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squidtone
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DIY Modern starter
06/07/19 at 23:00:05
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I converted my Jeep to 12 volt for budget reasons and I'm still using the old stock Autolite starter. It's the original CJ3A "kick" starter. It does work but it's definitely got a crusty bendix and I do get gear stripping. I'm sure running faster than designed isn't helping. I've investigated rewound Autolites as well as the modern aftermarket "hi torque" starters offered by several vendors. They are both rather high dollar. The modern starter intrigued me as it appears they are common Denso OffSet Gear Reduction (OSGR) starters with adapters for our old engines. Other Denso starters are relatively cheap and I can't reconcile why a simple adapter would triple (or even more) the cost. Since I like odd projects, I thought I'd try to adapt a Denso myself.
After researching loads of different Denso OSGR starters, it appeared to me that a Denso used for Harley Davidson Sportsters would be readily adaptable. It's got a 9 tooth pinion and the front housing looks easy to slap an adapter plate to it. They are also less than 60 bucks on Amazon.
I was all set to buy one but while perusing my local swap meet, I chanced upon a Power Master (3rd party "hot rod" 'Hi torque" starter manufacturer) #9404 starter meant for small block Fords. I bought it for 20 bucks. These starters are also of the Denso design. The biggest problem was it was an 11 tooth pinion. Not a big deal as they are replaceable. I scoured the internet and found a 9 tooth Denso pinion on Walmart.com of all places. It was $14 dollars to my door. I took the starter apart and swapped the pinion gear. I also got rid of the Ford adapter.
  

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Dave Miles
Presently:                
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squidtone
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Re: DIY Modern starter
Reply #1 - 06/07/19 at 23:07:14
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I made a load of measurements and decided this Power Master unit was adaptable. The nice thing about the original Willys mount is that the drive axis of the starter is in line with the mounting bolts. It was simple to design the flange mounting holes and center hole position...they're all in line. I looked up the recommended spacing of the end of the pinion (at rest) from the ring gear and they recommend 0.100". With the front housing of this #9404 starter my adapter could be made from a 0.500" thick aluminum plate. One small glitch was the index ring which fits into the engine plate to precisely fit in place: To make the index feature would require a thicker plate. I didn't have anything thicker than 0.500" so I decided to use six 0.125" dowel pins arrayed in a circle to fit into the engine plate bore. It worked great.
  

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Dave Miles
Presently:                
03 Rubicon,
50 CJ3A
Past:
01 XJ Cherokee,
87 XJ Cherokee,
85 XJ Cherokee,
83 CJ8,
81 CJ7
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squidtone
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Re: DIY Modern starter
Reply #2 - 06/07/19 at 23:11:34
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The Ford adapter on this starter was held on by a tapered ring so that it could be clocked at any rotation...I didn't need that so I made two counterbores in my adapter for the two existing M5 screws that pass through the front housing and go into the main starter body. I thought these would not be enough so I put two more closely spaced counterbores in my adapter and drilled and tapped two additional tapped holes into the front housing. In these pictures I have the "extra" M5 screws installed, and in the second picture you can see where I added the tapped holes in the front housing.
  

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Dave Miles
Presently:                
03 Rubicon,
50 CJ3A
Past:
01 XJ Cherokee,
87 XJ Cherokee,
85 XJ Cherokee,
83 CJ8,
81 CJ7
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squidtone
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Re: DIY Modern starter
Reply #3 - 06/07/19 at 23:18:54
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Ludicrously enough, I need longer length M5 screws to accommodate my adapter so I can finish re-assembling the starter, but for the life of me, I cannot find M5 x 50mm screws locally, so I have to mail order them. Sheesh.
In the meantime, I installed the adapter (with only two screws for now) onto the front housing, then installed it onto my frozen L134 to check fit. It's convenient to install just the front housing because you can push the pinion with your fingers to mesh the pinion to the ring gear and check fit. The fit seems very good.
I forgot to mention that I'm very lucky enough to have acquired a crusty ancient CNC benchtop machine, and I made the adapter on that. The adapter is a simple affair however, so I don't think it would be that expensive to get made. I'll share the drawing if anyone wants it. The thing is, I still think it would be easier to get the Harley sportster version....it already has the 9T pinion.

So, I'm awaiting the longer M5 screws to finish assembling this starter and bolt it onto my Jeep. Now it could be that this will be a disaster, but maybe not! I'll report back soon!
  

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Dave Miles
Presently:                
03 Rubicon,
50 CJ3A
Past:
01 XJ Cherokee,
87 XJ Cherokee,
85 XJ Cherokee,
83 CJ8,
81 CJ7
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mtnman37879
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Re: DIY Modern starter
Reply #4 - 06/08/19 at 14:15:17
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Great work and I'd like to get the drawings. mtnman37879@hotmail.com
  

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Mark W.
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Re: DIY Modern starter
Reply #5 - 06/09/19 at 11:19:35
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I went a different way. I went with a Toyota 4.6L starter.

If you have the late 3A bellhousing (with the enclosed starter and then 6) 5/16" bolt holes as used on the M-38) and you use a 129 tooth ring gear. The only modification needed to use the Toyota Starter is to open up the upper Bolt hole a little with either a rt tail file or like I did to just drill it out larger.

Cost for the Starter was $74.00 adapting it took less then 15 min.



As I was going with the optional 9.25" clutch and the Flywheels that work with that clutch all have 129 teeth that part was easy.

  

Chug A Lug

1948 CJ2A Tub and Title
1949 CJ3A Windshield
1957 CJ5   Frame and Springs
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squidtone
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Re: DIY Modern starter
Reply #6 - 06/09/19 at 21:02:24
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Yes Mark good point I didn't mention that for folks who might not be aware...late CJ3A and CJ3B have the 129 tooth ring gear and can use the toyota starter. I had hoped to do that, but of course I have the earlier '3A style bellhousing.
Yours sure looks factory. Nice.
  

Dave Miles
Presently:                
03 Rubicon,
50 CJ3A
Past:
01 XJ Cherokee,
87 XJ Cherokee,
85 XJ Cherokee,
83 CJ8,
81 CJ7
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