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This could be you
I successfully installed a new high-torque gear reduction starter in the Sprite today. The starter was originally intended for a late 80’s Isuzu. See the quoted forum threads at the end of this post for more details on which Isuzus had this part. I referred to the threads for part numbers & went down the hill to Advance Auto to pick one up. Moss Motors and other vendors sell these starters for our cars but I chose to go another route. I had one issue with fitting the Isuzu starter and detailed my experience with photos below.
1. Remove distributor to allow access to starter.
2. Remove original starter.
3. Find the two terminals on the new starter and bridge them with an appropriately sized wire. On my starter I had to make a wire with a female spade connector on one end and an eyelet on the other. The spade connector attaches to the solenoid on one end and the eyelet attaches to the large post. Your car will have 2 solenoids after you install this new starter- the original and a new one that’s inside the new starter. Installing this bridge wire is the way to deal with that.
This is not my photo. It does, however, illustrate the jumper wire perfectly. Photo credit: http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/product/862/category/225
4. Test fit the new starter. Mine didn’t fit. I had to move a hydraulic line about 3/4″ & this part of the passenger footwell was in the way:
The gear-reduction starters sold by your favorite British Car Parts Dealer probably have a “clockable face” that allow you to rotate the starter just enough to clear this footwell. They are also $200 more expensive. Denting the footwell to install an upgraded starter in my particular car is ok with me.
5. Pound the shit out of that spot with whatever you can get to it with. I used a 4′ bar from a roof rack with one end on that spot and the other end out the driver’s side of the engine bay. I hit it repeatedly with a 5 pound mini sledge. I only had to move it about 1/8″ to make enough room.
The install was as simple as that for me… I read about the mod online and just gave it a try. It seems to be the way to do it, it worked for me. Do some research, I posted references below. I’m not an expert or a mechanic… Don’t just do it cause I said so.
Thread quote 1: “The 1989 Isuzu Trooper II 2.6 liter fuel injected 4 cylinder engine uses a starter that is a near perfect fit for the A-series engine found in Sprites and Midgets. The starter fits all 948, 1098, and 1275 A-series blocks. The are two frame numbers listed for the Trooper. The 17155 is a perfect fit in all respects but seems to be no longer available. The 16878 fits the engine perfectly but requires a little modification to some sheet metal. It is the latter, the 16878, that you will probably get over the counter, unless you are very lucky”.
The Isuzu starter is available in places like Pep Boys, Advance Auto, etc. for about $70.”
Thread quote 2: “Here are some part #’s that I’ve collected from a couple of sites on the subject:
Isuzu Starter info:
Isuzu Starter #16878, direct bolt-in replacement high torque gear reduction style starter:
1989-90 Isuzu Amigo 2.6L
1989-94 Isuzu Amigo 2.3L
1988-89 Isuzu Impulse 2.3L
1985-89 Isuzu Impulse 2.0L Turbo
1988-89 Isuzu Pickup 2.6L
1986-94 Isuzu Pickup 2.3L
1988-90 Isuzu Trooper 2.6L
1986-87 Isuzu Trooper 2.3L
But if you car doesn’t have a fit issue and you want to use the Trooper starter the years of applications are 86-91 Trooper 2.3 and 2.6 engines according to Denso, and Robert Bosch. Your OEM part number for Denso is 280-0198 and your OEM Bosch number is SR398X”