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Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)??
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Desertbusman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The real value of a Checker rebuilt starter is the lifetime warantee certificate. Whatever you do, treat it like gold. After a half dozen or so starters you might hit on a decent one. Between my bug and the bus I havn't had any starter problems in the last couple years. They must have done more to these last ones other than the paint job. The bigger concern is a Checker generator. It takes a lot of work to change them. I've gotten to where I rebuild mine rather than exchanging it for another questionable one. But I still carry the warantee for emergency.
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TomWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been running my Checker/Kragen cheapo starter for about 15 years now. Replaced the ignition switch and put in a hard start relay to get enough current back to that bad boy. Even turns over my new 1776 quite nicely. Now that I have said that, I wil probably have to replace it next week Wink
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Busdepot
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The discount auto parts chains (not speaking of Kragen specificallly) buy their rebuilt parts strictly on price. Whoever can deliver a truckload of "rebuilt" electrics or other parts for a wide range of models, quickly and for the lowest bid, is who stocks their shelves. Often the part is little more than tested and repainted. Then the chain store tacks on a "lifetime warranty" to sell the product. They know that in 90% of the cases they will not need to make good on that warranty, even when (not if) it fails. Right off the bat you may not have the proof of purchase handy when you need it. And if you do, you may break down at a time when obtaining a replacement quickly and near where you are stranded matters much more than finding the nearest XYZ Auto Parts location who can honor the warranty (and has one on the shelf).

From the discount store's standpoint, given the unlikelihood of actually having to make good on the warranty, it's more profitable for them to sell you crap adorned with a "lifetime warranty" than to pay for a thorough rebuild in the first place. From your standpoint, however, it's smarter to buy a quality product that won't need that warranty to begin with. When you break down in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, the fact that you'll get yet another piece of junk after wasting hours of your time and maybe paying $100 for a tow will be little consolation. Especially if it happens more than once. I have had customers tell me they went through three or four discount-store rebuilds before the finally bought a Bosch.

Not that Bosch is the only good product. Many of the non-Bosch rebuilds I carry come from a rebuilder I've trusted for years - an independent specialist who has done nothing but VW electrics for 25 years. I have put his rebuilds on my own VW's without hesitation. Also, in some communities you can still find local mom-and-pop auto electric specialists who can individually rebuild your existing unit to quality standards at a reasonable price.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree with Ron. Try putting a price on your time when you buy something like a cheap "lifetime" starter. If a starter goes out and cost you three to five hours to remove, find and buy another, and reinstall, it becomes very expensive. Plus the loss of the starter might blow your weekend trip, something you have been planning for weeks. A lot of times you are just buying a starter that failed on someone else and then was just cleaned and reboxed, you are buying a nicely wrapped "failure just waiting to happen".

I get almost all my electrical stuff rebuilt at a local mom and pops place. I get good quality work and often pay very little, like $5 to get the front bearing in a Vanagon alternator replaced. Brushes for a starter will probably cost me $10. No warranty on these partial rebuild, but no failures either.
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autolite rebuilt starters == crap. The one I put in my '75 failed in under a month and killed my battery in the process. Worst part is that when it failed, I was 25 miles from pavement camping in the woods -- if I had an automatic I'd have been *really* screwed.

Replaced it with a Bosch rebuilt, no problems since. I go out in the boonies, I can't afford to have a starter that'll crap out at any time...
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

Thought I would drop this here. Just received from Rockauto. Did I just land a gem? Description was “Pure Energy starter motor part no 16450, $23.79, core $9.00 total 32.79”. Was totally surprised to unbox to find this!

