I took the starter off and everything is just what the "smart guys"
said: the brushes on it are worn to the nub.
In addition, the copper contacts that touch the brushes, are also in a
I wonder if, perhaps, this rotor/armature is hopelessly worn?
Should I get something like this?
Also, how hard is it to replace this armature? Does the gear come off
Or should I just give up and buy a complete starter replacement
P.S. the good news is that everything else looks serviceable and
generally easy to understand.
I bet if you can pull the rotor out and mount it on your lathe you could
turn the commutator down to an acceptable finish. Add some new brushes
and a general cleaning and the starter will probably work just fine.
After all the starter runs for like 10 seconds each time you start the
engine, so in personal use the starter run time per year is minutes.
what's your time worth? You should rpelace the bearings and bendix
plus a few other wear parts at the same time. My local rebuild shop
does this for $100 with warranty and the individual parts cost $50. No
brainer for me, I even rebuild starters whenever it comes off for any
other reason. i think the savings in grief and batteries cover it.
That is not repairable at any reasonable cost. The commutator segments
are completely shot and there is no way you can recut it. It looks
like the segments are burned off on the ends too.
I never had any trouble with the replacement starters.
OK, I got it. I will get it from Napa, or a complete unit from ebay.
Now, my guess is that this starter is so bad, the welder is
unusable with it. Perhaps, then, this is why the company where I
bought it, stopped using it?
In other words, since this problem precludes use of the welder, then
perhaps there are no other significant problems?
Am I making sense?
I am just saying, I would be unlikely to find two "showstopper"
problems in any given machine.
I'm blessed. An old fella near me does the whole rebuild for $80 - $90
total but don't rush him. He can upgrade to better than new by putting
in stronger field coils. He's done all my needs for over twenty years
now. Not sure how good a person you can find in the big city. This is
a perfect one man shop industry so there's quite a few to choose from.
I apply that test when buying used equipment too. It seems that when
one part is so worn that the machine is unusable, several others may
be close to failing. Accidental damage is different.
Then there was the arc welder I bought from a band roadie that had
been dropped and the wheels bent, the control lever was weakly glued
together and the clutch worn out, the fan was frozen, and a botched
panel jack repair had shorted the secondary and smoked the winding. It
was actually a fairly easy fix.
Yep, it certainly isn't great, but we aren't talking about space shuttle
actuator motors here, it's just an engine starter. Turn 0.010" off of
it and install new brushes and it will likely work fine for years.
That's the worst commutator I've ever seen! A no-hoper, the bar ends
have separated from the insulation. In days of old, when time was
cheap and mica was the insulation, that would be screwed together with
a big nut and chevron washers so it could be taken apart, bad bars
replaced, bad mica discs replaced and the works resoldered. Today,
the whole assembly is shot in place with plastic. No disassembly
possible. The only thing that can be done these days is to resurface
the bars and that one's well beyond any help that would give. New one
For those still undercutting, this is not needed with this type of
assembly, actually, it's undesirable. Junk collects in the slots and
shorts the bars out. When mica ruled, you had to do that to keep the
mica from whacking the brushes and breaking them as the surface wore
down. With today's plastics, the insulation is softer than the
brushes and undercutting slots is not needed. Wears flush along with
the bars. Anything more than just scraping burrs off from turning
will give trouble.
Rebuilts vary from vendor to vendor. Some joints just replace the
brushes, sand the commutator, maybe replace bushings if they look like
they need it and shoot a coat of paint over the works, pits and all.
They depend on folks dumping the vehicle soon after to avoid excessive
returns. Others will replace other parts as needed and you end up
with something approaching an OEM new part. NAPA stuff should be
good. Price and warranty is an indicator. I like to disassemble
rebuilts and relube with my choice of grease. Also lets me check out
the windings. Had one where the field strapping was just rattling
around in there with brown wrapping paper for insulation. Only the
packing string they used for tying things together kept it from total
It appears to me that most of the commutator segments are ok, and the
couple that look bad are the ones under the brushes when the motor
finally refused to turn and were likely cooked by an idiot holding the
starter button down when the motor wasn't turning. I don't think it's in
as bad shape as it looks on the surface.
It will cost Iggy nothing but an hour taking it apart and playing on his
lathe to give it a try.
You just bought a $19 solenoid, right??
Put it on the $62 starter and you have a $81 starter. If you buy the
$110 starter, you have $129 invested. Do the math.
You are going to start this thing how often????