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911 Starter Installation
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

911 Starter Installation

Bob Tindel

Time:

2-3 hours

Tab:

$260

Talent:

***

Tools:

floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, blocks of wood, 25mm wrench, 10mm wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

Hi-torque starter, four 10mm washers

Performance Gain:

Your 911 will start first time every time

Complementary Modification:

Replace your spark plug wires
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Figure 1
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Figure 2
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Figure 3
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Figure 4
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Figure 5
     During a recent hot-weather trip in my 911SC, the starter refused to crank the engine after I stopped for fuel. I was able to push-start the engine easily, and when the ambient temperature dropped a bit, I had no further starting problems.

     After returning home, I thoroughly checked the entire starting circuit, and found no detectable fault. Discussions with other knowledgeable owners made me suspect that the starter itself was the culprit. Starters often show indications of impending failure during high temperature operation, when electrical resistance is higher. I decided to replace the starter with a Hi Torque unit.

     If you need a new starter, you may wish to install a Hi Torque unit (Figure 1), especially if your engine is hard to start or has increased compression.
This new starter also has improved electronics for more reliable performance. As you can see, the starter motor is only slightly larger than the solenoid. You can see more information about this starter in our online catalog.

     Removing the starter is straightforward and simple. Begin by disconnecting the battery ground strap. Then jack up the rear of the car, and place it on jack stands. (Figure 2) Make sure that the car is held up securely, because you will be working underneath the car.

     The starter is located directly above the inboard CV joint of the right axle. (Figure 3) It may initially look difficult to access, but it is not. Pull off the two yellow wires from the spade connectors on the starter solenoid. Remove the nut from the main terminal on the solenoid, and remove the battery (25mm black wire) and alternator (10mm red wire) cables.

     Next, the two "flanging nuts" as Porsche calls them must be removed. These are special 10mm allen-head nuts, so you will need a suitable allen socket and extension. To remove the top nut, reach over the top of the transmission. (I find this easiest when lying on my back, head toward the front of the car, and reaching over the transmission with my right arm.) Then you can take off the bottom nut, and remove the starter.

     Now you are ready to install the new starter. Thoroughly clean the ring terminals on the end of the battery and alternator cables to ensure good contact.

     The Hi Torque starter has only one spade terminal. Both of the yellow wires are connected to this, using an adapter (Figure 4). The larger (2.5mm) yellow wire carries the control signal from the ignition switch. The smaller yellow wire (.5mm, may also have a colored stripe) activates the cold-start injector when the starter is engaged.

     The new starter will fit only one way, with the main terminal of the solenoid facing up. If you try to install it otherwise, the solenoid will interfere with the transmission housing-rotate the starter 180 degrees to the correct position. After it is in seated, replace the two "flanging nuts". Reconnect the red and black cables to the solenoid main terminal, and the two yellow wires as described above.

     The flange on the Hi-Torque starter is somewhat thinner than the stock starter; therefore you will need to install some washers before installing the flanging nuts, so that you don't reduce the depth of insertion of the allen wrench. I used four 10mm washers with a total thickness of 7.5mm for a correct fit. This is what the starter looks like installed. (Figure 5)

