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Old 02-27-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
1995 36' Classic 36
Marietta , Georgia
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Advice on MH Classic 454 Starter Replacement

May need to replace my 454 GMC starter and I have the Banks header system. The heat protection plate protects the starter. Please recommend best approach to validate the starter is defective verus a bad solenoid (turn key, does click at solenoid) and then please provide a novice approach to remove, replace, and repair. In North Georgia at Airstream Park with basic tools. Unit is 1994 Airstream 36' Motorcoach with GMC 454 with Banks system, heat protection plate with 65,000 miles.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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The battery connects to the solenoid on an easily identifiable post. The solenoid supplies power to the motor itself through an adjacent post an inch or so away.

Crawl underneath with one jumper cable or similarly gauge wire (I use an old screwdriver), and short the two big posts together. If the problem is with the solenoid, the engine will crank.

GM starters are typically sold as a solenoid/motor assembly. I recommend you purchase the assembly as opposed to either component.

To remove and replace (R&R), there are two long bolts holding the assembly to the engine. Reuse any shim-strips that fall out. Mark & remove the attached wires, and remove bolts. R&R starter assembly. If the assembly will not clear the header, then detach header.

Tom
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Thanks, Tom. I got the Starter assembly and have located the two bolts and will note the shims, and label the wires. Challenges are twofold: 1) the Banks Header is definitely in the way. 2) the Heat Protection Plate cover the entire starter, solenoid and all appear to be done at the factory. I can't seem to find access to loosen the Heat Protection plate? Do I work from the top down to remove the Heat Plate and the Banks header?
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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Any way you can snap a few pictures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BudClem View Post
... I can't seem to find access to loosen the Heat Protection plate? ...
My youngest son was reading over my shoulder, and reminded me that I have a spare heat shield for a 454 starter motor assembly (don't ask why). The image below shows him pointing to the mounting screws with which I am familiar. Unless the heat shield is in the way, you might be able leave it in place during R&R.

Unfortunately, you are on your own with the header pipe being in the way - Easy starter R&R is sometimes a consequence of header installation. You will just have to figure out what needs to be unbolted. I'm thinking, "Unbolt from exhaust manifold, and allow to droop".

Tom
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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Something to think about if you don't want to replace the starter again anytime soon.

I was told there are 2 replacement starters for your 454 one is a hi torx and the other is the same as factory.

Hi torx is expensive and well over $100 it is 1/4 the size of the factory starter and is standard in hi performance GM vehicles. Advantage to you is the distance between header and starter body allowing it to run much cooler. Will last up to 5 times as long.
This is a direct bolt in replacement but I'm not sure what year they 1st came out the counter guy told me a 1996 would fit all.

Take your old starter with you to make sure everything is the same regardless what starter you go with.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I won't be able to work on it until next weekemd. Any and all info is appreciated.
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