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Needing a starter... suggestions?

This is a discussion on Needing a starter... suggestions? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Wondering if any of you with headers have burnt up your starters and what did you replace it with? Thinking ...

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    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Needing a starter... suggestions?

    Wondering if any of you with headers have burnt up your starters and what did you replace it with? Thinking about replacing it with a gear reduction starter so that it'll hopefully not get too close to the headers and burn up again.
    2000 Pontiac Firehawk #0041 of 742

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    I've never heard of headers burning up a starter. Was your starter maybe too close to the headers? I have headers and it hasn't happened to me. What headers do you have? Are you sure the headers burned up the starter and it wasn't something else? I agree with the smaller starter if the headers really burned up the starter.

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    i have the MSD starter........happy with it

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bberretta View Post
    Wondering if any of you with headers have burnt up your starters and what did you replace it with? Thinking about replacing it with a gear reduction starter so that it'll hopefully not get too close to the headers and burn up again.
    Just so you know. LS motors already come factory with gear reduction mini style starters. They have a 4:1 reduction if my memory serves. You won't find one any smaller either, especially with a support snout for the gear.
    They aren't close enough to the headers to even cause a problem (unless you are running a brand header I've never seen).

    Both of my 4th gens run pacesetter headers, and neither of them are coated either. Both still have the 10 year old OEM starters that work flawlessly, header heat and all.

    Maybe it was just time for your start to give up the ghost. If it were me, I'd replace with another OEM and go another 10 years or more.

    These little mini LS1 starters work so well I also run one on my 640HP 454 chevelle with hooker 2 inch headers running right next to it. I also run one on my 79 454 pickup truck with headers that are "scary close" to the starter.
    They turn both engines over without complaint.

    If it makes you feel any better, these LS style starters are the same type of starters used on all the big block applications throughout the early 90's and beyond, just made for the larger 168 tooth flywheel of course.

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    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Firebirdjones- thanks for the info. That helps out a great deal. I don't have the ability to crawl under my car currently due to surgery I had last thursday that wound up in the removal of my top right rib (weirdest thing you've ever heard...) I should be up and able to get the factory starter out in a couple of weeks, but I think you're right about the stock starter. I may just send it over to an armature shop and have them rebuild it- no sense in buying another one when a rebuild will suffice. Now that I'm thinking a little more clearly (letting the percoset wear down a bit) I'll get a friend of mine who owes me a few favors to pull the starter.

    And yes, it was common for headers to burn up starters on older cars. Starters used to be larger and were closer in proximity to the headers and would burn up the motors. Newer style gear reduction starters are smaller and clear headers better. Now that I'm thinking a little more clearly, Firebirdjones is right. I think it was a LS starter that I put on my Nova and my truck after I put header on them and their starters burnt up.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Not a problem, that's what we are here for.

    I've used these GM mini starters for about 15 years now, they work great on everything from mild small blocks to big HP big block chevys.
    I like to use them because they are easier to handle and lighter weight. About 4 lbs. compared to the larger style at about 22-25 lbs. Plus most of the aftermarket mini starters don't have a support snout for the gear, very hard on the bendix drive when that thing hits the flywheel/flexplate and tries to turn the motor over. I've found they don't last more than a couple years of daily use. The GM mini starters have the snout to support the gear, much better design for longevity.

    An old trick that I still employ on one car with the larger gen 1 starters to combat heat was to install a ford style solenoid away from the engine. This does not however keep heat away from the armature. This method turns over a 10:1 406 easily even in the hottest days of summer. I'm waiting for that starter to die, in which case I'll switch the car over to the GM mini as well.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Here is a shot of an aftermarket mini I used on that same 406 for about 2 years. As you can see, no support snout and this starter is already junk. The gear wobbles around, the bushings are completely shot. Just too much pressure when the gear engages the flywheel, forcing it in the opposite direction it turns. The only advantage to this style is the fact that the housing can be clocked in various positions as seen by all the holes in the aluminum block. They are still somewhat bulky though for a mini starter if you ask me.
    This is Powermaster starter. There are more expensive brands out there but they employ the same design, which in my opinion is junk. I prefer the support casting for the gear, which all your GM mini starters will have. There are also some aftermarket mini starters that copied GM's design with a support snout.

    If you ask me, I'd recommend avoiding this style all together.


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    have you used the Bosch SR8581N starters? Just wondering where the best place might be to pick up a new starter. Most I see either look cheaply build or are reman's.

    thanks.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-SR8581N-New-Starter/dp/B000BZN7LS/ref=au_pf_pfg_s?ie=UTF8&Model=Camaro|432&n=1568418 1&s=automotive&Make=Chevrolet|47&Year=2002|2002&ca rId=001[/ame]

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    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    I just had mine rebuilt at a local shop. Cost $150, but I know it's good.

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    Senior Member bills98ta's Avatar
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    I'm still running the original 98 starter...14:1 compression, never had a problem... I better go knock on some wood...

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