Super Duty Starter

Ok this one is a bit different from my other pages. So hang with me on this one.

I went through a ton of money, time, blood, sweat and tears to get to where I am now starter wise. So what you are about to read is in order of how I got to where I am now. So each time you see “This is the starter to buy” keep in mind that was what I believed at the time.

For the crib notes version go to napa and buy the gear reduction starter they sell. Not all the crap I’m about to post below this ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m doing it this way for two reasons.

  1. I don’t want to delete all the stuff I worked kind of hard to make content wise.
  2. I think it helps to see how I got to this point and why such and such didn’t work out.

That said lets begin my epic tale of trying to buy a decent starter.

It all began a long time ago in a galaxy… wait that’s not right.

It was a dark and stormy…. errr no.

Oh yeah I remember now. The truck wouldn’t crank ย ๐Ÿ™‚


How to and not to replace the starter on a 2002 F250 Powerstroke Diesel ๐Ÿ™‚

What not to do, DON’T go to autozone. I ended up with an epic adventure by simple buying a starter from autozone.

Here the post I made on powerstrokenation as the fun unfolded…..


How common is it to get a dead new aka rebuilt starter from autozone?

Mine had been grinding from time to time, turned out the solenoid had come loose some and wasnt kicking the starter in all the way.

Anyways I bought a new one today and it clicks and engages the teeth but the starter doesnt spin so Im guessing the the new one has a bad solenoid. Taking a break before pulling it back off ๐Ÿ™


Ok these chinese guys ate their wheaties the day this thing got put together. Got one of the screws out of the solenoid but the other wont budge. Its a gear reduction starter so the trans on the starter is in the way some on one of the screws. Only starter they had in stock too

Just loosened the post for the starter itself and the battery lug and retightened both. Maybe that will make a better contact. Pretty sure it will burn into a groove so to speak if I can get it to work a few times.



Either it decided it didnt want me taking it apart again or moving the post around on the solenoid worked. Either way its working. I love gear reduction starters, kewl sound.

Also I forgot to plug the block heater in this morning so it sat for 12 hours or so with at least 7 hours being 30 something degree weather and when that gear reduction starter spun it the thing cranked instantly!!

I have bad injectors that dont fire when cold so it normally won’t crank if I dont use the block heater to make the injectors happy. It ran super rough from the injectors not all firing but it at least cranked


Now at this point I think Im home free, yeah right ๐Ÿ™

Several members on PSN had posted to take it back and get my money back and order a real starter. But Im sure Ive got it beat and Im good to go….



Spins it like a 4 cyl now. Why change it, if the solenoid behaves that is.
Shows 3.6 kw.


Then the wakeup call….


Well Im back to the bad starter and got my money back from autozone.

Solenoid on the autozone one kept acting up some and last night I went to crank it to drive to the office and the solenoid clicks and no juice to the starter motor itself. So this morning I find another store even farther away that has one. I end up driving 50 miles there and yep they have one but they must test the one Im returning. Im telling the nut, “It cranks sometimes and sometimes doesnt. So it may work fine but I still want a different starter”. He tells me they have to test it anyway… WTF.

After watching the guy stare blankly at the testing machine for 3 minutes I offer to connect it up for him. He informs me you have to be trained to operate the machine. Im like, “Guess thats why your just staring at it then, havent been trained yet?”

After he finally lets me hook up the wires according the the COLOR PICTURE on the computer screen that he was looking at it starts fine 5 times in a row.

He informs me there is nothing wrong with the starter and there must be something wrong with my truck. I explain to him that I had already TOLD him it would probably start and I just wanted a different starter. He is telling me that if it works then getting another starter wont help. I listen to 3 minutes of a guy who wouldnt know how to build a starter if his life depended on it tell me how I need to learn to properly diag the thing and get my truck fixed before getting a starter. Im biting my lip hoping he doesnt notice the marred screws where I had already “adjusted” the contacts in the solenoid trying to get enough clearance to get them to hit evenly on the disc inside

Turned out one of the contacts was defective pretty bad and short of building it up with a solder weld and then grinding it back down I was out of luck.

Anyways after all that crap he goes to do the exchange. The computer wont let him swap it out. Seems the elementary school drop out at the other store had miskey the current starter as returned. So their stuff showed I had already returned the starter. GRRRRRRR.

So after making me wait 10 minutes talking to the guy at the other store he comes back and informs me that yep they said I bought the starter but that I had to drive 30 miles to the other store to get them to fix their screw up and then drive 30 miles BACK to get the starter since only they had another one.

So off to Talladega again. After getting to that store they tell me they will just refund me my money and I can go next door and buy one from advanced. They even called to make sure they had one. Im thinking kewl, end of problem. Nope. Since I used my card they refunded it to the card which wont process for a week. I drive over to advanced think Ill just buy it and wait on the other to show up on my card.

While sitting in the parking lot I guess Id reached the Ive had it point and thought PSN sugested the other starter so screw this crap.

I bought some locktite and glued the loose bolts on my original starter I had just gotten back from autozone from returning the new starter and Im fixing to slap it back on the truck and just drive it till the new one from db-electric gets here.

Thanks for listening to my venting, I needed to vent somewhere


Well at least I got a good cranking starter in the end.

Only cost me 20 dollars in gas probably.

$4 for locktite red.

Carton of cigs, I was smoking like a freight train $35.

So $59 later I have my original starter back on my truck and it cranks and runs fine

Course the old starter wont spin it fast enough to crank it without the block heater if left to sit all night, but at least it doesnt grind on the flywheel anymore since putting the screws back in the solenoid.

Ill order the new one from db-electric when the money shows back up on my card this week. Scary part is even with overnight shipping on the one from db-electric AND all that other money I spent on this adventure it will still come out being $15 cheaper from db-electric.




Well I got my db starter in but I was in for a fun time with it. That thing is HUGE compared to the one that was on it. I had to grind the crossmember frame thing down some. I could get it in place without grinding but the starter was completely against the crossmember. Torque twist would of rubbed it pretty bad plus one of the bolts that holds the starter together could of come in contact with it causing damage so I did some grinding on it to be safe.

Spins so fast its like cranking a 2 stroke


This may give you an idea of the difference.


I was VERY impressed with the specs from db and the order process was perfect too. I was also impressed with the packaging it came in. I will be buying all my starters and alternators from them from now on. I paid $138 or so for a NEW not rebuild starter from db electrical. Autozone and other places wanted $239 for rebuilt chinese starter. Plus there is no core charges from db electrical. Now I can get that viper alarm system with remote start since I have a reliable non grinding starter ๐Ÿ™‚

Heres how it arrived and also what it looks like compared to the non gear reduction starter that was on the truck to start with. Gear reduction starters ROCK!!!


Conclusion to the epic tales…..

Now as I mentioned at the start of this monster long mess I later went with the napa gear reduction starter.

Why change it sinceย the DB Electric starter looked great and I said it worked great? Well it did on both accounts. What it didn’t do was last very long. I thinkย it had a 1 year warranty and it lasted about 1 year and 1 month or something like that. It never actually “died”. It just got weaker and weaker and cranked slower and slower. It seemed to be using more and more power and doing less work each time. Eventually if the truck didn’t start perfectly it would drain the batteries down enough to sometimes not crank unless I let it sit for a few minutes.

I bought a replacement from napa. The replacement has a lifetime warranty, gear reduction and was smaller than the db unit so it was easier to install. I have had the napa starter for about 3 years now and it still starts like new.


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