How to Wire a Chevy Starterby Don Bowman
A Chevy starter requires a lot of amperage, which in turn requires a large 4-gauge wire from the battery to the starter solenoid. The solenoid acts like a switch, opening and closing the high amperage circuit to the starter. The ignition key supplies the power to actuate a relay, which in turn actuates the solenoid.
Disconnect the battery terminals, using a wrench. Mount the starter relay. The relay should be mounted in the fuse relay box or close to the fuse relay box. If it fits in the box, the wires can be inserted through the back. If it does not fit, then it should be mounted on the fender well as close to the battery as possible.
Connect the inline fuse to the battery positive terminal by using the 14-gauge wire and installing a yellow circular post connector on the end of the wire. Crimp it with the crimping tool. Install this terminal under the bolt on the positive terminal. Unroll the wire and run it to the starter relay. Conceal the wire wherever possible up to the relay. Install a yellow female spade terminal on the end of the wire, then crimp it. Plug this wire into the "battery+" terminal on the relay.
Run another piece of 14-gauge wire from the relay to the starter solenoid. Crimp a yellow spade terminal on the relay end of the wire and install it on the "S" terminal on the relay. Install the appropriate wire terminal on the solenoid end and install it on the small "I" terminal on the solenoid.
Run another piece of wire from the "G," or ground, terminal on the relay to a good ground on the body. Use a yellow spade terminal for the relay and a yellow post terminal on the ground end of the wire.
Install the starter wire from the ignition switch to the "I" terminal on the relay, which is the last remaining open terminal. To identify the starter wire on the ignition switch, just look for the "S" terminal. This terminal is only hot when the key is in the start position. Use a yellow butt connector to splice into the starter wire. The starter wire is usually yellow. If there is no yellow wire, look at the back of the switch for the "S." Use a yellow female spade to install the wire into the last terminal on the relay.
Install the positive battery cable, post end first, to the large terminal on the starter solenoid. Install the opposite end with the battery terminal on the battery. Install the negative cable last.
Things You'll Need
- 30 amp inline fuse
- 4-leg, 30-amp relay with mounting bracket
- 4-gauge starter cable wire
- Roll of 14-gauge wire
- Box of assorted wire terminal connectors
- Wire crimping tool
- Set of wrenches
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).