The starter solenoid has very large contacts to carry the batterys full current. Its wire coil is actuated by a smaller current from the ignition switch, at which time the iron core slams down to make contact and turn on the starter motor. Most non-Ford starter motors employ a solenoid built into the motor itself. This type of solenoid not only provides the motors electrical power but also mechanically engages the starters drive gear onto the flywheel.
The driven "or friction" plate runs on a splined input shaft, through which the power is transmitted to the gearbox. The plate has friction linings, similar to brake linings, on both its faces. This allows the drive to be taken up smoothly when the clutch is engaged. When the clutch is disengaged "pedal depressed", an arm pushes a release bearing against the centre of the diaphragm spring which releases the clamping pressure. The outer part of the pressure plate, which has a large friction surface, then no longer clamps the driven plate to the flywheel, so the transmission of power is interrupted and gears can be changed.
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