View Full Version : Gone through 2 reman. starters, need HELP!

11-14-2002, 12:41 AM
Ive gone through 2 remanufactured starters in the past 3 months and I believe it is just that the remanufactured parts are no good (you get what you pay for?) but I did notice there is a small amount of oil dripping on the starter. Could this cause problems with the starter? The first starter would just take 30-60 seconds of turning over and gas pedal pushing to get it started and I was unhappy with that so I returned it. Now the second one has died. I tapped the starter with a rubber mallet and had my friend start it up, worked ok, I drove it that day then the next day, it would turn over but REALLY sounded bad and would not start! I kept trying it and it sounded like metal clanking and scraping so I stopped after a minute. It sounded HORRIBLE, I was scared and didn't want to f#@k anything up on my car. I have heard millions of people talk about the horrors of remanufactured parts like alternators and starters and how you have to just keep returning them until you get a good one. What are everyones thoughts on my situation? I would really appriciate info.


pro street rich
11-14-2002, 01:22 AM
Unless you live in a very small town, you should have a rebuilder somewhere near you. Go to him ,you should be able to find them in the yellow pages, and tell him what you need. Most good rebuilders will do it for you and it will last....it may cost a bit more, but it will be worth it in the end... Good luck and get that phone book out......Rich

11-14-2002, 06:34 AM
Not much helpful to add, but I wanted to say I just replaced my starter last night.

The metal clanking noise you're hearing is actually the ignition solenoid stuck in the "start" position (as was described to me). If you try to turn your car off while it's doing that, the engine will just start turning over. My car has been doing that for a while so I didn't drive it the entire time.

I also noticed quite a bit of oil and plain engine gunk on my starter, I dont know if that affected anything but it could be it.

11-14-2002, 10:52 AM
Live and learn.
Never buy re-manufactured electrical components, only new.
Sure, sometimes, maybe, you just might perhaps get lucky and get an OK one, but just wait till you put a brand new starter in that thing and hear how much stronger and faster your engine turns over.
Just my 2 cents and experience over the years with re-manufactured electrical parts. Especially starters, alternators, wiper motors and power window motors.

Also: Make sure every single connection from the battery to the starter is clean and tight. (Don't forget to clean the connections on the starting solenoid located near your fuse box and make sure you have a good ground cable).

11-14-2002, 03:03 PM
Thanks guys! I got the starter at NAPA so I can just return it and get a different one free, I dont want to go to a shop and have someone rebuild it for more money. How much more would a new starter cost? The remanufactured one at NAPA cost $162. Thanks again.

35th SC
11-14-2002, 05:20 PM
I got a new one at Autozone a couple of weeks ago for the same price that you paid for the reman. unit. Give them a call.


11-14-2002, 05:49 PM
I'll second what TbirdDriver just said. Cept of course when you have no real choice. like me for example.. bought a rebuilt alternator (doesn't mean it was cheap) because of difficulty obtaining a new one. Had the priveledge or replacing it again after about a month. The latest one at least came with a computer prinout of its actual power curve proving that they at least bench tested it before shipping it.

Also, let me reiterate: Clean the battery posts and cables anytime and EVERYTIME you have problems like that. I got lazy or just plain absentminded and forgot to do so after reinstalling the last alternator.. Car shut down on me on the freeway yesterday evening.. :eek: complete loss of all electrical power (no lights no nuthin) and then mysteriously everything came back on :confused:

Turns out I had neglected to tighten the battery cables properly and corrosion (oxidation) had set in and there was a moment where the battery was out of the circuit and hence the shutdown.

11-14-2002, 06:03 PM
At one time I went through 4 re-manufactured alternators in a row before getting a good one.
I changed the first one in about 45 minutes. By the time I did the fourth one, I could do it in 10 minutes.

11-14-2002, 08:19 PM
I just went to NAPA and got another remanufactured starter. The guys tested the one I brought in and it was working they said. They suggested something else is wrong with my car and that they have never seen remanufactured starters go out so quickly (2 in 3 months). The guy said maybe a tooth on my flywheel is missing, but that was the only thing he suggested that made sense. My battery is great, no corrosion and cables are properly tightened. Is there a way for me to check my flywheel myself, without having to go to a shop? Also, the guys said that in a remanufactured starter (or alternator) that only the casing is "remanufactured" and that all the internal components are NEW? Is that correct? I asked about a totally NEW starter and he said they only sell remanufactured starters and all the other auto parts stores do the same. I asked about going to Ford but he said I could only get remanufactured starters, that new starters are not made for this car (or older cars in general). What do you guys have to say about these issues? Thanks again, ya'll are really helping!

11-15-2002, 01:51 AM
:( :( Aww man... my best time was 30 minutes off and 45 minutes on.. and I thought that was pretty darn good considering removal of the upper IC tube and no selective bolt ommisions such ast the upper IC tube to frame stud or the under the coil pack "L" bracket. And I think I deserve a 20min handicap on the install as I had to tap out the coil bracket mounting holes because the soft metal had started to cross thread.. and of course, that always involves at least a 30 minute bonus period to search for the small wrench which threw itself into the engine compartment and then magically vanished to thin air somewhere only to eventually be discovered cowering under the power steering lines.;)
Funny how at least 1 thing ALWAYS goes wrong on what should be a simple repair job... always..

11-15-2002, 10:59 AM
Do not believe the tester they use at the auto parts store.
It does not test it under real world conditions when it is under load, like you get when your cranking over an engine. It only tests that it will spin. When I took back a bad re-man starter, they also tested it and said it was good. I told them I didn't want it and got my money back. Then I went and bought a brand new starter, (yes, the do sell new starters, if it's a re-man it says re-manufactured on the box, if it's new, it says new starter). This was when I discovered the difference in how it cranked over the engine. The re-manufactured one was weak and the engine would turn over slowly, the brand new one really cranked that sucker over. Phone around and ask other parts stores. NAPA is usually pricey anyway and they're never open when I need them to be.

Might be a bad starting solenoid?
Did you pull the connections off your starting solenoid, clean them up with sandpaper, and put them back on?

Also: TBirdSCFan
At the time I was going through my bad alternator days, The reason I could switch one out so fast was because I didn' t know that you had to seal the IC tubes at that time. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, on my '89 with 240,000 miles, I still have never sealed the IC tubes, and it runs great.

11-16-2002, 02:17 AM
Nope, I'll clean those connections. I did notice that the cable connecting the battery to the starter was not in good shape. It was scratched and exposed (looked like oil maybe had melted through it). I wrapped the small length of exposed wire with electrical tape. Oil was leaking onto the starter, a very small amount but that could do it. Anyway, I'll see what happens. Thanks.

11-17-2002, 12:13 AM
Silly Question....Ya sure you got the right starter? The SCs is different than the standard 3.8.

11-17-2002, 08:49 PM
I told em thunderbird super coupe so I hope its the right one!!