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mjames

6 volt starter relay

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i have a 52 chrysler windsor and am having a problem finding a starter relay for it. There are 2 on ebay,but both are over 300. Being on a very fixed budget my question is this. Is there something that will work till i find a correct one in my budget. After searching the net the only thing that keeps showing up are relays for old ford tractors. I have 4 posts on the original one,a main terminal for battery and starter, a small terminal for the solenoid on the starter, a small terminal for the voltage regulator,and a small terminal for ignition.

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If you don't mind one that may have a somewhat different physical appearance, Cole-Hersee (the same outfit that makes the battery cut-off switches) has MANY such solenoids in many configurations. Check their website.

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Try your local NAPA store. It may take a day or 2 to get one in but they can order them. Price should be under $20.

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My 1962 NAPA catalog does not list a starter relay for a 1952 Chrysler, though it does list their ST-62 for 1946-1955 Dodge, Plymouth & Fargo. Identified as 6-volt, grounded base, 3-terminal.

Is you relay starter-mounted or inner fender-mounted?

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)

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If the relay in question is actually mounted down on top of the starter-motor, there are no substitutes.

Dodge and Plymouth sixes, that used a Bendix "folo-thru" drive ( like a flathead- Ford), used a magnetic switch on the fender apron. ( This is the unit Owen Dyneto described.)

The upscale Chrysler & De Sotos used a pinion-shifting relay and solenoid combo, similar to those found on small-block Chevy from 1955 through 198? .

There is a bit of good news... if the magnetic windings in the solenoid itself are not fried, the relay part can usually be re-built. Do you have an old-time starter-generator repair shop in your area ?

If this unit has a kind of a rectangular box looking tin cover with four terminal posts , two big ones down bottom, and two small ones at the top, one of the small terminals is the "hot terminal" from the ignition switch ("start"), the other small terminal connects to the Generator "Field Terminal" either up on the voltage regulator or on the generator itself. The idea is that when the engine is not running, there is no field current, and when you turn the key to start (or push the button on pre-'49 Chryslers), the solenoid circuit completes to ground through the generator field. When the engine starts, and the generator begins charging, the solenoid circuit for the starter no longer has a path to ground, and if the key is accidentally turned to "start" or the button gets pushed, the starter cannot operate and get damaged.

NOW, what frequently happens when these cars sit for long periods of time, is the copper commutator bars in the generator oxidize, and there is no longer a good ground path for the starter circuit, so it seems for all the world that your starter relay / solenoid is bad, when the issue is actually with the generator circuit.

A simple test is to remove the wire from the generator field terminal on the STARTER relay, and connect a jumper wire from that terminal to a good ground ( like the battery positive terminal ), then try the key- switch - I'd bet a hot Krispy-Kreme donut with coffee that your starter relay & solenoid now operates....

Also bear in mind ( if this is your first pre-1956 MoPar) that the car is positive-ground: the negative terminal of the battery connects to the starter relay, the positive terminal connects to the engine block ( usually via one of the generator bracket bolts).

Good luck !

De Soto Frank

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The wiring on the Buick gas pedal actuated starter allows the relay that activates the starter solenoid to obtain ground potential from the ARM (armature) terminal of the generator, not the field terminal. Once the engine starts, of course, the ARM is no longer at ground potential but is at roughly 7 volts so the relay coil cannot close the points and activate the starter solenoid. Some voltage regulators had a terminal that was at ground when the engine was not running but then opened when the engine started. I could not find a wiring diagram in any of my manuals for the 1952 Chrysler.

Good luck and I hope you can get it repaired.

Joe, BCA 33493

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Thank you all. Frank this is my first pre-56 mopar, but luckily i have a motors manual (from my father) and a chrysler shop manual, so i got the wiring down correctly. I tried doing like you suggested with removing the field terminal and jumping it, but no luck.

My starter relay is located on the drivers side fender well and has 1 large post for the battery and according to the book the ammeter and battery terminal on the horn relay, it has 3 smaller posts one is marked for ignition, one is marked for armature going to the armature post on the voltage regulator, and one is marked for solenoid.

I have replaced the voltage regulator and the horn relay,also all wiring has been replaced.

I do have a question about the generator though, would the larger of the 2 terminals be the field or armature. There is no marking,i have a 12 volt generator that atleast has an F to mark the field terminal, but my 6 volt has nothing. One terminal is larger than the other.

I had went to Napa to pick up a starter relay, but after looking at it i never got it. It was 6 volt but it had 2 large terminals, and 2 small. The kid at the store said that 1 large terminal was for the battery, the other large one was to go down to the solenoid, and he said that one small terminal was for the ignition and the other was marked for acc.,which he said i could hook anything left up to such as my voltage regulator.

