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Starter:

 

Battery power is supplied to the starter through a heavy cable that can handle the amperage draw during start.
The cable connects the positive side of the battery, to the starter solenoid. There are two other terminals on the solenoid. "R" supplies power to the ignition coil; "S" receives power from the ignition switch. When the ignition switch is moved to the start position, the low amperage closes the starter solenoid. This closure grounds the circuit through the starter, to the engine block, back through the negative battery cable, to the battery.
This grounding engages the bendix, which pushes the starter gear out, to engage the flywheel. As current flows through the starter windings, the starter spins. When the ignition switch is released from start to run, the ground is opened releasing the solenoid, stopping current flow from the battery. Springs return the bendix, which disengages the gear from the flywheel. With the ignition switch is in the run position, R is supplying power to the coil.