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Hi-Torque Starter Guide

Hopefully, this basic information will end the confusion that has been occurring in relation to early and late TR starters, flywheel ring gears and modern High Torque starters.
Being a little long in the tooth, some of our cars have had starters, flywheels and engines swapped; hence, you should confirm what you have before ordering.
Reference to these photographs should clarify the situation.
Before replacing your starter, first check the body length to verify the starter version fitted.
240mm Body = Early starter. 170mm Body = Late starter.
After removal of the starter, inspect the exposed portion of the flywheel ring gear.
Presence of bolt heads retaining the ring gear confirms a late type flywheel (and late starter).
Lack of bolts (shrunk on ring gear) confirms the early starter.
The early (large) starter, often referred to as the bullet or bomb shaped starter was fitted to TR2, TR3 and early TR3A (prior to TS50001).
This starter is easily identified by the 240mm body length.
These starters utilize a bonded rubber drive coupling which can fail resulting in the starter rotating without cranking the engine.
Being so large, it is generally necessary to remove the exhaust to get it out of the engine bay. When the starter is operated and starts rotating, the starter pinion moves forward axially to engage “THE FRONT” of the flywheel ring gear, slowly wearing away the front of the ring gear teeth.

The high torque starter also engages with the front of the ring gear, hence, if the front halves of your ring gear teeth are worn away; do not expect the High Torque starter to operate correctly.
The original late 3A (smaller) starter utilizes a pinion in the starter Bendix drive which is pulled into the rear of the flywheel ring gear.
The fact that the pinion in both the early and late original starters is slowly rotating when engaging with the ring gear explains the wear on ring gear teeth.

The good news for TR3A owners with the late starter and a worn out ring gear is that the late type High Torque starter engages with the previously unused front side of the ring gear, eliminating the need to replace a worn ring gear.
Like all modern starters, the high torque starter pinion is pulled into mesh with a lever while both starter and engine are stationary, greatly reducing the possibility of future wear to the flywheel ring gear.

                                                            Click to view larger image
Reasons for problems with high torque starters:

•  Incorrect starter fitted.
•  Failure to use Loctite on starter adaptor plate bolts. SEE BELOW.
•  Last year the Register received five starters with incorrect pinions. All of these now recalled. Cost us less than Toyota!

                          FITTING THE HIGH TORQUE STARTER  

These universal starters are designed to fit a number of vehicles.
It is usually necessary to remove the ¼” diameter Allen head bolts and rotate the starter adaptor plate to find a position where the starter body does not foul the TR engine block while providing access to the head of the starter motor retaining bolt.
The normal position is with the starter solenoid facing out and downwards.
This provides easy access to the main starter terminal.
The solenoid should be clear of the exhaust.
The ¼” adaptor bolts carry full starting torque. They must be tight
You must use Loctite retaining compound when refitting these ¼” Allen bolts.
Don't blame the starter for badly fitted adaptor bolts!

Simply use a small wire to bridge the small solenoid terminal to the large terminal on the side of the starter and connect your existing large starter cable to the same large terminal on the side of the starter. (See photo above)

Allan Bare