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Thank you all. Frank this is my first pre-56 mopar, but luckily i have a motors manual (from my father) and a chrysler shop manual, so i got the wiring down correctly. I tried doing like you suggested with removing the field terminal and jumping it, but no luck.

My starter relay is located on the drivers side fender well and has 1 large post for the battery and according to the book the ammeter and battery terminal on the horn relay, it has 3 smaller posts one is marked for ignition, one is marked for armature going to the armature post on the voltage regulator, and one is marked for solenoid.

I have replaced the voltage regulator and the horn relay,also all wiring has been replaced.

I do have a question about the generator though, would the larger of the 2 terminals be the field or armature. There is no marking,i have a 12 volt generator that atleast has an F to mark the field terminal, but my 6 volt has nothing. One terminal is larger than the other.

I had went to Napa to pick up a starter relay, but after looking at it i never got it. It was 6 volt but it had 2 large terminals, and 2 small. The kid at the store said that 1 large terminal was for the battery, the other large one was to go down to the solenoid, and he said that one small terminal was for the ignition and the other was marked for acc.,which he said i could hook anything left up to such as my voltage regulator.

Mjames,

Can you post a picture of the device on the fender well ? And the starter too...

I think what you're referring to is the circuit-breaker for the semi-automatic transmission... the transmission has a solenoid on it too, which would account for the "solenoid" terminal on your fender-mounted device.

At the very least, does your starter-motor have no solenoid or other device mounted on it, with one large terminals stud near the front end ?

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Here we go....excuse the messiness, i am still putting things back together. I have followed the wiring schematic from the Chrysler manual and it shows the solenoid wire going from the solenoid on the starter to the terminal on the relay.

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Okay, I found some pictures via Google Images; not exactly what I was hoping for , but maybe enough to clarify things.

The first device is from an e-bay listing, calling this a "starter solenoid". This is incorrect. It is the circuit breaker and relay for the semi-automatic transmission. ( The single large post is for a terminal lug in the middle of the battery cable that runs from the Battery Negative ("hot") Terminal down to the starter solenoid. )

The second device is a starter solenoid for a '46-'48 Chrysler six / De Soto, but should be similar to those used through 1954. It mounts on top of the starter motor.

The third device is the transmission solenoid for the semi-automatic, and is controlled in part by the fender-well device in the first pic.

Suggest you read in the Chrysler shop manual about the "Prestomatic Fluid Drive" transmission, and familiarize yourself with some of the controls & wiring, and how they tie-into the engine, so that you can identify those components, and not be confused by them. Chrysler stopped using this semi-automatic after the 1953 Season, so modern mechanics will probably not be familiar with this system and its components.

Let me know if this makes things any clearer...

Frank

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Here we go....excuse the messiness, i am still putting things back together. I have followed the wiring schematic from the Chrysler manual and it shows the solenoid wire going from the solenoid on the starter to the terminal on the relay.

Very nice pics - Thank you !

Looks like you have a nice new wiring harness there, which is a big help !

Okay, your pic on the left of the starter shows the starter motor with the solenoid on top. This was apparently revised from the '41-'48 version that I posted a pic of. It appears to have three terminals - two heavy ones for big power to the starter-motor itself, and one small terminal that goes to the ignition switch and gets "hot" power when the key is turned to "start".

The pic on the right is really not a starter control at all. The large terminal stud is simply that, a terminal point for "big" power (heavy amps) for the vehicle. The three terminals above it are related to the semi-automatic tranny.

You can check the operation of your starter / solenoid by "shorting" the outer heavy terminal to the little terminal above it with a screw-driver - the relay should close and the starter should operate. If not, there is a problem within the starter / solenoid itself. You could then try shorting across the two big terminals with a screw-driver: the starter motor should spin ( but won't engage with the flywheel).

Suggest putting the top back on the oil-filter before you go spinning the engine over....

Frank

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Thank you for clarifying things for me Frank. That is the only way to start the car right now, is to turn the ignition key to on,and using the screwdriver to go from the big contact to the one directly above it like you suggested.(a trick my dad showed me):)

I just want to be able to use the key to start my car:(

I already learned the hard way to make sure to put the top back on and the correct way, of which i was left a nice mess to clean up.

Edited by mjames (see edit history)

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Sorry about your "hard-learned" lesson regarding the oil-filter.... it's happened to me too !

Sounds like your problem is either in the key-switch or the wiring to the solenoid...

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I thought about the key switch, but ruled that out because when the key is turned i can hear a click at the relay on the fender,which i am assuming that the power is getting that far but not making it from that point down to the solenoid.

Is there a way of checking the key switch such as "hot wiring" so i can eliminate that as the problem?

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Without a copy of the wiring diagram in front of me, I suspect the relay on the fender that makes a clicking noise when the key is turned to "start" position is the "starter solenoid relay". This is probably a small relay that sends current to the solenoid on top of the starter to activate the starter. Please send me a PM or email with the wiring diagram.

