"But there are also lots of GOOD starter/ generator
repair shops everywhere !! "
Yes there are. Also, even more outright lousy shops, because folks shop for price
and don't know any better. Ever buy a rebuilt alternator
with the rear cover all nice and silver shiny with fresh paint
? Delco used to put out a warning on that. Shops will paint
the alternator after they rebuild
it--and the amont of silver paint that gets through the vent holes and lands on the diode frame is enough to cause the diodes to overheat and guarantee the rebuild
will burn out!
Usually right after the 30-day warranty is up. Hmmmm.
If you use a rebuild shop, see how they do their work. See if the shop looks like a clean kitchen, or a greasy garage. Sloppy breeds sloppy.
And a hundred bucks "brand new" isn't impossible, it is just unlikely, given the cost of good castings, and pressing out bearings to replace them with new unworn ones, and even just the cost of copper wire these days.
Rebuilding is easy, just like winding thread back on a spool. But how many of us really do it THAT neatly? Got the ends of all your sheets
wrapped that neatly?<G>