Car starter

Tiny
MELIKIEFIRE69
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 DODGE SPIRIT
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
Where is my starter located
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Monday, December 6th, 2010 AT 10:05 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Under the hood. Hahahaha. Ok. Sorry, couldn't help myself!

It's right in front but you'll have to crawl on the ground to get to it. If it's the little silver Nippendenso unit, it is real common for them to develop worn solenoid contacts. They can be replaced for 20 bucks but most people just replace the whole starter. The symptom is one single kind of loud clunk each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank", but it doesn't spin the engine. It WILL crank it if you cycle the switch enough times.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, December 6th, 2010 AT 10:56 PM
Tiny
MELIKIEFIRE69
  • MEMBER
Okay im 16 years old and very independent. I told my dad I wanted to fix it by myself. Like I do with everything. Ive worked on so many things on so many cars and if theres one thing you should know its that I know alot about cars. Just never dealt with a dodge spirit so could you please help me out more with the exact position of the starter? And what does the starter look like? Because I really need to fix this asap. Please and thank you.
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 4:22 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Copy and paste this link to see a picture of the starter. It's not the best, but it will give you an idea of what to look for:

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/search/Starter/01920/C0330.oap?forcedVehicle=true&year=1992&make=Dodge&model=Spirit&vi=1098356

It sits right in front of the oil pan where the engine block connects to the transmission. It's just to the right of the oil filter. There will be a large red battery cable and a smaller brown solenoid wire attached to it. There's actually two different starters available. The Bosch starter has a round solenoid bolted to the starter motor and is held onto the transmission with three bolts. Those give almost no problems at all. I had that on my '88 Grand Caravan and replaced it with the more common silver Nippendenso starter. Those only use two mounting bolts. It has a large locating peg in the third hole and will bolt right up. The solenoid is built into the unit, and while the motor and gear reduction assembly hardly ever goes bad, the solenoid contacts cause a lot of trouble.

Here's a better picture:

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/subcategory_Starters_-49997340_-49997327_10151_10051_-1___

Look at the two lower photos. The bottom one shows the gold colored five-sided cover to remove to see the solenoid contacts. There is a plunger with a shaft and spring to pull out. That plunger has the contact washer that turns on the motor after the drive gear engages. It usually doesn't have to be replaced. You'll see the two copper contacts and the area that is burned away on each of them. That's what causes the common no-crank problem.

Here's a link to see what they look like:

http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/densoparts.html

Look at the two top rows. Every starter will use the top left one for the "battery" terminal. You will have one of the other three for the second one. There is no way to tell until you take it apart and look inside. All three are the same except the top right one is symmetrical and the two in the second row are offset one way or the other. Once the starter is off, replacing these contacts only takes a half hour or less.

caradiodoc
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 5:54 AM
Tiny
MELIKIEFIRE69
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much I hope it works I wont know until around 3 today but ill let you know when I try. Can I take the starter off from the top or undernearth the car? And if underneath ill have to jack it up correct?
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 2:21 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
It comes out very easily from underneath, but getting to it without jacking it up depends on how big you are. I can squeak under my old minivan just fine but the cars sit lower. If you do jack it up more than a few inches, please use jack stands for safety. Disconnect the negative battery cable before wrenching on the cables on the starter.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
MELIKIEFIRE69
  • MEMBER
Thanks for all your help I dont know how to rate you cause this was my first question but good job!
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 9:21 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Thanks for the kind words. I came across this site that will help anyone replacing the solenoid contacts. Look at this page if that's what you're doing:

http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/Nippondenso.html

caradiodoc
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 9:41 PM
Tiny
MELIKIEFIRE69
  • MEMBER
Would it be possible for you to answer a question I have about a different car right here? Or would I have to post another question?
Thanks
nate
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 10:53 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I can try. Give it a shot.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 6:05 PM

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