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Old 08-03-2005, 05:26 AM
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Are Napa starters good?

Hey all,

You might have read my previous post. I had been having trouble with a starter i got from autozone and decided to go buy another starter. Has anyone used napa starters? are they any good? thanks for the input all.

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Old 08-03-2005, 05:50 AM
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napa

never had any trouble with them, and the guys, and girls at napa are usually fairly knolwdgable. it is best no matter where you buy your parts to bring the old part with you to the parts store, no matter who to make sure everything matches up. i have been given the wrong part at every parts store at one time or another but usually because i didnt bring in my part to make sure they are the same.
but i also have been working on cars for over 35 years so you got to figure every once in a while someone is going to give you the wrong part. but in all of the parts stores defence the help is usually the ones that give you the wrong part, so make sure who you deal with knows what they are talking about.
a good example of this was one store, i wont mention the name. i went in for a starter selinoid for a ford, these have been the same for 20 years, 2 stiles auto and standard. the person didnt know that in the 60's and 70' and even into the 80's these never changed, and you want to know the best part? it was for my lawn tractor. can we say substitution?

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Old 08-03-2005, 05:54 AM
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yeah i made sure i brought my old starter with me. It was exactly what i had. The trouble i was having with my old starter from autocrap was i had to shim the outboard bolt with 5 shims to get it even close, and thats not right. So i figured id try a napa starter, hopefully it mounts up without any or very little shims

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Old 08-03-2005, 07:20 AM
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you should never have to shim just one side of a starter, there should be the same on both sides. i ordered a rebuilt engine from autozone once and they sent me the wrong motor. and insisted they were right and i was wrong. try napa. you may have just got the wrong one from the zone. never shim just one side of a starter. and there should be some clearance between the starter gear and the flywheel. if you dont have the rod that came with the starter to adjust the starter a 1/8" welding rod will work, just remember the rod is 1/8" with the flux off.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:23 AM
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My pet peave -- "They're ALL the same" :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86 Fiero SE
i went in for a starter selinoid for a ford, these have been the same for 20 years, 2 stiles auto and standard. the person didnt know that in the 60's and 70' and even into the 80's these never changed, and you want to know the best part? it was for my lawn tractor. can we say substitution?
Hi,
Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the kind words you have for parts people in general, and NAPA parts people in particular!
I also acknowledge and respect that you have been a mechanic for 35 years.

I have been in auto parts since 1978 ... roughly 27 years now. I started out and worked at a Nissan / Volvo / AMC-Jeep dealership for a short time, worked part-time at a Bumper-to-Bumper while "taking a break" to attend business courses at college, spent about 12 years at various Ford Dealerships, and then "settled into" a career at the local NAPA store in 1992, which I am currently managing.

With all of that said; on to the point

I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I have been told that "They're ALL the same"!
========================================

Case in point: your "Ford" solenoid.
What follows is what I believe to be true ... keeping "corporate brain-washing" in mind ... and I've had plenty of that!

1.) Some early 60's models had a manual push-button that could be used to manually establish a connection. (Arguably, you could probably sub the "mid 60's" one.)
2.) Starting around 1974, most cars had a 1-wire solenoid ("S" terminal only) Again, I'll concede that you could probably sub the "mid-60's" one.
3.) Some Ford solenoids were flat/round and mounted on a triangular shaped bracket. (Yeah, you could still make the other one work.)
4.) Starting with 1985 F150 w/302 EFI... this is where it could get interesting and expensive!
=======================================
Starter solenoids were "diode-suppressed" in order to protect the ECM from voltage spikes. Sub in the "mid-60's" one, boost your buddy, and go buy a new ECM for $350.00!
5.) Enough of Ford-specific details ... as you say there were several other applications that use a solenoid that "looks just like" the Ford one.
Some of them were designed as "Continuous Duty" solenoids (eg Warn Winch or 12V augers, etc.) with a heavier duty coil which avoided over-heating and burn-out. I used to get folks in quite frequently that felt they were getting "ripped off" by mfr's asking $50.00 or so for what they percieved to be "just a plain Ford solenoid"
6.) Ford Solenoids are grounded through the metal base that attaches them to the inner fender. This is not so with all "look-alikes" ... some of them (including most of the aformentioned continuous-duty solenoids) used one of the two smaller terminals as a ground. That "mid-60's" Ford solenoid had an "S" terminal that was the "trigger", and an "I" terminal that was used to supply power for ignition and accessories. (Ever notice that the blower motor quits while cranking?) Ford (and others with breaker-point ignition) supply 12 volts to the ignition coil for a hotter spark while cranking, then revert to a lower voltage in order to avoid overheating coils and burning points. I'd even venture to bet that the solenoid on the lawn tractor may be mounted on plastic ... requiring a "dedicated" ground?