Joe, BCA 33493.

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The click on the fender-well is the relay for the Fluid Drive ( solenoid is energized when vehicle is standing-still / moving slower than 7-10 MPH. ).

As for checking the switch / starter solenoid wire, it will probably be easier to remove the starter-switch from the dash, so that you have easier access to the wiring. Your Chrysler manual should have info on that.

The Chrysler manual should also have a wiring diagram, so hopefully you can do a trace based on the wiring diagram / harness...

At any rate, if you determine which wire at the switch end is connected to the small terminal on the starter solenoid, if you do a jumper from the battery "hot" at the switch to the solenoid wire, then the starter should operate.

If the starter operates when you jumper across the switch, that suggests that the starter and wiring are okay, and that the problem is in the key-switch... you should be able to test this with a continuity tester, ohm-meter, etc.

For temporary purposes, you could use a two-terminal push-button ( often available in the "Help" aisle of your local auto-store), to supply battery "hot" to the solenoid wire from the ignition switch.

Do take some time to read about the semi-auto transmission, and how its electrical controls are integrated with the rest of the car...

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Thank you Frank, i will give that a try. My dash is out of the car right now so all wires are accessible( i am checking any and all wires for breaks, or bare wires).

I have read many posts on this site for the Fluid Matic trans and also in my manual, i will continue to read up to gain knowledge.

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I like Frank's idea about checking the key switch. It appears from his discussion that Chrysler did not use a separate relay to activate the starter solenoid. So in this case, the igntion switch "start" position sends current directly to the starter solenoid to activate the starter. So it is wiring, switch or the solenoid that is the culprit.

Joe, BCA 33493

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I just checked the wiring diagram for a 1952 Chrysler in my Canadian Service Data Book for 1953 and it does not show a starter relay. To double check I looked it up in the 1949-51 DeSoto Shop Manual and it does not show a starter relay for the 51 although it does for earlier models.. I even went out to the garage and looked under the hood of my 51 DeSoto, twin brother to the Chrysler Windsor, and it does not have a starter relay.

All the information I have indicates that the starter works by a wire from the key switch. This energises the solenoid on the starter which makes the starter go.

There are other wires off the starter which supply power to other things including the horn relay. If you want everything correct you will need a wiring diagram.

But you will not need a starter relay.

My diagram shows 4 wires connected to the starter solenoid. A big fat wire that comes from the battery. A small wire that comes from the key switch to its own terminal on the solenoid. And on the big fat wire, 2 smaller wires are added to feed the ammeter and the horn relay. That's it.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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From MJAMES photos of his starter, the solenoid is very similar in design, appearance, and function to those used on Chevy sixes from 1949 through the late 1960's.

The earlier ('46-'50) Chrysler starters had four a four-terminal relay on the front of the solenoid, with three wires: one small one from the key-switch or push-button, another small one to the generator field, and one large one from the battery "hot " (Negative) terminal. The other "big" terminal connected to the starter windings via an L-shaped copper strap.

I made the mistake of taking the starter relay from my '48 New Yorker apart once... I had the devil of a time getting the stack of insulating washers back together in the correct sequence !

Frank

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Frank and Rusty, this is the diagram from the manual for c-51, and the diagram for the trans and carb that i had when i replaced those. Not sure if this helps at all. But i thought it might clarify things.

Thank you.

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MJAMES,

Thanks for posting those diagrams... they do shed better light on your situation.

The fender-well device that I have been insisting is a relay / circuit breaker for the Semi-automatic transmission, appears to actually be a "starter relay", but perhaps not in the sense most would regard it: the way it is wired (through the armature circuit of the generator / regulator), it functions to prevent operation of the starter when the engine is already running (generator charging).

The large stud on the "starter relay" is merely a terminal point.

Once you get your engine started and running, does the generator function ?

If not, this could be the stumbling block that is preventing the key-starter from functioning.

Verify that the key switch is getting "hot" power to the "ST" terminal of the key-switch when you turn it all the way to "Start", and that the Yellow/Black wire from the key-switch to the relay has continuity, and that it is connected to the correct terminal of the relay.

Verify that the wires from the relay to the Regulator "A" terminal and from the relay to the Starter Solenoid small terminal have continuity and are connected properly.

If all the above is good and correct, and the key switch still does not work, try connecting a ground-jumper from the Armature terminal of the Regulator to a good clean ground, remove the high-tension coil wire from the distributor ( to prevent the engine from firing), and try the key-switch. If the starter now works from the key, there's something preventing the relay from grounding through the generator (confused or broken wiring, oxidized commutator, oily, burned, or missing brushes in the generator...).

Let us know how you are makingout with it !

Frank

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According to that diagram a Chrysler has a relay. Yet by all the info I can find it doesn't. That is rather strange.

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