Been looking for a solution for my dead starter. I see the vendors offer both rebuilt and refurbished starters. One has new fields the others do not. Anyone have experience with the cheaper refurbished variety?
Is there someone out there who rebuilds for less than the typical vendors? Is it possible to have these rebuilt locally by a regular rebuilding shop, or is it that they don't have the parts?
Mark, Contact Ron Patterson. He is listed as a Specialty Parts supplier in the Vendors list and does excellent work. Local shops aren't familiar with these starters, and are even worse with generators so I would avoid them for T work.
I've been down the local shop route with a generator, and ended up fixing it myself. The guy left a broken insulator in it because he didn't know where to get a new one. I have no experience with the "refurbished" critter, but if I had a dead starter I'd send it to Ron Patterson. It will be done right. If it seems too expensive, just use the hand crank while you save up enough dough.
Sure, I know Ron's posts regarding coils. Does he rebuild the starters for the vendors?
Ha ... yes Steve. This is my first T with a starter so that's why the sticker shock for me. The "Armstrong" starter is pretty cheap. :-)
Most field coil insulation on Model T starters has been destroyed by 90 years of old engine oil. It is not worth doing anything to a T starter unless either the coils are replaced ($60-70) or the insulation renewed (about 2 hours work). If this is not done, it will probably fail again, don't ask how I know.
Of course the rebuilder must add a proper oil seal otherwise it will fail again. I have heard bad things about some brand new starters with aluminum noses, they appear to be somewhat fragile.
Ron does a great job, but shipping both ways can be costly if there is a competent local rebuilder. So check around, ask what restorers plan to do with your core and use your best judgement, I recommend you don't go for the least expensive.
Mark the refurbished starter works just fine I have one in my car currently and its been there and working for 4 plus years
Another option is to look around for a long established auto electrical place that does lots of work on tractor ignition and electrical systems components. I have a place I go to that has been around long enough that they know Model T starters and generators as well as magnetos/distributors, and are very knowledgeable with 6 volt electrical systems...plus they are very reasonable.
The refurbished starter from Ron will seem cheap after you have already wasted a couple hundred bucks with the clueless local established starter place guy.
I have wasted money and time taking starters on and off rebuilt by local re-builders. I got one from Ron when I did my 24. The new engine was almost impossible to turn by hand. I put Ron's starter on and the engine started instantly. It turns over like it was 12v which it isn't. Well worth the money, I doubt I will ever have to remove it and won't buy from anyone else no matter how cheap.
Refurbished means "fixed". Rebuilt means "as new". Just depends what you want. You will not be disappointed with Ron's rebuilt starters.
I would not go to your local starter rebuild shop. They most likely will not have the resources for new parts and will jerry rig something that you won't be happy with. They also will not check the housing for bending and make corrections, nor will they rebabbitt/rebush the outer bearing that supports the Bendix.
All that said, my T's all have refurbished, (i.e. fixed), starters in them. Done either by myself or my dad. I can't recall ever having one of those starters fail in any of my 4 T's. (Bendixes, yes. starters, no.) We just replaced brushes, bushings & insulators as needed. Straightened shafts and checked the snouts for bend and alignment. Also resurfaced commutators. They all have original field windings.
Rebuilt or refurbished can each work just fine, depends how well and how thorough they're done and how bad they are to begin with.
Another vote for Ron. You will have a better than new starter if he does it and it will be done right. Somewhere, at some point on this forum, he showed what's involved, and it is quite a bit of work. I would just save up and send it to him.
"Rebuilt", "Refurbished", "Remanufactured", "Overhauled", "Patched-up".......
These terms get bandied about and not everyone is in agreement with what they mean. One of our T-club guys insisted that what people were calling "rebuilt" was actually "overhauled". So for the purpose of this post, I'm going to use the term "remanufactured" at one end of the spectrum, and "patched-up" at the other end. Again, for the purpose of this post "remanufactured" means everything as new and "patched-up" means everything made serviceable, with seal installed and commutator bushing replaced with a ball bearing.
I am not a starter snob. I will gladly use a "patched-up" starter. As a practical matter a well patched-up starter will likely last a person for the rest of their life. If not, eight screws and one bolt and one nut and the thing is off.
I like to "bandy" terms!
Richardson Generator rewrapped the field on mine for $75. It works like a charm. There are good shops out there.
"Rebuilt" is a commonly understood term of art in the auto repair/parts selling business. A rebuilt part has been fully disassembled, each component cleaned, measured, replaced or repaired as necessary with new parts, the end product reassembled and tested to OEM operational specifications and usually comes with a guarantee. Any part not meeting original requirements is discarded.
"Repaired” has an entirely different meaning.
Guess that makes me a"starter snob"?
No. You are not a starter snob. You are a talented and conscientious technician who performs a proper job. I thank you for your exemplary work on starters, generators, coils and for all that you do for this hobby. Bill
Ron has done starters, generators and coils for me for years, never had a problem. He is the only one I'd go to. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for!
I'm certain Ron's starters are excellent. Not a doubt in my mind there.
However, I'm not a starter snob and don't mind at all doing a personal inspection of a starter, replace the bushings, brushes and anything else that needs attention and then mounting it on my car. I understand that it may need attention sometime in the future but like Tom, pulling and repairing it isn't a big deal for me.
I'd just as soon get my fingers dirty and fix it myself but understand others don't work that way. My cars are just Model Ts, no show winners but fun to fix and drive.
Go ahead and rebuild it yourself Walt. You can do it. Its not that hard to do. I'm kind of like you. I like to do things myself as much as possible.
I already bought a generator and a complete coils boxes from Ron and they are fantastic. These kind of parts: generators, starter and coils need to be done right and Ron is the Man. No doubt Ron's starter and Generator are excellent. Some time you better invest couple more dollars to avoid any future troubles... But you could also enjoyed doing it by yourself and be proud because you make it. That's your choice.
There we go inappropriately throwing around that word "rebuilt"again.