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Hot Rods are Built, not Bought
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody here rebuild there own starters?

If you do, with respect to parts, where's a good place to get them?

Backstory...

The starter motor on my '69 Camaro SS (350) is seeking attention. Pretty sure it's the bendix. I took the starter off and took it to NAPA, it checked out just fine.

What it does: Sometimes when you turn the key it makes a noise like the starter spins but doesn't engage the flywheel.

I bought a replacement starter from NAPA, bolted it up and.... ugh... it needs shimming.

So I got to thinking, rather than mess with the shimming process... on a manual trans bellhousing with no access to properly shim the starter, why not just rebuild the starter.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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Probably doesn't need to be rebuilt. If you remove that bendix and take it apart, there is a contact button that can be reversed. Usually the used side of the button can no longer make a good contact but reversing it will provide a brand new contact surface.
Yeah, we've all done that in a pinch, but the reality is that flipping the contact disc still doesn't fix the pitted contact buttons that the disc makes contact with. You used to be able to get a repair kit that included the disc, the contacts, and the plastic end cap, but today it's probably cheaper to just get a quality solenoid from Standard. Besides, I'm getting too old to heft that 800 lb Delco starter in and out frequently. ;)
 

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Assuming the stater is an original big heavy Delco unit as said all the parts necessary for complete rebuild are available. But when done it is still a big amp sucker in use. You might want to consider the new gear motor starter as a replacement for normal use. They use half the power to turn the engine over and save on battery drain. I have rebuilt the originals and put them in stowage to keep with the original car. But in actual use the gear motor starters are far better option if you drive the car. Easy change to put back the big old starter if you ever want the 100% originality. I’ve also done the same with heavier battery cables, ignition & distributor, higher output internal regulator alternator..... originals rebuilt and stowed on the shelf and run the more modern stuff everyday.
 

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the 'Duracell Project'
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i learned to rebuild starters, alternators and generators a looong time ago
later the rebuilts came out that were good and cheap, so i quit rebuilding stuff
later yet, the rebuilts were so cheap that they wouldn't last a week, sure my flaps would swap it out with another bad rebuilt, but after a couple i'd give up and rebuild it myself. all the parts stores rebuilders test cores and fix what's broken. if the solenoid is shot, they replace that part only, spray bomb and send it out again with old brushes, bushings and everything else.
rebuild it yourself, save money and know what you have. i'd definitely check/change bushings too

i run a 100 amp 1 wire alternator on my 58 truk. no one keeps the delco 100 amp 10si in stock any more. i keep a rebuild kit in the truk for it, with the heavy duty diode pack. it's just cheap insurance.

that said, like 57nomad mentioned, i run the mini starter. but buy it new :ROFLMAO:
 

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You can find new stuff (starters, alternators, and generators) at DB Electrical prices are reasonable and quality stuff. I have no connection with them other than previous purchases. Plenty of YouTube’s to show how to wire newer design alternators w/internal regulators. Gear motor starters how to you tubes showing how to get proper gear mesh if you decide to not go with the GM self positioning type gear reduction starters are available also. I’m fairly sure sites as this can help one too. Yes, as pointed out gear reduction starters are cheap enough to so one should avoid purchased rebuilds. I had a elder friend that always preached “to buy brand new in the box”.
 

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Hot Rods are Built, not Bought
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I ended up buying the repair kit from Precision Power this morning.

On the phone it sounded like an old school place:

Called 1-800-794-5962, then 1# to talk to Rex. He was out in the shop, you could hear background commotion, I asked how many rollers were in the drive and he said 5 (not 4, that's good) and I asked how many wraps of wire were on the solenoid and he said 132 or 135 (not 100, that's also good).​
So to summarize.... this doesn't appear to be some kid operating out of his Grandparents basement.​

I'll report back when I get the parts. Thanks to everybody for their comments and advice.

Special thanks to member R66 over at the Team Camaro site for the tip on using a tap to remove the bushings.... that's just genius.

John
 

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the 'Duracell Project'
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Hot Rods are Built, not Bought
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can find new stuff (starters, alternators, and generators) at DB Electrical prices are reasonable and quality stuff. I have no connection with them other than previous purchases. Plenty of YouTube’s to show how to wire newer design alternators w/internal regulators. Gear motor starters how to you tubes showing how to get proper gear mesh if you decide to not go with the GM self positioning type gear reduction starters are available also. I’m fairly sure sites as this can help one too. Yes, as pointed out gear reduction starters are cheap enough to so one should avoid purchased rebuilds. I had a elder friend that always preached “to buy brand new in the box”.
Just as a heads up....

