Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

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JedCoop
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Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby JedCoop » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:27 pm

About 10 days ago my starter didn't work. A few cracks on it with a hemmer and the car turned over. Since then I have gotten through the process of removing my old starter. Like anything on the Q, a typical not-so-straightforward process (but much beter than R&R on the alternator!).

My problem has been replacement parts. I first started by purchasing a reman from a local shop - it was in stock - which meant I would be good-to-go real soon. But the remanufactured starter was merely an evil twin of an OEM. It bolted on the same, but it was built differently. The brushes are in a different place, closer to the flywheel. But the real problem is that it is bigger. So much bigger I could not get the starter back in place.

Take a look at the picture. The Remanufactured starter has a slightly larger diameter, and it has bolts on the outside of the starter body. I had read that some have said to jack up the right side of the engine to change the starter. That must be folks who have dealt with a reman starter like this one. In principle I could not install it, so OEM it will be, right?.



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JedCoop
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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration (JedCoop)

Postby JedCoop » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:30 pm

So in going with OEM parts I thought I'd save a few bucks, too. Since I did not hear a click when I made a starting attempt, I figured the solenoid was the culprit. I also openned up the starter and saw that two of the brushes were very worn. So I special ordered the part and they finally arrived today. It was about $80 instead of $250 for a whole starter.

So am I happy yet? Nooo. The solenoid looks fine, but the brushes aren't. The brush holder from Infiniti came with only two brushes... the two that were not worn badly. Take a look at the old brushes.... they barely have any spring left in them. My guess is that they could have been the problem. So here I am 10 days later with my car still in the garage, and starter parts on the floor.

grumble... grumble...grumble...

Online I did not see any other part listed that looked like I had to buy a separate part to get all the brushes. I bet this is special order, and it'll be another week before I get my car back on the road. I'm almost ready to jack up my engine and put the reman in. Or get the OEM starter here ASAP. Put this in and hope it works with the short brushes??? Any recommendations?

Thanks, Eric

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RobertsnewQ
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Postby RobertsnewQ » Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:10 pm

Ask the rebuilder where you got the starter. A lot of those places will sell parts to DIY'ers. If that fails have them rebuild your old starter - one day in most cases.

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JedCoop
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Re: (RobertsnewQ)

Postby JedCoop » Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:20 am

I learned what the missing part was - part number 23380-something.And it is of course on backorder from Japan - and there is no ETA!And this part does not appear to be similar to other Nissan parts.[I bet that is why the remanufactured starter I bought is so different.]

My most reliable bet is to get a whole new OEM starter. I hadn't thought ofseeing if the remanufacturer had the part I need. ... I doubt they have exactly this part, but will ask. It'll probably boil down to whether they can fabricate a replacement part themselves. It is a heavy braded wire connecting into two steel blocks - the "brushes".

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RobertsnewQ
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Re: (JedCoop)

Postby RobertsnewQ » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:08 am

They can - they have the brushes in bulk and solder them to the old wires. Just ask...

Also, 90% of Nippondenso starter parts are used on many different cars and trucks, even Fords, GMs, etc. Rebuilders have racks of the stuff. They probably just have an overly loose interchange manual, which is why they sold you a starter that doesn't fit just right.

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JedCoop
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Re: (RobertsnewQ)

Postby JedCoop » Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:29 pm

Robert,

Thanks for the advice. I brought the starter down to the rebuilder, and they also showed me that the commutator had also become uneven and needed replacing. I gave them the OEM Solenoid and they did the entire rebuild for $89. I am prety sure it was the substantial brush wear that caused the initial problem with the stearter. Works like a charm now.

If I were to do this over again I'd probably bring my starter to the rebuilder first and get it rebuilt instead of looking for another reman that might not fit. 2nd choice is a reman. from Infiniti for about $250.

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JedCoop
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Re: How to install/remove/replace the starter

Postby JedCoop » Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:36 pm

I thought I'd document how to replace the starter since I found sketchy instructions here and a blank spot in the FSM. It took me a little to figure out what tools to use, but once I figured it out the process is simple and quick. Once I had my new starter I put my starter back in and had the car buttoned up and GTG in less than an hour.

For those that don't want the step-by-step instructions, what you really want to know is shown in the picture - the tools used to get those hard to get to starter bolts.

List of Tools

* 1/4" drive ratchet with 10, 12, & 14 MM sockets & 2" - 3" extension

* 10 MM box wrench (for PS fluid tubing on rack)

* 1/2 drive ratchet (for upper starter bolt)

* 14 MM Stubby combo wrench

* 3/8" drive ratchet with 14 MM socket,* 3/8" drive universal joint extention, * two 6" straight extensions 3/8" drive. (or one 6" and two 3")

Procedure

* Disconnect battery

* Remove under pan from car. You need it off to access one of the bolts later.

