report by el jefe

we go under again...
the great thing about my wife is that she understands.

not only about my infatuation with Porsche, my feral mannerisms, and my complete lack of any social graces with a preference for pissing outside like a dog rather than use the loo...she understands what it takes and what to expect when owning and driving a vintage Porsche.

this is why she took it in stride when the starter on the 968 began its death rattle.
any other woman, or partner if you like, would carry on and complain about the uncertainties that one may encounter when driving something older than a college graduate. or why, after so much time and money spent on replacing nearly everything under the hood, does one have to see their car up on jack stands again.

not least not yet.

you see, it didn't leave her stranded or late for an appointment, it merely started to suggest that it was about to pack its bags and maybe we should think of its replacement before it finally decides to. well, I listened and I took the prudent approach to replace it rather than hand my woman a hammer and a sheet of cardboard instructing her to go under and give it a good whack next time it complains.

thankfully, unlike our 911 that requires a good amount of booze and pills to execute just about any routine maintenance procedure, the starter on Dr. Fuhrmann's revenge line of models is very easy to replace.
take off that wiring loom holder first...
so that you can easily remove the 17mm bolt on that side.
before doing anything disconnect the battery...this isn't meant to insult your intelligence, I just don't want you to forget.

then put her on jack stands, or ramps if you prefer. once she's propped up, you can mosey on under and begin the job. now there's two bolts but only one has a nut on the other end; the "nutless" bolt is on the driver's side, the one with the nut is on the passenger side. the latter is no problem, the former, though, would be much easier to access if you removed the 10mm nut that held the wiring loom holder in place. by removing that, you have plenty of room to swing your box end have to remove the wiring loom holder anyway to swing the starter down completely.

once the bolts are off, you can pull the starter out. being that the car was on jack stands, I found it easier to rest the thing on a block of some sort to not strain the wiring by letting it dangle. now's about a good time to take a picture of how the wiring is "laid out." there's a specific way to route them so that they won't come in contact with the chassis or bell housing where it can eventually chafe...if you didn't like the way they were routed to begin with, you can figure out a better path when putting things back together.
once off, it's best if you prop the starter up on something like a cinder block of block of wood to make disconnecting the wires a bit easier.
the back end of the business...make sure you remember how the wires are routed.
make sure they're the same...I'll explain why the tube of grease makes a cameo.
once you get it off, you need to do a few of things before putting everything back together. first, line up the old and new starter next to each other and make sure they're the same. the 968 starter is very different from the 944 since it has a protruding shaft that's inserted into the front of the bell housing.

this means that the nose of it fits into a bushing that is pressed into the bell housing will also explain why your starter came with a fluorescent tag attached to a small bronze bushing. do not throw this out because you may just need it if yours shows signs of wear or is somehow mangled. there's an image and a quote below and a link on how to remove this bushing.
see that little hole in the middle of the opening? that's where the bushing is.
here it is a bit closer.
the method one enthusiast chose in order to remove it.
"To remove the bush I removed the plate from the back of the housing(8mm spanner), wound an M12 second taper tap into the bush from the starter motor side and then lightly tapped on the end of the tap which was now protruding from the back of the bush.

If you don't have an M12 tap handy you can use a socket or strong wooden dowel from the back and tap that to knock out the bush.
I measured the bush at 11.7mm i.d. which didn't seem too bad and certainly not bad enough to have caused such a problem(the internal marks are from the M12 tap)."

quoted from:
a little lube goes a long way...and no, spit won't work here,
another point I want to make is that the shaft on the new starter will seem like it has way too much play...don't sweat that, it's supposed to and will no longer be loosey-goosey when you insert the new starter. the bushing will keep it in place.

lastly, before installation of the starter, I put a small dab of grease on the tip of the shaft that'll ride on the bushing...this'll keep this little relationship happy.

right, now you're ready to put it all back together again and enjoy not only the fact of saving yourself some cash, but knowing that this will not be one of the reasons that will leave you stranded.



Jeffrey Edgar
08/30/2016 21:16

What were the symptoms leading up to the starter motor replacement? I have never liked the sound of the starter motor in my three years of ownership. I have a new noise like a rattle that occurs for a couple of seconds at cold start-up. I am in the midst of identifying the source of the noise.

el jefe
09/01/2016 09:09

Hey Jeff, typical starter symptoms like the solenoid not engaging. BUT, there is a noise that sounds like scraping the bottom of a tin can with a spoon that developed with the new "rebuilt" Bosch starter I've installed...interestingly, I remember that same noise 30 years ago on my parent's '86 Audi 5000S (same starter used in the 944 series); we ended up replacing the starter — no more noise.

Jeffrey Edgar
09/01/2016 15:04


To my ear, the scraping the bottom of a tin can is the sound I am hearing. Did you replace with another rebuilt starter from the same vendor? There is a significant difference as you know with rebuild versus new. If it is the starter, I would opt for the rebuilt based upon cost.

el jefe
09/04/2016 20:30

I bought a rebuilt unit...and if the noise is indeed from the starter, then that's the first time EVER that I bought a rebuilt Bosch unit that failed this fast. by the way, list is USD$650 for a new starter from Porsche — compare that with a USD$1825 for a new 993 alternator from Porsche. you'd better hope that the units are significantly better than buying rebuilt.


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