I contacted DB Electrical via email.... [email protected]

Good afternoon,
I am in need of a rebuild kit for the starter motor in my 1969 Camaro SS - it has the 350 V8. This is for the high performance starter.
Is this something you could help me with? Specifically looking for the following parts:
-Brushes
-Solenoid & hardware
-Bushings
-Drive
-Positive brush holders
-Negitive brush holders
-Brush holder springs
-Field housing grommits
-Snap ring and collar
Thanks for your help. Looking forward to your reply.

Their response was as follows:

We would not carry any of the parts to rebuild it,
Sorry, I can't help you with that.
Have a good evening.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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I'm sorry, but you are really making this waaaay harder than it needs to be. I just buy my starter and alternator parts from RockAuto.

No one replaces the snap ring and collar. I've never seen a new grommet either. The brush holder springs don't really wear out. I've never replaced those. The negative brush holders are metal and don't require replacement. The positive ones are plastic, but I've never had to replace them either. I guess if a gorilla stripped the screw hole then you'd need to replace it. Everything else is here.

616436
 

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Hot Rods are Built, not Bought
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'm sorry, but you are really making this waaaay harder than it needs to be. I just buy my starter and alternator parts from RockAuto.

No one replaces the snap ring and collar. I've never seen a new grommet either. The brush holder springs don't really wear out. I've never replaced those. The negative brush holders are metal and don't require replacement. The positive ones are plastic, but I've never had to replace them either. I guess if a gorilla stripped the screw hole then you'd need to replace it. Everything else is here.

View attachment 616436
Thanks Joe. I haven't had much luck with Rock Auto in the past.

As in this case, our SS 350 (300 HP) '69 Camaro has a manual transmission and the SS had a heavy duty starter, a different starter than the other lower HP 350's in 69. I may have missed it, but I don't see that distinction on any of the starters listed on Rock Auto's site?

But a wise guy named Joe recommended earlier against buying no name parts from an E-Bay vendor... So using that wise guys advice I decided to go with a place that's been in business for 36 years, that actually rebuilds starters, instead of an internet business that's a warehouse for parts. That way if I have questions during the rebuild... I can call them. I'm kind of old school that way.

I just received all the parts about an hour ago from Precision Power. One phone call and you talk to a guy that works there. When I called, Rex was out in the shop, in Lansing Michigan (not in India). He put me on hold, went back to his office and I told him what I was rebuilding. He knew about the HD starter used on the SS. I told him I wanted to rebuild the starter and he set me up with a repair kit... nothing hard about that at all. Quality parts.. like a solenoid and drive from Standard Starter Drive in Kokomo Indiana, along with all the other pieces and parts.

For instance:

The drive assembly comes with either a 4 or 5 ball roller in it. The 5 roller are superior to the 4. Rex said theirs was 5.​
As far as solenoids go there can be a big difference. They come with as little as 100 wraps of wire and as high as 135 wraps. Rex said theirs was 135.​

Precision Power has various levels of kits, I decided to go with the Level 3 kit that has all the parts, use what I need, put the rest on the shelf in case they are needed at a later date. But they sell kits with less parts, like you've discussed.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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I just received all the parts about an hour ago from Precision Power. One phone call and you talk to a guy that works there. When I called, Rex was out in the shop, in Lansing Michigan (not in India). He put me on hold, went back to his office and I told him what I was rebuilding and he set me up with a repair kit... nothing hard about that at all. Quality parts.. like a solenoid and drive from Standard Starter Drive in Kokomo Indiana, along with all the other pieces and parts.
Glad that worked out for you. I only buy brand name from RA (typically Standard Motor Products for electrical stuff - just don't get their low-rent "T-series" parts). Yeah, the RA catalog is riddled with application errors. I always corroborate part numbers elsewhere and select from RA based on P/N, not what their online catalog says. In probably 15 years of getting at least one box a week from the, I've only ever had two issues. One was a case of whoever pulled the part from the shelf was one digit off. It was an obvious mistake and they sent me both a return label and the correct part extremely quickly. The other issue was a case where the item was mis-boxed. They told me to keep it and sent a correct one. Zero complaints here.
 
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