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Starter Installation

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  • Starter Installation

    Hi all, I have run into an issue that is "solved" but I do not know how many people are aware of this issue. First if you are installing a new starter for the ZTech engine the starter opening is too small. The solution is to grind half of the opening off. It ends up being a 180 degree arch.

    The second issue is you can get to two of the bolts, but not the third. The solution is to unbolt and drop the engine a small amount. I am not mechanically inclined enough to do this on my own, so I used to do it for me. They fabbed a special tool to accomplish the de-install and the re-install of the starter.

    I bought the starter from Dick Brink and I am sure I had the right one and the car now starts without issue. I bought the more powerful starter, as the stock one simply did not cut it.

    This is FYI for people like me who did "not" build their own car. I am also having Evil Genius Racing to build a custom roll cage.


  • #2
    Hello Scott, I guess most Birkin owners (and some Caterham owners as well) had trouble with the starter, especially when running higher compression, upgraded cams and in hot weather. In some cases better solenoid wiring or additional relay helped but e.g. in my case also a new (gear reduction) starter finally did the trick.

    I am not sure what you mean with the cutout to be ground but the 3rd bolt is notoriously tricky in a Birkin because of the clearance to the footwell. I ended up cutting a 1/2" piece from an 8mm allen wrench and stuck it into an 8mm ratchet box wrench to make a really compact allen bit ratchet. That works very well in case your shop kept the special tool.

    Post a pic when you have your cage!


    • #3
      There are also different bell housings that adapt the Zetec to the T9. I have one made to convert from Crossflow to Zetec that puts the starter under the headers.

      The top bolt on mine uses an Allen head cap screw and takes a long extension to get to it over the top of the starter. You have to do it by feel as you can't see it.

      I too had to get a gear reduction starter or it wouldn't work when hot.

      Other bell housings are setup to use the stock Ford starter mounted under the intake.

      Mines a Caterham and I've not done it on a Birkin. No grinding required.


      • #4
        Thanks for the info guys. It is nice to know and I will pass it on to my mechanic.

        I will post picks of the roll cage as we are working on it.
        At this time we have decided to move the top bar back an inch or so, so we have access to the top of the shock and get the bar farther away from my head. Additionally there will be a non-roll bar piece across the top where the windscreen is to mount my Booklands aeroscreens. I have had a problem with vision with the windscreen and just want to do away with the problem. There will be a bolt on side mount to the roll cage (why I went for the cage). This will be similar to Dick Brink's bolt on solution. I am also having evil genius racing fab me a seat lowering kit. There is a lot of little projects on the books and I hope my $$$ does not run out.

        Again I will post pics as they come out and I am really excited about all this. I think the side bars will be something that can be reproduced for sale to other cat and birkin owners.