* Remove PS fluid tubing from steering rack... the one that is near the starter. (This may not be necessary but I did it to make life easier).Note that fluid will leak and leak from the tube. plug it with a rubber stopper or ear plug, or just allow it to drain into a containter for disposal. Or empty the PS fluid before starting the job. And be sure to keep the inlet to the rack clean and covered too (another hearing protector is perfect!).

* Remove heat shield for steering rack - two 10 MM bolts

* Disconnect slenoid wire connector.

* Using a 12 MM socket on 1/4" drive, disconnect battery connection to solenoid. You'll need to remove the rubber cover first.

* Completely disconnect the battery wire - so that they are not touching, the the cable from the battery is free to move around.

* Loosen upper starter bolt using a stubby 14 MM combo wrench. To get enough leverage in the weird space, put the square drive of the 1/2" drive ratchet into the cresent side of the stubby combo. Once loose you might use the 1/4" drive set to get the bolt further out more quickly. Remove the bolt.

* Loosen the lower starter bolt. To do this snake the 3/8" drive extensions from in front of the cross member, over the cross memeber, and through to the starter. You might have to tussle with the cables to get it through.

* Once the extention is at the bolt, just crank it off.

* As long as you have an OEM starter I expect that the starter will come out easily. If you have a starter like the reman I pictured above, then you'll need to be creative - rumor has it that you need to jack up the engine.

* Reverse the process to install. Remember to top off the PS fluid before you start the car!

Nice! - no nightmares or band-aids on this repair if you have the right (common) tools. I had to go out and buy the stubby 14MM once I figured out what I needed.


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Re: (JedCoop)

Postby squeefoo » Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:25 pm

JedCoop wrote: I brought the starter down to the rebuilder,......they did the entire rebuild for $89. Works like a charm now.
Yes !!

I have a generator at a rebuilder right now from a 1949 Farmall tractor -6V Pos. ground. Parts are no problem even for this...

The writeup above needs to be in: http://www.q45.org

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RobertsnewQ
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Postby RobertsnewQ » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:07 am

Yep - that's what I always do when I have a starter or alternator die. There's a shop in Los Angeles that's been there since 1928, that's all they do. At least I know the condition of my parts when I bring them in, instead of getting someone else's problem.

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maxnix
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Re: How to install/remove/replace the starter (JedCoop)

Postby maxnix » Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:13 am

Great write up, Jed.

Attached for download by interested parties for future use.

rpayton
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Postby rpayton » Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:00 pm

JedCoop,Great description. Im using the Stubby combo wrench and the 1/2" drive ratchet as described, NO GO with that Top Bolt!!

How exactly did you break that top bolt???I cant turn this bolt. Are you actually ratching the Stubby OR are you simply using the ratchet for leverage to break the bolt??

The bottom bolt trick worked like a champ. But, I cant get this top bolt to move at all Help!!

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aaronl
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Starter Removal Q45a

Postby aaronl » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:22 am

I read this post and the write up. It looks to me like you have to remove the sway bar. You can do this without removing the sway bar?

jelvin
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Re: Starter Removal Q45a (aaronl)

Postby jelvin » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:58 pm

I just finished removing my starter on my 95 - Q45, I did not have to take the sway bar off but did have to remover the heat shield and the PS fluid tube from the steering rack.

I also used a curved box-end 14mm wrench to break the top bolt loose and the two 6" ext with uni-joint to get the bottom bolt off.


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Re: Starter Removal Q45a (jelvin)

Postby Lifted79CJ7 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:14 pm

I have added onto this thread a little. Hope it helps! The only thing I forgot to add was that I did have to bang on the starter a little (hammer and screwdriver) to seperate the old starter from the block due to corrosion.

Hope this helps someone else out in the future!

Jack

zer...08805

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Re: Starter Removal Q45a (Lifted79CJ7)

Postby aaronl2 » Sat May 24, 2008 9:29 pm

this thread should be included in the sticky articles.

that said, I have an active and am still struggling with the bottom bolt. There are a lot of hoses in the spot where you would swing the ratchet. Tomorrow is another day. So far I haven't messed any thing up.

