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Starter motor options

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tobes
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Starter motor options

Post by tobes » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:35 pm

I'm in the process of giving an engine that I've bought from Pod some preparation before swapping it with the one in my car.

While generally cleaning up and checking things over, my attention has come to the starter motor. (For clarity, this is no slight on Pod, I knowingly bought an engine that had been stored outside and he made it clear that any ancillaries that were working were a bonus). The options I've so far thought of are as follows:

* Assuming it spins on the bench, use the on that came on the engine - Pros: No further expenditure, no scrapping good parts, period correct. Cons: longevity of a starter motor that's been stored in the weather is questionable; pain to change if there is a problem once it's in the car.

* Use the one that's in the car - Pros as above, Cons: I don't entirely trust it, it occasionally won't crank when I turn the key, I've chased this problem before and I think I've improved matters, but changing the starter would be another thing eliminated. Again, if it fails in the car, it's a pain to change.

* Late M30 starter from an E34 (SR441X, I think). Slightly more powerful, lighter, easier to change in situ. Sort of correct for the engine, reasonably cheap / plentiful.

* M70 starter from a 750i or similar - Significantly more powerful, seems to be a common upgrade to M30s in E28s and E30s, though I've not seen it mentioned in the context of an E24 (Has anyone done this? Does it fit?). Reasonably rare and therefore less cheap. Despite being bigger, easier to change again due to solenoid being "beside" the armature, rather than "above" it.

Anyone got any thoughts on the options above? Another better idea that I should investigate?

Thanks in advance
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baders
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by baders » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:53 pm

Rebuild one of the ones you already have ! This is a fairly simple task. Pull it apart, replace bearings if necessary (cheap and available), replace solenoid if necessary, use some electro-lube to clean the parts, grease up, put back together. Bingo, you've learned a new skill and save yourself some Pounds.
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olympia57
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by olympia57 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:58 pm

Option 3 .

Whilst I was restoring my car I occasionally started the engine for various reasons and noticed that sometimes the starter seemed to catch and "stall " prior to turning and starting the engine. I opted to remove it and have a very good local auto electrician rebuild it for me to ensure reliability when the car was complete.
Taking that lump of misery off was one of the two worst jobs I did on the car on a two and a half year resto.....
After some considerable time and blood loss trying to get at the top bolt Ron correctly told me that the ONLY spanner that will access and work on that top bolt is the factory tool kit flat 17mm ring spanner . Even then it was a bitch of a thing to unscrew and remove . Brucey suggested that the earlier E12 based car had deeper webs on the starter motor exacerbating the limited ( as in zero ) access .
This of course is not true if you have fingers that are 75% longer than the normal Caucasian with three double jointed knuckles as a bonus.
After watching the OE starter come to rest after it's third bounce across my yard I decided to go for your option 3 .
Cheap to buy , smaller and lighter than the anchor that it replaced , faster to spin and best of all fitted in secs with the aid of an extension bar on the 17mm socket.
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dwcains
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by dwcains » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:47 am

+1 on the smaller starter. We Alfa guys do the same thing.
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tobes
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by tobes » Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:42 am

Baders, do you have a link for any instructions on what to do and what to replace? I'll admit that I'd rather dismissed the idea of opening them up as an overly complicated procedure involving turning commutators on a lathe. Some simpler preventative servicing seems a good idea.

Though the votes for the later starter are nudging me towards getting a later one from my local breakers, giving that a service and using that.

Thanks guys!
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1974 MG Midget
1955 Land Rover
Sometimes some of them run!

baders
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by baders » Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:18 pm

I guess if you're not that experienced, then get the later version. It is much smaller, easier to install, and more powerful to boot. When you get a chance though, pull that other sucker apart and see how they work. Many good videos on this on Youtube.
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MrE
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by MrE » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:49 am

olympia57 wrote:
After watching the OE starter come to rest after it's third bounce across my yard I decided to go for your option 3 .
Lol. =D>

Tobes - I've done option 3 as well. Removal of the old starter is all the terrible things people say it is, but its definitely worth doing if the old one is becoming unreliable. I bought a refurbished E34 starter through ebay, fits in easily, and its infinitely reassuring every time I turn the key compared to the tired & sluggish operation of the 25 year old one.
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by WISE9UY » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:45 am

Another +1 for the smaller starter. That inner bolt is a right pain to remove without the special half moon spanner so why not just make the correction that BMW finally made for the M30 B35 :)
------------------------------------
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by Da_Hose » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:11 am

I have to say that with an M6, I would not swap out the starter for different. Although after you take off the plenum, using the ring spanner actually makes it into a fairly easy job.

