Disclaimer: if you don't understand automotive wiring, especially
starters, either don't do this, or do it carefully. I might have a mistake
here, or your car might be different, and you could very easily cause
a fire or explode your battery.
Finally, last Sunday I turned the key and the starter didn't turn.
No amount of wiggling would do the trick. The gauges ticked, so some
current was going to the starter solenoid, just not enough.
Given the warning signs of having to turn the ignition key just right
to get the car to start, weeks ago I bought a Borg Warner starter relay
for a Ford. $13.
Tools: drill, crimping tool, wrenches
Have your fire extinguisher handy.
Parts: large gauge crimp-on terminals (usually from high amperage
auto audio places), heat shrink tubing, electrical tape, selection of
ring terminals, large sheet metal screws, fine threaded standard nut
to fit the "S" terminal on relay (purchase at same time as relay, or
visit the hardware store before starting the installation).
Disconnect the battery ground terminal. I screwed the relay
(it has mounting holes) to the rear of the pan on the side opposite
the battery. Cut the fat wire between the alternator (generator) and
battery. Crimp large ring terminals on each wire, and attach both to
the large terminal on one site of the relay (Number Two). Cut the wire
to the starter. On my car this goes through the rear of the pan right
near where I installed the relay. Put a ring terminal on the starter
side, and attach this to the large relay terminal OPPOSITE the battery-alternator
wire (Number One). Put a small ring terminal on the old starter wire
running back from the ignition switch. You just cut this in the previous
step. Connect to the small "S" terminal on the relay (Number 3). You'll
need a fine thread standard nut. The nut on the relay holds the terminal
in. You can remove this, but you're better off to use a new nut. The
stock Ford connector is actually a push on and doesn't use a nut. Remember
to buy an extra nut or two when you buy the relay.
Take the care out of gear, set the brake.Very carefully reconnect the
battery ground. If you've made a mistake in wiring the starter may crank!!
Or some wiring may fry. It is a bad sign if you get sparks when the
ground wire touches the ground terminal on the battery. I didn't get
Have the fire extinguisher handy. Try starting the car. The relay makes
a loud, sharp click. This is good. The car starts. Yay! I still have
to wiggle my key a bit. There's 25 years of carbon built up on the ignition
switch, but at least now it works. So far, three months later, very
This actually took me about an hour and a half.
This photo shows wider view of the starter relay at the rear of the
See, the relay is on the side opposite the battery. This photo was
taken to show the position of the auxillary heater blower fan.
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