Starter help please?

In my 325ix I am in the middle of a starter replacement. I am trying to find out the true use is of the "R" terminal.Does it open the power
to the starter motor itself? Or, does it make it so the starter gear will engage the flywheel? Or, am I way off target? The answer may be easy but yet it escapes me. I'd appreciate HELP of all kinds.
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Not knowing much about the BMW systems I can give you a rule of thumb (old English law for keeping the wife in order) of starter motor wiring.
Usually there are 2 large 8mm studs one has a heavy wire attached going to the actual motor windings and the other should have the heavy wire from the Battery connected to it. this cylindrical THING is called the Solenoid (you might have another name for it.
There are usually 2 other smaller spade connectors at 90deg to the heavy terminals one is for the connection to the ignition key so when you turn to the start position the power is routed to the solenoid and this does 2 jobs at once (like the wife) 1 - it initiates an electro magnet that pushes a fork that pushes a gear connected to the shaft into mesh with the flywheel and 2 - it connects the two heavy wire connectors together to route the batter power (300+Amp) to the motor windings and hopefully, the motor turns and the engine starts.
The, usually smaller, other small spade connector used to be used to increase the voltage available at the coil (older cars) to compensate for the voltage drop when the starter is drawing it's 300 Amps. this was commonly called a "cold start" system and initiated by FORD in the 1960s (here in the UK anyway).
However, with the advent of massive electronics and fuel injection this may not be used anymore.
Sir Hugh of Bognor
The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Intelligence is not knowing the answer but knowing where and how to find it!
Hugh Gundersen snipped-for-privacy@h-gee.co.uk Bognor Regis, W.Sussex, England, UK
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