View Full Version : Gear reduction starter

06-03-2005, 08:12 PM
Tonight, after spending the past two weeks re-installing my brand-new engine, I was really hoping to go for a spin for the first time since I removed it from the 250 last June. With the weather finally warm, and dry (it rained nearly every day in May), it was going to be just what the doctor ordered: my personal prescription for chasing away the blues...but,I never replaced the starter. I was hoping to save some hard-earned cash by staying with the original starter which worked fine on a very loose and worn-out engine. Now, though, it barely spins fast enough to turn the motor over. It started a couple of times (sounded great, oil pressure in the 80-90 psi range), but the starter just plain wore out, even with jumper cables attached to give the new Die-Hard a boost. The starter motor got very hot to the touch. I'm sure it needs to be replaced; it's probably as old and tired as the motor was before the re-build.
My questions concerns these new gear-reduction starters I see for sale through various vendors: Are they worth the extra money? Will they fit on a TR250 that has a 6-3-2 header system in place? What kind of wiring changes are required?
I need to make a decision quick or I'm going to start taking my frustrations out on the cat!

06-03-2005, 09:30 PM
Dave, I installed the gear reduction starter on my TR6 with the 6-3-2 headers and I had to turn the starter 180 degrees to clear the header. (It was previously installed when I had stock cast exhaust manifold and it went right-side-up) Spinning it 180 was no problem as they all have different mounting holes. However....this resulted in my having to insert the upper mounting bolt through the mounting flange before I spun it on its axis. Getting the nut to go on from the engine compartment was quite a trick. Would be a snap if the tranny tunnel weren't in place. You will have to see it to understand. Doable, but a little tough. The Jap starter really turns the six over. Highly recommend it.
I don't like cats so you can go ahead and kick it for me.


06-03-2005, 10:31 PM

I installed a gear reduction starter on my TR4, which is substantially different from your car, of course. However, I can tell you I shopped around extensively and found the best prices on eBay.

A seller I found there specializes in rebuilt gear reduction starters for British cars and knows his stuff. He has a website at www.britishstarters.com (https://www.britishstarters.com) where you can buy directly, not have to go through the auction, if you wish.

Good item, good instructions and followup, fast shipping and final cost was far less than any of the major vendors are asking.

One other tip, you might want to consider a heat shield to help protect the starter, especially with headers. My car's headers are wrapped, so I didn't install any shield. But, unwrapped headers will really toast the starter, among other things.

Hope this helps!


06-03-2005, 11:14 PM

I bought a gear reduction starter from the guy Alan referred to that sells on ebay. Haven't installed it yet but you can come over and take a look at it if you want to see the quality. The mounting flange can spin by removing a couple of allen head bolts to adjust for header clearance.

I also second the need for a heat shield. I picked up some sheet metal scraps from TWDick in Gardiner to make one for my 4A. I have a small 18" metal brake for bending right angles and bench mount sheet metal shear for 18ga in my shop that you can use if you want. PeterK

06-04-2005, 12:13 AM

I went through exactly what you're going through with my TR4. Rebuilt the engine, old starter worked for a while, then died. I decided to go with a gear reduction model, and I'm completely satisfied with it. I bought mine from British Parts Northwest.

Now, here's what I know about these starters...

There are apparently two manufacturers of gear reduction starters for our cars. The ones Moss Motors and Victoria British sell can be purchased directly from TSi here:


The British Parts Northwest model is not the same, and I suspect the one available on eBay is identical to the one British Parts Northwest carries. Though Iíve never had any problems with mine, and I suspect that there is very little difference between it and the one TSI supplies, after talking with Ted Schumacher (the owner of TSI), Iím pretty much convinced that for certain applications, the TSI unit is the better starter. BTW, nothing against BPNW Ė Iíve always received excellent service from them, and as I mentioned, Iím completely satisfied with my starter.

I canít really help you with specific fit issues with your car, but I can say that I had no problems at all fitting the gear reduction starter in my TR4.

