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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Isuzu Trooper starter motor.

Someone (Tarquin I believe)mentioned on another thread that Isuzu starter motors could be used in midgets. Does anyone know any more about that?

I am currently having trouble with the inertia starters, hence my multiple threads.

BH Harvey

hello BH,

im not sure you saw my posting to your other thread....

look to a company called (

they do a very nice hi torque, gear reduction a resonable price....they are based on the izusu starter

what makes there starters so good over the direct starter approach is they add an adjustable mounting ring that makes installation a breaze compared to a direct installation

ive got the starter from, and itsan easy instsll and a very nice say top 10 of all my mod work

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Ah, forgot to reply to that. The problem with britishstarters is that they are based in the US, so shipping adds another $50 or so, plus postage takes a while.

I was looking at Isuzu motors as they are cheaper and readily available on ebay.

I don't suppose you have a picture of the mounting ring? the picture on the website shows two bolt holes.
BH Harvey

have you tried googling 'MG Midget gear reduction starter motor' - a good half dozen leads to follow up....
David Smith ring is severly re-machined, as ive got an aluminum flywheel so the set up was a bit differant

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Here are some part #'s that I've collected from a couple of sites on the subject:

Isuzu Starter info:

Isuzu Starter #16878, direct bolt-in replacement high torque gear
reduction style starter:

1989-90 Isuzu Amigo 2.6L

1989-94 Isuzu Amigo 2.3L

1988-89 Isuzu Impulse 2.3L

1985-89 Isuzu Impulse 2.0L Turbo

1988-89 Isuzu Pickup 2.6L

1986-94 Isuzu Pickup 2.3L

1988-90 Isuzu Trooper 2.6L

1986-87 Isuzu Trooper 2.3L

From BCF:
But if you car doesn’t have a fit issue and you want to use the Trooper starter the years of applications are 86-91 Trooper 2.3 and 2.6 engines according to Denso, and Robert Bosch. Your OEM part number for Denso is 280-0198 and your OEM Bosch number is SR398X
D Rock

Thank you.

Ordered a re-manufactured Trooper starter from a 2.6 ubs17, it should arrive in the next few days.
BH Harvey

hey BH

is there anyway you can film what has to be done to install, I know its rather involved... it would be great for a future referance for others doing this modification

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

<< ring is severly re-machined>>

Too much information!
Dave O'Neill2

Hopefully it won't require too much work, however if it does I will post pictures (Don't expect precision lathe work or welding though).

On a -sort of- unrelated note, it's a shame this forum doesn't support 'stickied' threads on common questions, such as rubber to chrome conversions etc. So many questions are repeated or never fully answered.
BH Harvey

agreed BH....stickys would be very cool, but I think we all enjoy the converstion even if we about wheel bearings to nuasium, ever 10 weeks or so

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

What sort of trouble are you having?

With starter, battery, solenoid and wiring all in good condition it should work fine.
Jeremy Cogman

BH Harvey, Kent, United Kingdom

Sorry, Didnt see your post till now. The link below is the machine shop that makes the starter noses and starters!
Ive been to his facility! Really nice guy!
CNC right there milling them out all day I think that the starters are toyota tercel applications machined down to accept the adaptor nose. The info is probably coming to late to help but here it is.
Steven Devine

They do look nicely made. It's a shame they don't have more pictures up, it would be interesting to see how much of the original mount is removed. The base motor however is exactly the same as that found in the Isuzu (I wouldn't be surprised if many Japanese cars use the same motor).

I popped the engine and gearbox out today to fit the new motor, as with the drive-train in place there are severe clearance issues with the passenger side foot-well. The Gustafson motors solve this by fitting a rotating mount, however I would rather notch the foot-well (ideally I could weld the motor to the aluminium spacer at any angle, however I don't have the equipment -or ability- to weld cast aluminium.

The starter bolted in perfectly, but when I attempted to test it it did nothing, does it require connection to the ignition circuit? Can it not run through two solenoids?

I have no real experience with electrics so suggestions would be much appreciated.
BH Harvey

Forgot pictures ->

BH Harvey

Everyone likes pictures ->

BH Harvey


When i fitted mine i left the original solenoid in place and ran a large starter cable to the starter motor.

Then to work the solenoid on the starter you just add a jumper wire across from the big wire that attached to the starter post terminal .

Of course this will only work if the original solenoid works, if you want to test of car just provide voltage to both the small and large terminal on the starter motor

Andy Chaffey

You are gonna chop your car up to put the starter in?

Wait a minute, Why dont you call Gustafsons and see if he will sell you a base. Maybe he would sell you a whole housing with the base an you can just install the guts of yours in to his machine work! Im not sure if they will but its worth a call!

I used to put my car in gear and use the starter motor to move the car around the garage. Last year
after ten years of use the starter died. No compliants on my part. I was very hard on it most times.

Anyway I wanted to rebuild it instead of buying a new one. First I had to figuire out what it was. A friend of mine rebuilds starters for a living and recognized it on site. You are right,this starter application fits many japanese cars across the board. Usually just the nose is different.

He had one unmodified jap unit new on hand. It was just like mine except not cut down. I removed
the internals from mine and put the new in. We changed the copper contacts inside. Walla... problem solved.

The base is fairly simple, You can probably make one out of a piece of block aluminum.The starter motor is just held on by the 2 screws that holds the
assembly together. If you saw one apart you would see how simple it is.Tey just cut the nose down and fit the plate.If you knew the measurement you could make one I am sure.

Why didnt you just buy one? Sorry to ask the obvious question so late. One of the best purchases I made was the gear reduction starter... even if you pay to much for it...I think they are well worth the investment. If you were doing it just to learn I understand, I always tried to save money when I could simply because I didnt have buckets of it, but I did have the time to learn.

Gear reduction Starters.

Its just a better design then the old stuff.
Ive got a 58 MGA with an early 3 main B engine.

The 1500 starter wouldnt crank a fresh rebuilt 1800 over, and the mgb starter wont fit in an A. I had to buy the gear reduction starter in my opinion, just to make the conversion work.
It was definately worth having.
Thats my 2 cents!
Steven Devine

Look at that he even invites you to call him about his website! I just found that!

All of our starters come with either a one year retail warranty or a limited lifetime warranty for certain models. As you will see in our pictures, they are excellent units, replated like new, CNC machined, and will look at home in a show car or a 'driver'. Our standard unit is a 1.2 hp standard Nippondenso starter. Optionally, 1.9 hp units are available on special order.

If you want to ask any questions, call us at [978]281-2012 and we'll try to help you out.

Steven Devine

I bought one of these "Britishstarters" back in 2005. Then recently noticed that a stripping noise and my engine wasn't turning over. At first I thought that the engager gear wasn't fully extending and ruining the flywheel. My flywheel, like props was aluminum, but the teeth weren't stripped at all. It turns out that the reduction gears in this starter had stripped. Took it down to the local mom and pop starter/alternator shop for repair. This 80 yr. old man was impressed by machining done to this Denso starter to make it fit the Midget. He also found that the bearing had shot and a motor brush had burnt. I since went back to the stock Lucas starter and haven't had anymore trouble. I guess the point being don't change it unless you absolutely have to. The Lucas unit is very robust. I'm running 10.5:1 ratio, and still turns over.
Ron Koenig

What did you do with the gear reduction starter?
Do you still have it?
Steven Devine

This thread was discussed between 02/04/2013 and 20/04/2013

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