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Thread: Removing F355 Starter Motor

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    Default Removing F355 Starter Motor

    Is this a simple straightforward task or am I in for a world of pain for what should surely be a relatively simple task? What is the most efficient way of achieving this?
    I like red & cream!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvin View Post
    Is this a simple straightforward task or am I in for a world of pain for what should surely be a relatively simple task? What is the most efficient way of achieving this?
    I can’t remember all the details as it was many years ago but it was quite straightforward. (1995 2.7 )
    Everything was done from above.
    Remove the air cleaners and I believe the fibreglass panel covering the silencer. Anything else in the way should be obvious. Perhaps o/s MAF?
    After unbolting the starter the only tricky bit was finding a way out for it.
    I dropped it down a little then there was a path available upwards to remove it out to top of the engine bay past the braces.

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    Thanks for that and confirming it is all done from above (looking from underneath it looks nigh on impossible to take it out from below). Removing the air filter boxes and exhaust heat shield looks pretty straightforward but I have two questions:

    1. I can access two of the three starter motor bolts but the third is hidden behind the shield over the pumpkin and that shield doesnít look like it will clear the exhaust box for removal. That may be because I have a Tubi Evolution fitted - would it be removable past the OEM exhaust?

    2. There appears to be a route past the cradle but is there a route past the upper exhaust Y pipe or does that also need to be removed (inc exhaust valve)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvin View Post
    Thanks for that and confirming it is all done from above (looking from underneath it looks nigh on impossible to take it out from below). Removing the air filter boxes and exhaust heat shield looks pretty straightforward but I have two questions:

    1. I can access two of the three starter motor bolts but the third is hidden behind the shield over the pumpkin and that shield doesnít look like it will clear the exhaust box for removal. That may be because I have a Tubi Evolution fitted - would it be removable past the OEM exhaust?

    2. There appears to be a route past the cradle but is there a route past the upper exhaust Y pipe or does that also need to be removed (inc exhaust valve)?
    Iím fairly sure Iíve a tubi of some sort fitted but I donít remember any of the bolts being a problem so perhaps yours may be slightly different.
    Iím fairly sure I didnít need to get involved with the exhaust valve or any other exhaust bits.
    Bear in mind I did this 15 or so years ago but I think I would have remembered any bad bits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian355 View Post
    Iím fairly sure Iíve a tubi of some sort fitted but I donít remember any of the bolts being a problem so perhaps yours may be slightly different.
    Iím fairly sure I didnít need to get involved with the exhaust valve or any other exhaust bits.
    Bear in mind I did this 15 or so years ago but I think I would have remembered any bad bits.
    Not all cars have the pumpkin shield but IIRC you can get it off or at least out of the way to do the starter

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    Thanks for the responses. Itís out, refurbished, bench tested and back in. Points to note:

    The pumpkin shield does not clear the exhaust but by undoing the fixings it can be moved just, and I mean just, enough to access the third bolt. My ratchet ring spanner wouldnít fit on it like that so a bit slow undoing, and doing up, using Mk1 ring spanner.

    Getting the small solenoid starter wire connector separated with the exhaust in place was a complete pain but the larger main motor feed was straight forward. With the starter motor freed I could not get it past the cradle metalwork or the exhaust - maybe there is some clever Ďcontortioní to do so but I couldnít find it. So, exhaust upper Y was removed, only eight bolts but Iím glad Iím tall as getting to them is quite a back braking stretch. The exhaust valve comes loose and is also removed complete with spacer. With that out of the way the starter motor came out but still tight navigating the cradle. Refitting was a piece of cake with the exhaust out of the way and making the electrical connections simple including the smaller solenoid connector. I would recommend removing the exhaust Y as it is quicker than a) disconnecting the starter motor connector and b) finding the elusive contortion to get the starter motor out.

    Exhaust is all back in and buttoned up and pumpkin shield back in place but the main exhaust box heat shield and air filter boxes are not and will remain so until I can get the very tired looking, cracked and failing flexible vacuum tube to the exhaust valve replaced. However, I am also making up an additional relay loom for the starter solenoid which I will install as a back up belt and braces approach ready to be connected in if the solenoid feed proves to be problematic.

    Just have to check the starter works in the car now!
    I like red & cream!

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    She still lives - fired up on the button. I wonít get too excited just yet as all this is/was to cure the dreaded intermittent starting issue.

    It has only happened a handful of times but the first was back in 2018 - supposed to have been diagnosed and sorted as a ropey relay. It happened again, just once, in 2021 having stopped for fuel - it didnít start on the first attempt but fired up on the second attempt. At itís annual service I asked for it to be looked at but it behaved impeccably and they could find nothing wrong. This year it had behaved itself including a fuel run the day before the National Ferrari Owners Day at Sywell. The morning of the event it just flatly refused to fire up, even with my jump starting pack connected to the engine bay terminals. I could hear the Ďclickí of the solenoid but then nothing so I assumed it was a motor problem or a high resistance/drop in voltage on the solenoid circuit. After half an hour of trying I was ready to give up and give Sywell a miss but on the last attempt before retiring hurt it just fired up as normal with the starter spinning the engine over effortlessly! Thankfully it also fired up without issue come home time.

    The solenoid Ďplungerí and contacts were pitted so replaced. The rest of the motor and brushes all looked in fine fettle so a clean up, including thoroughly cleaning up the electrical contacts, and thorough electrical check was all that was required. Hopefully this has effected a long term cure.
    I like red & cream!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvin View Post
    She still lives - fired up on the button. I won’t get too excited just yet as all this is/was to cure the dreaded intermittent starting issue.

