At 05:51 PM 9/2/01, you wrote:
>Ok, so the fun begins...
>I recently purchased an '82S 118k with A/T.  Apparently there was a problem with the ignition circuit wherein a relay wasn't signaling that the transmission was in neutral or park, so the starter wouldn't engage. The current "fix" was for the PO to put a jumper with a switch in the place of something in the fuse box, and when I want the starter to engage, I turn the key, and then flip the switch.  My girlfriend is already afraid of the car, and I'm pretty sure that as soon as I try to explain to my her how to start the car, she will run away screaming, and never ever attempt to drive it.  With that in mind, I would like to fix the real problem.  I believe the PO mentioned that he replaced a relay at the transmission, but that apparently there is another one near the shifter.  Is this true, and can someone give me a clue as to how involved a repair this is?

OK - Something has been lost in translation here somewhere.

On automatic-transmission cars the starter solenoid (heavy-duty switch that  actually operates the starter) is triggered by output from Relay XIV, the starter relay. This relay has four contacts for two circuits:

terminal 86, which gets 12 vdc applied when you hit the starter switch;
terminal 85, which goes to a neutral safety switch on the transmission, and is grounded when the transmission is in neutral or park.

terminal 30, which should always have 12 vdc on it;
terminal 87, which triggers the starter solenoid over the small yellow wire  when it gets 12 vdc applied to it (the relay contacts are between these terminals);

The operation should be:
You always have power on terminal 30.
You get power on terminal 86 when you hit the starter switch. If terminal 85 is grounded thru the safety start switch, the relay operates. When the relay operates, the contacts between 30 and 87 close, and the starter solenoid is triggered, operating the starter.

Your problem could be:
Missing or bad starter relay.
Bad or misadjusted safety start switch.
Bad connection or wire somewhere.

To test:
Remove the jumper from the relay socket.
Check for 12 vdc at terminal 30. It should be there.
Check for 12 vdc on terminal  85 when you hit the starter switch.  It should be there - if not, you may have a bad ignition switch.
Check for ground on terminal 86 with the transmission in neutral and park, but no other time. If you have that, install a new starter relay. If you don't, check the safety start switch on the side of the transmission, and adjust or replace the switch, or repair the wiring.

(On 5-speed cars there is a jumper in the relay socket, since Porsche assumes that people who drive manuals are smart enough to push the clutch in to start the car.) ;-)

It's nice to not have to make excuses for your 928.

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists