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Old 12-04-2012, 17:31   #16
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

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Originally Posted by Seaduction View Post
By the way, the 3gm30f has a nine tooth starter gear.
Indeed.
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Yes, there's an internal difference. Arco uses 11 tooth gear vs 9 tooth gear on OEM Hitachi.
http://www.arcomarine.com/xhtml/Tech...ar%20facts.pdf
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Old 12-04-2012, 19:04   #17
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

Sometimes it is worth asking the vendor if that part is rebuilt as opposed to remanufactured.

Rebuilt means they took a broken starter and fixed it so it works.

Remanufactured means it was stripped down the frame, and every part tested to meet or exceed OEM new spec during the reassembly.

There's a lot of confusion over the terms, but it pays to find out just what process the vendor is using. And the Chinese certainly should be able to build starters...but I'd rather gamble on a prime part from a junkyard. Too much pot metal comes out of China with too little quality assurance.
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Old 13-04-2012, 04:26   #18
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Originally Posted by DeborahLee
I have had 2 after market starters and both had the end bell on the gear end crack. Went back to an OEM starter and waiting to see what happens. I have been doing a little googling on the subject and found 3 other boats with the same problem same engine. All seemed to have been purchased between 07-10. Prices ranged from $76-200. We all came to the conclusion it was a bad casting on the after market. I want to buy a spare but still not sure which I will get.
DeborahLee,

I had noticed other reports of cracked housings, and they seemed to be happening to the sub-$100 starters? Do you recall the brand of the ones that failed? There seem to be three levels of manufacturer, at least based on costs; OEM at greater then $350, mid-market at around $250, and low-end at less than $100. Id like to determine if the failed castings are only for the sub-$100 models.

Thanks to you and everyone else for replies!

Jim
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Old 13-04-2012, 05:33   #19
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

Before I got my arco starter I sourced internal parts and rebuilt the old one. Most parts were easy to find and very cheap. The westerbeke starter I ws dealing with was basicly a '55-'70?ish chevy starter. Finding a armature with the correct direction machined grooves for engagement gear was the trouble. This marine application spun backwards compared to 99% of of all chevy car starters. So I went with Arco in the end. The old on never actually quit, but oddly one day at a fuel dock (Troy NY, Federal lock) it didnt restart, still spun though. On a hunch I installed the new one and it fired right up. It turned 3 times quicker and shocked me. My main point I wonder how many 35 yr old diesels would start way easier with new starter. Most people dont replace till they stop working. I figure the armature had several burnt windings.
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Old 13-04-2012, 08:54   #20
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

No Ididn't get the mfg. of the starters. I purchased them from a starter shop recomended by the boat yard. They could have been the less than $100 model even though that's not what I paid. I had just had the engine rebuilt when it started to happen and they tried to convince me it was kick back and not the starter. They always seemed to last about 13 months one more than the guarntee with 6 months on the hard. I'm paying closer attention to it now.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:30   #21
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

Theres lots of starters out there that are weak and make for hard starting diesels !! But there are also lots of GOOD starter/ generator repair shops everywhere !! even in Mexico,and thruout the Caribe!! you might be suprised at the low prices charged for repairing a starter or alternator !! really thats all thats needed unless you have a broken nose piece, and Ive even gotten some parts like that in local mexican repair shops from their scrap stuff !! Some times it's nice to go local and save some money compaired to West Marine and big marine dealers of any kind !!LOL Ive been repiaring my own for a long time if its simple stuff and don't need rewinding. try your local repair shops you might be happily suprised !! just a thought
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:54   #22
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

"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>
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:06   #23
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

Thumbs down to most local shops. More than likely then dont have all the parts, just brushes. And spend lots of time blasting and painting the case. Unless its a marine shop they cant stock the variety to do it right. But half ass it to get the work.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:12   #24
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

The parts aren't hard to get, there's a quiet little market in wholesale suppliers. Last time I fixed an alternator, it needed the integral regulator. $125 from the dealer, $60 from the parts shop, $25 direct from a wholesaler, same part same quality. With markups like that, any shop can place an order once a week for whatever they need, and spread the shipping costs out.

It certainly is a RFPITA that there are so many incompatible designs in this stuff, when "one size fits all" would seem to work so well in these kind of applications.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:18   #25
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

For about $75, you can have it completely rebuilt by any Alternator shop complete with 1 year warrnty.
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Old 13-04-2012, 13:23   #26
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Originally Posted by RabidRabbit
?..On a hunch I installed the new one and it fired right up. It turned 3 times quicker and shocked me. My main point I wonder how many 35 yr old diesels would start way easier with new starter. Most people dont replace till they stop working. I figure the armature had several burnt windings.
I've had the same thought. My engine has been very difficult to start when cold, and I occasionally think the starter's not spinning the engine as fast as it should. I think if the engine spins faster, I'll get greater compression and easier cold-weather starting.

Regards,

Jim
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Old 26-05-2017, 10:25   #27
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

After 18 years of fairly frequent use, the original starter on my 3GM30F gave up the ghost. A new factory replacement would take 3 weeks to arrive, so I checked around. Local Battery Shop quoted a rebuild of my original at $150, so I agreed. I picked up the starter and it worked for 10-12 starts. Then nothing. There was a 1 year warranty. Removed it and the housing at the gear end had broken, AND I noticed the "made in China" sticker on it. It was not my original starter. United Battery Systems refused to replace it...said it was my fault. But offered to replace it with another starter for $75 (exact starter available from Walmart for $67.50)...great deal. After a great deal of research, I found evidence that these starters are junk and make use of poorly cast housing with inferior metallurgy. Stay away from them. Bought an aftermarket starter from the local Yanmar dealer (Cook Engine in Portland Oregon). Very happy with the service.
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Old 26-05-2017, 12:16   #28
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

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Greetings all,

I want to replace the starter motor on my 1989 Yanmar 3GM30F. The old one still works, but the brushes are worn so I'm going to keep it as a backup while it still has some life left. A replacement for the original Hitachi S114 &ndash; 303 looks to be about $400, but I can get a "Strike Power" non-OEM starter from Charge-n-Start for about a hundred dollars. I also saw that API Marine appears to make a starter but they charge about $250. Looking closely at the picture of the API starter, I could see a visible defect in the main casting, so they're out. Comments?

TIA

Jim

I've got a non OEM starter for my Yanmar. It was $103 with 2 day shipping and people here said it wouldn't last, that was 6 years ago!
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Old 27-05-2017, 09:21   #29
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

ive had great exp with cheap stuff from who knows where. Make sure you get a pmgr starter - ALOT more torque for less juice - replace the brushes on yours (its really easy!) and costs nothing, clean up the inside, and keep it as a spare.

You always want a high pitch noise form starter - the moment it starts dropping or "churning" like hun-hun-hun (slowly), unless your batteries dead or you have bad cables/connections its on its way -

nothing worse than a weak starter! Batt juice killers!
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Old 27-05-2017, 10:28   #30
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Re: Experience with non-OEM starter motors?

I've not been afraid to use aftermarket parts. An alternator and starter for my Yanmar for example. The alternator has preformed as well as the original over seven years, and I have repaired both myself. Failures were brushes, bearings and regulators. Currently using a combination of parts from both to make a operable unit, and no spare currently. If a shop rebuilds your alternator it will most likely have the same aftermarket components as the cheaper alternatives.

As to starters, things are not the same. After three trouble free years my aftermarket starter failed at the fuel dock, the day I was heading back up the coast. Sailed out to anchor and checked it out. Yes, the nose broke off. Began comparing it my original that had languished in the locker for years. Should have rebuilt it sooner.

No parts are interchangeable. Different housing, solenoid, armature is smaller, Bendix clutch is smaller, ect. The sand cast part of the housing looks inferior. Then I noticed, the mounting flange is noticeably thicker than the original, maybe 60% more. BUT, the cone section is the same thickness as the original. Clearances allow a thicker flange to compensate for the weaker metal, but not the cone section. I think this explains the breakage experienced by myself and others.

The original starter is robust and well made. Strangely, I think, it has two positive brushes and one negative brush. Guess which on wears faster. The armature, after a quick cleanup looked absolutely brand new, with no signs of wear, none.

The negative brush was sticking in the holder from the brush dust. And was worn almost to its limits. I cleaned it up. And lengthened slightly the slot for clearance of the brush lead that comes in from the side. Interestingly, the brush contacts aren't screwed in place, or soldered. The robust contact areas are electrically welded together. Not sure how I will deal with that if I source new brushes for the next go-round of fun with boats.

Also worth mentioning, the aftermarket starter failed after I had removed it to gain access for an external oil line replacement recently performed. There's no shimming or adjustment to the mounting, but it is interesting that it failed soon after being removed and reinstalled.

Aftermarket? Sure go ahead if money's tight. But it likely won't make it eighteen years with only a worn negative brush like my original. And it helps a lot if you enjoy tinkering and doing your own work. All my starter(2) and alternator(2) fun over seven years has cost less than two hundred dollars, for the aftermarket items.

That's all I got, carry on.
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