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TR2/3/3A Early/Late Starter?

Tropical TR

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
Gentlemen,

I think the pictured starter is the "Bullnose" or "Bomb" type used on pre-TS50000 cars. Is that correct? From what I have read, supposedly this will work fine with post TS50000 cars (with the transmission bulge) as long as there is a press-on flywheel ring, but one should not try to use it with a bolt-on ring. Your verification would be appreciated. Believe I just restored the wrong starter (even if it was on my car before).....

P2210005.jpg
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
I can't quite make out the number on the starter; but assuming that is a TR3 starter then that's all correct. The Lucas part number stamped into the housing should be 25541 if it's an original (though there are some other numbers that will work).
Note that it's also a different flywheel for the pressed-on ring gear and early starter.

The early starter won't work with some tubular headers, but doesn't sound like that's an issue for you. The stock exhaust manifold angles forward a bit to clear the starter.
 

Geo Hahn

Yoda
Country flag
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...one should not try to use it with a bolt-on ring...

True in theory, but not the case in my experience (which is limited to one car).

Sometime before I got my pre-50000 TR3A the engine was replaced with a post-50000 variety that has a bolt-on ring gear. Because they still had the original gearbox (no big bulge) they reinstalled the earlier starter.

It has been like that for the 37 years I have had the car and it works fine. I suppose it is possible that the flywheel eventually got its teeth battered into submission and they now resemble the beveled teeth of the press on ring gear - at least in the two areas that are available for engagement when the engine stops.

Bottom line - don't do it, it doesn't work -- unless you (like me) are oblivious to the problem for a few decades.

Good news is: with luck you may be able to sell that bomb, buy a correct rebuilt and come out money ahead.
 
OP
T

Tropical TR

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
Thanks Geo and Randall. The number is 25541H and there is a "9 58" after it. I'm guessing that could be production month/year. So now I just need to conform which flywheel I have. If it is the older style, then I could still be in business with this starter, right?
 

Geo Hahn

Yoda
Country flag
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Yes. I cannot recall if you can see the presence or absence of bolts by peering into the starter opening but certainly removing the sheet metal cover from the lower part of the bell housing will reveal all.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
The ends of the holes for the ring gear bolts are visible through the starter hole.

IMO the early starter is better in some ways, a slightly better gear ratio and the shaft supported at both ends. Its weak point is the bonded rubber drive sleeve, which doesn't like engines that have been modified with high compression or oversize liners.

But either one will work fine, as long as you have the right flywheel with it.

PS, I have seen the combo Geo mentioned fail. It worked at first, but after a bit of wear, the gear teeth would slip.
 
OP
T

Tropical TR

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
Thanks again Randall and Geo. I know the way ahead now...

Regards, Walt
 
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