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Probably bad ignition switch where the key is. OR the line connecting to the starter solenoid terminal (small). Or could be a bad relay between the ignition switch and the starter solenoid terminal. Could be a bad starter solenoid, Yes, several instances of bad starter solenoids.
By crossing the terminals on the solinoid you have taken this component out of the picture, so the problems has to be in the engine or the starter, if the auto deco valve in the engine is not working the engine will be sluggish to crank over.
If you crossed the two battery terminals on the solenoid and the engine did not turn over, I would check the battery terminals first to see if they are tight. Then check the terminals at the solenoid to see if they are tight. If all of this is tight and you are sure you have 12 volts at the solenoid, then your starter is bad.
DO you hear a clicking when you turn the key to start? Solenoid relay make a click sound when energized.
If the solenoid is not mounted on the starter motor then it will be near the battery
The key switch sends power to the solenoid. the solenid is a big remote controlled switch,and it takes power from the battery to the starter motor
Does your ignition key have a small 'chip" in it, sometimes call a smart key? If it does, that may be the source of the problem. The "chip" is actually a small resistor that has to be read by the sensor in the ignition switch. Try cleaning the key with alcohol and see if there is any difference. Sometimes they get dirty and the sensor has a hard time reading them.
Check back the wiring connection at the solenoid. Solenoid acts as a switch between the 2 terminals. When a solenoid engages, it makes a bridge between the other 2 terminals.
There are 2 possible reasons:
1-Wrong connections cause bypassing the solenoid function controlling the connection from other terminals so current could continue flowing to the starter causing it keep turning.
2- Bad solenoid with a broken spring inside causing the bridge between the 2 terminals conducting a current all the time for starter to keep turning.
If checking the connection correct then replace the solenoid.
alittle vague about the 2-posts....both LARGE ones or the large one and smaller one.....here is something you may check since you said jumping the solenoid started the car....with help have someone turn the KEY to start...with a continuity light check the SMALL terminal at the solenoid...it should have voltage...if not it's you IGNITION SW.. or wiring....hope this helps you..GL
You may have hooked some wires up incorrectly. The smaller diameter wires on the small posts go to different items. One goes to the starter and the other to the ignition. Sometimes the little black bonnets that plug on to the terminals are marked. (S for starter and I for ignition.) You can also jump across the terminals to bypass the ignition switch to see if you even get power to the starter. Let me know what happens.