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Replacing starter motor on 1978 400 Auto

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by rustytractor, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
    Full Name:
    Russell Schacter
    I’ve started a thread re this before but seeing as I now want to bite the bullet I thought I’d get some advice from all you lovely people before starting.

    A mechanic friend of mine has very generously agreed to let me use one of his lifts and give me a hand replacing the starter on my right hand drive 400 Auto. It appears that both the inlet and exhaust manifold on the drivers side need to be removed and the general consensus is that having access above and below the car will make the job far less horrible than lying on the floor with the car on ramps or axle stands.

    Because of limited available time tying up the lift I need to ensure that I have all parts required to start the job on a Saturday at 1pm and have it finished by the Sunday.

    My questions are:-

    1.
    Other than the obvious (replacement starter motor, inlet manifold /exhaust manifold gaskets), are there any other parts that I need to have on hand to make sure the job can be completed without stalling.
    2.
    I’m an originality freak but want to use a high torque gear reduction starter in this instance as they’re lighter and crank faster than the original starter. Does anyone have first-hand knowledge of these and can anyone recommend a good supplier, ideally in the UK or Europe but any recommendations (or tales of woe/who to avoid) would be greatly appreciated.
    3.
    Does anyone 100% know if the steering column gets in the way on a right hand drive car hence will need removal?
    4.
    Has anyone got first-hand experience of doing this job (even if on a left-hand drive car) to estimate the time involved from start to finish?
    5.
    Does anyone want to do the job for me at no charge out of the goodness of their heart? Anyone? No? Thought not……

    I eagerly await your replies with nervous anticipation.

    Russ
     
  2. aidanparte

    aidanparte Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 18, 2004
    1,174
    I have one on my 400i. It works great and spins up the engine really super quick (the original one used to churn away for ages). It is from http://www.ferraristarters.com/Start.html

    Aidan
     
  3. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
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    Russell Schacter
    Thanks Aidan, I've been looking at this supplier on eBay and hoped someone would recommend them. How much aggro was it to fit ?
     
  4. aidanparte

    aidanparte Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 18, 2004
    1,174
    No aggro for me personally as I had it fitted at an independent Ferrari garage over here. It was quite a bit of aggro for them (and expense for me!) owing to all the dismantling needed to get a the original.
     
  5. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
    Full Name:
    Russell Schacter
    I really want to do this myself, mainly so I learn more about the car and understand how it fits together. Money is also a bit tight at the moment which is why I'd decided to wait a while but I honestly hate not driving the car so don't want to wait much longer.
     
  6. hoverland

    hoverland Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2010
    265
    Norway
    Full Name:
    Harald Ø
    Hi Russ

    This is not rocket science and easily doable for a medium skilled DIY'er. Just a substantial amount of good old mechanic work :)

    1 -you also need the gaskets for the small exhaust tubes, and not a bad idea to replace the big sealing rings down there while at it.

    3 -I would say yes -don't even think you will get the heatshield out in one piece if not :)

    4 -I just replaced my exhaust manifolds:
    To be realistic, given you don't strip threads, snap pinbolts or damage anything I would say you should plan for a full day for disassembly/swearing/coffee/more disassembly/cleaning, and 1/2 day for assembly. Make sure you have a good selection of slim & neat handtools available -space is somewhat limited, the inlet-trumpets in the airbox is especially good training!

    5 -sure! -just bring it to my garage ;)

    H
     
  7. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
    Full Name:
    Russell Schacter
    Thanks Harald,

    Re point 1 -
    duly noted

    Re point 3 -
    Damn - I'd hope to avoid that extra complication

    Re point 4 -
    Fully equipped mechanics workshop so all tools available (far better than my bent screwdrivers, large hammer and broken mole grips THAT'S for sure!)

    Re point 5 -
    I've never been to Norway.......
     
  8. It's Ross

    It's Ross Formula 3

    Jul 30, 2007
    1,983
    Barrington, Ill. USA
    Full Name:
    Ross
    Given the difficulty of the job I'd also replace the battery cable and any other wiring to it that look even the slightest bit dodgy.
     
  9. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
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    Russell Schacter
    Thanks Ross, sound advice which is duly noted.
     
  10. jacques

    jacques Formula Junior

    May 23, 2006
    830
    Los Angeles/Florida
    I've done this very job last year and posted on it. That huge old starter can be a bear to remove, however, by patient manipulation, it's certainly no harder that birthing a breached calf in Montana in February..it WILL come out. The new starter is about 2/3 the size and half the weight. It is a treat to work with. You will need very thin stubby wrenches(either 17mm,18mm, or 19mm) to get to that pesky second bolt. Also , as the previous poster stated..replace both the pos. and neg. batt. and starter cables. Mine looked like well aged cheese. You will need mechanic's gloves or you will leave a huge deposit of DNA, with the permanent scars to show for it. I hope this is of some value to some one.."Good night...and good luck". Jq.
     
