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Source for BRAND NEW Gear Reduction Starters

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So for some reason I have not had a lot of luck with the rebuilt aftermarket starters that are available through most of the normal outlets.  I have gone through numerous ones, both the original style as well as the gear reduction style, and for some reason they just don't seem to last.  The most recent episode of this was while I was visiting my brothers in the Chicago area.  I had hauled my Z up to my brother's home outside of Chicago and over the course of the week, we attended numerous shows and cruise ins in the area.  Was a real blast until the last day, when the starter appeared to have failed.  Removed it and took it to a local O'Reilly's to have it checked (my brother works there so it was an easy deal) and sure enough the starter would spin but the pinion would not extend.  I ended up ordering a replacement (rebuilt) from O'Reilly's, got it installed the next day, and was back on the road again.

When I returned back home to Austin, I decided that I needed to invest in a spare starter that I would keep with me when I trailered the car. From all that I had seen historically, new starters were NLA either from Nissan or aftermarket dealers, so I was resigned to the fact that I would have to go with another remanufactured version.  So the search began.

As I expected, all of the normal retail outlets could source a starter for me, but all were remanufactured (early as well as gear reduction style), were all in the $80-$100 range, and all required a core deposit ranging from $20-$30.  So I headed over to eBay to see what I could find there.  Hundreds of postings came up but on the surface, nothing new.  So I hit the "new only" filter and as I expected again, the vast majority of listings were "newly remanufactured".  However, as I was getting ready to leave eBay, I did notice one listing that actually said NEW, not remanufactured, so I decided to check them out.  The listing was weird as the highlighted vehicles that this was meant for was a series of Massey Ferguson tractors, but further down the listing, sure enough the Nissan 280ZX was also listed.  This was a gear reduction starter and so I looked at all of the pics and it almost exactly resembled the OEM one that I had on the car. 

After some further research I found that the supplier of this is a USA based company called DB Electrical.  You can find more about them here but basically they are a distributor of auto electrical components (claim they are the biggest) and have direct relationships with the actual factories:


After some further research I figured out that there are multiple distributors of this product and all of them list the 78 280Z as well as all years of the 280ZX.  I also figured out the part number to be SHI0150.  You can see details of it here:


Ironically, the part number that DB lists, item number 16584, is the exact same part number that O'Reilly's uses on the remanufactured one I purchased from them in Chicago.

In any case, I decided to pull the trigger and try one out.  DB had the best price $81.41, free shipping, and no core charge.  Got it in a couple of days and already have it installed.  The build quality is excellent, fit and finish is excellent, and most importantly it works like a champ.  I have found only 2 differences from the original, but in the end they really don't matter all that much.  The first is that the mounting plate of the starter is a little thicker than the original, so I had to use slightly longer bolts for the install.  The only other difference is that the solenoid is clocked slightly differently than the original moving it a little closer to the fender well.  No big deal and in fact made it easier to get to the top attachment bolt. 

All in all, very pleased so far with this upgrade.  The only bad news I can give you is that it is manufactured in China and so I won't know for a while how reliable it is going to be, but from the looks of everything, I'm expecting its going to last for a while and can't be any worse than all of the remanufactured ones, which are probably also done in China.

Here's some pics for your enjoyment. Hope this helps some others.





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Good to hear that someone else has used DB Electric and with positive results / reviews.  They are only the distributor in this case but they appear to be a very solid company.


Yes I think you can interchange a number of the individual parts.  I was considering using the new motor, solenoid, gears, etc from the new one and the casing from the original Nissan one, but I haven't made that decision yet.  Having said that I do think that swap would easily work.



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Great find indeed.

I have a memory about a billet starter that was available a few years ago. Will have to dig through hybridz and see what I can find. THOSE were 100% american made IIRC and would be bullet proof without the Asian quality risks. Only down side is the appearance would not be stock, and the cost would be more, but what price are you prepared to pay for a lifetime starter?

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