Does a re-build of a starter do more than replace the brushes?

So you’ve accessed the solenoid contacts under the truck? They can look good, but it’s the metal they’ve lost over the decades that keeps them from making good contact.

I took it off.

I took the whole starter to the Zone of Auto. They tested it this time. They told me it’s good.

How about bringing the complete assembly to a local auto electric shop and asking them to do an overhaul?

They should be happy for the business, and the starter will likely be trouble-free for as long as you need it

As I recall, @George_San_Jose1 swears by those little shops, as he’s recommended them many times over the years

I’d go that route, before buying an autozone starter

You didn’t have to remove the starter from the vehicle to see it work one more time, you could have tapped on it with a hammer. That is effectively what you did, you rattled it around, then bench tested it and it began to work again.

Yep, now that it’s out rebuild it.

I tried that before I took it out, per @Shanonia’s instructions.

Too late! I put it back in this morning.

Is there a way to test it without starting? I took careful notes when I took it out, put everything back, tightened the nuts and bolts, but I’d hate to have it destroy itself 'cause I missed something. It’s in a crowded mess of wires and tubing, many of them unused. One of the videos told me to be careful because it would hurt if it fell on my head, but I had to work to find a route to get it out.

The few times I’ve messed with car starters, I ended up putting in a new one because the labor to get the old one out was enough that I didn’t want to take the chance and rebuild it myself, put it in, have it fail to help, and have to do the whole job over to replace it. The only ones that were different were on a 64 Chevy pickup 6 cylinder because it was easy to get to, and a Nissan Maxima V-6 that had the starter right on top of the engine. On motorcycles they are smaller and lighter and so I have taken them apart, blow out a lot of crud and carbon, check the commutator and coils and replace the brushes, lube what I could and put it back in.

Measure the voltage at the positive stud on the starter and at the solenoid connector while the ignition is in the “start” position.

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Maybe modern cars are different, we used to run a jumper cable from the pos of the battery and hit the stud with the other end of the cable, if it cranked we knew it was not the starter, also a way to emergency start if the solenoid or cable was bad.

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Call local parts stores and ask if they sell an inexpensive inductive ammeter.

It’s placed on the positive battery cable, and the starter is engaged to measure the amp draw of the starter.


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I started off thinking that, but cheaped out when I saw how good it looked and it passed all the tests.

Before or after the solenoid’s switch?

I already have one.

You passed on fixing a 30+ year old starter with 150,000 miles? Really?

I took it apart, checked every component, found them all good, abraded off the little gunk that had accumulated on electrical contacts, tested it myself and had the Zone of Auto test it: I did a re-build. If it still doesn’t work: boo me.

If it doesn’t work they may sell the solenoid contacts separately, you can just replace them. That what I did.

It started up. It took a minute, but neither the battery nor the starter flagged. I made trip 377 to the home store to buy supplies for the renovation that will never end.

Thanks for all your help.

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