of the starter relay. In other words, the PCM has the "final say" on whether to energize the starter. Normally, no voltage is found on this lead.

coltmckinney
05-02-13, 09:18 PM
Mine just crumbled apart in my hands too! It was so bad, I couldn't even tell what wire went were.
So just to be sure, there are only two wires going to the solenoid, correct? the one pigtail that crumbled (about a 12 guage?) and the thicker wire that goes on the solenoid terminal end, tightened with a nut. Is that right?

darkman
05-02-13, 09:55 PM
Mine just crumbled apart in my hands too! It was so bad, I couldn't even tell what wire went were.
So just to be sure, there are only two wires going to the solenoid, correct? the one pigtail that crumbled (about a 12 guage?) and the thicker wire that goes on the solenoid terminal end, tightened with a nut. Is that right?

I have not yet had to replace that wiring on my V, but as I read the Service Manual material (and diagram) the solenoid is connecting by a singe (small0 wire and the 12 gauge wire (cable) attaches to the starter itself.

Faber
05-03-13, 01:01 PM
Mine just crumbled apart in my hands too! It was so bad, I couldn't even tell what wire went were.
So just to be sure, there are only two wires going to the solenoid, correct? the one pigtail that crumbled (about a 12 guage?) and the thicker wire that goes on the solenoid terminal end, tightened with a nut. Is that right?

Correct - I'm in the process of replacing mine, just waiting on parts...

coltmckinney
05-08-13, 10:12 PM
Now I'm stuck at the cat. Can't get it off. I successfully removed the two nuts at the down pipe and the 2 nuts on the other side of the cat. I can't pull it down. Is there something downstream I still need to remove??

darkman
05-08-13, 10:44 PM
That sounds like all the hardware you have to take off. Is it wedged where it ties to the catback - there is a donut/double cone gasket there that might jam. Also the thing does have some weight to it.

coltmckinney
05-09-13, 10:07 PM
Thanks for that, Darkman. I realized I had to remove the two nuts on the catalytic converter to exhaust manifold on the driver side too then down it all went. You're right, it is heavy...
Still can't get the starter out because the rear most bolt on the exhaust manifold is preventing removal of it.... so I got out my sawzaw and began cutting away at the lower 1/3 of that bold but I think it's made of diamonds or something becausse I've gone through two sawzaw blades so far and only 1/2 way through the bolt. SO! I'm off to Depot to buy more blades.

So now that I essentially have the cats fully removed, I looked at my Summit mag. Would be nice to just put in some high-flo cats but none seems like they are direct replacements. ie) looks like I'd have to buy connectors and collectors and such.

Then ALSO while I'm at it, may as well install some quick-time cutouts, right?? Wouldn't that be cool. I probably won't though. Don't know what size to get and not sure how to install...

coltmckinney
05-09-13, 10:15 PM
Thanks for that, Darkman. I realized I had to remove the two nuts on the catalytic converter to exhaust manifold on the driver side too then down it all went. You're right, it is heavy...
Still can't get the starter out because the rear most bolt on the exhaust manifold is preventing removal of it.... so I got out my sawzaw and began cutting away at the lower 1/3 of that bold but I think it's made of diamonds or something becausse I've gone through two sawzaw blades so far and only 1/2 way through the bolt. SO! I'm off to Depot to buy more blades.

So now that I essentially have the cats fully removed, I looked at my Summit mag. Would be nice to just put in some high-flo cats but none seems like they are direct replacements. ie) looks like I'd have to buy connectors and collectors and such.

Then ALSO while I'm at it, may as well install some quick-time cutouts, right?? Wouldn't that be cool. I probably won't though. Don't know what size to get and not sure how to install...

107804

Faber
05-09-13, 10:19 PM
I ended up being able to maneuver the starter out with just the cats/exhaust out of the way. Took some effort to twist it the right way, but didn't need to shave a bolt. I ended up having to basically drop all of the exhaust hangers and pull the exhaust back to get the cat out. Just too tight otherwise.

coltmckinney
05-12-13, 06:44 PM
I finally was able to cut that bolt off using a Dewalt blade. Then the starter came right out. I bought a roll of silver thermal tape and wrapped the solenoid and wiring then put in the new starter and put everything back together again. She started right up!!

54inches
12-07-13, 07:58 PM
I am not sure if you guys know, but the CTSV starter is the only starter that I have found that uses this connector.

My solution and what I would suggest. Go get a starter from a 6.0 Chevy truck. It takes a ring terminal.

With your busted connector, remove all plastic and crimp on a ring terminal and you are forever done.

I wrapped mine as well and it is much quieter and now protected.