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rugblaster
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

All original starters have BOSCH stamped on them.....rebuilt or not.... This one says "Made in MEXICO" on it. Replace that end frame bushing. Before putting it in, put the bushing on your thumb, fill it with ATF and squeeze between your index finger and thumb. The bushing will sweat ATF out.....they are made of sintered bronze and they need lube. Pro-tip.
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Last edited by rugblaster on Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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richparker
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:14 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

I wanted to buy a Bosch starter for my bus and my builder told me not to. As you see they are made in Mexico and the last few he has installed were very loud. He was not happy with them and didn’t think they were worth it any more. So I went with one from AutoZone and as stated above the lifetime warranty was the reason. In your case that may just be a Bosch core that was rebuilt with different innards. Who knows what you actually have there. I’d install it and see how sounds and works.

Haven’t heard of that “pro tip” posted above, may be something you want to do.

Good luck!
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

Open up that Bosch and you will find aloof junk amd silver cheese parts.

Shiny != good
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OB Bus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Open up that Bosch and you will find aloof junk amd silver cheese parts.

Shiny != good


That is an interesting post. It looks like one of my fumble finger posts when autocorrect is going wild.
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OB Bus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

I bought an Autozone starter about 12 years ago. Lifetime warranty. I have replaced the started twice for free. I think they are a decent deal.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

thanks for the info guys. sounds like Autozone lifetime warranty is the way to go. Still need to investigate how to actually get a NEW Bosch, exchanged after failing 1 month after purchase. JBugs advises to get it tested at an autoparts store first and let them or Bosch know, guidance wasn't exactly clear.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

usually it isn't the starter that fails. It is the solenoid because of hardened sticky grease in it. I've fixed more of them over the years in less than 20 minutes then I care to think of. Should have started a business refurbishing the solenoids.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

I always replace the starter main feed cable from the battery also on my cars as soon as I have starter trouble. . Many times they look good on the outside, but if you cut them open there are corroded and have high resistance. You can also do a voltage test to check the cable. Same with the other wire for the solenoid. It is work , but it pays of.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:44 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

If we keep buying starters that need three replacements in 12 years we can’t complain when there are no good parts.
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
If we keep buying starters that need three replacements in 12 years we can’t complain when there are no good parts.

DING DING DING!!!
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The Bosch reman starter I mentioned installing in my post up-thread (from 2008? Has it been that long??) worked absolutely flawlessly for me until I took it out over the 2017/2018 winter along with the 002 transaxle when I did my 1.8T/5MT drivetrain conversion. Still works, but it's now in a buddy's Bus that gets a lot fewer miles per year than I was giving it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

That's the Air-Schooled Math Test for ya… If something costs twice as much, but lasts four times as long, is it really more expensive?

https://moneywise.com/a/boots-theory-of-socioeconomic-unfairness

Also, don't submerge your starter in a bog; the brushes wear much quicker…
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

awj_woody wrote:
thanks for the info guys. sounds like Autozone lifetime warranty is the way to go. Still need to investigate how to actually get a NEW Bosch, exchanged after failing 1 month after purchase. JBugs advises to get it tested at an autoparts store first and let them or Bosch know, guidance wasn't exactly clear.


I am assuming this is an SR15 starter. Autohausaz has new in stock. SR15X is rebuilt and SR15N is new using the Bosch naming convention.

https://www.autohausaz.com/pn/SR15N
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
If we keep buying starters that need three replacements in 12 years we can’t complain when there are no good parts.


If this was aimed at my post, let me add some detail:

The first rebuilt starter (starter #1) lasted 18 months and froze. It was replaced for free with starter #2. I thought starter #2 was dead after another 2 years. I replaced it with starter #3, but found out that all I really needed was a hot start relay. I have now had starter #3 in the bus for 8 years and it is working perfectly. I also still have starter #2 on the shelf since they did not want the core.

No I am not in love with crap parts. Being able to easily replace items that have a warranty is worth a lot to me.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: Autolite Starters (from Kragen/Schuck's/Checker/etc.)?? Reply with quote

Geez,how many times do I have to tell folks do a 20 minute fix on the solenoid before they spend the money to buy a replacement starter. 99 out of 100 times that will solve your problem, and save you money. Not only that but regardless how many starters you replace, the sticky solenoid WILL be back as soon as the grease hardens again.
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