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TR2/3/3A Rebuilding the early tr3 starter


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Rebuilding the early tr3 starter. The sleeve assembly on my early starter has failed in a way I have not experienced plus I recently rebuilt it; the little ears on the rubber drive piece wore down or fell apart rather than the vulcanized rubber shearing. The little ears on the aftermarket part look like softer metal than the old ones. My worry is if I replace the rubber sleeve with another one, I will have the same problem. Perhaps there is more detail picture somewhere on how much play if any should be in the whole moving drive assembly. I did crank with this starter more because this is the engine where the cam failed, and it took me some time to figure things out, so maybe a rebuild would do it

It appears as the system engaged the rubber drive, it gradually wore down the corners of metal on the rubber drive and opened up the drive assembly enough so the ears could push away the drive rather than stay keyed in place and lock the drive. Maybe more brass washer shims or a stronger internal spring would hold it tighter together and stop any unwanted twisting.

I imagine the aftermarket drive sleeve assembles are all manufactured in the same place because the market is so small. I guess I should get the best deal money wise on the sleeve and move on from there. Perhaps there is a way to hold the old assembly together better. The parts have worn nicely over the years and perhaps that wear is the problem. John rebuilt one years ago so his pictures should help. Anyways, I really do like how those old starters are put together. I came by a high torque in my travels, but I believe it fits a tr4

Thanks steve


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i move to my back up early starter which worked briefly, and I am doing research on these old early starters using the Bentley book which states to use paraffin on the drive and to have NO dirt. There was some blackening on the drive from old oil, perhaps oil?. The drive did not want to come out the last ÂĽ inch to push back on the first spring of the assembly, and it did work briefly, but I am not sure it needs to move to the end. It looks to me like that might be the problem with the drive, but taking the starter in and out to test is real work. I put WD40 on the drive and worked it-- in and out ---and it seems to work better.

I guess paraffin is wax and oil that does not attract as much dirt as oil. The drive I am working on has the rubber sleeve still volcanized but the starter stopped engaging. It sounded like the rubber sleeve had spun free, but no. I am thinking now maybe I did not test the solenoid correctly. There is an old school starter place in town that does big rigs and small stuff. I kinda hate to bug them, but this knowledge is becoming esoteric.

The painful part is when the solenoid, battery, starter problems comes up, I have not been sympathetic enough on the diagnoses to others—karma



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Paraffin in the UK was used in heaters and lamps so it is probable similar or the same as Lamp oil. We used it to clean bicycle chains and bearings.



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I put my back up starter back together and installed it with a known good solenoid and the engine turned over briefly for a couple revolutions. This leads me to believe the field coils are giving resistance to the starter motor mostly because there is some rust in behind the cotton windings. the good news is I think the drive is good. When I got this starter it had recently been rebuilt, but probably back in the 1980s because the tabs on this barn find car where from 1980. Who ever rebuilt it welded the big Phipps screws to the case, so I will need to grind the screws out. They used new or rewrapped coils. The outer cotton looks new, but the back side of field coil cotton perhaps has rotted and grounded because I can see some small deep rust spots.

I took an ohm meter and walk around the armature shaft with no shorts (maybe that is growling).Next I tested the drive by twisting on the assembly to make sure it locked one way out. Then I took the field coils and case from the other starter and moved them to this starter. Today I plan to install this new combo of starter parts and see if it starts……… Also, I will do a test on the coils of the back up case with an ohm meter for ground and a test light to see if the circuit is complete between the coils.

thanks steve


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Well I am one happy guy; I combined the starters and came up with a good one for today anyway. Heck I only have 98 miles on the rebuild of the car. Anyways, the starter in the picture came with the car and was a fresh rebuild, kinda col I thought because this car sat for 40+ years. However, they never painted the inside of the case and bare the metal rusted to ground. The armature seems to fine. I could use a new drive gear. I used to see them on eBay and Moss used to sell them. I talked to the guy at BPNW who seems very knowledgeable. He said he stop selling parts for boom shell type starter because most the parts are not available plus people had problems getting a good rebuild because of the parts.



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