Starters and Ignition Systems
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How do you change the starter on a 1992 Frieghtliner truck with a Detroit Diesel Engine?


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2011-09-13 00:27:06
2011-09-13 00:27:06

First off, breathe deeply. Freightliners are not engineered to be easy to work on, but that's just my opinion. Anyhow most Detroit engines take more or less the same starter configuration, and fasteners are usually SAE not metric. First off remove the cables off the battery to avoid burning fuses etc from arcs or ground faults when your removing wires from the starter. Remove the cable to the battery's negative terminal (no matter how many batteries or whether its 12 or 24 volt configuration. Any one negative connection will do to break the circuit.) Next remove all the wires from the starter, theres usually 2 to the solenoid and one to the back of the starter proper. Just tag or otherwise notate which wires go where because I can promise you wont remember later. Now the bolts holding the starter are 90 percent of the time a twelve-point head. (Im thinking 5/8" twelve point, but cant remember for sure) Dont forget that most box-end wrenches are twelve point capable, but 90 percent of the time one bolt is unreachable with a wrench so you need possibly an off-set box-wrench or if your lucky you can use a twelve point socket on the end of enough extensions to be able to use a 1/2 inch drive ratchet. Anyway so now the starter is off, so now get a new one or get it rebuilt. Make sure if you get it rebuilt to ask the guy to keep the mounting housing in its original position, or mark is so you can fix that later if need be. Lots of rebuild techs do this stuff with their eyes closed so mark with a punch (permanently) a dot or a line on the mounting and one on the housing of the starter motor. I say this cause the mounting can be rotated after removing some Allen head capscrews and then fastened in a number of different positions. So now install the new or rebuilt starter, somtimes the wires if they are long enough to allow this are easier to install back on the starter prior to actually reinstalling the starter, just a thought. These buggers are heavy too so a third hand never hurt no-one. Get the starter in and thread the 2 accessible bolts, do this with your fingers so theres no crossed threads. Tighten the 2 up till the starter is close to in, but with some jiggle room. Load the 3rd bolt into your extension-socket deal but without the ratchet. Feed the bolt into the hole and using the extension like a screwdriver thread the bolt in, and again ensure no crossed threads, this is why we leave the other 2 bolts loose so you can finagle the ^$#&^%@. I'd give ya a torque value but I've never used one, just tighten it as tight as it will go without stripping the bolt. The bolts are usually like 7/16 UNF (fine thread=more torque) so standard torque values for whatever bolts are being used apply just fine, but I always just tighten em till it hurts me to tighten them, and then tighten em a touch more. Finish up your wiring, sure hope you tagged em, hook the battery back up, then try and start and find out the next problem lol.


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