One more point in defense of parts people... With the advent of computerized cataloging ... I find myself asking a whole lot more of what people feel are "stupid questions". Sometimes I agree ... and the answer doesn't seem to matter anyway! But... you gotta ask, before "F.R.E.D." (F-ing Rediculous Electronic Device) will let you continue!

<rant mode off>
There ... I feel better

Back to the original poster's question: "Are NAPA starters any good?"

Here in Canada, a company named Knight Industries out of Grandby Quebec are the folks that supply our stores. I may be mistaken, but I believe that Rayloc supplies them in the US.

Until just a couple of years ago, my answer would have been "No. Honestly they're a real POS! Order a Wilson rebuilt instead!" (Wilson is another well-known and respected rebuilder out of Winnipeg, Manitoba.)

Knight has really "cleaned up their act" in recent years. They totally re-designed the entire plant as well as the entire remanufacturing process in order to acheive ISO9002 status. They have also backed their commitment to quality with a 2-year roadside-assistance warranty. Yes, we still see a few defective units ... but at least they no longer out-number the cores!

The other thing that they have done is to abandon the HD/Ag segment, and focus on just automotive. That's too bad in some respects, we've lost an important part of our business in our location. We still have access to Wilson for that stuff, but we're not nearly as competetive with that line.

HTH,
Don
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
Hi,
Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the kind words you have for parts people in general, and NAPA parts people in particular!
I also acknowledge and respect that you have been a mechanic for 35 years.

I have been in auto parts since 1978 ... roughly 27 years now. I started out and worked at a Nissan / Volvo / AMC-Jeep dealership for a short time, worked part-time at a Bumper-to-Bumper while "taking a break" to attend business courses at college, spent about 12 years at various Ford Dealerships, and then "settled into" a career at the local NAPA store in 1992, which I am currently managing.

With all of that said; on to the point

I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I have been told that "They're ALL the same"!
========================================

Case in point: your "Ford" solenoid.
What follows is what I believe to be true ... keeping "corporate brain-washing" in mind ... and I've had plenty of that!

1.) Some early 60's models had a manual push-button that could be used to manually establish a connection. (Arguably, you could probably sub the "mid 60's" one.)
2.) Starting around 1974, most cars had a 1-wire solenoid ("S" terminal only) Again, I'll concede that you could probably sub the "mid-60's" one.
3.) Some Ford solenoids were flat/round and mounted on a triangular shaped bracket. (Yeah, you could still make the other one work.)
4.) Starting with 1985 F150 w/302 EFI... this is where it could get interesting and expensive!
=======================================
Starter solenoids were "diode-suppressed" in order to protect the ECM from voltage spikes. Sub in the "mid-60's" one, boost your buddy, and go buy a new ECM for $350.00!
5.) Enough of Ford-specific details ... as you say there were several other applications that use a solenoid that "looks just like" the Ford one.
Some of them were designed as "Continuous Duty" solenoids (eg Warn Winch or 12V augers, etc.) with a heavier duty coil which avoided over-heating and burn-out. I used to get folks in quite frequently that felt they were getting "ripped off" by mfr's asking $50.00 or so for what they percieved to be "just a plain Ford solenoid"
6.) Ford Solenoids are grounded through the metal base that attaches them to the inner fender. This is not so with all "look-alikes" ... some of them (including most of the aformentioned continuous-duty solenoids) used one of the two smaller terminals as a ground. That "mid-60's" Ford solenoid had an "S" terminal that was the "trigger", and an "I" terminal that was used to supply power for ignition and accessories. (Ever notice that the blower motor quits while cranking?) Ford (and others with breaker-point ignition) supply 12 volts to the ignition coil for a hotter spark while cranking, then revert to a lower voltage in order to avoid overheating coils and burning points. I'd even venture to bet that the solenoid on the lawn tractor may be mounted on plastic ... requiring a "dedicated" ground?

One more point in defense of parts people... With the advent of computerized cataloging ... I find myself asking a whole lot more of what people feel are "stupid questions". Sometimes I agree ... and the answer doesn't seem to matter anyway! But... you gotta ask, before "F.R.E.D." (F-ing Rediculous Electronic Device) will let you continue!

