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Starter seems to be dying

Posted by Bob1340 
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Bob1340 Avatar
Bob Eatherton
Middleboro, MA, USA   usa
1976 MG MGB
Just put the motor back in after a rebuild, hooked up everything and turned the key. The starter made a few clunks and after four or five tries the motor turned over (barely). Went out and bought a new battery and same thing. When the starter does finally engage the engine turns over very slow. I don't know much about the history of this starter motor so I think it should be replaced. Are these gear reduction starters the way to go? They seem to be used everywhere with good luck. I see them on Ebay quite regularly for under $200. Is that the way to go? Thanks for any help, Bob

John D. Weimer Avatar
Cape Girardeau, MO, USA   usa
Just something for you to chew on.

The last starter that laid down on me I resurfaced the commutator and had new brushes put in. Total cost $16.45 and it works like new. The brushes in that one are the welded in type and that's the only reason I had to hire that done.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-03-20 09:11 AM by John D. Weimer.

chris Avatar
Chris Roop
Pendleton, OR, USA   usa
To follow John's comment, even if you were to have a local shop rebuild your starter, you would be in it well under $200 and have a basically new starter.

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Kimberly Avatar
Kimberly ?
Pinole, CA, USA   usa
Check out the prices for a starter at your local chain autoparts store. Kragen sells one for less than $100- with a lifetime warranty in California. CSK, Kragen's parent company does have different pricing for different parts of the country. Print out the web page and see if the store will match the price.

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Bob1340 Avatar
Bob Eatherton
Middleboro, MA, USA   usa
1976 MG MGB
Wow! That was fast! Sounds like no need for the hi torque starter. Checked Parts America. They were $98 bucks. Saving money already! I'll have a check out to you guys as soon as I can. Thanks.

USA   usa
After the rebuild and reinstalling your engine, is it still grounded well? Sometimes, people forget to put the ground strap back on, while other times there is so much shiney new paint on things that grounding is thwarted. If you don't have a good ground, your starter will not work well--not to mention the fact that it's common to find out that the acclerator cable and choke cable melt because they are the ground cables in these instances.

The easiest way to check engine grounding besides visually looking at the ground strap connections is to take a test light and ground it to the body. Then hold the tip to a bare metal part of the engine (maybe the alternator mount or the valve cover bolts) while someone cranks the engine. If the light glows at all, you have a ground problem.


Bob1340 Avatar
Bob Eatherton
Middleboro, MA, USA   usa
1976 MG MGB
Thanks for the tip Carl. Makes all the sense in the world. I'll check after work. Very possible that got overlooked. Bob

Dodson Tx, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB
I agree with John. Some times a little maint goes a long way. Mine was doing the same thing....starter seemed to get slower and having a tough time turning the engine. I took it apart, cleaned up all the crap out of it, fine sanded everything, then lubed it well. I suppose I was lucky because it now spins like a new one. Total cost was an hour or so labor and a little grease.

Of course I am cheap....and that $100.00 will buy a liter of Glenlevet to ease the pain of getting the starter out and back in. lol
Warmest regards,
ray h

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John D. Weimer Avatar
Cape Girardeau, MO, USA   usa
Glenlevet!! Damn! I gotta work Dodson, TX into one of my trips. smiling smiley

Daniel Solutions
CharlotteNC, USA   usa
I agree with a good cleaning .At worst you know how to break one down and rebuild it. Also clean your main ground at the car/ battery. Have you tried turning it over without spark plugs? Being a new rebuild this will lube you up and help those new parts move. Remove the coil wire, Does it change the speed? Timing way out can work against you.Also incorrect valve adjustment can cause slow/no turning. Of course the old faithful of tapping the starter with a hammer can sometimes free up a stuck brush. I would want to throw 12v +and - right to the starter(by pass the solenoid)This can be done with jumper cables. Caution, make sure the connection on the threaded post is good. Arcing to the post= thread damage.

Dodson Tx, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB
Hey John......Should one of your trips bring you down this way, give me a shout. I might have a "dram" or two of Glenlevet around. Of course I only keep it for medicial purposes, you understand. I seem to cough a lot.

Warmest regards,
ray h

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