Anyone have experience rebuilding a starter?


Old 12-07-08, 12:24 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 171
Anyone have experience rebuilding a starter?

Anyone have advice regarding a do-it-myself attempt to clean/refurbish up a starter motor/solenoid from a 1995 nissan Altima w/auto.? I would rather spend the $$ on X-mas for the kids than buy a new motor.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:53 PM
Speedwrench's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,698
first thing is can you get acess to parts? most of the time you can only get some of the parts for a rebuild. use a ohm meter to check the aramture for short to ground and resistance of the windings, each copper land will have to be checked for leakage to ground and resistance to the other land. the magnet winding also have to be checked for resistance and shorts, then the solinoid usually will need to be replaced as the copper switch inside of it can be badly pitted and usually is not field servicable. check the brushes for length/wear, the bushings for wear, the starter bendix to make sure that the sprag clutch works in one direction only and that it is not showing wear on the gear.
unfortunatly I do not know the resistance values for the various windings in the starter, the best way to test a armature is a growler but they are kinda rare these days.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
Old 12-07-08, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Owen Sound Ontario Canada
Posts: 541
Have you got a friend that knows starters that will help out if you cant put it back together?
Starters are fairly simple to take apart and look at.
Mostly bearing and brushes go bad.
If there is damage to the armature (Big rotating mass of wire) or the field (Wire mass attached to frame) then I would just throw the starter away.
Depends on what is wrong with the system. You may just need a new solenoid.
Have you considered a starter from a scrap yard?
Hard to give advice like this.
I guess I would say to give it a shot after finding pictures of taking a starter apart from the net. If you cant fix it or get it back together then you would have to take it to someone that knows or get another one.

We at this site could help figure out if it is the starter or the solinoid if we had more info. A new solenoid is real cheap and easy to change>
Old 12-07-08, 02:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 171
The starter works most of the time, so I am hoping to clean it up a bit and not get in over my head. Some black dust came out of a hole in the starter case so that's why i think a quick clean up might be the thing. usually i would be at the parts store buying the replacement and have this thing taken care of but the ol' lady said no dinero until after Christmas. plus if I mess it up i haven't lost much since most likely i will be getting a new starter/solenoid anyway.

I think i will change solenoid first and then starter since they can/are seperate.

Thanx dudes!
Old 12-07-08, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 912
[ the best way to test a armature is a growler but they are kinda rare these days.

I got one but I wont be in Texas for month or so.
Old 12-08-08, 06:01 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,575
Often the wear is in the contacts and plunger in the solenoid. Here's a Toyota starter that's typical, Nissan may be similar:

Old 12-09-08, 07:11 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 171
Thanx dudes!

I just went and got a refurbished starter at a local parts store. It was 3x as much as a junkyard, but it looks like we will be keeping this car for another 2 years so i want to know what i have under the hood. I also want a warranty on the part.

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