Fitting A High Torque Starter Motor To MGB

High Torque Starter Motor UnitAfter taking note of my own article on how to check your starter motor (starter motor maintenance) I decided that a new starter motor was required before it failed and let me down which would have been a bit embarrassing after writing the other article. Engineering progress has been made since my car was made in 19689 and technology has even found its way to classic cars. The new starter motor pictured left is one of the new bread of high torque starters which have gearing inside so that they have a much higher torque rating and thus takes less power our of the battery so the car should start easier for less energy being taken from your battery. This is very useful if your car takes some starting as there is more energy available to get to the spark plugs.

The best and cheapest place I have seen to buy a High Torque Starter motor was on eBay where there is a large selection of model options and I found to be the cheapest as well saving about £65 on the recomended price.


Removing The Old Starter Motor

We all rely and love the Haynes manual and if a vital piece of workshop equipment but sometimes they can be a bit over simplistic. Removing the old starter motor is covered by only about 1/2 a dozen lines but it took about 2 hours to perform these actions.


1. Remove the distributor by pulling the pug leads and then undoing the clamp plate so that the timing is not disturbed. This was fine, pulled the plug leads off and then find that there is no way to get a socket or a spanner into the bolts for the clamp plate as the side of the distributor is too large and too close. The only way I could removed the distributor was to undo the pinch bolt on the clamp and slide the distributor out but then it would not go past the oil cooler pipes so I had to take off the distributor cap keeping the shaft as still as possible so the timing does not slip and put it somewhere safe.

2. Remove the starter motor top bolt, this was no problem as access is easy.

3. Loosen the starter motor bottom bolt, much more difficult as access is difficult because the starter motor body and the engine is quite tight, also to get in if you have no ramps you have to jack up the car and remove the right hand side wheel. The only way to access this bolt is with an extension bar and a universal joint on the socket.

4. The wires now have to be removed from the terminal post which is not too difficult just a bit of a fiddle and remember the order and place where the cables go.

Starter Motor Cables From Below

5. You now have a loose and ready to remove starter motor, the Haynes manual does not tell you if the starter motor comes out up or down but I could not get it to come out upwards due to the oil cooler pipes, the steering column and the heater valve so the only way is down and this is a bit of a struggle.

Old Starter Motor Top Side


Fitting The New Starter Motor

1. The new starter motor is much smaller than the old so it can be fitted from above and I secured it loosely with the top bolt.

2. The bottom bolt is a bit of a fiddle to get in as you have to have the motor in exactly the right place but once in place the top and bottom bolts can be tightened up.

3. Put the cables back where they came from and the only problem I had was with the new starter being smaller the cables were in slighty different places but they tightened up OK.

4. Reconect the battery and go for a start. These high torque starter motors sound slightly different but they don't have spin the engine over well.




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| Updated 23-Jan-2010 |