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njmikec
09-02-2012, 01:46 AM
Hi Folks,
New member here. I'm Mike from New Jersey and the owner of a '77 Spitfire 1500. I've had her about five years and enjoy all her quirks.

The starter never engaged well. It's a nine tooth.

My question today is a simple one I hope and it's about the starter gear as seen in the YouTube video here:

https://www.youtube.com/v/XBLkGuQKNYcGuQKNYc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"> </embed></object>

I'll replace the starter but I'd like to know how this is supposed to work rather than just replace the part and move on - maybe with the wrong starter.

I'm thinking maybe it's not the right starter since it never worked/engaged very well. I think the starter model is M35G.

Thanks for any advice.

70herald
09-02-2012, 04:41 AM
The basic idea of the inertial starter is that the starter spins and because the bendix gear has its own inertia. it doesn't start spinning instantly so it screws in. Then it engages on the flywheel gear and the bendix screws into the end of the screw on the motor shaft and no longer has any choice so is starts turning. By this time, the starter motor is up to speed so it has lots of inertia and forces the engine to turn. When the engine starts, it is now going faster than the starter so it unscrews the bendix gear and disengages.

The biggest problem is that people oil them and they become sticky. Clean the bendix real well (dunk it in solvent that should work) if you feel the need emotionally to lube it, use something like silicon or molybdenum which wont become stick. the ring gear on the flywheel may also be sticky but that will be "difficult" to clean without taking stuff apart.

dklawson
09-02-2012, 07:43 AM
As above, a common mistake is to "wet lube" the Bendix unit causing it to gum up over time. I was always taught to lube them with graphite powder or moly-disulfide powder. If you have a hobby shop near you, they are a source for the graphite powder.

The coummutator in an inertia starter works very hard. If you are going to the trouble of pulling the starter and working on the Bendix, I would consider taking the motor apart far enough to clean the commutator, blow out the accumulated carbon and copper dust, re-lube the bronze bushings, and of course... check the brush springs and brush length. It will make a difference in starter motor speed.

That said, following the rebuild of our GT6's engine I decided to install a gear reduction starter. It has been a great decision, one I wish I had made earlier.

Andrew Mace
09-02-2012, 10:25 AM
Near as I can tell from your video, the nine-tooth gear has physically separated from the pinion barrel. It's not supposed to do that! The replacement part number is 67H5010 or (from The Roadster Factory) [LU]TLB112. Spitbits, amongst several other vendors, seems to imply that these can be had, but perhaps not easily. But if that's all that's wrong with your starter, it might be worth trying to track one down.

Spitbits listing (https://www.spitbits.com/store/49-DRIVE-GEAR-9-TOOTH-MK1-MK3-P5970C148.aspx)

TRF does list them currently for $34.95.

Auto Electrical Spares in the UK also lists it under TLB112 (https://www.autoelectricalspares.co.uk/starter-motor-drive-m35g-1-9-tooth-replaces-lucas-54252212-tlb112-1555-p.asp).

njmikec
09-04-2012, 03:26 PM
Thanks all for your responses. It struck me odd that the gear would float around on the shaft that way. The starter works well otherwise so I'll have a look at the innards (brushes and whatnot) to see if it's worth replacing that centrifugal gear assembly. Thanks also for the links Andrew.

I might get to use my bearing press to get that spring retainer off. Woo hoo.

Getting that starter out was a bit of a challenge but really just required removing the Oil Press sending unit and the oil filter. After that it was an easy out.

Also toying with the idea of the gear reduction type starter.

Anyone know this one? (https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-GEAR-REDUCTION-STARTER-MOTOR-TRIUMPH-GT6-TR250-SPITFIRE-TR6-LRS00101-2155B-/110868809370?pt=Other_Vehicle_Parts&amp;hash=item19d04 bc69a&amp;vxp=mtr)

njmikec
09-06-2012, 10:44 AM
Ok. So I pressed the gear back into the housing and then brazed it in. I believe though the there is still way too much play/wiggle in the starter itself causing the Bendix gear not to fully travel down the starter shaft and engage with the flywheel. This is probably what caused it to break in the first place. Time for a new/rebuilt starter!


https://www.youtube.com/v/v_facVxTxGwcVxTxGw" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"> </embed></object>


https://www.youtube.com/v/Egwv6iSwkCY <embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/Egwv6iSwkCY" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"> </embed></object>

dklawson
09-06-2012, 11:54 AM
eBay is your friend. Used starters are almost always for sale.

eBay is also where I purchased the gear reduction starter I fitted to our GT6. The new starter I bought was less than some people were selling rebuilt and new inertia starters for. You MAY want to give the gear reduction starter some thought as you prepare to replace yours.

njmikec
09-06-2012, 01:12 PM
eBay is your friend. Used starters are almost always for sale.

eBay is also where I purchased the gear reduction starter I fitted to our GT6. The new starter I bought was less than some people were selling rebuilt and new inertia starters for. You MAY want to give the gear reduction starter some thought as you prepare to replace yours.

