advice on how to replace a starter

fisherlady2

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2016
953
162
Punxsutawney Pennsylvania
It's not the worst, but the advice above is great. Yeah, you have to remove the heat exchanger in a fresh water cooled engine. You can leave the exhaust manifold and riser on, but if you have large hands and arms, you'll have a lot more room to work if you remove them, too. If you do remove them, try putting a 2x4, or something across the gunnels (gunwales) or taft rail if you have one, with a rope to support the weight of the manifold. I tried removing the manifold without anything to support the weight, and since it takes one hand to remove the last bolt, the weight is too much for the other hand/arm to hold it, and I got a bloody knuckle trying to 'catch' it with one hand. One trick that helps is to replace a front and rear manifold bolts with pieces of all-thread or studs to hold the weight when you pull out the last manifold bolt. Then, after you remove the last bolt, you can have both hands free to slide the manifold off the all-threads - this helps with putting the manifold back on, too.

When you pull the starter, the advice above about replacing the top bolt with a piece of all-thread is great since that will support the heavy-ass starter when you pull the bottom bolt. Also, having done this a few times, the permanent magnet starter from Arco recommendation is good advice, for certain. You'll need a variety of socket extensions to reach all the way forward to the front of the engine as that's the only place you can get enough torque on a ratchet or breaker bar to loosen the bottom bolt. Lastly, regarding that bottom bolt, you can't see it. I found there are two things that really help getting the socket on the bolt head: first, if you get an LED flashlight with a magnet, and stick it on the side of the oil pan pointed at the starter so it has some light down there, and second if you can get a small mirror that you can put down there so you can see the bolt in order to get the socket on the bolt head. I used a 2" x 3" mirror with a 6" piece of copper wire I epoxied to the back of the mirror, and attached the other end of the wire to the bolt on the starter that was connected to the hot wire that you already removed. That way, you don't need four hands - one holding the flashlight, one holding the mirror, one on the socket extension in front of the starter fishing around for the bolt head, and one on the ratchet or breaker bar handle. The attached picture illustrates how a hands-free flashlight and mirror can help you visually find the bottom starter bolt head. Someone else (smarter than me) suggested replacing the bottom starter bolt with an allen head bolt since an allen head socket it won't slip off the bolt head as easily as a hex head bolt.

Also, I did a write-up on my experience replacing a starter in my 1987 ConWalk here on message #10 - http://www.shamrockboatownersclub.c...endix-doesnt-always-engage.41505/#post-358434

I hope this helps. I got a lot of great advice on this forum before I did this. The first time it took me all afternoon to remove and replace the starter. The second time it took an hour.
It's not the worst, but the advice above is great. Yeah, you have to remove the heat exchanger in a fresh water cooled engine. You can leave the exhaust manifold and riser on, but if you have large hands and arms, you'll have a lot more room to work if you remove them, too. If you do remove them, try putting a 2x4, or something across the gunnels (gunwales) or taft rail if you have one, with a rope to support the weight of the manifold. I tried removing the manifold without anything to support the weight, and since it takes one hand to remove the last bolt, the weight is too much for the other hand/arm to hold it, and I got a bloody knuckle trying to 'catch' it with one hand. One trick that helps is to replace a front and rear manifold bolts with pieces of all-thread or studs to hold the weight when you pull out the last manifold bolt. Then, after you remove the last bolt, you can have both hands free to slide the manifold off the all-threads - this helps with putting the manifold back on, too.

When you pull the starter, the advice above about replacing the top bolt with a piece of all-thread is great since that will support the heavy-ass starter when you pull the bottom bolt. Also, having done this a few times, the permanent magnet starter from Arco recommendation is good advice, for certain. You'll need a variety of socket extensions to reach all the way forward to the front of the engine as that's the only place you can get enough torque on a ratchet or breaker bar to loosen the bottom bolt. Lastly, regarding that bottom bolt, you can't see it. I found there are two things that really help getting the socket on the bolt head: first, if you get an LED flashlight with a magnet, and stick it on the side of the oil pan pointed at the starter so it has some light down there, and second if you can get a small mirror that you can put down there so you can see the bolt in order to get the socket on the bolt head. I used a 2" x 3" mirror with a 6" piece of copper wire I epoxied to the back of the mirror, and attached the other end of the wire to the bolt on the starter that was connected to the hot wire that you already removed. That way, you don't need four hands - one holding the flashlight, one holding the mirror, one on the socket extension in front of the starter fishing around for the bolt head, and one on the ratchet or breaker bar handle. The attached picture illustrates how a hands-free flashlight and mirror can help you visually find the bottom starter bolt head. Someone else (smarter than me) suggested replacing the bottom starter bolt with an allen head bolt since an allen head socket it won't slip off the bolt head as easily as a hex head bolt.