    It has only happened a handful of times but the first was back in 2018 - supposed to have been diagnosed and sorted as a ropey relay. It happened again, just once, in 2021 having stopped for fuel - it didn¬ít start on the first attempt but fired up on the second attempt. At it¬ís annual service I asked for it to be looked at but it behaved impeccably and they could find nothing wrong. This year it had behaved itself including a fuel run the day before the National Ferrari Owners Day at Sywell. The morning of the event it just flatly refused to fire up, even with my jump starting pack connected to the engine bay terminals. I could hear the ¬Ďclick¬í of the solenoid but then nothing so I assumed it was a motor problem or a high resistance/drop in voltage on the solenoid circuit. After half an hour of trying I was ready to give up and give Sywell a miss but on the last attempt before retiring hurt it just fired up as normal with the starter spinning the engine over effortlessly! Thankfully it also fired up without issue come home time.

    The solenoid ¬Ďplunger¬í and contacts were pitted so replaced. The rest of the motor and brushes all looked in fine fettle so a clean up, including thoroughly cleaning up the electrical contacts, and thorough electrical check was all that was required. Hopefully this has effected a long term cure.
    Solenoid contacts were my also my problem although a clean up everywhere did the trick. A very light smear of copper grease and it was trouble free for 14years or so.
    Unfortunately it failed to start recently at Carrs during the last major service so it was sent to be refurbished then. Sod’s law but I probably could have repeated the process for a lot less money.
    I thought you might have trouble finding the way up and out. After dropping the starter down into the clear space below, I did need to move it quite a way before finding the path to extract it. I’ve a set of long nose pliers that’s handy for those small connectors in tight places, worth their weight in gold sometimes.
    Anyway good your sorted.

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    The solenoid refurb kit only cost a total of £17.65 delivered which has been the total cost of the starter motor 'repair' (so far, but see below).

    The original contacts - as you can see they are quite pitted.

    Name:  F355_Solenoid_1.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  61.1 KB

    However the main problem was almost certainly the contact on the right here where you can see that it was only contacting on half of its surface.

    Name:  F355_Solenoid_2.jpg
Views: 52
Size:  70.5 KB

    The design of the starter motor is not great in that maintaining the orientation of these contacts is critical for long term functionality but there is nothing to ensure their orientation and are easily twisted when tightening up the fixing nuts. Furthermore, even if you do maintain the orientation when the starter is installed and the main cable connected then the mere tightening of its location nut can twist the internal contact resulting in this non optimal connection! What I did notice when fitting the contacts was that if the fixing nut was tightened and the contact plate twisted then the plastic circular insulator on the outside of the solenoid would also twist slightly. When I was satisfied on the bench that the contacts were nice and level I marked the insulator and solenoid body on the outside such that when the main cable was connected I could see if the insulator rotated and made sure I did not overtighten the location nut - it was done up 'snug' (which is sufficient for good electrical contact) and could see no rotation of the insulator. Hopefully the alignment has been maintained.

    I now await parts (on order) for an auxiliary starter relay circuit which I will install which will ensure that even a pretty feeble voltage at the solenoid starting wire will result in a full voltage applied from the engine compartment positive 'bus bar'. Hopefully this will fully put to bed my 'will it start' anxiety when out and about! This does mean I'll have to disconnect that pesky wire from the solenoid again but I now have a tried and tested technique using my snipe nose pliers!
    I like red & cream!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvin View Post
    The solenoid refurb kit only cost a total of £17.65 delivered which has been the total cost of the starter motor 'repair' (so far, but see below).

    The original contacts - as you can see they are quite pitted.

    Name:  F355_Solenoid_1.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  61.1 KB

    However the main problem was almost certainly the contact on the right here where you can see that it was only contacting on half of its surface.

    Name:  F355_Solenoid_2.jpg
Views: 52
Size:  70.5 KB

    The design of the starter motor is not great in that maintaining the orientation of these contacts is critical for long term functionality but there is nothing to ensure their orientation and are easily twisted when tightening up the fixing nuts. Furthermore, even if you do maintain the orientation when the starter is installed and the main cable connected then the mere tightening of its location nut can twist the internal contact resulting in this non optimal connection! What I did notice when fitting the contacts was that if the fixing nut was tightened and the contact plate twisted then the plastic circular insulator on the outside of the solenoid would also twist slightly. When I was satisfied on the bench that the contacts were nice and level I marked the insulator and solenoid body on the outside such that when the main cable was connected I could see if the insulator rotated and made sure I did not overtighten the location nut - it was done up 'snug' (which is sufficient for good electrical contact) and could see no rotation of the insulator. Hopefully the alignment has been maintained.

    I now await parts (on order) for an auxiliary starter relay circuit which I will install which will ensure that even a pretty feeble voltage at the solenoid starting wire will result in a full voltage applied from the engine compartment positive 'bus bar'. Hopefully this will fully put to bed my 'will it start' anxiety when out and about! This does mean I'll have to disconnect that pesky wire from the solenoid again but I now have a tried and tested technique using my snipe nose pliers!
    Hi Garvin
    Have you a plan as to where you are going to site your auxiliary relay?
    I had a quick look at mine as I am considering doing something similar.
    One problem I can see is that your favourite spade connector going to the solenoid is housed in plastic with a locking barb so I am reluctant to use a normal off the shelf connector without this barb to guard against vibration and engine movement.
    One option around this would be to cut the solenoid control wire a few inches back, use the original connector and wire on the solenoid and insert the relay into that circuit a little way back. I’m a little reluctant to chop the wire but it seems that would be the better job unless that connector with the barbed housing is available somewhere.
    I believe the later 355s have a relay in the fuse box area but nearer the starter seems to make more sense to me.
    I believe this mod was common on 348s so Pete will no doubt know.

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