Agree and absolutely I'm going to go with the gear reduction starter. This will never be a show car and I don't feel like worrying about this any more. I'm to old to be push-starting cars. This Bendix setup is a bit convoluted to say the least.

Probably this one... (https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-GEAR-REDUCTION-STARTER-MOTOR-TRIUMPH-GT6-TR250-SPITFIRE-TR6-LRS00101-2155B-/110868809370?pt=Other_Vehicle_Parts&amp;hash=item19d04 bc69a&amp;vxp=mtr)

I had the rear leaf re-bent last fall and added Teflon bushings and that really spruced up the ride.

I think I'll tackle the interior this Fall.

dklawson
09-07-2012, 07:02 AM
Your link is to the starter motor I bought and installed so I will offer a couple of suggestions.

When you receive the starter motor, measure the position of the pinion gear relative to the motor's mounting flange. Then make measurements from the mounting plate on the engine to the ring gear on the flywheel. Make sure you will have some engagement but not too much engagement.

See Paul Tegler's web site for some information about this:
Paul T's Isuzu Starter Web Pages (https://www.teglerizer.com/triumphstuff/73gt6br_tropperstarter.htm)

With our GT6 I reduced the thickness of the starter motor spacer from about 10mm to 4mm to get the most pinion engagement possible without interference. I don't know if that will be required on a Spitfire but it is something to watch for.

njmikec
09-07-2012, 09:45 AM
Your link is to the starter motor I bought and installed so I will offer a couple of suggestions.

When you receive the starter motor, measure the position of the pinion gear relative to the motor's mounting flange. Then make measurements from the mounting plate on the engine to the ring gear on the flywheel. Make sure you will have some engagement but not too much engagement.

See Paul Tegler's web site for some information about this:
Paul T's Isuzu Starter Web Pages (https://www.teglerizer.com/triumphstuff/73gt6br_tropperstarter.htm)

With our GT6 I reduced the thickness of the starter motor spacer from about 10mm to 4mm to get the most pinion engagement possible without interference. I don't know if that will be required on a Spitfire but it is something to watch for.

Thanks for the heads-up Doug and the link. It's all about the mesh!

The starter is on the way from eBay. ~6mm is quite a bit so I'll likely take it to the local machine shop. Maybe they can do it. I'll let you know how things turn out.

dklawson
09-07-2012, 11:18 AM
I remember the eBay auction saying that no modifications were required. The instructions sent with the part said something to the effect that some of their customers used the starter without other mods while some thinned down the spacer to the engine plate.

I could have used the starter without any mods but there would only have been about 1/8" of engagement between the pinion and ring gear. While that is probably enough, I wanted more. That's why I thinned down the aluminum spacer. I have the unfair advantage of having a small mill in the garage so I bolted the spacer down and removed the material as needed. I was OK with that for the price of this starter. If I had paid $200 or more for it I would have been VERY unhappy.

Regardless, once you have this starter installed I think you will like it.

njmikec
09-14-2012, 12:07 AM
Hi all and Doug,
Well the gear reduction starter arrived. I bench-tested the starter and it works fine.

On installation, I'm finding that part of the the starter housing is making contact with the steering column. I have not tried to tighten the mounting bolts down because it looks like the situation will only get worse. This problem goes away if I take out the spacer seen between the starter and the bell housing but then the teeth of the starter are constantly meshed with the flywheel - not good.

I sent a note to the vendor. Turns out they are a huge reman business. Maybe they have some ideas. Most likely I'll get an RMA and look elsewhere.

I remember seeing a picture somewhere of this kind of starter where you could change the orientation of the starter and its mounting plate. Does anyone know where to find one of those?

Thanks for any advice.

https://www.njmikec.com/images/77Spitstarter.jpg

njmikec
09-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Epilogue..
The first eBay starter was a wash. No way to mount it.