<rant mode off>
There ... I feel better

Back to the original poster's question: "Are NAPA starters any good?"

Here in Canada, a company named Knight Industries out of Grandby Quebec are the folks that supply our stores. I may be mistaken, but I believe that Rayloc supplies them in the US.

Until just a couple of years ago, my answer would have been "No. Honestly they're a real POS! Order a Wilson rebuilt instead!" (Wilson is another well-known and respected rebuilder out of Winnipeg, Manitoba.)

Knight has really "cleaned up their act" in recent years. They totally re-designed the entire plant as well as the entire remanufacturing process in order to acheive ISO9002 status. They have also backed their commitment to quality with a 2-year roadside-assistance warranty. Yes, we still see a few defective units ... but at least they no longer out-number the cores!

The other thing that they have done is to abandon the HD/Ag segment, and focus on just automotive. That's too bad in some respects, we've lost an important part of our business in our location. We still have access to Wilson for that stuff, but we're not nearly as competetive with that line.

HTH,
Don
never ment to say that they were exactly the same just that any good mechanis could sub one for anouther. @ i was useing that one for a lawn tractor so all of the things you mentioned didn't matter.into the 80's only ment that into not all years. i was just trying to make a point that certain parts a subable,"if thats even a word.
as far as napa and all other parts suppliers go anyone can make a mistake especially with all the different new parts that are available for all the new vehicles, but any body can make a mistake or read a number wrong. i think that was the point i was trying to make. its just when they wont admit it that i get pissed. my autozone was in trnn. and i had to have them come out to the house and prove to them they had sent the fuel injected motor for a carb. model. and then when they sent the next motor it had a defective oil pump and again they would not addmit it.
as i said anyone can make a mistake its when they say no they cant be wrong is when it gives you the feeling you are wrong and cant make the part work.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:56 AM
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thanks for the input all i really appreciate it
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:59 AM
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as i said anyone can make a mistake its when they say no they cant be wrong is when it gives you the feeling you are wrong and cant make the part work.[/QUOTE]
anyone can make the right parts work....it takes a REAL technician to make the wrong **** fit
words to live by in the Automotive aftermarket. As for NAPA reman electrical....have managed several NAPA stores throughout the years....people used to ***** about price "i can get one at (insert name here) for 35 dollars" My standard response was....go ahead, after you change it for the fourth or fifth time....you'll be back & get one of ours.
This happened more times than i can remember. If you are buying through a company owned store, you can also get Bosch reman, and some Bosch new, also outstanding quality.
just my 2 cents..........
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:18 PM
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of course they are because west coast choppers advertise them now on t.v. lol

J
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:28 PM
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66 GMC is on to something here. I work for a major manufacturer of brake system parts. (Name withheld so this will not be a commercial). Anyway, in the brake business you get what you pay for. I can't tell you how many times I get compared with Chinese parts and told "They're just as good as yours". Of course this isn't true. The problem is, you won't find out how good your brakes are until you need them. Why someone would pay $20,000 on up to $60,000 or even more for a car and then skimp on brakes is beyond me....but they do. As for the starter issue, I would suspect that if you pay a bit more, you might get a better part. NAPA generally buys good parts, so I would not be afraid of them. One issue to be aware of is the fact that all rebuilders use the same cores, so if you are having to shim your starter that much, it makes me think that you have something else wrong.
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:45 AM
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I've heard of a lot of other people having problems, and after they switched to another starter, everything was working good. You might be right, but im going to try this first and see what happens.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:14 AM
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One issue to be aware of is the fact that all rebuilders use the same cores, so if you are having to shim your starter that much, it makes me think that you have something else wrong.[/QUOTE]
GM Machining being what it is...there is the possibility that you have a block that is that far off you can try a different starter & see if the mismatch improves...it just might
on another note the NAPA starters have a lifetime (first line) 2 year (silver line) warranty. This is good to remember if this is on a street rod and you travel a lot.. If you break down in East Bumfuzzle you more than likely get your starter / waterpump / alternator replaced.
As for the brake issue...i agree. That is the one thing that stands between you and you possibly being dead. this is not the place to skimp
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:17 AM
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I dont think my block is that far off.....my uncle used to own the 350 chevy I have now in my car, and he said he never had any problems with it *shrugs*. I REALLY hope this starter works.
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