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Old 10-25-2003, 03:38 PM   #1
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Why do I carry a spare starter?

Because stuff happens.
Just returned from a few days of R&R at the Texas coast. Port A and Padre Island National Seashore. You can drive right on the beach and pick a spot to camp. Real nice.
The 250 mile trip down to the coast was pleasant and uneventful, until we stopped to buy some shrimp. Which was a good thing, because the next time I would have turned the engine off, would have been on the ferry from Aransas Pass to Port A.
Got back in and tried to start the motor. VRRRRRRR...... Bell housing of starter cracked.
Got the spare starter out and 30 minutes later we were back on the road.
Just imagine the trouble you can get yourself into by not carrying a few essentials.
I bought this spare starter 2 1/2 years ago and just had a healthy return on my investment.
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Old 10-25-2003, 04:12 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Way to go Peter

Starter - Definitely a weak link----
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Old 10-25-2003, 04:59 PM   #3
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Peter,

You, single handedly, have dispelled the theory that to ward off future failures buy a spare of the offending part and it will NEVER again fail!!

Another theory turned into myth!

Dang!!! Now I have to re-think my spares locker since I might actuall NEED one of those items. Can you trailer a trailer behind a trailer in VA?

Take care.

(I carry a starter for my 454 suburban as well!)
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Old 10-25-2003, 05:40 PM   #4
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I was wondering if you all wouldn't mind sharing your spare parts list?

You never know who it may help out!!!
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Old 10-25-2003, 06:00 PM   #5
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Emergency Parts

John:

Try this thread - Emergency Parts

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ht=spare+parts
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Old 10-25-2003, 06:09 PM   #6
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Thanks Dennis!!
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Old 10-25-2003, 06:42 PM   #7
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Since we already have several threads covering the extensive lists of spare parts people carry, I would be interested to know the parts or items you carried that got you out of a jam before:
Here a are some of my items:
1. starter (more than once in my years of travelling)
2. JB cold weld (cold welded my radiator in Florida and made it back to texas)
3. Fuel filter
4. many feet or electrical wire (fixed a stubborn failed tail light in Colorado)
5. duck tape (what would life be without duck tape)
6. Vice grips !!! (Don't ask )
7. Voltmeter
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Old 10-25-2003, 07:13 PM   #8
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Wink Must Carry

A full set of properly sized belts (or serpentine), and the tools to change them.

Oh, add an alternator, though usually a proper sized alternator is easier to find than some critical belts. Of course, on the Motor Home, you could jump the coach batteries to the auto battery, crank up the genset, and forget about the alternator until you parked it at the house!

A can of "Inflate-a-flat" (seals a puncture in a tire - at least for a little while).
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Old 10-26-2003, 05:48 AM   #9
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Also think about what custom/after market modifications have been done and parts for that. My TBI uses an external fuel pump, not impossible to find but it has be ordered so I have a spare. At the least bring the manuals or a list of part numbers.

John
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:36 AM   #10
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hi peter
i also carry a lot of spare parts. but a starter is not one of the parts. i rely on auto zone to help with the heavy or bulky parts. i know the quality isnt the best but i have had to replace a starter two occasions on the road. disconnect the toad and find a zone. the last one broke one of the mounting bolts and then the housing. got a little flack on that one but they finally replaced it . as it was one of their starters. not a hard job to do if you can park in grass , big gravel hurt. lol
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:36 AM   #11
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Well, the replacement starter lasted about 2 weeks. Fortunately I started to show me early signs of failure right in the driveway.
I noticed that all replacement starters come with the shims, but only some have the proper gapping tool for starter shaft/ flywheel clearance.
Autozones starter come with the right tool.
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:56 AM   #12
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Starters ..... or lack thereof

My relatively new starter (not a cheapie), now requires multiple twists of the ignition key to initiate a start.

More and more, I suspect the ignition switch.

As a new control panel is on the winter list of "things to do", I will soon (hopefully) be better able to troubleshoot the entire electrical system.
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Old 11-03-2003, 08:58 AM   #13
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Returned the defective spare. It was drawing 250 amps instead of 50.
Moral: Have your spare bench tested.
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Old 11-03-2003, 10:02 AM   #14
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I had a starter from Advance Auto burned the solenoid from the engine heat. (they wouldn't take it back- although it still works..din't think they would but tried anyway)
As some of you already know I got the aluminum cased mini starter last Spring / it rotates away from the manifold. Wrapped it in a thermal cover for extra protection, and so far it has been excellent. Strong cranking every time, hot or not.
Just put on a 135 amp alternator from the same dealer.
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:23 PM   #15
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Starters, etcetera

Quote:
Originally posted by 87MH
My relatively new starter now requires multiple twists of the ignition key to initiate a start - More and more, I suspect the ignition switch.
Dennis:

Don't be too quick to blame the ignition switch, but give some consideration to the "neutral (park) safety switch". It's located on the steering column and is fairly easy to access.