I used to be aaronl now aaronl2. for some reason my password didn't work and i no longer have my email i registered with

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Re: Starter Removal Q45a (aaronl2)

Postby aaronl2 » Sun May 25, 2008 9:25 pm

all done now. wobble extensions with the uni joint made it possible to dodge the active hoses. 14 mm 1/4" drive socket is a must to do the out and in after you have broken the bolts loose.The brushes were very worn. Maybe they don't go bad often, but worn brushes can happen.

dyne87
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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby dyne87 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:02 pm

well unfortunately i do not own a set of wobbly extensions. However since my AC has never been charged or vacuumed since the motor was replaced in my Q, I was able to take the AC pump off the block and reach all the bolts from the front. Every bit of the procedure was a pain in my @$$ but it was definately easier after the pump was out of the way. I simply ran a socket and a couple extensions over the cross member to reach the bottom bolt and over the motor mount to reach the top. Once it was loose it just had to be rotated out of the housing and pulled down between the sway bar and the tie rod. The procedure is easy in theory but everything is so tight in there it's just plain difficult, especially without a rack to put the car on.

On a side note, does a 93 Q45 have an oil sensor that will keep the car from starting if the oil is too low? Also I talked to my brother and he just happened to buy wobbly extensions the day I pulled my starter. If I had only known.

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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby Q451990 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:00 pm

dyne87 wrote:On a side note, does a 93 Q45 have an oil sensor that will keep the car from starting if the oil is too low? Also I talked to my brother and he just happened to buy wobbly extensions the day I pulled my starter. If I had only known.
:welcome: to NICO!

Interesting first post... I'm guessing we don't need to tell you how to search :D

The Q only has an oil pressure sensor for the "idiot light" on the dash. Nothing like what you describe. Are you still having starting problems after your starter replacement?

If so, one common failure point is the blue starter relay on the firewall on the passenger side.

Heath

dyne87
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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby dyne87 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:01 pm

No, it's no longer having starting problems. Now it's just having idling problems where it likes to die when you first start it but if you drive it down the road for a little bit, it's fine until you shut it off for five minutes and restart it. I'm going to make the assumption that it's my injectors seeing as how they were bad before it quit starting and then it sat for a month and a half (phase 1 rail to boot). Also, since the injectors have been going out for some time (last year was a hard year and injectors aren't cheap) I've noticed that the car runs almost fine in cold weather but in the heat, it's very rough. Again I am assuming this is an injector problem as I have already replaced the MAF and the fuel pump but if it sounds like another problem, I would appreciate any other suggestions.

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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby ironlynnx » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:35 pm

I have to say that this write up saved me a lot of time. Everything I have read previously say you either have to jack the engine up or drop the front cross member. I was able to get the bottom bolt out with the extension trick, but I do not have any stubby wrenches for the top bolt. So I was able to slip a 1/4" ratchet in there and got leverage on it and broke it free.

This car belongs to my step daughter as her first car, bought by her dad. Its a nice car but this one is a lemon waiting to happen.

Thanks for the forum, its going to help while dealing with this car!

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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby Q451990 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:32 pm

:welcome: to NICO!

Your step daughter is lucky to have you to help keep the Q up and running!

Heath

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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby 96qtrip » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:20 pm

The OEM starter failed in December 2014. That unit had the bolts outside the housing which required dropping
the sway bar and the steering rack, The the new starter 12122 warehouse number from Carquest had a smaller body and internal bolts. Slipped into place easily, and we did the socket and extension fight. That starter failed
this month and the third starter is the same config and number. But.....we notched the engine to transmission brace near the lower bolt so a box end wrench could get a 1/6 turn. This eliminated the need for all the sockets, handles etc. From our Porsche work, we have "cranked" offset box end wrenches that can reach the top and lower bolt easily. Installation took 10 minutes...............if I can figure out how to post a picture of the notch and the wrench, I'll do so.

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Q451990
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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby Q451990 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:27 pm

This is one of those jobs I hope I never do. :ohno:

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Re: Starter removal, repair, and parts frustration

Postby 3Q Jay » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:31 am

96qtrip wrote:The OEM starter failed in December 2014. That unit had the bolts outside the housing which required dropping
the sway bar and the steering rack, The the new starter 12122 warehouse number from Carquest had a smaller body and internal bolts. Slipped into place easily, and we did the socket and extension fight. That starter failed
this month and the third starter is the same config and number. But.....we notched the engine to transmission brace near the lower bolt so a box end wrench could get a 1/6 turn. This eliminated the need for all the sockets, handles etc. From our Porsche work, we have "cranked" offset box end wrenches that can reach the top and lower bolt easily. Installation took 10 minutes...............if I can figure out how to post a picture of the notch and the wrench, I'll do so.
Removal and reinstall of OEM unit on G50 does NOT require dropping sway bar or rack. rack must be lowered on the FGY33, but not the G50. G50 does require removal of heat shield over the starboard ps dust boot.
Of course, helpful tips and pictures are always appreciated.
my suggestion to future readers is to rebuild YOUR original nissan branded starter if possible. this guys experience jives with most aftermarket junk being well....junk.


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