Does the starter come out the top or bottom of car?

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Old 10-03-09, 11:10 AM
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Does the starter come out the top or bottom of car?

Depending on what I confirm about my no-crank car, if it is indeed the solenoid/starter, I may attempt to DIY.

I have done many over the years (even taken them apart and worked on them) when lifts have either been available to me, for free, or under a pickup truck. But on my low sitting Dodge car, it looks daunting.

Looking down from the top, I cannot even figure how someone gets their arm up in there to the backside of the engine area. It looks like one of those things where even if you get it up on jackstands, according to my manual, - that you might have to be a contortionist. Nothing like laying on your back, raising up your head (ever try that for a while?), trying to reach up and over crossovers, or whatever, blind, like by feel or something.

The manual shows to remove 2 bolts from above, and I can easily do those. The 3rd bolt is below. But I wonder if then you pull the starter out from above, toward the left fender direction (toward the battery)?, or wrangle it down from below, and maybe fighting too short of wires (you know how they never give you enough wire, so the company can save $.000003 per car in production).

Uncle Diesel would be the man, but has he been on lately?

Anyone? Hate to pay $75 to have car towed to shop and then pay them to do the work, and jack up the cost of the starter to boot. Not over some job I easily know about the theory of/have experience doing. Especially since I had to give a whopping $130 for my new 2-wire furnace motor, which is a rare diameter motor, yesterday. And a 3 speed, 7 wire motor is cheaper!
The motor shop man said that is the way it goes sometimes.

Ya, with me. Aw...I shouldn't complain too much, as I have saved myself lots and lots of money over the years.

For the curious, I get my radio light to go off when I put the key to crank position (just like how it should be when a Dodge tries to crank), which means my actuator rod must be engaging and sending current through the start circuit. A fuse is not blown. Fusible links (many) by the battery appear to be intact. And I took out the fender mount starter relay and took it to an auto parts store and compared my ohms reading to that of the new one and it is identical. (I'm so cheap I did not want to just start shotgun buying unneeded parts and pay a whopping $17 for that relay.)

I did not have one of those awl-type, poke-into-the-wire testers, but bought a new one moments ago. I should have saved myself those other testing procedures by doing the jab test on the solenoids start wire(if say I went and bought that tester 2 days ago), from the get-go, to confirm if problem is downstream or upstream of the solenoid/starter wire connections, which possibly could even be loose, or maybe drawing juice away from the terminals from....... I feel lots of oily gooky grease down there. I tried to tap on the metal down there but still nothing. But not easy to get a good swing at it.
 
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Old 10-03-09, 02:55 PM
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Now that you have calmed down. What year Dodge is it and what style? It would help.
 
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Old 10-03-09, 08:40 PM
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I think the towing idea has merit.....

As a general rule I would have to say more starters are probably removed from the bottom than the top especially V-6 & V-8. In-line engines could probably go either way depending on whether they are mounted on the firewall side or front side (on FWD vehicles).
 
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Old 10-04-09, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Now that you have calmed down. What year Dodge is it and what style? It would help.
Well, I am kind of a high strung person due to me trying to fix everything there is. But getting stranded somewhere is not my cup of tea. No wife to call. Call bosses and they start up conversation while you are held hostage in their vehicle, telling you what they want you to work on next, rather than say discuss golf or something.

It is a 90 Dodge Spirit with a transverse inline 4, non-turbo, automatic transaxle. I already got a response from an expert that says it has to come out the bottom, and parts of the job is very difficult.

But I have to make sure I am getting power when in START through the S wire to the solenoid before tackling the solenoid/starter. Today I go to the car and do a probe test if I can get someone to turn the key for me.
 
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Old 10-04-09, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
I think the towing idea has merit.....
I am not ruling it out. But it be a hard pill for me. A number of years ago (prior to the $4 gas business), I had a guy tow my vehicle locally for $10 using one of those tow caddies. I do not know what has become of that guy anymore. I remember asking him that if he had to tow my car to say my cheap mechanic who lives rural about 20 miles away, I think he said he'd do it at that time for about $20. I bet you can rent those tow caddies at one of the van rental outfits. But I woud be too nervous towing anything myself, as it has been many years since I towed anything. I'd be too much on edge I think. Imagine a cop pulling you over saying something like, "I think that is you who just lost your vehicle back there which is now upside down in the ditch."
 
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Old 10-04-09, 12:12 PM
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Unclediezel got me going, and i have my car back!! Thanks to him, the Dodge expert.

Now all I have to do is hone in on what is actually wrong so I don't have to keep popping the hood and jump-wiring it. But what a great car to be able to have some jack right near the battery that that is all you have to do, like in an emergency like I have. At least it is not the hard to access starter/solenoid. It is something else.
 
