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Thread: Replace the starter

  1. #1
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    Replace the starter

    My '87 4x4 cargo van still has the original starter. A mechanic refurbished it in the mid-1990s. It's been hanging up from time to time lately (after not being started for some weeks or months) but if knocked with a rock or something will work again. Should I go ahead and replace it just because it's that old -- to avoid having a problem out on the road somewhere?

  2. #2
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Mine was starting to fail, just clicking and not engaging, finally it gave up and wouldn't start at all.
    Tossed in a new one, rebuilt with lifetime warranty, about $74 bucks,
    working great. Mine was the original one 175K miles.
    I say go for it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Yeah I had pretty much figured that out. I think I'm closer to 300k miles but they're about 90% highway miles.

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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    At an online parts store I see "starter motor". Is that the whole thing, or just part of it? (I'm pretty new to auto repairs, in case you couldn't tell. But I learn fast.)

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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Call your fav local auto parts store, make sure they have one in stock, pull your old one and drive it down there.
    one for comparison make sure it's correct, and two so you don't have to pay the core charge.
    Remember to disconnect your batteries negative cable first, then the starter is two bolts, and two wires.
    If I remember correctly the bolts are different lengths, so pay attention to where they came out.

  6. #6
    Van Addict trestlehed's Avatar
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Google "Auto Electric" for your area. You can have alternators and starter motors rebuilt for about 1/4 the price of buying new ones.
    "You came in that thing?... You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia

  7. #7
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Quote Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
    Google "Auto Electric" for your area. You can have alternators and starter motors rebuilt for about 1/4 the price of buying new ones.
    I'm in a very small town that hasn't got such a place. This particular starter had been rebuilt once already, so I went ahead and ordered a complete starter assembly, a remanufactured Denso unit, and the total cost was $63.25 (plus whatever I'll have to pay for sending back the core). I thought that seemed reasonable enough.

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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Yes there's a few re builders in my area but my van is my daily driver, so minimal downtime is the key.

  9. #9
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Cruzer View Post
    Yes there's a few re builders in my area but my van is my daily driver, so minimal downtime is the key.
    Not sure what you're saying "Yes" to... are you agreeing that the price I paid for the part was reasonable?

  10. #10
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Another option would be to keep the original starter (instead of returning as a core) and have it rebuilt as a spare. That would really minimize your downtime next time (and there will be a next time starter contacts wear out; that's the nature of them). It will also likely turn out to be cheaper than shipping back the core AND buying another new starter someday (assuming that's even an option at that point in the future).

    Gwen
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    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

  11. #11
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Quote Originally Posted by llamavan View Post
    Another option would be to keep the original starter (instead of returning as a core) and have it rebuilt as a spare. That would really minimize your downtime next time (and there will be a next time starter contacts wear out; that's the nature of them). It will also likely turn out to be cheaper than shipping back the core AND buying another new starter someday (assuming that's even an option at that point in the future).

    Gwen
    Or maybe I get a spare set of the copper contacts and have those on hand instead of the old starter? Because this van is well on the way to becoming a "parts van".

  12. #12
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    Re: Time to replace starter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzu View Post
    My '87 4x4 cargo van still has the original starter. A mechanic refurbished it in the mid-1990s. It's been hanging up from time to time lately (after not being started for some weeks or months) but if knocked with a rock or something will work again. Should I go ahead and replace it just because it's that old -- to avoid having a problem out on the road somewhere?

    Keep the original starter! Replace the contacts and the plunger. Use this rebuild kit and you'll be good.
    It's a very easy fix, if you can hit it with a rock you and rebuild it yourself haha. I hope this helps and best of luck!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/STARTER-REPA...=mtr#vi-ilComp
    That smells like regular! She needs premium DUDE! PREMIUM!

  13. #13
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    starter removal

    looking to remove the starter on my 88. looking at it from the bottom not sure how to remove it.

  14. #14
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    Re: starter

    It's essentially two bolts.

    One of the bolts holds the shifting cable (automatic transmission) as well, if I'm not mistaken. Then there is a power source cable, and a small black clip.

    One disconnected, slide the starter towards the front of the vehicle.

    Don't forget to disconnect the battery first!

  15. #15
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    Re: Replace the starter

    Is it possible to throw out the timing when installing the starter? I just rebuilt mine, and after installing it the TV runs off. Easy on but sputters under acceleration. I also get backfire in the boot. As if the timing is off or the ignition is acting up.

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