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Discussion Starter #1
I am very new to this forum so be kind! We have a 1998 Outback Legacy 2.5 that we are working on and we need help locating the ignition relay switch. The "Big Boss" is out in New York and left us "newbies" with this project/problem to fix. The starter is new and we have replaced the ignition cylinder and key. The owner of the car jumped it with the jumper cables on backwards! UGH! We have the steering column pulled apart.

Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Exactly what problem/symptom are you dealing with (details)?

Reversing jumper cables often leads to multiple fuses and links blowing, as well as damaging the battery. The alternator, and most electronics are often protected against reversals, either by their own circuitry or the fuses. Have you checked the electrical continuity (not visually) of all the fuses, SFB's and link(s) in the engine compartment and dashboard fuse panels?
 

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We have checked everything you mentioned. We used a jumper wire to strike the starter selinoid and the car starts. Any more ideas? Battery was bad, starter was bad, fusable link blown, all other fuses tested on meter. All parts replaced with new.
 

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to the right are new brushes.
to the left are a bad brushes that were the reason for this trouble in a starter my father it his Nissan.
 

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By the way, a starter relay will not work without brushes. this is the case if you will check a starter relay separately.
 

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Is the car automatic or manual transmission, and, does the car have keyless entry and/or the security system? These can affect the starting circuit. See attached wiring diagram from 1999, but the 98 should be similar, if not exactly the same.

There's a single wire push-on connector at the starter solenoid. This should normally have 12 V on it when the key is turned to Start. The inhibitor switch, interrupt relay, starter interlock relay and clutch switch (depending on what the car has) can prevent the 12 V from getting to the solenoid, thereby not engaging the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you, plain OM. The car we are working on is a manual and does not have a keyless entry or a security system. Can you tell me exactly where the starter relay switch is located? We have gotten a few different locations told to us and don't want to rip the dash apart unless we know what we are looking for and where to look. Is it a brown square thing? Our best guess is that it is located behind the driver side air vent way up under the dash. Is that right? We have not been able to find a picture of the starter relay switch yet. Thanks for the wiring diagram too.
 

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Yes, it seems to be up under the dashboard on the driver side. See attached -- B105 is the bulkhead harness connector that the relay is connected to. According to the wiring diagram posted earlier, B105 is green, (see the bottom of the sheet). That's the connector color, not the relay, but perhaps that might help identify it.
 

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similar problems

i am having a very similar issue with my 2000 automatic trans forester. After the first deep freeze of the season it just wouldn't turn over. Battery proved to be bad so we replaced that but didn't solve the issue. When connected all electrical powers up but ignition is turned there is nothing (no click no lights dimming). Pulled the starter and had it tested at advanced auto and they believe it checks out. I was told it might be the starter relay. I'm no mechanic but after digging around it seems the relay is located in the fuse box under the hood? if so, it is showing conductivity with my meter reader.

what else should i be chasing down?

thanks in advance!
 

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My son has a 99 outback wagon that is having some starting issues as well. Sometimes it starts and other time it doesn't. I'm think brushes as they are probably OEM, thoughts? Thanks in advance
 
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