Although the starter in my Jag worked fine, it was old, heavy and relatively inefficient original starter. While I had the carbs off, the vacuum tank out and the air cleaner our of the way it seemed like a good idea to replace it with a new, much lighter, higher torque and higher efficiency gear reduction starter. The gear reduction starters for the E-type are available from all kinds of vendors and you should be able to pick one up for under $200. The shear difference in size is amazing – and aside from spinning the engine at a fast rate to get it going, they draw less power than the original starters.
Now there are three tricks for removing the old starter and putting in the new gear reduction one. Read carefully – I learned these from my friend Mark and they saved me a lot of headaches.
1. There is a small removable panel located under the carpet and the under-padding on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel. This little panel allows allows access to the bolts on the starter. Without the access provided by this little hidden panel I could not have removed the starter.
3. The flange that holds most gear reduction starters to the flywheel housing is not threaded like the original starter’s flange. Thus, you need to buy new bolts, nuts and lock washers of the right length and thickness to mount the new starter.
It is about impossible to get a spanner on a regular bolt to secure the bolt for the top part of the flange on the new gear reduction starter. The way around this is to get a bolt with a allen key head and use an allen key to hold the bolt while you torque down on the nut to secure the top part of the new starter’s flange.
Once I had the new starter in place I hooked up the battery and tried it. It spun the engine with amazing ease. I think it is a good investment – and well worth doing while I had so much of the clutter out of the way and could get to the starter with ease.