Reassembling starter, brushes

   / Reassembling starter, brushes #1  


Veteran Member
Aug 12, 2005
Guernsey Co. Ohio
Ford 3000, JD 2550
I was installing a new drive on the starter for my Ford 3000 last night and accidently let the rotor pull out from the brushes. It was late so I didn't spend much time on it yet, but was having trouble figuring out how to hold the brushes out to get the rotor back in position. I tried removing the springs, and got one back together, but I don't think that's going to work for all four. Anyone know of any tricks? I didn't notice any holes to stick a pin through. I might be able to find something to hold the springs back, but I don't know what it would be, or how that would work just yet. Figured I'd ask before diving back into it tonight.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #2  
I am not familiar with your starter. On the ones I have worked on I had access to the brushes from the rear and slid the rotor in then with a wooden stick from a fudge bar (repurposed) held each one back an walked the rotor in.
Hope this helps.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes
  • Thread Starter
Thanks. I forgot to mention that there’s only about ½” opening between the end plate and canister to access the bushes. Not a lot to work with, but that gives me some ideas.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #4  
I have sometimes had success with very thin, solid wire, like florist's wire, to tie them back with a loop of the wire, and then when almost fully assembled, cut and remove each loop.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #5  
Some starters have a hole through the brush cage that allows a wire (like a straightened paper clip) to keep the brush back until the armature is in place. After it is together, just pull the wires out.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #6  
What style springs, are they coil wound flat spring type?
I've had good luck with this method, pull the spring to the side, slide the brush back far enough to let the spring rest against it. Once you have all 4 done and the brush holder back on the commutator, working thru the 1/2 gap use a o-ring pick to pull back the spring and screw driver to push the brush in place. You may need A second set of hands to hold everything in place.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #7  
I have done the above or on some where there's access, used the brushes braded cable and a pair of long nose pliers to pull on the brushes while pushing on the armature, alternating back and forth, side to side till it gets in. Works a lot better with another set of hands or a couple of long nose vise grips.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #8  
On some I use string to tie back, others bent wire and then some simply move the spring off to the side.

An old trick when installing new brushes is to rub chalk on the commutator to seat the brushes in.
   / Reassembling starter, brushes
  • Thread Starter
I appreciate all the tips. I was able to move a couple so the spring end was sitting on the square frame the brushes sit in, and the other two I slipped a piece of toothpick under. It went smoother than I expected. Thanks again
   / Reassembling starter, brushes #10  
I have heard about folks freezing the brushes in place with a few drops of water then installing them. Ice melts and all is good.