Everyone,  I have a 1980 410 Commander and I am having problems starting my engines.  I have replaced the starter solenoid, the starter switch, and bypassed everything and hooked the battery straight to the starter and it turned over.  So I know the starter is good, the solenoid is good and switch is good.  But the strange thing is that the starter switch has 3 prongs, on for power in, one for the on position, and one for the momentary on for the start function.  On my engine that starts, the other engine, when I turn the switch to on I have power on two of the three prongs on the back of the switch.  On my engine that does not start I have power to all three prongs, like a positive current is running backwards up the starter wire.  I have also replaced the ignition coil.  Is anyone aware of any part that would make this happen or any suggestions?  Also I tested the neutral safety switch and it is working properly.  I appreciate any information.

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I'm not sure how yours is wired but mine ( 1978 ) has ign. relays in the back of the 12V panel . They use these because there is so much load on the circuit that the ign. switch would not handle it . If that's the problem the gauges for that engine will not power up .

I now have my thinking cap on straight ( maybe ). It's probably not the relay if you have power at the switch . Sounds more like you have  broken/pinched wires such that the start wire is broken and the ign. wire is making contact with the start wire . There are just gobs of wire behind the salon wall ! Any engine/trans work done where the harness may have gotten pinched ?

Got my thinking cap on also, but am a tad confused. Probably need a little more info to really analyze where the problem is. Normally, with your switch in the off position, one terminal on the switch is hot. This is the supply to the switch. When you flip the switch to "on", a second terminal becomes hot. This is the supply to the coil. Now, when you push the switch to the "start" position, the 3rd terminal becomes hot. This is the one that energizes the starter solenoid either directly or through a relay as Doug mentioned,and causes the engine to turn over . When are all 3 of your terminals hot? The minute you flip the switch to on ? If so, does the starter begin turning the engine at this point? Inquiring minds need to know this stuff to come up with a solution. Ain't chasing electrical gremlins fun ?? :-)

I hate electrical issues.  But to answer your questions, When I turn the switch to the on position, all three positions are hot, the supply is hot, the on is hot, and the momentary on which is the start position is hot but only pulls 10 volts instead of 12 like the other two positions.  Please note when I push the switch into the start position the 3rd terminal jumps from 10 volts to 12 volts.

Ok lets go back to basicic is the engine cranking over when you turn the switch on. yes ok then we have to look at 3 things the gasoline engine need  fuel isit getting fuel next ignition is the coil and points firing next need compression if all 3 it will start if 1 is missing it wont so what is ir doing is it cranking or turning over when you hit the starter switch if not try to turn engine over with a pry bar on the balancer pulley make sur engine is not locked up.

check your wiring on the starter sol. It sounds like you're getting 10v from the ballast resistor - are the I and S terminals reversed ? - you may have fixed the problem when you changed the solenoid just got the wires reversed .

I figured it out, the brand new starter solenoid was bad, I had it hooked up correctly but it was transferring the positive current back up to the switch, replace the solenoid and it turned over.  But now I can start it but it dies within a second of being on, as soon as I let go of the start button.  I think my ballast resistor is bad, so I am going to replace it and find out.  But if yall have any other suggestions I am open to try anything. 

check the connections on the ballast resistor - their somewhat infamous

with the ignition switch in the run position check to see that you have 12v + both at the run terminal of the switch and at the coil from the switch. your engine sounds like it is now only getting 12 v when you engage the momentary start on the switch. you can also try turning your keyswitch to the on position and jumping the starter directly. if all is wired right the engine should start and run.  if not I agree the ballast resistor is probably fried. I always carry a spare.

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