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Thread: Mini starter install

  1. #1
    not embarrassed on a scooter 85crownHPP's Avatar
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    Default Mini starter install

    Most 90's 5.0's and probably other fords use an improved version of our starter commonly referred to as a 'mini' or 'high torque' starter. This improved design turns the motor over faster with less effort and less amps. This will give you more cranks in a dying battery situation, and will make for better starts in general, especially in high compression/advanced timing situations.
    Also with the starter, some have gotten various mid-length headers to fit our cars easier, and I like the way they sound... it makes the 85 feel like a newer car.

    I know you can get these off '91 vics and GMQ's, and '90 town cars. They are an easy swap-in with only few wiring modifications.
    I had to grind open the lug a bit on my main starter cable to get it to fit the new one, and of course had to swap the other end of that cable to the hot battery side of the fender solenoid. I harvested a trigger wire from a different donor car, so I had to swap the connector on the starter end to make it work. The donor trigger wire also has a fuse link built in, and its fender solenoid end goes on the switched side of the lugs, where the fat cable used to be.

    I am pleased

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF3983s.jpg  

  2. #2
    I love it when a plan comes together CheeseSteakJim's Avatar
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    Awww, I like the old-school whine of that old starter. I can't change mine just because of that. Also, I like the idea of retaining my solenoid on the fender instead of down at the starter where it can get overheated.

    Is there any way you can remove the solenoid from that starter in order to make the package that much smaller? Also, is the bigger starter the only thing stopping people from using mid-length headers?

  3. #3
    GMN Founder Grand Marquis GT's Avatar
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    I've always wondered about doing this myself.

    Honestly, i'd love to have the old school Mopar whiney starter. Those sound cool
    1983 Grand Marquis 2Dr Sedan "Mercules"
    Tremec TKO conversion, hydraulic clutch, HURST equipped!


  4. #4
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Nice. what a difference it makes.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  5. #5
    not embarrassed on a scooter 85crownHPP's Avatar
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    What a difference indeed... I had noticed it struggling a little since i advanced the timing...now it sometimes starts it on the first revolution it seems.
    Ive never heard of a solenoid overheating due to proximity to exhaust... the only downside is they cost more new, but they are all the same price at the junkyard

  6. #6
    Working with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair Nathan in MI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand_Marquis_GT View Post
    I've always wondered about doing this myself.

    Honestly, i'd love to have the old school Mopar whiney starter. Those sound cool
    Yes, and you get the fun job of replacing them every couple of years or so! :p

    2001 Ford Crown Victoria P71 - "The Fire Engine"
    1985 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

  7. #7
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    My car has 2 solenoids, 1 on the starter, and 1 on the fender.
    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  8. #8
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    ......Boy I wish my car fired off that quik.

    I put a new/rebuilt starter on my 91 last month and took pics while I was at it.

    Want me to post em'?
    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  9. #9
    not embarrassed on a scooter 85crownHPP's Avatar
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    Yep - boxes that used these kept the fender solenoid. The more pics the merrier... I forgot to snap one of this installed

  10. #10
    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    i just installed one on my 89 vic......cant take any pics tho cause it's at yucatechs house right now

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
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    please be patient, rebuilding an empire!


  11. #11
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    I'll have my pics up in a bit.
    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  12. #12
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    BTW........I meant to say that my original starter......after 18 years of service sounded as slow as your old one.
    Needless to say my "new" one spins MUCH faster. (visteon does good rebuilds)


    original motorcraft starter from my 91'.





    I was soooooooo happy they used some kind of anti-sieze on assembly!
    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  13. #13
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    View of the 91's belhousing area.


    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  14. #14
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    Visteon remanufacured starter.



    Last edited by andymac0035; 07-18-2009 at 10:17 PM. Reason: typos.......as always.......
    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  15. #15
    GMN Regular andymac0035's Avatar
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    And since I'm being a pic whore tonight........

    Favorite way of getting the car up in the air to work on. (wish I had a lift tho)

    Former panther owner
    1981 CV 351 4bbl
    1991 CV 302 EFI

  16. #16
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Once mine goes i will want to upgrade to this but am a little confused.

    Scott told me too: run a 12 ga wire from the switched side of the solenoid to the starter solenoid, and move the starter cable to the hot side of the solenoid.

    Ok that all sounds good but can someone make up a wiring diagram of the original starter and the new starter?
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  17. #17
    not embarrassed on a scooter 85crownHPP's Avatar
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    You've already got a great diagram for the original style starter - that 87 vic parked out in your driveway its just one wire... it should be easier to visualize the changes described while you ate looking at it.

  18. #18
    Member 351m's Avatar
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    I just put the stock cable back on the hot side, along with a jumper from the hot side of the mini starter to the sol. terminal on it. No changes up on the fender at all.
    1990 LTD Crown Vic w/ dead 5.0
    1984 Pontiac 6000 cammed 2.5L Iron Duke
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  19. #19
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    I will take a look at me car.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan in MI View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Grand_Marquis_GT View Post
    Honestly, i'd love to have the old school Mopar whiney starter. Those sound cool
    Yes, and you get the fun job of replacing them every couple of years or so! :p
    Nuh-uh! They work just fine! At least mine did - all I had to do the time it failed was remove it and reinstall it. Didn't actually put a new one in, just took out the old one and stuck it right back in.

    Er, make that twice.


    On the other hand, my buddy's 74 Coronet with some sort of modern starter on it just sounded so . . unnatural . . missing that typical Mopar whine. It was unnerving, to the point that I thought I might have nightmares.
    1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria 2-door Coupe - perpetually "sort of" for sale...
    Black with Red cloth (velour?) interior.
    Purchased on 10/10/2008, with only 70,386 original miles, and only ONE previous owner.
    Reader's Ride post, First pic with "new" rims, Other pics with "new" rims

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