Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1989-1996 Repair Guide

Starter

Print

TESTING



Before performing any tests, inspect the wiring and connections at the:



Ignition switch
 
Starter relay
 
Park/neutral position switch (automatic transmission)
 
Battery
 
Starter with an integral solenoid
 

Inspect the solenoid, relay, and ignition switch to determine their condition. If equipped with an automatic transmission, inspect the condition of the park/neutral position switch. If the vehicle is a 1995-96 manual transmission model with a clutch position switch, inspect the condition of the switch.

Cold Cranking Test

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

  1. Prepare for the test by performing the following:
    1. Ensure the battery is in good condition and fully charged. If you have doubt about the battery, load test it first. A marginal battery will throw off the results of any electrical test if you don't check for it first.
    2.  
    3. Connect a suitable volts-ampere tester to the positive and negative battery terminals. Refer to the tester manufacturer's instructions for proper hookup and operation.
    4.  
    5. Engage the parking brake fully. Place manual transmissions in NEUTRAL, or automatic transmissions in PARK.
    6.  
    7. Verify that all lamps and accessories are OFF and the doors are closed.
    8.  
    9. Make sure the engine won't start by disconnecting the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay on gas-powered vehicles or the fuel shutdown solenoid connector on diesel vehicles (The relay is on the underside of the PDC cover.)
    10.  

  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: A common ASD relay location on V6 and V8 engines



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: A common ASD relay location-2.5L engine

  1. To test the starter output, turn the ignition key to the START position.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: You will need to connect a volt-ampere tester to perform the cold cranking test

A cold engine will increase starter current and reduce battery voltage.

  1. Read cranking voltage and amperage on the tester.
    1. If voltage is is above 9.6 and amperage draw is above 300 amps (gas engine) or 700 amps (diesel engine), see the Starter Feed Circuit Tests.
    2.  
    3. If voltage is 12.5 volts or greater and amperage is below specifications, see the Control Circuit Tests.
    4.  

  2.  

Feed Circuit Test

See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

This is a test for excessive resistance in the high amperage circuit. For accurate results, make sure the voltage meter is connected as described: Connect the voltmeter leads to the terminals that the cable connectors or clamps are connected to, not the cable connectors or clamps themselves. For example, when testing between the battery and solenoid, touch the voltmeter leads to the battery post and the solenoid threaded stud.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: For diesel engines, you must disable the fuel shutdown solenoid by unplugging it at the harness connector

This test will require a voltmeter capable of accurate readings of 1/10 (0.10) volt.

Before beginning, make sure the parking brake is fully applied, the battery is good and is fully charged and perform the following to prevent unwanted start-up of the engine while testing:



Gasoline-powered vehicles: Unplug the Auto Shut-Down (ASD) relay from the Power Distribution Center (PDC).
 
Diesel engine vehicles: Disconnect the fuel shutdown solenoid connector (see illustration).
 
1995-96 manual transmission models: Install a jumper wire between two clutch position switch connectors.
 

  1. Connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the battery negative post. Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the negative battery cable clamp.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Test the battery cable connection voltage drop with a voltmeter

  1. Turn the ignition to the START position and read the voltmeter. If voltage registers, correct the poor contact between the cable clamp and post.
  2.  
  3. Connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the battery positive post. Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the positive battery cable clamp.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Test the battery positive cable voltage drop using a voltmeter

  1. Turn the ignition to the START position and read the voltmeter. If voltage registers, correct the poor contact between the cable clamp and post.
  2.  
  3. Connect the voltmeter to measure between the battery positive post and the starter solenoid battery stud.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Test the ground circuit voltage drop using the voltmeter

  1. Turn the ignition to the START position and read the voltmeter. If the voltmeter reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor battery cable contact at the solenoid.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Test the starter ground as shown

  1. Repeat the test. If the reading is still above 0.2 volt, replace the battery positive cable.
  2.  
  3. Connect the voltmeter to measure between the battery negative post and a good (clean) engine ground.
  4.  
  5. Turn the ignition to the START position and read the voltmeter. If the voltmeter reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor negative battery cable contact at its attaching point.
  6.  
  7. Repeat the test. If the reading is still above 0.2 volt, replace the battery negative cable.
  8.  
  9. Connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the starter housing. Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the negative terminal.
  10.  
  11. Turn the ignition to the START position and read the voltmeter. If the voltmeter reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor starter to engine ground.
  12.  
  13. If no feed circuit tests are detected in these resistance tests, remove the starter and proceed to the solenoid test.
  14.  

Control Circuit Tests

The starter control circuit consists of the following:



Starter solenoid
 
Starter relay
 
Ignition switch
 
Park/neutral position switch (automatic transmission)
 
Clutch pedal position switch (1995-96 manual transmission models only)
 
Wiring harness and connections
 

For gasoline-powered vehicles: Unplug the Automatic Shut-Down (ASD) relay from the Power Distribution Center (PDC). For diesel engine vehicles, disconnect the fuel shutdown solenoid connector.

Follow the tests of this group (Solenoid, Relay and Relay Circuit) in the order described.

SOLENOID TEST

See Figures 9 and 10

This procedure requires a continuity tester.

  1. Remove the starter from the vehicle.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Test the continuity between the solenoid terminal and the field coil terminal

  1. Disconnect the solenoid field coil wire from the field coil terminal.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Test the continuity between the solenoid terminal and the solenoid case

  1. Check for continuity between the solenoid terminal and field coil terminal. There should be continuity.
  2.  
  3. Check for continuity between the solenoid terminal and solenoid case. There should be continuity. If there is continuity, the solenoid is good. If there is no continuity in either test, the solenoid has an open circuit. Replace the starter assembly.
  4.  
  5. Connect the solenoid field coil wire to the field coil terminal.
  6.  
  7. Install the starter.
  8.  