Solution came from www.britishstarters.com. (https://www.britishstarters.com) A "clockable" starter. Reasonably priced, shipped fast, more power, fits exactly. No muss, no grinding, all good.

$20 to ship the eBay starter back plus a $20 restocking fee with the eBay vendor makes this a $40 lesson.

Restocking fee wth? Make me pay to ship the wrong starter back?

Pfffft.

dklawson
09-25-2012, 06:57 AM
They made you pay a restocking fee AND return shipping for misrepresenting the fit of the product? I am severely disappointed. That is simply not right.

Regardless, I am glad you got a solution that does work. So how do you like the gear reduction starter?

Guest
09-25-2012, 08:02 AM
Reverse the PP funds. It's not your fault they sent the wrong stuff. I have ALWAYS given full refunds and paid for return shipping if/when I sent the wrong/ defective parts.

njmikec
09-25-2012, 10:36 AM
They made you pay a restocking fee AND return shipping for misrepresenting the fit of the product? I am severely disappointed. That is simply not right.

Regardless, I am glad you got a solution that does work. So how do you like the gear reduction starter?


Reverse the PP funds. It's not your fault they sent the wrong stuff. I have ALWAYS given full refunds and paid for return shipping if/when I sent the wrong/ defective parts.

The new starter is very cool. Amazing how the engine jumps to life rather than chugging into a start.

I'm going to reverse the PP funds and leave a neutral.

Anyway, we're back on the road and leaving oil spots all over central NJ. Thanks for the guidance guys.

ncAndrew
12-03-2013, 09:17 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I still want to thank you guys.
My 66 Sprite starter popped its spring out of the Bendix pinion barrel a few months ago. It prevented the barrel from interfacing with the control nut. It also held the pinion's teeth against the flywheel. So I couldn't use the starter to start the car, and I couldn't push-start it to drive it home; I had to remove the starter right there on the street... after pulling off the oil filter.
I never trusted it again, even after I shoved the spring back in and (for some reason) reinstalled the starter.

I tend to shop ebay first, and saw used pieces starting around $40, remans for $150, or $270 for "something weird"...

...But I was looking for a way to remove the pinion barrel from the shaft, so I could carve a new lip into the inside of the barrel to hold the spring in.
My search brought me to this thread and Doug's reference to Paul Tegler's page with the Isuzu starter.

BINGO!
Obviously, that's the $270 weird starter ebay showed, under my search for "midget starter".
Advance Auto sold the Isuzu starter for only $65, and I decided that's the way to go (pun not intended but enjoyed).
Even if I had "successfully" carved a new groove into the barrel, I don't think I ever would have trusted it again. It was getting tired anyway, so that's that.

Thanks again!
-Andrew

dklawson
12-04-2013, 09:21 AM
So how do you like the Isuzu starter so far? I have seen it installed on several race engines but none of my A-series owning friends have it on a street car. At $65 I expect you like and trust it! That's not a bad price when you consider a new Bendix unit for a Lucas starter is typically around $30 plus you have to make or borrow a spring compressor to install it!

ncAndrew
12-04-2013, 12:30 PM
It's great! I can't tell you how excited I am to have found such an inexpensive upgrade.
$65 is nice, and yes I trust it much more not to leave me on the side of the road with no alternate method of starting it.
I've been push-starting it for 2 months now, out my driveway, out of the parking lot at work, even on a date!

The only gripe I could have for the Isuzu starter is that I had to beat the right footwell in a few millimeters to allow space for the big solenoid. No big deal.
In fact, considering the piggy-backed solenoid, I removed the stock piece.

Wow, Doug, you're in Durham? Have you ever been to the British Classic Car show at North Hills in Raleigh? Maybe I'll see you around!
Cheers!
-Andrew

dklawson
12-04-2013, 01:18 PM
Wow, Doug, you're in Durham? Have you ever been to the British Classic Car show at North Hills in Raleigh? Maybe I'll see you around!
Cheers!
-Andrew

I go to the show every year, always with the Mini and sometimes with the GT6 if my wife wants to go. This year we took both. I had the only classic Mini and my wife had the only GT6.

The Midget in your picture looks familiar. Perhaps I have seen it at the show.

ncAndrew
12-12-2013, 05:17 PM
The Midget in your picture looks familiar. Perhaps I have seen it at the show.

Yeah, it's a Sprite. It always gets stuck in with the Midgets, of course. It's a DD, and was definitely the worst looking car there, but I love it.