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Old 10-04-09, 01:05 PM
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Is your starter relay a small black cube, or the Metal "Sardine Can Style"?

In either case......(Hey memory...you still with me.)

Brown goes to the starter solenoid....yellow is 12+ from the key,(Double check the fuse marked ST SOL..Or START) Red is 12+ from battery...(It May possibly be "FUSED") and the remaining wire....(Im thinking Lt Green) is Grounded thru the P/N switch in "P" and "N"....

The fuse 11 you refer to is likely Reverse lamps...Which by the way....Go make sure they work with the ignition on and trans in reverse before proceeding any further.

23 ohms is continuity as far as I think......But it still could be a problem....Youre testing an "Unloaded" circuit, so accurate result in real time is not really possible.

Just a rough guess...starter RELAY has gone on vacation...
 
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Old 10-04-09, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Is your starter relay a small black cube, or the Metal "Sardine Can Style"?

In either case......(Hey memory...you still with me.)

Brown goes to the starter solenoid....yellow is 12+ from the key,(Double check the fuse marked ST SOL..Or START) Red is 12+ from battery...(It May possibly be "FUSED") and the remaining wire....(Im thinking Lt Green) is Grounded thru the P/N switch in "P" and "N"....

The fuse 11 you refer to is likely Reverse lamps...Which by the way....Go make sure they work with the ignition on and trans in reverse before proceeding any further.

23 ohms is continuity as far as I think......But it still could be a problem....Youre testing an "Unloaded" circuit, so accurate result in real time is not really possible.

Just a rough guess...starter RELAY has gone on vacation...

The relay is different than my 91, oddly enough. The 91 had a cuby all plastic relay, and this one is more rectangular plastic with a metal top. It utilizes 4 terminals as you know: It has a fat 12ga. black wire, a somewhat thinner 14ga. gauge brown, and 2 thin brown w/blue stripes(in same terminal), and a thin yellow wire.

I will try the backup light test.

A fuse with writing that says start or solenoid or abbreviations to the such? Where is that? I only know of numbered fuses above my left knee.

Relay you are thinking, eh? Well, even if the ohms across the built in resistor coil? inside the solenoid check came up the same number as new one, maybe that doies not prove that any other contacts are being made? But I would have thought that if the ohms of resistance was the same, that then I'd at least get a click when the current goes through the good 23 ohms resistor and tries to sanp shut the contact. Maybe the actuating mechanism (magnet) has gotten stuck or ?

There maybe is a way of testing across a combination of those relay wires to determine if it is bad, right?


Is the yellow ignition wire to or from the ignition?, and to or from the ON or from the Start position?
 
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Old 10-04-09, 03:12 PM
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Ec: On cheap towing, the really low rate guys are usually not insured and many do not even have business licenses. Nowadays you can spend more renting a tow dolly than a tow by a reputable tow_guy. Also tow dollies are best for vehicles that actually run so they can be driven up the little ramps into the dolly wells. One of my more intersting jobs was undoing a tow dolly oops where the guy got the vehicle up on the dolly and then decided to move ahead a ways (without strapping down). When he hit the brakes too hard the vehicle went out of the dolly wells and ended up with the front wheels dangling in mid air and the car resting with the chassis on the tow dolly.
 
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Old 10-05-09, 03:54 PM
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I fixed my car!!!

Interesting story, TG. Yes, in all avenues of life, there are those who do things the cheap way, and sometimes it comes back to bite someone. And whenever you use uninsured people, I guess that means you are talking a gamble.

This will be of special interest to Unclediezel:

I have my old '91 stored in a nearby garage. I did comparative ohms test to both of the P/N safety switches. My 90 was 23 and the stored 91 was 5.5. So I swapped them out. No fix.

So then I concentrated on the yellow wire that Haynes manual says goes between ignition switch and starter relay. Since I learned late last night at the garage that when I turn the stored 91 to START, the yellow wire gets energized at the starter relay. But not so on my 90! Ah HAAAAA. So now that eliminated the starter relay as the culprit. So then I ohms tested the complete yellow wire between ignition switch jack (after I removed parts to get at it) and starter relay = 100% continuity for both vehicles. Meaning - the ignition switch was likely bad.

So I swapped them out. Yehhhhhhhhh!

BTW, the ignition switch on those 2 cars is not down the steering column with actuator rod. No. This is all right there at the key. I changed out the whole thing. Now I have different key -one for the trunk and doors, and one for the ignition now. Small price to pay for this free job. I would have hate to seen the bill from some garage, including their trying to find out what the cause was without putting in a new relay and P/N safety switch, and give me the song and dance that when the ignition switch went out, it wrecked those also. I've heard that type story before.
 
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