The starting system includes the battery, starter motor, solenoid, ignition switch, circuit protection and wiring connecting the components. On models with a console or floor mounted shift lever, a neutral start (AT) switch or clutch switch (MT) is included in the starting system to prevent the vehicle from being started with the vehicle in gear. Models equipped with a column shifter do not use a safety switch; the ignition switch mechanism is designed so that the switch cannot be turned while the vehicle is in gear.
When the ignition key is turned to the START position, it actuates the starter relay through the starter control circuit. The relay then connects the battery to the starter.
When the starter is not in use, one of the field coils is connected directly to ground through a set of contacts. When the starter is first connected to the battery, a current flows through the grounded field coil which actuates a movable pole shoe. The pole shoe is connected to the starter drive plunger lever and this forces the drive into engagement with the flywheel ring gear.
When the movable pole shoe is fully seated, it opens the field grounding contacts and the starter operates. A holding coil is used to hold the movable pole shoe in the fully seated position during the time that the starter is cranking the engine.