  11. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
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    Russell Schacter
    Thanks for the advice Jacques, hopefully all the required tools will be on hand at my friends garage....... and I'll get him to do all the difficult to access bits so I keep all my DNA intact !

    It would be handy if someone could post a step by step guide to the removal process on a carbed car - please ? Pretty please ? Pretty please with a cherry on top ?
     
  12. alastairhouston

    alastairhouston Formula Junior

    Apr 19, 2009
    575
    Largs Scotland UK
    Full Name:
    Alastair Houston
    Hi Russell
    go for it good luck, I havent done the job myself though had it done by pro. wasnt big job especially when youve got advance knowledge ie removal of manifolds.
    Moral support from Scotland
    PS my car is at Roseneath engineering awaiting final engine assembly/running after my works.
    Alastair
     
  13. Ak Jim

    Ak Jim F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 23, 2007
    4,733
    North Pole AK
    I have one of the gear reduction starters in mine and it works great. I'm of the school that if your going to fix it why not have it better than before.
     
  14. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
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    Russell Schacter
    Aidan,

    Thanks for the recommendation, I ordered a starter from Dave at ferraristarters.com today, seems like a really nice guy - and I haggled a great price with him too! A friend of mine is going to Vegas this week and will bring it back for me so hopefully should get the 400 back on the road soon.

    There's nothing more useless and frustrating than a car with a duff starter motor ESPECIALLY an auto that you can't even push start !
     
  15. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
    London
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    Russell Schacter
    Does anyone have an idea of the length of the battery cables that go to the starter on a RHD 400 and what terminals are used?

    I won't be able to get to the car to measure them before the Saturday afternoon when work begins and probably won't be able to get the cables on the Sunday when the new starter will (hopefully) be fitted. This has got to be done by the Sunday so the lift I'm borrowing won't be tied up on a work day.

    Thanks, Russ
     
  16. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
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    Russell Schacter
    I called Eurospares earlier this week to order all the bits required in readiness for the starter replacement.

    I spoke to James who was very helpful, says he knows these cars well as he's stripped many 400/400i's and he told me that it's best to remove the starter from underneath (contrary to what I've been told by various forum members).

    I asked them to send inlet and exhaust gaskets but today only the exhaust and bypass pipe gaskets turned up. I called to check if the inlet bits were missed off by mistake but James wasn't in so I won't know until I call back on Monday if they weren't sent because he thought I don't need them (plus they're out of stock at the moment).

    Does anyone know with 100% certainty whether or not the inlet needs to be removed on a carbed 400 to change the starter ? In the year I've owned the car I haven't worked on the engine at all so it's a total unknown quantity to me.

    No mad urgency as I won't be doing this for at least 2 weeks but any advice beforehand is much appreciated.

    Russ
     
  17. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 23, 2006
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    Dave
    What other way would anyone possibly try to remove a starter on these cars? :confused:
     
  18. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
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    Russell Schacter
    forgive my ignorance but the following sort of threw me a curve:-

     
  19. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 23, 2006
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    Dave
    Nonsense!
    It comes out the bottom. Move the header and you'll be fine.
     
  20. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
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    Russell Schacter
    I queried the under/over approach because mine is a 400, not a 412. I doubt there's much physical difference at the bottom of a 400 or 412 engine so can't see why a 412 couldn't be tackled from underneath but a 400 can.
     
  21. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
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    Russell Schacter
    Well, I was looking for a "100% one way or another" answer and you're obviously 100% sure that that's good to hear.

    It's difficult when you have little or no experience of a specific vehicle and get conflicting answers. An "I'm positive" answer really helps so thanks.
     
  22. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 23, 2006
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    Dave
    UH OH! Hold on for a minute.Your car is righthand drive isn't it? THAT might throw a wrench into the mess.
     
  23. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
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    Russell Schacter
    correct. But the guys at Eurospares probably deal mainly in RHD cars so I can hopefully trust what they say. I was really just looking for someone on here who personally has done this job themselves on a RHD car.
     
  24. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 23, 2006
    10,162
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    Dave
    Yeah sorry I forgot you drive on the wrong side of the road :)
    Left hand drive I'm sure but I wouldn't feel right telling you 100% on a righthand drive car.
     
  25. rustytractor

    rustytractor Formula 3

    Mar 25, 2012
    1,078
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    Russell Schacter
    no foul Dave, maybe someone else can confirm one way or another. I have time so think I'll get the gaskets anyway just to be on the safe side. I'll also change the battery leads as recommended.

    As I mentioned before, I'll have limited time to complete this job once started so I'm trying to dot the I's and cross the T's beforehand.
     

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