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timtechcorvairwiki:08_electrical_systems:starter_rebuild_update

Starter Rebuilt Update

By Tim Palmer, Green Country Corvair Group

All of us who attended the tech session this month found out something new about starters. Maybe the most important is that they are not that hard rebuild. We also found that many “rebuilt” starters and parts were not rebuilt very well. The best news it that all the parts that wear are available either locally or from the Corvair vendors. From experience it is best to stick GM (Delco) parts if possible. This may cost a little more, but the tow home would cost a lot more. All Corvair starters and parts are interchangeable, except for the 1960 model. The 1960 model is the same as all the others with the exception of the starter nose housing. From the picture:

  • 1- The starter nose is no longer available from GM but is from others. Usually all it needs is a new bushing. Be sure to check the Armature shaft for scarring. If there is, it should be turned and an undersized bushing used. The housing is sometimes broken. This usually indicates a bad ring gear, but could also be caused by an improperly installed starter or one that is worn out. We have noticed some of the housing have a seal for the starter Bendix to keep out water I guess. This would probably be preferable for a Corvair you drive everyday.
  • 1A*- This gasket was missing from most of the starters.It's main purpose is to keep water out of the starter. We saw first hand the effects on Tom Wisby's starter.
  • 2*- This should be a pin with a snap ring to keep it in. Many rebuilders used bolts with a nuts. probably not a good idea. TIP: take note of how you install the pin. Remember the start is installed at a angle. You want to install it such that if the snap ring falls off the pin will stay in place.
  • 5*- This is the main wear item on a starter. All the ones we looked at were worn. Some rebuilders will turn them around to use the outer side of the pads. We suggest replacement since the cost is low and that insures full engagement.
  • 7- The solenoid should be taken apart and cleaned. The brass or copper parts should be buffed with a wire brush. It is very important this be cleaned for good electrical contact. The battery terminal can be turned around 180 degrees to expose a new wear surface. The contact ring must be cleaned thoroughly.
  • 12,13,14*- This combination thrust bearing and snap ring was broken, worn or missing pieces on many of the starters. It is also easy to break the snap ring taking it off. Use the wooden block to install as shown the shop manual, it works!
  • 15-18- One of the main parts to fail. Beware of any aftermarket Bendix's. We have seen a great many problems with aftermarket ones. We have seen no problems with GM Bendix's.
  • 19- This assist spring was missing from some of the starters. The spring is not shown in the 65 shop manual. The parts book is not much help. My Chilton's indicates this EARLY PRODUCTION. Does anyone know the history?
  • 20- The armatures are usually good. Check with a meter as shown in the shop manual. Check for bad wear on the commutator and bearing surfaces. Black burned into the commutator indicates the starters has been hot and the commutator will have to be turned. Also check the solder joints to the commutator for loose connections caused by the starter getting to hot and throwing the solder out of the joint.
  • 20A*- This fiber washer is either missing or messing up on almost all the starters. It should be there to provide proper end play.
  • 21- This bushing in the end frame rarely shows wear since it is loaded lightly. A new end housing with a bushing already installed can be purchased.
  • 26*- Brushes should be replaced as they are a big wear item and cheap.They are easy to find since they are the same as most GM starters made.
  • 28- The fields are rarely bad. Perform the check with a meter as shown in the shop manual. Normally these are not removed to clean.

In general, follow the instructions in the 61 or 65 shop manual. Use the exploded view to make sure you have all the parts and that they go together correctly. You should bench test the starter after rebuilding to insure proper operation. This can be done with a set of jumper cables and a switch. Nothing is worst than to install a starter and then find that it doesn't work. We feel it is better to spend a few dollars to replace a few of the small items (the ones with *) than to spend time cussing a starter that does not work.

If you need to store the starter before you put it on your Corvair, it is a good idea to put in a large plastic bag with one of those moisture absorbing bags. The bag will keep spiders from building homes in your starter. The moisture absorbing bags will help prevent any rust from forming.

Corvair Exploded Starter View from 1961 Shop Manual.

timtechcorvairwiki/08_electrical_systems/starter_rebuild_update.txt · Last modified: 2015/01/13 17:06 (external edit)