help can't find starter relay on my '95 3.8 - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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help can't find starter relay on my '95 3.8

I can't find the starter relay on my '95 auto 3.8. I have a '92 SC 5sp also and the relay is right there next to the fuse box behind the batt. Did the relay get deleted in newer 3.8s? Problem is that the car won't turn over and I just replaced the starter a couple of months ago when I did head gaskets. Is there some other common starting problem? Battery is good. Dash lights come on and all accessories work when key is in on position so can't be fuse (am I wrong?)
do AT shifter position switches fail often? Appreciate any help.

Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 02:47 PM
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IIRC its on the starter. check your battery connections

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Does this mean that I can't swap the starter from my 1992 SC? How about the starter from my 4.6?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 03:56 PM
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do the bolt holes line up? i know nothing about either of those

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now has 55k

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W - Part-out soon
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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According to Advance auto the starters are the same part. I know that the solenoid is located on the starter but there was also a separate relay on the older 3.8 tbirds located where I indicated. The '95 doesn't have it in that location. Seems to me that it must be somewhere else since it's not likely that they canned it.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 08:02 PM
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No you can't use a 4.6L starter.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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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?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 01:14 PM
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No, there is a starter relay on 94+ 3.8L engines. It's on the starter itself. There has to be a relay because the ignition switch couldn't handle all that current passing through it.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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There are two wires on the starter. One is the large Batt+ cable which is always hot and the other is about a 10 guage wire from the ignition switch that actuates the solenoid. The older model cars use the same starter, however, there was an additional relay that switched both of these wires. This relay was located on the inner driver side fender well right near the fuse box. Only consequence of deleting this relay is now the batt+ cable is always hot at the starter wheresa in the past it wasn't. Other consequence is that you could turn the starter over by shorting the relay terminals. Now you have to crawl under the car to do it.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 12:15 PM
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That "thing" that the + battery cable connects to on the start IS the relay. There still isn't power to the starter all the time, only to the relay. Nothing has changed, just the location of the relay. And instead of there being a long positive battery cable running from the relay to the starter, there is a short cable connecting straight from the relay to the starter.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, there is a "relay" built into the starter that is activated by the solenoid. The point that I was making is that the same starter is used in all years of the car meaning that there is no extra relay in newer starters versus older starters. Earlier cars had an "extra" relay in the circuit that switched the large batt+cable. Later cars don't have this relay. Result is that newer cars have +12V at the starter connector, older cars don't.

The answer to my original question is: "yes Ford deleted the separate relay from the starter circuit."
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 01:52 PM
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so you know the answer to the question you asked, and then tell us that our responses aren't good enough..... thanks guy!!

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now has 55k

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W - Part-out soon
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Yea whats the point of comming just to be a crabby butt about it.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses. I didn't know the answer when I asked the question. My 92 SC is here at home and the 95 3.8 auto is at my son's college three-and-a-half hours away. I found the answer by driving there and changing the starter in the street! I was looking for info to make the job easier or possibly to avoid the whole ordeal.

Thanks again, but, no one answered the question. Some people offered info. that I didn't ask for and some argued with the results that I learned by working on and under the car on a busy street. So I might have been a little argumentative. SORRY!!!!!!!!

BTW '89 - '93 3.8s DO have an extra Ignition Interrupt Relay that '94 - '97 don't have and they ALL use the same starter. Hopefully this will help someone else.
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