Paper gasket for starter motor - M-25

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I pulled my starter motor recently to have it rebuilt. It had a paper gasket attached, half of which I had to scrape off of the motor and half of which stuck to the starter itself.

I looked at the the Unviversal/Westerbeke parts lists and they show no gasket for the starter. The guy who rebuilt it said starter motors are not usually gasketed because it is a "dry" connection.

What have most people done during starter replacements?
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
I seem to remember that in the remarkably awkward remove/reinstall of the M25 starter I just bolted it on.


Doesn't it just attach to the block by its two 'ears"?


Can't believe I didn't write it up, and now it's all a dim nightmare of ratchet extensions and sweat.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Your memory seems to be correct. Yep, just two bolts through two ears, plus, for me, that gasket.

In my case, it was the ease-of-removal from having already removed the exhaust manifold that caused me to pull and rebuild an otherwise perfectly good (though old) starter motor. I'm making record of the socket and extension bar sizes I might need the next time I do this (manifold on). That likely won't be quite so simple.

My alternator bracket replacement project keeps expanding. There were something like 7 different grounding lugs bolted onto various nuts on the manifold. It's just begging for a couple of ground bus bars and and replacement of that original engine wiring harness, too.........
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
Ken,

The paper gasket seems like a terrible idea to me. The starter body and the engine block should be grounded together and a paper gasket could act as an insulator which would be bad.
 

footrope

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
NO gasket on my 5432 when I had the starter off last summer. Agree that the starter gets its negative return via the block. A gasket could reduce the surface area dedicated to electrical contact excellence.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Yes, I got similar but conflicting info from two guys at the rebuild shop.

The first said there should be no gasket due to grounding requirements.

The second guy said the mounting bolts are sufficient for grounding and speculated that the gasket might have been to hold the starter gear off the flywheel a bit, perhaps to prevent grinding when then starter gear retracts.

I've only started the engine maybe 5 times and never noticed grinding of the starter. Not sure what to do......
 

Emerald

Moderator
[snip]

I looked at the the Unviversal/Westerbeke parts lists and they show no gasket for the starter. [snip]

I think that's your answer right there. No gasket. And I can't speak to this particular engine, but I've worked on a wide range of engines of all sorts, and I've never come across a paper gasket on a starter motor. Any shimming I've seen has been done with metal spacers. I don't think a thin paper gasket would maintain any meaningful clearance. You've got to be down to a couple thousands at that point, and I think that is beyond any tolerance in the basic mechanism and not meaningful. Just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it, but I wouldn't loose sleep over not having a replacement gasket for it, especially given the parts list you have.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Okay, I think that's all the info I need. Going without the gasket. Thanks everyone.
 

vanilladuck

E32-3 / San Francisco
Looking to remove the starter on the M25 engine on the E32. I'd prefer not to remove the exhaust manifold if possible. @Kenneth K do you have that record of socket extensions and whatnot handy?

I'm also looking for SF bay area references for rebuilding the starter. 3 out of 4 times I press the starter button I hear a loud click from the engine bay with no action; 4th time it usually turns over the engine. Sounds almost exactly like my old 1984 Toyota pickup when the starter solenoid would go out. I was on a first name basis with the folks at Pep Boys.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I don't remember the sizes on the starter bolts. The lower/outside one is easy to get to and is the same size as the upper/inside one. I'd say you'd need an 8"-10" extension bar (long enough to get past the body of the starter) to get to the upper, but it's definitely do-able, and removing the manifold would be 10X more work. If you have wobble-head extension bars, that might help provide a little more play in the extension bar positioning.

20170506_020746.jpg

Not to talk you out of changing the starter and/or solenoid, but that clicking problem you've had during start was one of the common symptoms of not upgrading the 16/14ga starter wire (yellow w/ red stripe) to the larger 10ga (orange) wire. This is a commonly discussed topic in wiring upgrades/engine panel re-wiring projects.


It results from too much voltage drop by the time power reaches the solenoid. Likewise, the clicking is more likely to occur with weaker batteries. Try cranking your engine when the battery charger is kicking out 13+ volts to a well-charged battery and see if that makes a difference.
 
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Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I also had my starter rebuilt rather then buying a new one. I think the shop billed me close to $100, which is approaching the cost of some non-OEM replacements. I've been happy with the rebuild for 3+ years.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Can confirm I had the ghost click until I rewired my engine panel. Right before I rewired it, the positive starter lead almost caught fire.

I put a new Amazon starter in so we'll see if I get Ken's 3 years out of it :) I paid about the same price, both in dollars and knuckle skin.
 

Dave G.

1984 EY30+ Ludington, MI
Looking to remove the starter on the M25 engine on the E32. I'd prefer not to remove the exhaust manifold if possible. @Kenneth K do you have that record of socket extensions and whatnot handy?

I'm also looking for SF bay area references for rebuilding the starter. 3 out of 4 times I press the starter button I hear a loud click from the engine bay with no action; 4th time it usually turns over the engine. Sounds almost exactly like my old 1984 Toyota pickup when the starter solenoid would go out. I was on a first name basis with the folks at Pep Boys.
I had the clicking problem when I first got my boat. I spent a day removing & cleaning all the connections. I found a lot not so tight and corroded connections in the process, especially all the ground connections on the engine. I have not had another "clicking" issue since.
 

vanilladuck

E32-3 / San Francisco
It results from too much voltage drop by the time power reaches the solenoid. Likewise, the clicking is more likely to occur with weaker batteries. Try cranking your engine when the battery charger is kicking out 13+ volts to a well-charged battery and see if that makes a difference.

Both Group 27's are brand new as of July 2020 when I got the boat. I almost always start at the dock with a full charge from shore power with whichever battery reading in the ~13V range. I suppose this kind of test might not preclude the wiring being a blocking issue, esp. if the wiring was bad enough, right?

I feel like putting my Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance hat on -- because I think it will teach me something and give me something to compare to once I rewire the engine panel. Anyone care to geek out with me? A couple tests come to mind:
  1. Test the voltage drop on start of the starter circuit. This article indicates a good starter circuit would see no voltage drop. I wonder what is a reasonable drop in voltage..
  2. Test using the decompression lever at the top of the engine to see if it turns over reliably with no 'clicks'.
 
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Reply 16 should be reread a couple times. Good info.
Also nice to know the value of the metal thickness in a beer can in case you need to shim a bearing...
:)
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Both Group 27's are brand new as of July 2020 when I got the boat. I almost always start at the dock with a full charge from shore power with whichever battery reading in the ~13V range. I suppose this kind of test might not preclude the wiring being a blocking issue, esp. if the wiring was bad enough, right?

I feel like putting my Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance hat on -- because I think it will teach me something and give me something to compare to once I rewire the engine panel. Anyone care to geek out with me? A couple tests come to mind:
  1. Test the voltage drop on start of the starter circuit. This article indicates a good starter circuit would see no voltage drop. I wonder what is a reasonable drop in voltage..
  2. Test using the decompression lever at the top of the engine to see if it turns over reliably with no 'clicks'.
yes, I have two one-year-old Group 24s and still had the clicking issue. The value of replacing those trailer connectors can't be understated - I thought I was an exception to the rule and they were OK to leave alone until my lazarette started smoking one day, thankfully with me on the boat.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Another easy troubleshoot is the starter switch/button itself. Just disconnect either lead from the back and touch it to the other lead to see if you get the "click" or a crank (you will get a spark either way).

If you have the setup that requires holding both the start and glow switches to crank, you can similarly jump both switches using the leads on the back of the switches.
 
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