Iíd suggest you check out the TSI link above and e-mail Ted. He can provide some fairly convincing specifics on the differences between the two units out there. Also, if you buy directly from him, youíll save a bundle (over Moss and Vicky Brit, and wonít be paying much more than what youíd pay for the eBay starter.

Good luck!

06-04-2005, 12:32 AM
Didn't we discuss this before -- that all these gear reduction starters are basically the $65 Izuzu Trooper II starters with a custom-machined mounting plate?

My starter is hosed too. I guess I'm just waiting for it to leave me stranded somewhere before I replace it!

06-04-2005, 01:31 AM
One of the local gurus (with about 40 more cars than you Sammy) brought one and discussed it at our Triumph Club meeting a couple of months ago.

he used this as a guide:


tons of very anal detailed information that turns out to say have someone mill down the thickness of the mounting plate and call it a day. I saw the plate and it's just thinner - nothing complicated that a machine shop couldn't do for you for cheap.

The only gotcha is the core charge at some stores.

06-04-2005, 10:18 AM
Thanks to everyone for their input. This forum is great because of everyone's willingness to help others keep these wonderful cars on the road.
Bill: Sorry, but the cat gets to live another day without being kicked into the next county. Your reply convinced me to go with the gear reduction starter.
Jim & Sammy: I remember seeing that posting and if I wasn't so anxious to get this car on the road I would have gone that route- I seem to have more money than patience sometimes.
Kurtis: Thanks for the link-it explained a question I had concerning the wiring for remote solenoid. Very helpful.
Alan: I will be shielding the starter once it arrives. I wrapped the headers with a graphite-impregnated tape already, but the guy who helped get the car started yesterday (he did the actual re-building) suggested shielding the starter, as well.
Peter: Ditto on the shield. I intend on getting out there soon as I want to see how you installed that radiator shroud in your TR4. I can't figure out to get mine in place! Also, I want to check out your workshop. I'll trade you a cat for some rental space!

06-04-2005, 11:31 AM
Hello Dave,

just be sure that the starter is receiving full voltage, there should be a substantial earth strap, soundly connecting the engine engine to frame somewhere. Motors do not like low voltage and slow turning.
(I am still on the standard Lucas starter on my six (injection model and 10:1 compression) which span my engine when it was rebuilt without any bother at all.)


06-04-2005, 12:02 PM
It sounds as if you might have a poor ground. Try this. Take a jumper cable, attach one end to the engine and the other end to the negative post of the battery then start the car. If it starts like it should, you have two options-replace the exisiting ground strap or add an additional strap.

If it doesn't start, yo have a bum starter.

06-04-2005, 12:19 PM
Regarding the Isuzu Trooper starter conversion. I purchased one of these from Autozone for kicks to see how it would match up with my tr6. The mounting holes are correct however the flange does not fit the receiver plate on the engine, too small. It would definitely require a custom machined mounting plate otherwise its a perfect fit. Cost is $64 + $25 core, Part No. 16878 for a 1987 Isuzu Trooper II non-diesel.

06-04-2005, 12:31 PM
Kurtis: Thanks for the link-it explained a question I had concerning the wiring for remote solenoid. Very helpful.

[/ QUOTE ]


One suggestion regarding wiring... Don't simply bypass the built-in solenoid on the gear reduction starter. I'm pretty much an electrical dunce, but I suspect these gear reduction starters pull more current than the original starters, and I have questions about the original starter solenoid's ability to handle said additional current. I know I hooked mine up that way (with a bypass) originally, and the contacts on my solenoid fused within a month. It could have been ready to go anyway; however, there is a better (IMHO) alternative. I replaced my original solenoid, and now use it to trigger the built-in solenoid on the gear reduction starter only. See the attached PDF file I've put together. Option 1 was my original configuration, and Option 2 is my current configuration. Note that with Option 2 that the main power supply for the starter is always hot, and the original ignition/solenoid is simply operating the built-in solenoid on the gear reduction starter.

I don't have a wiring diagram handy for a 250, but I'm assuming that the starter wiring is similar to my TR4. If not, you'll have to adjust accordingly. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Good luck, and feel free to ask me if you have any additional questions.