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Re: Starter motor options

Post by sharkfan » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:22 pm

Can anyone give a part number for the later smaller starter number that fits a 1982 onwards 635CSi please?
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olympia57
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by olympia57 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:03 pm

sharkfan wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:22 pm
Can anyone give a part number for the later smaller starter number that fits a 1982 onwards 635CSi please?
The receipt for the one I fitted to my M30 engined series one has part number STM1024 listed on it.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STM1024-STAR ... #vi-ilComp
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by tschultz » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:08 pm

SR441X from the M30b35

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Re: Starter motor options

Post by bpoliakoff » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:32 pm

+++
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flickr.com/photos/bertsphotos.

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Re: Starter motor options

Post by konzelmann » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:07 pm

Just did this job on a 1986 635.

Took off nothing, took apart nothing, undid nothing, except the 2 starter bolts. Used the 17mm wrench from the BMW tool kit.

With the BMW wrench in hand, getting the original starter off wasn't too difficult and didn't take that long. Getting it out without taking anything apart was a bit of a pain, it barely fit out in the space I had available.

Using the SR441X as the replacement, fitting the starter back in was much easier. What took me a long time was trying to bend down over the engine, holding the starter in position with my left hand, trying to line up bolt holes, and blindly trying to get the bottom bolt threaded with my right hand. Took many hours to get that done - but I'm not that great of a backyard mechanic.

Definitely start with the bottom bolt when you're bolting up the new starter. Once I finally got it threaded and the starter in place, the top bolt went in easy. Biggest problem there was trying to get the top bolt to where it needed to be and in a position where I could fit it into the hole to start tightening it. Ended up using a bit of fishing line to dangle it down to my hand that was in position ready to accept the bolt and get it in place.

Wish I could be someone bragging about getting it done in record time, but I'm just happy that I could do it at all. Quite challenging, I nearly gave up a few times. I'm sure someone who does stuff like this more often would have found it much easier, because the job itself seems like a piece of cake if you have the BMW wrench and once you've figured out where the bolts are.

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Re: Starter motor options

Post by ron » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:52 am

"konzelmann"

Put your location in your profile as requested by admin.
They are ALWAYS rustier than you thought!!!!!!
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by Brucey » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:05 pm

a few thoughts on this matter;

1) I have always presumed that this job is worse on a LHD car than a RHD car, because there are more braking system parts that are liable to be in the way. Then again a 5/82 to 9/86 RHD car will have a LH MC and the ruddy pushrod arrangement, so maybe there isn't that much difference with those.

2) Are we (collectively) missing a trick here? Specifically I would expect the job to be a piece of cake with any starter motor if only the original bolts were replaced with capheads….?

3) One of the difficulties is getting the bolts into position. It occurs to me that a thin section 'O' ring (or similar) might be fitted to each bolt (perhaps in a small groove in the bolt added for this purpose?) such that the bolts become semi- captive in the starter motor. This way the motor can be offered up with the bolts in position already.

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Re: Starter motor options

Post by Da_Hose » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:01 pm

Being an M6 owner, I can tell you that the LHD with an S38 is a giant pain when it comes to dealing with the starter. You have to remove the entire plenum to get access. The bolt access issue is most definitely the same though.

The best tool for getting the nuts loose/tight is a thin wall box end wrench. The HEYCO double box end straight wrench that is in the tool kit is a great option, so I bought a spare. Then I went and got some offset double box end wrenches ("S" shaped) that make the job way easier. Just make sure the wrenches you buy are very thin walled.

