On most vehicles, the starter wiring will be disconnected after the unit is unbolted from the engine. Be prepared to support the starter as this is done. Do NOT allow the starter to hang by the wiring harness.
Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing the starter. Battery voltage is always present at the large ( B ) terminal on the solenoid. When removing the starter motor, be prepared to support its weight after the last bolt is removed, because the starter motor is a very heavy component.
NEVER operate the starter for more than 30 seconds at a time. Too much cranking will cause the starter motor to overheat, causing permanent damage. Allow the starter to cool for at least two minutes between starting attempts.
The solenoid can be checked with an ohmmeter or test light. Solenoids may differ in style, but all those covered here are similar in operation. Solenoid circuitry consists of a low-tension winding wired between the solenoid terminal and solenoid case and two high-tension terminals. When battery voltage is applied to the solenoid terminal, the contact is closed and the two high-tension terminals are electrically connected.
- Remove the starter motor.
- Remove the wire from the solenoid field coil terminal.
- Check for continuity between one of the field coil (high-tension) terminals and the solenoid (low-tension) terminal. Continuity should exist.
- Check for continuity between the solenoid (low-tension) terminal and the solenoid case. Continuity should exist.
- If both tests are not met successfully, the assembly must be replaced.
The relay is a micro-switch that energizes the starter solenoid when the ignition key is turned. The relay is located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) in the engine compartment. Relay location can be found on the underside of the PDC cover.
More than one style of relay is in use, but they are electrically identical and testing is the same.
Basic tests can be carried out an ohmmeter or test light as follows:
- Continuity should exist between terminals 30 and 87A .
- There should be no continuity between terminals 30 and 87 .
- Resistance between terminals 85 and 86 should be 70-80 ohms.
- Connect a 12-volt battery to terminals 85 and 86 . Now, there should be continuity between terminals 30 and 87 and no continuity between terminals 30 and 87A .
- If the unit fails any of the above tests it must be replaced.
- The common feed terminal ( 30 ) should have voltage at all times. Check the circuit to fuse F12 in the PDC if it does not.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Disconnect and isolate the battery's negative cable.
- Raise the vehicle and support it safely on jackstands. See "Precautions", above.
- Check undercarriage for starter accessibility. On some models, it may be necessary to remove skid plates, etc., for access.
- Disconnect any accessible wiring at this point. All starters have a battery positive cable and one or two leads to the solenoid.
- Unbolt the securing hardware while supporting the starter motor with one hand. Diesels have three fasteners; others have two.
- On some automatic transmission models, the cooler tube bracket may have to be removed from the stud. Note any shims between starter motor and mounting flange.
- Pull the starter until the pinion nose clears the housing, and then lower it until the wiring terminals are accessible. Disconnect the battery cable and solenoid wiring if not done before. Do NOT allow the starter motor to hang by the wiring harness.
- Remove the starter motor from the vehicle.
- Check the starter pinion and flywheel gear teeth for damage.
- Installation is the reverse of removal. Be sure the motor mounting surfaces, mounting hardware and terminals are free of grease and grit. Remember to reinstall any shims that may have been used.
Tighten the mounting hardware to the following values:
2.5L: 33 ft. lbs.
PINION DEPTH ADJUSTMENT
Generally, add shims if the starter whines after the engine starts, and remove shims if the starter whines only during cranking.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
- Remove the flywheel cover.
- Inspect the flywheel teeth for chipped or missing teeth, abnormal wear, cracks and a possibly warped flywheel. Replace any damaged components and continue with the procedure.
- Make sure the vehicle is in Park or Neutral. Apply the parking brake and start the engine.
- Carefully touch the outside edge of the rotating flywheel with a marker to highlight the high spot of the ring gear.
- Turn the engine OFF .
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Turn the high spot of the flywheel to the area of the starter drive pinion.
- Using a wire gauge, measure the clearance between the tip of the ring gear tooth and bottom of the pinion gear teeth. Clearance should generally be 0.02-0.06 in. (0.5-1.5mm).
- Add or remove shims to adjust the clearance if needed.
- Install the flywheel cover.
- Lower the vehicle to the floor.
- Connect the negative battery cable.