Haynes Roadster 4×4

I’ve found a 47 year old solution to my starter and prop-shaft clearance problems.

The starter motor in the picture above was another Fleabay bargain. (99p) or £11 inc. postage. I was the only bidder and when you look at the picture below there is little surprise.

Rover P5B Starter Motor

It’s off a 1965 P5B Rover V8. It was described as ‘good order’. I think I have a different definition of that phrase. I would have used ‘seized’.

Still, the beauty of these old starters is that you can simply remove the rear cover, take a bit of wire wool to the brushes, rub on a bit of silicon grease and they gain a new lease of life. I used to follow a similar routine every time I drove my old ‘sit up n beg’ ’53 Pop through a puddle. When I opened this one up, there was as much thick grease and grit on the inside as the outside.

Although it now spins freely as intended, there is still a noticeable difference in speed between these old motors and new ones. I’d say a modern one is twice as fast. As you can see in the photo below the new ones are also half the size. The one on the right is a recon unit from a 2002 P38 Range Rover V8.

Rover P5b and P38 Starter Motors

In the above shot, you can see that the solenoids are mounted 90° different to each other. The P38 unit (right) has the solenoid sticking out sideways, whereas the old P5B unit (left) has the solenoid underneath. Despite the considerable size difference the bulk of the extra mass is not a problem as it is in the empty void between the motor and block. Once mounted the biggest noticeable difference is the 2″  extra length.

Haynes Roadster 4x4 Starter Motor Clearance

The forward section of the front 4×4 prop-shaft now sits both parallel to the ground and to the chassis centre line. With the prop-shaft 100% parallel, its’ mounts are fairly close to the starter (10mm) but you can see that it’s all looking a lot healthier than with the P38 starter (see here). The rear section of the prop-shaft is now parallel to the floor plus a lot less crooked than before.  If I rotate this prop-shaft mount 90° then the bend in the prop-shaft can be further decreased with little change in clearance.

I’m now in the situation I’d hope I was in when I did the CAD for the whole set-up.

Very Happy – problem 100% solved 🙂

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