I got a big problem here. Okay.... my friend's 91 2.2 had a bad starter. So I attempted to replace it for him. I took the old one out no problem and we had it tested and sure enough the starter motor was bad. So then I go to put the new one in and I notice the solenoid has one big positive terminal and 2 little negative terminals whereas the old starter only had one. So I connected the negative to the terminal that it would have gone on on the old starter. We connect the battery and hear the computer registering and then as we go to start the car we hear a pop under the hood and nothing happens. The noise sounded like a fuse blowing. After that all power throughout the car was lost. So we check the fuse box and we check under the hood and we find nothing. So we try and connect the negative to the other post. Sure enough all the power comes back to the car but the car still won't start. The starter clicks once and doesn't turn over at all. The next day we replaced the fusible links because we thought maybe one of them went bad. So we replaced all the links by the starter and when we tried to turn it on again it still didn't start. The solenoid just clicked once and it didn't turn over. One guy at the local autozone told us that we could have blown a main fuse in the car. He showed us this 80 amp fuse and we went back under his hood to look for it but we couldn't find anything like it. Nothing in his fuse box is blown and the car has no starter relay. What else could be wrong? Oh.... by the way.... the last thing we did was take the new starter in to have it tested to see if maybe it was defective..... but it turned out to be perfectly okay. And my friend also has a brand new battery in the car that's only a week old. What is wrong here? anyone else ever have this problem?
I'm not positive cuz I haven't done a starter in my cav yet. But I just did one in an 86 grand am a few days ago. There should not be a negative connection on the starter, unless it's different from most starters I have done. The big terminal usually goes direct to the positive side of the battery. The smaller connections you see are usually from the ignition switch. When you turn the key the small wire puts power to the solenoid which in turn allows that big terminal to put power to the starter motor. This is a basic description but just trying to get the point across.
The starter I just did had 2 terminals as well but only one was used. I had hooked up the wrong one the first time and I got nothing upon turning the key. I put the wires on the other terminal and turned the key and it started first try. I didn't blow any fuses or anything so I'm not sure what the sounds you heard were.
Test for power to the switch wire (smaller of the 2 terminals) using a test light. Make sure there is power getting there when you turn the key. If not there is another issue somewhere that needs to be addressed.
Ahh the joys of reman starters. Okay let me start from the top, i know this symptom too good. Your old starter had only one small plug to activate the solenoid and bendix, and the main power wire from the battery to the starter. Now that you have 2 small wires what do you think they are both for? The power wire and then the starter ground is directly hooked to the engine, your bolts holding the starter are the ground. Now that you have 2 wires one is for your solenoid ground and the other is for solenoid power. That is why you hear the solenoid bendix popping out but the motor is not turning the engine over. Check your wiring harness in that corner in case you just forgot it. But most of the time the main ground is right to the engine and you can see a little wire from that pins to the starter frame. If that is connected just remove the new starter and clean between the engine and starter spot, could be dirty in that spot and that's what could be stopping the current flow. If that doesn't work then let me know and i'll help you out some more. I've been down that road quite a few times.