There is, in fact, no starter relay on 3.8s '94 and up. On these cars the batt + wire is connected directly to the starter and is always hot ( not so on the earlier models as the relay breaks this connection). My problem turned out to be a poor ground between the starter and it's connections points on the bell housing. Simply loosening and tightening the starter bolts cured the problem. Thanks to those of you who provided info.
On the other hand, I am pretty disappointed with the response on this site. I have only been a member for about a year but have monitored the site for many years and< I must say, the quantity and quality of technical info is piss poor at this time. Where are all the old timers who could answer this simple question with hardly a thought?