For installation, get some hose, and slip a couple pieces over the head of the bolt. Makes threading them on WAY easier, then you just pull it off when the bolts bite enough for the hose to slip. I used some leftover clear tubing from some project or other. I do the same thing with spark plugs, except with some spare fuel line.

Jose
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by GazM3 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:05 am

It looks like the m70 starter is a bolt on proposition to the m88/s38/m30 family. Is this the case as the starter sounds way cooler than the original oem one.
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by OnTheFritz » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:43 pm

Bringing back an old thread, but I have a new SR444X starter for an M70 engine on its way to me now. I'll report back with my findings and results
8/87 635CSi A w/ Conforti chip, #3266516
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by nick88highline » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:25 pm

OnTheFritz wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:43 pm
Bringing back an old thread, but I have a new SR444X starter for an M70 engine on its way to me now. I'll report back with my findings and results
Be interesting to hear what you find. I've just replaced my started with an SR441X (proper Bosch number is 0 986 014 890) and it's much easier to fit. I had to remove the front suspension cross member to get the old one out.
I used some ARP 12pt M10 bolts instead of the factory ones as the ARP ones have a reduced size head - 12mm instead of 17mm, which meant I could use my little Mac Tools ratchet spanner to refit them. I would not use internal wrenching hex head bolts here because you wouldn't be able to get to the top bolt from above.
New motor feels a little "violent" compared to the old one, so will be interesting to see how the M70 motor works out.
Nick
Last edited by nick88highline on Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starter motor options

Post by OnTheFritz » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:59 am

Well, it went in, but not without a fight \:D/

I was taking a step into the dark doing this upgrade, as I haven't seen any documentation on people actually mating the SR444X to an M30. Here are my findings.
The solenoid is clocked differently than the regular, being perpendicular to the mounting tabs instead of off to one side like on the SR441X. This means that the solenoid sits right up against the bottom of the intake runners, which leads to the heater core hoses needing to be nudged out of the way slightly to avoid being squished. This is the biggest obstacle of getting the new starter in place: if you don't have the hoses routed "in front" (read: away from the intake, closer to the driver fender) of the starter, it will not move and rotate fully in to place. I fought with this for good 45 minutes before realizing what needed to happen. But once the hoses are moved, the starter should be more willing to be moved in to position and hold its place while you thread the bottom bolt in (some forearm strength is required to help keep it in place). Then, with a little more maneuvering, the top bolt will thread in, and the only remaining thing is to snug them tight.
Another slight hitch one might encounter is the power leads for the solenoid. As it sits higher up in the engine bay, the 3 cables that attach to it need to be moved/tugged on slightly to allow more length. Clamping them down is also more difficult because you have to rely mostly on feel to get the cables on the terminals due to visibility being cut with it being mounted higher.

As for dimensions, I was a little concerned when comparing the two. Length was a slight issue, but not major at all: Image

More of my fears came from this:
Image

I wasn't aware of any differenced in the pinion housing, so this was a surprise when I saw it. The pinion/bendix housing on the SR444X protrudes into the bell housing less than the stock/SR441X starter, which worried me that it wouldn't engage. However, it engaged just as it should do when first cranked over.

Here are some mediocre pictures of how the motor and solenoid are situated now with the slightly different design.
The heater core hoses had to be pulled out from under the intake manifold to make room for the starter solenoid
Image

Starter and solenoid with attached cables. Gives perspective on why the heater core hoses needed to be moved
Image
Also shows the starter wires being snaked through the mess of hoses. Some work was needed to make the wires reach the solenoid in its new position, but everything works well.

And here is an enthusiastic video demonstrating what this results in: https://youtu.be/48pcP6rPHGk

An SR444X starter does fit on our M30s! Just be prepared to move some things around and leave some skin behind when awkwardly trying to support the starter while threading in the bottom bolt. It's as ugly of a job as everyone says it is, but having a car that reliably starts without issue is worth the trouble.
8/87 635CSi A w/ Conforti chip, #3266516
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