Bench test starter

I am trying to resurrect a S1 and need to bench test the starter before I clean it and so forth and find the manual unclear. Which terminals do I wire to?

My guess…

1 thick battery +
2 nothing
3 nothing
4 small jump wire from battery +

and battery -ve grounds somewhere on the case of the starter motor

Do I have this right?


Connect battery to #3, this way you check the connections on the big cable terminals, the rest you have correct.

To test solenoid and starter, hook +ve to the topmost–wrt the starter housing–terminal, -nd to the starter case, jump +ve to the small terminal on the solenoid.

Hang on tight: they have a fearsome reaction torque!

I have a curb (kerb) in my garage and usually put the starter against it then use my foot to hold it down before applying power.

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So terminal 2 is isolated from the case itself. When the connection goes hot at terminal 4, it activates the solenoid through the thin black wire. The solenoid engages the lever and passes current to Terminal 2 which turns the motor.

I’m guessing it is wired on the bridge attached to the motor to give easier access to the wiring when it is installed. But no current goes directly from this bridge to the motor itself.


I just took my starter apart earlier this evening.

Since you find the manual unclear, here some alternate pages of overhaul instructions from Chilton’s Repair Guide. These are not from the Jaguar manual, still you might find something interesting in regard to bench testing before dismantle.

My starter is a mess! Needs cleaning. So far I’ve checked the bushes which are still well in spec.

Kind regards,


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