NISSAN Pictures of how I Disassembled Cleaned and Rebuilt the starter motor in my 1994 Nissan Pathfinder.

But first, lets pay some bills:

  1. Here's where the starter came out of. You can see the red cover ripped off the oil sensor, and the oil filter relocation adaptor. Where the hell did all this oil come from? Valve covers? Transmission front shaft seal? Oil Sensor? Relocation adapter? D. All of the above.
    Pathfinder Oil Relcoation and Oil Pressure Switch

  2. Here is a view of the flywheel inside the transmission bellhousing.
    Pathfinder Flywheel

  3. Starter is covered in oil and road grime.
    Starter greasy    Removed Nissan Pathfinder Starter Motor and Solenoid for Disassembly and Rebuild

  4. Degreased the whole thing.
    Engine Degreaser

  5. There is the side that turns the flywheel. The bearing cover is not easy to clean.
    Starter Gear Cover    Hitachi Starter Gear

  6. This is the Hitachi Starter Motor and Solenoid all cleaned up.
    Hitachi Starter Motor and Solenoid

  7. Getting this small wire off of the bracket was a huge chore. I could only see these two tiny clips after I got it off.
    Solenoid Wire    Hitachi Solenoid Wire Bracket

  8. Removed 2 bolts and split the starter case.
    Starter Case Open

  9. Removed 2 bolts and split the solenoid case. The entire starter motor came apart here to reveal the gears. I am not sure the "stirrup / spur" shaped piece is located correctly. It engages the output shaft to the flywheel. When I disassembled the starter, it looked like it came out of the area marked A. But it looks like it was meant to fit into B, so I reassembled it into B. Update: B worked.
    Starter Stirrup Lever    Starter Shaft Engager Stirrup Location

  10. I cleaned all the parts. Here's the gear box half of the starter, cleaned and laid out, ready for reassembly. I didn't take the motor apart the first time around. I said a prayer to Jobu and sprayed in some WD-40.
    Update: That didn't help. The starter failed about 3 months later.
    WD40 is God, so it must be the curse of Jobu.
    Hitachi Starter Gears, Exploded View

  11. I later rebuilt the electric motor.
    I used a flat screwdriver to pry the two halves apart. These are the alignment marks that I used to align the halves later for reassembly.
    Hitachi Starter Motor Halves

  12. The electric motor disassembled.
    Left to right: Armature or Rotor, Body or Case with permanent magnets inside, Brush assembly and Brushes.
    Hitachi starter motor exploded view

  13. The brushes and the brush holder assembly are full of brush dust and some sort of mysterious oily substance. Hmmmm.....
    Hitachi electric brushes

  14. The Armature contacts (on the right) are full of dirt. Cleaned it out with flat screwdriver. All the resin on the windings is fine.
    Hitachi Armature

  15. The Armature contacts are also gouged and uneven. Spun it around on some 220 grit sand paper. Not enough to remove all gouges, just enough to satisfy my curiosity of what would happen if I sanded this.
    Sanding Armature

  16. I removed and cleaned the brush holder. You can see the positive brushes are very worn. My internet surfing tells me this is the problem.
    Brush holder    Brush assembly

  17. Read what seems to be a good tutorial on soldering.

  18. Tinned the new brush wire:
    Tinning Brush lead

  19. Then this happened:
    Bent soldering gun tip
    Bent soldering gun tip trying to solder brush into electric motor.

  20. Then this happened:
    professional soldering
    Hired a professional to solder brush into electric motor. His big gun was broken so he had to use his little one. He said there is no way my soldering gun could do this job. I enjoyed talking to a cool guy about tools and poking about in his old workshop.

  21. The new brushes properly soldered into the starter motor brush assembly. Ebay Brushes $18 + shipping. Pro Soldering $15.
    Hitachi brushes properly soldered

  22. Starter Reassembly -
    I put the little washers / spacers onto this separator plate, and put it onto the motor.
    Starter Separator Washers    Hitachi Starter Separator Plate

  23. I greased the hell outa these gears and put the gearbox and output shaft back on.
    Grease Starter Gears    Hitachi Starter Output Shaft

  24. Next I put the bearing back into the case, put the stirrup shaped piece in, put the case back together loosely, and screwed the bearing cover back into place.
    Starter Shaft Engager Stirrup    pathfinder Starter Output Shaft

  25. I put the solenoid back together. I put the wire thing in this way so it would act as a fulcrum to the stirrup piece.
    pathfinder Starter solenoid reassembly

  26. And there is the starter all cleaned up and ready for reinstallation.
    Nissan Pathfinder Starter Motor

  27. Then I replaced the oil pressure switch because it may have a leak and it is way easier with the starter out of the way. I put some teflon tape around the threads. I now realize the threads need to contact the block to ground the switch, so maybe that is a bad idea. But the light works, so I must have tightened it enough for the threads to cut through some areas of the teflon and complete the circuit. I did not drain the oil. About 1cc of oil leaked out in the time it took me to switch the switch.
    pathfinder oil pressure switch    pathfinder oil pressure switch

  28. Next I sold out to make 02ยข so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.

    But no minivans!

  29. Then I finished my beer.

For legal reasons you should not try anything you see on this website.
Comments are suspended due to tons of spam.

Donate to Charity

If this site has helped you, or even if it hasn't, please help care for abused and neglected children by making a donation to The Valley of the Moon Children's Home. That's right, abused and neglected children. Visit their website and try not to cry, you cold hearted bastard. Their site talks about how they achieved their goals and built a new home, but that was years ago. They still need cash to take care of all the kids there. Breaks my heart and pisses me off.

Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy.   Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives.   If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities.   If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic.   The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle.   For all you know I made this up.   Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.

Disclaimer: The technical information in these documents is provided without any warranty whatsoever and at no cost.   All information is in general terms and is not meant to apply to your particular situation, be current at the time you read it, or even be correct in the first place.   Improperly maintained vehicles can lead to serious injury, death, or unavoidable accidents. The author is not responsible for any errors on this site, and does not make any claim at all about the validity, safety, or veracity of the information contained on this website. Any work you choose to do or not to do on your vehicle is done at your own risk. The information on this site is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional advice, professional workmanship, dealer service, union labor, or psychological counseling.   The author disclaims any and all liability directly or indirectly arising from the application or use of any information or idea contained on this or any other web site.   By opening this page, you agree to never sue anyone ever or allow anyone to be sued on your behalf.   The appropriate professional should be consulted regarding your specific condition. does not take responsibility for the information posted on other sites to which it links.

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 BeerGarage.Com.  All rights reserved.
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Written in Notepad2 and KWrite.
Last modified: 11/22/2014