Also, I did a write-up on my experience replacing a starter in my 1987 ConWalk here on message #10 - http://www.shamrockboatownersclub.c...endix-doesnt-always-engage.41505/#post-358434

I hope this helps. I got a lot of great advice on this forum before I did this. The first time it took me all afternoon to remove and replace the starter. The second time it took an hour.

You guys are awesome! It is threads like this which keep these boards such a great source for those of us (meaning me!) Who are mechanically challenged! Thank you for taking the time to dig up pictures, write things out and look stuff up to help out the rest of us.
 

Captainbruca

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2011
63
1
Narragansett, RI
My starter/alternator armature rebuild guy suggests applying anti seize on the starter gear and shaft. Worked for me in-between manifold/riser change outs 7-8 years.
 

Hank Eldridge

Member
Jul 13, 2018
20
0
Maine
Want to say thanks to all. The Starter is replaced and what a difference in starting. the old starter had lost a lot of it's torque the engine starts like a car no cranking and cranking.
The reason for failure is the old starter bottom bolt was strip the bolt was tight but there was about a inch of play not tight to the starter. The top bolt fell out and the starter was hanging out and no contact with flywheel. again thanks to all.
P.S instead of mirrors i used a 18$ dollar endoscope and attach it to my tablet to see the rear bolt work great.





contact with flywheel.
20191005_105345.jpg
20191013_131212.jpg
20191005_105345.jpg
 

fishineer

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2011
198
26
Wilmington, NC
Want to say thanks to all. The Starter is replaced and what a difference in starting. the old starter had lost a lot of it's torque the engine starts like a car no cranking and cranking.
The reason for failure is the old starter bottom bolt was strip the bolt was tight but there was about a inch of play not tight to the starter. The top bolt fell out and the starter was hanging out and no contact with flywheel. again thanks to all.
P.S instead of mirrors i used a 18$ dollar endoscope and attach it to my tablet to see the rear bolt work great.





contact with flywheel. View attachment 33207 View attachment 33208 View attachment 33207

Congratulations! Nice clear photos. What brand and model camera did you buy, and will it work on an iPhone or iPad?
 

Leprechaun

Moderator
Jan 28, 2003
3,628
4
Wantagh, N.Y.
Here's a tip you might want to think about. See that little grounding connection - that takes a "push-on" type wire terminal? Take it off the starter's ground stud and throw it overboard. Save the nut and lock washer though.

Next cut the push-on terminal off the end of the ground wire and replace it with a ring terminal that will fit over that bolt. Now use that on the stud, securing it with the factory lock washer and nut. Cover with some marine lube and never think about it again til the next time you refresh the starter.

Why do this? because I had that terminal fall off the little prong and therefore frustrate any and all efforts to get her crankin'. A long offshore BoatUS tow back to my slip was the result. Only after carefully inspecting all the starter circuit connections did that nearly impossible to see little SOB push connector become apparent, hanging in free air, behind the exhaust manifold. . .
 

Hank Eldridge

Member
Jul 13, 2018
20
0
Maine
the camera was me samsung note 9 the table can be either ipad os samsung the camera was bought on Amazon
DEPSTECH USB Endoscope,2.0 MP IP67 Waterproof Borescope, Type-C Snake Inspection Camera with 6 Adjustable LED Lights (16.5ft)
 

Hank Eldridge

Member
Jul 13, 2018
20
0
Maine
Here's a tip you might want to think about. See that little grounding connection - that takes a "push-on" type wire terminal? Take it off the starter's ground stud and throw it overboard. Save the nut and lock washer though.

Next cut the push-on terminal off the end of the ground wire and replace it with a ring terminal that will fit over that bolt. Now use that on the stud, securing it with the factory lock washer and nut. Cover with some marine lube and never think about it again til the next time you refresh the starter.

Why do this? because I had that terminal fall off the little prong and therefore frustrate any and all efforts to get her crankin'. A long offshore BoatUS tow back to my slip was the result. Only after carefully inspecting all the starter circuit connections did that nearly impossible to see little SOB push connector become apparent, hanging in free air, behind the exhaust manifold. . .
I did basically what you said after i had it in thanks for the input do you no anything on transducers i want to upgrade the one that been in there since 85 it looks like and does not work
 


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