Old Starter replacement


A little while back, a builder with a flying plane equipped with an original 2400 series starter (Ones we shipped from 2001-2014, before the lightweight 2400L series) asked about getting a replacement for the one which had been on his plane for 12 years. I suggested that he just go down to the auto parts store and buy a Subaru EA-81 starter and switch the noses and brackets from his aircraft starter with the new electrical parts from the car starter. A simple one hour operation, and less expensive than upgrading to the 2400L.


I am not sure how challenged the auto parts store people in his area are, but evidently this was some type of insurmountable problem, with the usual claims of “they never made that”, ” You can’t get those anymore” and “I can only look it up if you know the color of the car”. This lead to a lot of back and forth, but in the interest of me maintaining my sanity, below is a picture of the exact starter, sitting on the shelf in my local Napa store. Note they only have three of them. This part number can be crossed to any other brand and it will also work, but I hesitate to mention that because crossing a part number is probably beyond what passes for a counterman in the modern world.


We have on the shelf at SPA about 20 of the modified gears for these starters, and in all my years of working with them, I only saw one starter and two gears wear out. So this isn’t an issue most builders need to be concerned about. I bring it up to point out that I would never have selected a starter to work with that would become extinct in our lifetimes. I make more intelligent choices about parts than that. I go out of my way to support people who have older series products from me. There are plenty of companies both big and small in our branch of aviation who make a nice living forcing people to “upgrade” from their now unavailable proprietary parts. I am not, and have never been, one of those companies.




Above, at our local NAPA store, same location where this took place:

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3 Replies to “Old Starter replacement”

    1. Jeff I have some questions for you about the corvair in a Merlin GT. I want to put one in my Merlin GT and would love to hear from you. Please call me at 435-770-2242

  1. Hey Professor, we have the same caliber of auto parts folks here in Central Texas that ask, “What color the car is” for a starter or set of plugs! Great story…

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