Rebuilding A Starter

1. Unscrew the two small screws on the commutator housing (back) this
releases the brush holder.

2. Unbolt the two studs in the back. Now the commutator end comes off after
removing a circlip on the end of the shaft, and the rotor is loose, but
don’t pull it off yet.

3. Loosen the 3 screws holding the solenoid to the front housing.

4. Between the solenoid and the starter motor is a small rubber piece. See
if you can loosen it. Carefully wiggle and separate the front housing.

5. Solenoid and starter can be separated at the solenoid end. Take off the
solenoid. (To prevent binding wipe off any dirt or corrosion on the solenoid
plunger before reassembly)

6. Determine shape of bushings. The gear end bushing is in the bellhousing
on starters for transverse engine models, and in the front housing on
longitudinal engines. Replace front and rear bushings if worn.

7. To get at the middle bushing remove the ring and c-clip in front of the
gear. Slide off gear assembly. Take out plate holding middle bushing.
Replace if worn.

8. Check brushes. New brushes have about 8mm between the tip and the copper
braid. I’d replace them if they are more than half worn. Also if the
bushings were really bad the starter shaft has been riding out of center,
and the brushes have been wearing irregularly and need replacement.

9. Snip off the braided copper holding the old brushes. Don’t lose the
springs! File off any remains from the brush holder. Solder on new brushes.
Make sure they are soldered well. Each brush will pass 100′s of amps at

10. Inspect the commutator. If pitted (from arcing) file down until clean
copper. If out of round use a lathe.

11. Assemble the parts. Grease bushings and gears lightly. You don’t want
grease on the commutator or too much so that it can spatter on the clutch.

Martin Jagersand
University of Alberta

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