RELAY TEST

See Figures 11 and 12

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Location of the power distribution center

The starter relay is in the Power Distribution Center (PDC). Refer to the underside of the PDC cover for relay location. Remove the starter relay to perform these tests.

  1. A relay in the de-energized position should have continuity between terminals 87A and 30, and no continuity between 87 and 30. If you find otherwise, replace the relay, otherwise proceed to the next step.
  2.  
  3. Check resistance between terminals 85 and 86 (electromagnet). It should be 70-80 ohms. If not replace the faulty relay. If so, continue to the next step.
  4.  
  5. Connect a known good 12 volt battery to terminals 85 and 86. There should be continuity between terminals 30 and 87, and no continuity between terminals 87A and 30. If not, replace the faulty relay. If so, continue to the relay circuit test.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Starter relay connections

RELAY CIRCUIT TEST

See Figure 12

  1. Check for battery voltage at the starter relay common feed terminal (30). It should be hot at all times. If it is energized, go to the next step. If not, check the circuit to fuse F12 in the Power Distribution Center (PDC). repair as required.
  2.  
  3. The normally closed terminal (87A) is connected to terminal 30 in the de-energized position, but is not used for this application. Go to the next step.
  4.  
  5. The normally open terminal (87) is connected to the battery terminal (30) in the energized position. This terminal supplies battery voltage to the starter solenoid field coils. There should be continuity between the cavity for relay terminal 87 and the starter solenoid terminal at all times. If it is energized, go to the next step. If not, repair the circuit to the solenoid as required.
  6.  
  7. The coil battery terminal (86) is connected to the electromagnet in the relay. It is energized when the ignition switch is in the START position. Check for battery voltage at the cavity for relay terminal 86 with the ignition switch in the START position. If it is energized, go to the next step. If not, and the vehicle has an automatic transmission, you will need to check the ignition switch for proper operation. If it is not energized and the vehicle is a 1995-96 models with manual transmission, you will need to check the clutch pedal position switch.
  8.  
  9. The coil ground terminal (85) is connected to the electromagnet in the relay. On vehicles with an automatic transmission, it is grounded through the park/neutral position switch. On manual transmission models, it is grounded at all times. Check for continuity to ground at the cavity for relay terminal 85. If not as specified, and the vehicle has a manual transmission, repair the circuit as required. If not as specified and the vehicle has an automatic transmission, you will need to check the park/neutral position switch.
  10.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Gasoline Engines

See Figures 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Disconnect the wires attached to the starter solenoid to facilitate removal

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Unbolt the starter from the vehicle

  1. Remove the cable from the starter.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 15: Once detached, remove the starter from the vehicle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 16: Exploded view of the starter mounting-2.5L engine

  1. Disconnect the solenoid leads at their solenoid terminals. If necessary, tag then to avoid confusion when re-installing.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 17: Attach the starter wire connector to the terminals as shown-V6 and V8 engines



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 18: To remove the starter, unbolt the mounting hardware shown-V6 and V8 engines

On 4WD Dakota models with the V6 engine, the starter is removed from above. On these models you will have to disconnect the steering gear and position the shaft out of the way to gain working clearance.

  1. Remove the starter attachment bolts and withdraw the starter from the engine flywheel housing. On some models with automatic transmissions, the oil cooler tube bracket will interfere with the starter removal. In this case, remove the starter attachment bolts, slide the cooler tube bracket off the stud, and then withdraw the starter.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 19: When detached, pull the starter away from the engine and remove it from the vehicle-2WD Dakota model shown

To install:
  1. Be sure that the starter and flywheel housing mating surfaces are free of dirt and oil to make a good electrical contact.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 20: Install the starter motor on the 4WD Dakota from above as shown

  1. Slide the starter in place, secure using the bolts and washers removed. Tighten the bolts to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm). Connect wires and battery cable end at the starter.
  2.  
  3. If removed for clearance, reconnect the steering column shaft.
  4.  
  5. Secure the oil cooler bracket if equipped. Connect the negative battery cable on the battery.
  6.  

When tightening the mounting bolt and nut on the starter, hold the starter away from the engine for the correct alignment.

Diesel Engines

See Figure 21

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise the truck and support it safely on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect and label the wires at the starter motor.
  6.  
  7. Remove the attaching bolt, nut and washer, then lift the starter and solenoid assembly from the engine.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Before installing the starter motor, be sure the mounting surface on the drive end housing and the flywheel housing are clean, to ensure good electrical contact.
  2.  
  3. When tightening the attaching bolt and nut, hold the starter away from the engine to ensure the proper alignment. Tighten the bolts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Attach the wiring at the starter. Tighten the solenoid connection to 44 inch lbs. (5 Nm). Tighten the battery cable at the starter motor to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Attach the negative battery cable.
  8.  

SOLENOID REPLACEMENT



Chrysler Corp. for 1989-91 models did provide replaceable solenoids for the starter motors covered by this information. However since 1992, the manufacturer no longer recommends replacement of individual components, even if the later unit has the same part number of a formerly serviceable unit. Chrysler now simply calls for replacement of the entire starter assembly if the solenoid is found faulty.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 21: Starter electrical connections and mounting bolt locations-diesel engine

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo