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Engine – Starter Relay Tricks

Tony from our Sales Dept. would struggle every day after work in order to get his Toyota running, no cranking or nothing. After replacing his battery, starter, and a bunch of miscellaneous parts, he kept on researching about people having the same issue with their 22RE pickup trucks. Sure enough, he found a write up about someone who had a similar problem and found a way to fix it using inexpensive universal parts, available at almost every part store.

What you will need:

  • 30 amp Relay (a starter relay for a 1978 Bronco would do) Tony used P/N: SS 581
  • 8gauge wire with fuel/oil resistant insulation
  • (3) 8gauge ring terminals
  • 14gauge wire with fuel/oil resistant insulation
  • Spade Terminals
  • Dielectric Grease
  • Heat Shrink
  • Starter Connector on a crank wire from junkyard

NOTE: Always disconnect your battery before doing electrical work.


  1. Mount the terminal on your fender, near the battery. Remove the paint and dirt off the fender where you will mount your new relay, the main reason is that this particular Relay grounds itself through the mounting bracket attached to the fender (run an extra ground wire if you can't get a clean connection through the mounting bracket). (Number 4 on the diagram below).
  2. Utilize the 14ga wire and add a male spade connector on one side and a ring terminal on the other. Connect the ring terminal on the relay, and plug the spade terminal into your factory crank wire connector (the black wire that leaves your harness under the intake plenum and used to terminate on the starter). This wire can be as short as you like, as long as the crank wire can reach it. (Number 2 on the diagram below).
  3. Run an 8ga wire from the battery to the new relay. We recommend putting a fuse in this circuit. (Number 1 on the diagram below).
  4. Run another 8ga wire from the relay to the starter, and here is where you use the crank wire connector you got at the junkyard - splice it to the end of the 8ga wire (Kevin recommends making this wire very long and wrap all the extra wire around the relay, that way if you ever need to bypass your ignition and/or this new starter relay, you can disconnect this extra long wire from the relay and terminate it directly on the positive battery terminal). (Number 3 on the diagram below).

That is it, you're done. What did you do? You bypassed the worn out wiring for your ignition (and in your factory starter relay, if you have one, some early 22RE's don't) Now when you turn the key, you only need a very weak signal through the ignition to trigger the new starter relay, and the relay gives a nice fresh strong 12 volts to your starter. Even if you've got worn down contacts in an old starter, that clean 12v should be enough to fire you up every time without fail.

Just so you know, you don't need to source that extra starter connector if you don't want to. You can always cut the one you've got off the harness and wire your crank wire straight to the relay. The advantage of doing it the way we just explained to you, is that your factory harness is intact, and you can always bypass your extra relay wiring and go straight back to the factory setup without even getting any tools out. The advantage of not doing it this way is you save yourself a trip to the junkyard and several hours digging for a 22RE harness that hasn't already been torn to shreds by previous customers.