     With more than 700 ft/lbs of torque, the Hi-Torque starter really spins the engine, and makes a significant difference in startup. It is also considerably lighter than the stock starter. This is a nice upgrade that will increase the reliability of your Porsche.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Konrad Comments: On the other side of the Ocean in Europe works as charm as well.
Installed in my MY1984 3.2 Carrera - took me about 2 hours, but only because the upper allen nut was stuck. I used a 32mm socket wrench to make a solid support for the extended allen wrench placed between gearbox and allen wrench head and then pushed the allen wrench arm from outside of the car using an alloy tube arm of my jack. A 33 year old nut that gets quite hot might give you a hell of a resistance, that's why you need to make a proper lever. It was not possible to unscrew that one for underneath of the car.
A good thing is for a 3.2 Carrera there is no need for the spade connector adapter - only one yellow wire present. I had to move the battery cable out of it's two or three mounting points though, as it was little to short for a PNP connection of the new starter, but its a minor thing.
There's much more clearance around high torque starter, so getting it in place is much easier than with the old bulky one.
One important hint - mount all the cables before you screw in flanging bolts, as these are somewhere on top of the starter after installation and hard do access.
September 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Gary Comments: Removed starter. Starter appears to be mechanically OK. Engine turns manually, but with a lot of resistance. Prior to this, when the engine was started, there was no indication of any mechanical problem. What could cause the increased resistance to engine rotation?
May 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: FLuid in the cylinders or timing component failure. Remove the spark plugs, is it easier to turn that way?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gary Comments: Attempted to start engine 1978 911sc. Heard a loud bang and starter quit. Engine could not be turned manually even with plugs removed. Could failed starter have held engine from turning, say by breaking a starter gear or jamming the flywheel?
May 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Maybe, remove the starter. if the engine still doesn't turn, assume something in the engine failed and has jammed it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
zippy_gg Comments: If you installed a hi-torque starter you will find it very difficult to reach the nut that holds the thick positive black cable and the red positive cable, all located on the right side of the transmission. we found that it is much easier to reach over the transmission body left side of the transmission. Since you are on your back you will be using your right hand to reach over to the nut and easily tighten with a ratchet and 13mm socket.
May 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Cliff Comments: Hi have had a 997 4s for 7 years now and it has always struggled to restart when hot. Last night I had to leave for 20 mins to cool and it restarted ok. Will this be a starter issue ? As I'm in the UK can you suggest a supplier of a replacement or suggest a model make and part number my local garage can only get reconditioned units but I don't want to have the same problem. Can you help?
December 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the starter motor is struggling to turn over, then yes, it can be the fault. I would be sure to voltage drop test the cables first, as I have seen them fail on 996 / 997 models causing starting issues. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Buzzard95 Comments: So I found my own issue with this. Lifting the back end gives enough room to get to the starter, but tipping the engine/transmission requires shift linkage removal which is in the middle of the car, without much clearance. So, next time I'll use jacks & stands.
November 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Buzzard 95 Comments: I have a set of ramps that I backed up onto which gives me plenty of clearance to work on the starter, but it's an '88 so I need to drop the engine/transmission to get at the top hex nut. Does anyone see an issue with doing it this way?
November 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may want to get the vehicle on jack stands instead of ramps. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Anthony Comments: Has anyone had an issue with the wire to the starter motor? When the ignition key is engaged solenoid is closed at the starter motor, my voltage is dropping from the 13.2V at the battery to about 10V at the starter motor. I get a click at the starter motor, but it won't turn over. I think the solenoid is not quite engaging, due to low voltage.
August 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 10 volts should turn over the starter, it will drop as low as 9 when cranking. BUT - if your readings are both taken cranking, the drop should not occur across the cable. The cable may be corroded or have a faulty connection. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: Bob, your hi torque starter replacement tutorial was right on. Mine is a 83sc. I was dreading the job because of the tight access but it wasn't that bad. I did unbolt the inboard end of the axle and let it hang out of the way. That helped a lot. Got to have the 10mm allen driver socket and 6" extension for the top mounting bolt. Mine just had a hex nut on the bottom. The new starter had to be clocked 4 positions to fit right. Also needed to undo the two nearest clamps holding the battery cable so it would reach the terminal. The female spade connector can be bought at any hardware store. Took me 3 hrs total, but I could do it again in 1. Starts great. Thanks for the help.
December 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
912-Dugg Comments: Just replaced the starter on a 912E with a High Torque Starter. Mostly the same process as outlined here. A couple of exceptions:
- The upper mounting bolt was NOT a “flanging nut” rather a socket-head cap screw that went through into the engine compartment and was secured with a nut. Use a 8mm allen and a 15mm wrench on the smart end.
- There was only a single yellow wire and so, no problem with the two spade adapter.

Installation still required being a contortionist and I found removing the pass-side heater flapper just replaced, too helped and allowed 2-hand access to the upper bolt-not necessary, just convenient.