Give the shift lever a wiggle while engaging the ignition/start switch and see if that solves the problem. If in doubt change both ("belt & suspenders method"), on the shelf at NAPA for 20 +/- bucks apiece.

Regards,
Jeff

P.S. Kudos for going with the "expensive" (GM - OEM?) starter. The NAPA (et al) rebuilds don't last long on the big block Chevys.
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Old 11-03-2003, 05:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ALANSD
I had a starter from Advance Auto burned the solenoid from the engine heat. (they wouldn't take it back- although it still works..din't think they would but tried anyway)
As some of you already know I got the aluminum cased mini starter last Spring / it rotates away from the manifold. Wrapped it in a thermal cover for extra protection, and so far it has been excellent. Strong cranking every time, hot or not.
Just put on a 135 amp alternator from the same dealer.
I quit buying starters from the parts houses about 5 years ago. I have friend that works for Advance Auto, he told me that who ever gives them the best deal (read price) on the rebuilds gets the contract. I went through about 4 or 5 on my 4cyl Ranger before I got smart and bought OEM. Orignal factory starter went over 100k the rebuilts were going about 10k

Aaron
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Old 11-03-2003, 05:55 PM   #17
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yes, it was a cheap replacement, but amazingly it still works after being burnt to crap by the manifold heat. It was the plastic parts that fried. My two inexpensive replacement parts lasted a year or so. I hope to get more from the better made ones I now have.
Ans they both have life time warranty..for what its worth anyway.
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Old 11-03-2003, 06:47 PM   #18
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Don't be too quick to blame the ignition switch.......

Jeff:

Thanks for the tip. I will check it out.

The 2nd OEM rebuild crapped out coming home from the Forum Ralley in New Mexico. Had to climb underneath & do the hammer upside the head trick to get it going out of El Paso, Texas.

I installed a +/- $150 ministarter when I got back to Houston. It appeared to give me problems after one trip, so I pulled it and exchanged it (plus BIG bucks) for a full blown CSI 100U.

The CSI 100U is fully clockable, so I have the solenoid mounted straight down, away from the manifold and the oil pan.

I also installed several thermal blankets, wrapping the starter, lead in wires, and the solenoid.

This past weekend's trip to East Texas was the first trouble I have had since installing the CSI starter.

I'll post pics of the CSI later, but in the meantime, I will check the Neutral lockout.

Thanks again,
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:17 AM   #19
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Dennis- sounds like what I did, rotating the head/solenoid area down as far as I could.
I found the wires were a weak point also, and replaced and wrapped them also.

I remember the last replacement rebuilt cheapie...worked fine until I was sitting at the dump station, draining the tanks.
Then it decided to not start.
So here I am blocking the line of trailers and Mh's ready to dump after a weekend. Of course laying on the ground with a big screwdriver starting the already hot 454. Fun!!
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Old 11-04-2003, 05:32 PM   #20
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laying on the ground with a big screwdriver.....within feet of the dump station

Been there, done that, well not at a dump station, but in some darn uncomfortable circumstances.........

If nothing else, the minimal weight high torque (this one is supposed to put out 2 HP) starters are a heck of a lot lighter.

As you can see in the pic, I rotated the solenoid away from the exhaust and the block. I insulated the body and wires.

I had extended the wire loomb earlier when changing out the old heavy starters. The extension allows me to put the starter on the ground and remove and hook up the various wires. -- Only had to burn the crap out of my right hand twice before I figured I didn't HAVE to do all of the hookup in an unnatural and uncomfortable position (especially on a hot engine!).

Insulating blankets held on with aircraft safety wire (left over from a previous life). Solenoid blanket removed for pic.

The wire connection insulation at the solenoid is a high temp spark plug boot left over from the engine high tension work.

BTW, the starter came with plenty of spacer shims and the gauge tool to set the proper clearance between the pinion gear and the flywheel gear perimeter (sorry, just can't bring myself to say flex plate).
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