77 bus needs a new starter

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77_Bus_Girl
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77 bus needs a new starter

Post by 77_Bus_Girl » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:02 am

Hi all - I tried to find an existing thread but no luck.

My 1977 Westy is in need of a new starter, and looking around there is a HUGE range of prices. My question is this - is it necessary to spend the big bucks, or are the repro stock ones ok? I'm in Canada, so ordering from the US is a bit of a pain (especially given our weak dollar) so would prefer to find one in canada..

Also, do ALL 1977 buses have 091 transmissions? Do I need to get one that specifically says "for 091 transmissions"?

thanks and happy Labour Day (or Labor Day, as the case may be) :)
Love your bus.

77 Westy

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:35 pm

77_Bus_Girl wrote:Hi all - I tried to find an existing thread but no luck.

My 1977 Westy is in need of a new starter, and looking around there is a HUGE range of prices. My question is this - is it necessary to spend the big bucks, or are the repro stock ones ok? I'm in Canada, so ordering from the US is a bit of a pain (especially given our weak dollar) so would prefer to find one in canada..

Also, do ALL 1977 buses have 091 transmissions? Do I need to get one that specifically says "for 091 transmissions"?

thanks and happy Labour Day (or Labor Day, as the case may be) :)
Most unfortunately, we have to warn you against most "rebuilt" starters sold by local parts houses.
You do need to be careful to get the correct starter for that transaxle, as the late model flywheels were bigger than the previous ones, and the starter has to clear the teeth and engage to full depth.

Most starters seem to get replaced because they refuse to activate when the engine is hot. This is a problem inside the solenoid where extremely delicate copper windings break down over time. The rebuilt units often just re-use the solenoids and slap on some pretty paint. Make sure everyone is on the same page as far as warranty / return policies if you decide to roll the dice.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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77_Bus_Girl
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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by 77_Bus_Girl » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:24 pm

Thanks!

Pretty sure it's not the hot start issue, as it sometimes (too often) clunks when I turn the key regardless of hot or cold. seems almost random. When it does engage it starts really quickly.
How do I know which is the right model for my transaxle?
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77 Westy

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by Randy in Maine » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:05 pm

I prefer to have the starter I already own rebuilt by a good local starter/generator/alternator builder guy.

Ask around for a reference at the local VW club or Hot Rod shop. They will know who is good and who is not.
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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by wcfvw69 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:50 am

Randy in Maine wrote:I prefer to have the starter I already own rebuilt by a good local starter/generator/alternator builder guy.

Ask around for a reference at the local VW club or Hot Rod shop. They will know who is good and who is not.
This is what I always do. I don't trust anything sold at local Napa's, AutoZone's, etc.. Most of those starters, generators and Alternators are rebuilt in Mexico or other country. The quality of the "rebuild" leaves a lot to be desired.

I have a local place that rebuilds my starters and generators. They do great work and I've never had problem.
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by cegammel » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:31 pm

If you go with one of the FLAPS, they should be able to tell you which starter is correct. I have had a Napa rebuild for about a year, and so far so good...

I will strongly caution against buying from RockAuto. I still have one of theirs that mangled my flywheel with its incorrect drive gear. They refused to take it back without so many fees that it wasn't worth while.

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by 77_Bus_Girl » Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:40 pm

hmm. ok. I think my neighbour has a discount at Lordco - are they OK?

If NORMALLY (ie when the starter works) I have no issue starting (easy to start) do I need to worry about getting a super expensive one? I just want reliable, I don't care if it 'starts faster' as long as it starts!
Love your bus.

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by cegammel » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:53 pm

It seems like I remember GoWesty selling some variety of high torque starter, if you are so inclined. I personally would not find that worthwhile, at least not in my current climate. Somewhere colder, the extra oomph may be necessary.

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by Lanval » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:43 pm

In general, I think a quality rebuild is the only way. I am on my 3rd or 4th from OReilly's ~ last time I took one in, they gave me a very hard time, despite their "lifetime warranty". My current one is going on two years old, but I have occasional no starts. There are two options, I think, and the first/best has already been given to you: find a good local shop with an old-timer (or willing to learn/work young-timer) and have it rebuilt.

Otherwise you can get aftermarket starters that are better quality. Here's the one for my Rat van: http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1 ... le-mt.html

I have the luxury of an excellent VW resource (and you do too, if you need it ~ http://interstateusedparts.com/) and one of these days I'm going to go get a used one and rebuild it myself with the available kits. I want to see if I can.

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by 77_Bus_Girl » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:36 am

Rebuilt it is! The one that's in there honestly looks original (we did take it apart and clean it up and that helped a bit but it's pretty worn)

Now... anyone from Vancouver BC and can recommend a rebuild shop? :)

oh! and about what should it cost to rebuild?
Love your bus.

77 Westy

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by asiab3 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:57 am

Lanval wrote:In general, I think a quality rebuild is the only way. I am on my 3rd or 4th from OReilly's ~ last time I took one in, they gave me a very hard time, despite their "lifetime warranty". My current one is going on two years old, but I have occasional no starts. There are two options, I think, and the first/best has already been given to you: find a good local shop with an old-timer (or willing to learn/work young-timer) and have it rebuilt.
I was bequeathed a box of air-cooled starters of mixed vintages yesterday. I will learn/work and maybe have a starter or two to show for it. Would anybody be interested in a visually annotated play-by-play?

After all, I did a Honda Accord starter in a taco shop parking lot last year and it worked for six months before the guy moved away... :pirate:

Anybody else here rebuild their own?
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
100k miles with me.
279k miles on Earth.

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by 77_Bus_Girl » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:22 am

oh! yes! a play-by-play!
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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:12 am

asiab3 wrote: Anybody else here rebuild their own?
Robbie
Yes. Long ago. Had a devil of a time with the screws holding the solenoid to the starter, and the long through-screws and the brushes on the end plate gave me a fight when they needed to be retracted to allow the commutator to slide into position. Nowadays, I expect more fragility, more deterioration of the paper insulators, more likelihood of solder joint failures as you try to wrest free the end cap. But have fun.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by airkooledchris » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:22 am

http://www.busdepot.com/31073

Most of those failed units can be repaired by simply swapping out the solenoid with a new replacement unit from Bosch.
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Re: 77 bus needs a new starter

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:29 am

airkooledchris wrote:http://www.busdepot.com/31073

(Some) of those failed units can be repaired by simply swapping out the solenoid with a new replacement unit from Bosch.
When hot start is the issue, yes. Others have worn brushes/bushings, and commutators.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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