So far, works like a champ.
September 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
peter Comments: replacing the starter on a 87 with a G50, 'm told that instead of dropping the nose of the transmission it is easier to unbolt the slave cylinder leavethe hydraulic line connected and let it hang out of the way, then the starter bolts are accessable. Has anyone tried this? approach?
June 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have dropped the trans while leaving the slave line on. The issue is getting the slave compressed and back into the trans properly. I bet you'll be OK, just work carefully. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rob Comments: I'm afraid I will need a clutch replacement soon.. My 2003 Carrera Cab 6 spd is getting harder/and higher as time goes on. Dealer told me I needed one 15,000 miles ago - 2 yrs. I believe the estimate I got was $2,000 because they had to remove engine to get to clutch. Help
February 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you want to replace it yourself, give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. Otherwise, call around to a few Porsche repair shops for an estimate.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
james Comments: My 1977 Porsche starter motor was making a grinding noise so I bought a new stater and replaced it. It still makes a grinding sound when starting the car. Is it in the transmission.
December 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the ring gear (on flywheel), if it is stripped the noise will continue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rich Comments: I have an 83 SC Targa with the same complaints. I jumpered the
solenoid directly and the starter worked fine. The book says one thing and shows yet another. It says the starter is supposed to be engaged directly from the switch. The routing of the wire is different. The starter refused to engage when the engine was hot and then it just stopped working altogether. As though it goes through the thermal switch. I suspect a junction at this point has failed. The book I have shows 82 but not 83. Porsche has really complicated systems and way too many devices that can fail. A 30 year old car can have a lot of corroded wiring as well. Best to check as many connections and junctions as possible. Junctions are where the wiring comes through the firewall.
January 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
fernando Comments: I purchased a high torque starter for my "83 911sc about 2 years ago and it has already failed. The original starter had never been replaced in 16 years since I've owned it. Possibly a lemon? Any suggestions on whether to get it rebuilt or purchase a new one?
April 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The quality of rebuilt parts varies tremendously. Get your next starter from a reputable supplier. No one will warrantee their electrical parts for more than a year--usually 6 months--but a supplier can make sure that their supplier uses high quality components in the rebuilding process. You could give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and consult with them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rt964 Comments: What about a 1991 964 C4? Is it that simple?
Thanks
February 26, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is that simple? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rick968 Comments: Bob - or anyone who knows,
Where did you finally find the spade adapter?
Still not included in starter?
...Waiting for mine to arrive from Pelican.
December 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 to see how quickly your order can be fulfilled. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bob Comments: Recently purchased Hi - torque starter from Pelican. If it's a known fact a double spade connector is required, why isn't it included with the starter?? I've already been to one auto store, with no luck in locating said double spade connector. Hope to find one soon..
September 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 to order the spade connector. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bob Comments: Wayne - I own an '81 9211 SC with 85K miles. I turn the key and 'nothing' happens....the electrical systems are fine...windows work, I can hear the fuel injection pumping....everything works....but no clicking from what I read that is the solenoid? and the motor is clearly not cranking. There's no way I can fix it - i have no tools, and I'm 60 years old. I just want to know what a good shop should charge quality parts and labor for the work - let's say its just one of following - the ignition, or the solenoid, or the starter. I'll take it to ProTech in Greenville, South Carolina
August 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Labor rates vary greatly around the country. You need to ask other friends with Porsche where to get reliable service for your car in your area. Some diagnosis is needed to find out if you have an ignition switch, battery, starter or electrical wiring problems. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
NO LIFT Comments: My '88 has the clutch slave cylinder where one would reach over the top of the transmission. I can't reach the top bolt form either side on the transmission, the passenger side it too tight to fit also. I can barely touch the bolt, but I don't know hoe I'll ever get a allen socket on it....

Any ideas?
July 16, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: In their repair manuals Porsche describes a way to drop (or tip) the transmission-engine package by 40 mm or so for access to items such as you describe. You need to get a manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
guru Comments: I installed this starter and to be honest I do not see any 'improvement'. I am expecting the engine to start quicker than withe the Bosch startser, but its the same time if not longer. There are times when I know it defnitely takes longer to start than it used to with the Bosch. I would think that being high-torque means that it would start the engine quicker. I have it installed on an 82 911 SC
February 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The Hi-Torque starter turns the engine over quicker, is lighter, and is more powerful than the 30+ year old design of the original Bosch starter. Just because the starter turns the engine over quicker, doesn't mean that the car will actually start faster. You need spark and fuel combined with compression and timing in order to start the engine. If the fuel system is taking it's time to get the proper fuel into the combustion chamber, than the problem lies there - not with the actual starter that turns the engine over. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Kathy Comments: installing a starter on a 1999 911 Porsche is the same as any other year? also how to install a heater core?
August 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's best to check out the 996-style articles here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/boxster/boxster_tech.htm Although we don't have one specifically for the 996 just yet, it's similar to the Boxster. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
ed Comments: hello bob,who sell a high torque starter for 1996 993 carrera 2 6spd.thanks
August 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ritespeed Comments: THE TOOL YOU NEED FOR THE TOP 10mm BOLT is a SWIVEL HEAD ALLEN ;
February 4, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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