Doesn't hurt anything if the smaller solenoid stud is loose, but to prevent the vibration from work-hardening the wires inside and causing them to break, all you have to do is tighten the nut on that stud.
GM likes to use the larger battery terminal on the starter as a convenient tie point for other circuits. They don't have anything to do with the starter itself. It's just easier to connect them there than run them all the way back to the battery or fuse box.
There will only be one wire bolted to the smaller "solenoid" terminal. Where the confusion comes in is if there's a second smaller terminal on the starter solenoid. That one gets 12 volts switched onto it only during cranking, but the circuits it feeds also get 12 volts from a different source once the engine is running. I can see how mixing those up could cause the starter to continue running. If you don't have that second smaller terminal, all you have to do is put the single smaller wire on the smaller stud, and the large battery cable and any other wires with a large terminal on the large stud on the solenoid.
If you have two smaller studs on the solenoid, one will be marked "S" for "solenoid" and one will be marked "R" for "relay". The solenoid wire is typically dark brown and is fatter than the other small wires. It usually has a black plastic part molded over the terminal and is about a half inch long. That wire goes on the "S", solenoid terminal. Now connect the battery cable. If the starter starts cranking, disconnect that brown solenoid wire, then see what happens when you reconnect the battery cable. If it doesn't start cranking on its own, try it with the ignition switch. For that to work, any small wires with real large terminals will have to be connected too to that larger stud.
Once you have it cranking properly from the ignition switch, connect the remaining wires to the "R" stud if there is one.
Sunday, October 12th, 2014 AT 11:26 PM