After years of service, your Chrysler mini-starter finally stops working. Instead of buyin
By now, most of us have realized that the Chrysler mini-starter is a great replacement for the large, heavy gear-reduction starter our Mopars came with. In addition to having more starting torque and using less battery energy, the mini-starter is lightweight, readily available from the local parts warehouse (just ask for a starter for an early '90s V-8 Dakota or Ram), and fits both big- and small-block applications. Also, since the mini-starter is much smaller than the older style starters, it fits great in tight applications and usually isn't captured by the headers or exhaust so it's easy to remove if there's a problem. In fact, the only issue we have with the mini-starter is that it costs more than the older style starter if it wears out and needs to be replaced. Luckily, we've discovered a cheap and easy fix that will usually make your inoperative mini-starter work like new.
A car's starter is basically an electric motor and has all the basic parts common to electric motors. In addition to the armature and brushes common to electric motors, the Chrysler mini-starter has an electric relay (or solenoid) attached to it. This relay is activated by a low-amperage electrical current from the ignition switch, which then completes the high-amperage circuit from the battery to the starter motor. This starter is reliable and lasts a long time, but like anything mechanical, it will eventually break or wear out. Unlike older starters that may drag or turn slowly when the brushes start to wear, the mini-starter usually fails by just going click, click when you turn the key. The reason is not the starter itself, but the relay. Inside the relay are electrical contacts that must engage to complete the high-amperage circuit between the battery and starter motor. When these contacts become worn, they fail to make the electrical connection, and the starter motor won't turn. Fortunately, the contacts are cheap and easy to replace.
Follow along and we'll show you how to fix the starter yourself instead of purchasing a costly replacement.
To replace the contacts in the mini-starter, start by removing the three screws holding th
You'll need to remove the two nuts holding the terminal posts to the relay. One of these i
With the relay disassembled, remove the actual contacts. Don't discard these as you might