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Author Topic: Ever Rebuild a Starter?  (Read 4860 times)

Offline rednucleus

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Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« on: 03:44:02 PM / 10-Jun-15 »
My original starter (30 yrs old, not bad Nissan) has started acting up - where you get no starter when turning the key until you tap it with a hammer. Got one ordered from Rockauto ($75 shipped) but also see there are brush sets available.  Opened mine up and found brushes are at least 75% gone, so springs barely touch them leading to intermittent starts.  The rest of the internals look fine; just dirty. Found several videos showing cleaning and brush replacement. Going to try it just for fun and it will give me a spare starter too. Brushes cost under $15 for a set of four. Pics for a how to coming soon! Some would say it's a waste of time and I'm cheap (2nd part definitely true), but this old guy hates to throw stuff out that can be easily fixed and returned to use. Maybe that's why I still have the S12?

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Offline sideways_s12

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Re: Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« Reply #1 on: 05:19:36 PM / 10-Jun-15 »
If you can rebuild it got nuts. I just took my starter to the local auto parts store and they rebuilt for half the cost of a new one... but if rebuilding it yourself is even cheaper and if its easy, I'd go that route ....

Offline weitrhino

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Re: Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« Reply #2 on: 08:02:32 PM / 10-Jun-15 »
This would be right up my diy alley. I would definitely attempt to rebuild it myself especially if the correct brush set is available. $15 worth of risk is nothing in the grand scheme of things.  I did a similar rebuild of an alternator on my old 86 coupe many years ago when the rectifier fried and have rebuilt a few power drills.

Go for it!

Offline iceageg

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Re: Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« Reply #3 on: 09:24:18 AM / 11-Jun-15 »
Rebuilt the starter in our 92 pathfinder a few years back.  It has worked perfect ever since.  Doubt I will ever buy one again without at least trying to rebuild.  All-n-all it was pretty easy.  As with anything make sure you keep the parts in order for re-assembly and mark things for alignment before you pull them apart.

A can of electric contact cleaner is nice to have on hand for this project too.  Awesome stuff.
I was afraid all the five gallon buckets of pain stacked four high were going to fall over

Offline Cajun1guy

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Re: Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« Reply #4 on: 05:15:44 PM / 19-Jun-15 »
Indeed, do it and post the process. I hate to replace those buggars, getting harder to locally source and more costly all the time. I scared the heck out of myself a few years back when mine was acting up. I found a CARQUEST that had one, so I went over and left the car running so I wouldn't have to start it again. When I came out the temp was almost pegged out, seems that my electric fan thermostat was not set right and it almost did me in. Radiator failed not too long after that, thank God for OEM-Surplus!

Offline rednucleus

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Re: Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« Reply #5 on: 06:38:44 PM / 10-Nov-19 »
Reviving this OLD topic.  Four years ago I got a starter from Rock Auto and have had the old one patiently waiting. Mine is the gear reduction starter. The past few weeks it is acting up again - intermittent click no start telling me brushes are about shot.  I found a new brush kit on Ebay (listed as fitting a Massey Furguson Tractor) - apparently Hitachi starters have ALOT of different applications! (hitachi #3114-39001, 79001). Found it by cross referencing original Nissan starter number as well as Rock auto codes.  $21.66 in parts, watched a few internet clips on starter rebuilds. Easy to cut off positive brushes and solder on new ones.  Factory manual has all info needed to test parts being reused. Basic tools & ohm meter are all that's needed. Easy enough to disassemble, clean, lube & reassemble.  I bought an extra brush kit so when I'm bored I will rebuild the current dead one - should be able to keep myself in starters till I'm dead!
Pro tip - before disassembly, scribe starter body to gear unit to make assembly easier. Mine sat around taken apart for 4 years and it still was pretty straight forward to put back together.

Offline iceageg

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Re: Ever Rebuild a Starter?
« Reply #6 on: 07:35:24 AM / 11-Nov-19 »
I love it when people fix things instead of throwing them away.  I rebuilt the starter on our WD-21 about a decade ago and it still works like new.  When the starter gave out on my 78 Trans Am a while back and left me stranded I managed to "rebuild" it by disassembling it and cleaning everything, then resembling it.  Worked 80% for the next couple days until the new one arrived.  At the time I had my daily driver disassembled and the TA was functioning as my daily.  Needed it back on the road quick so I didn't source the brushes.

As you said though, it is a far easier repair than most think if you can take the time to source the parts.
I was afraid all the five gallon buckets of pain stacked four high were going to fall over