6 Volt Model T Starters were first installed by Ford in the Model T in 1919. Their design is very simple, a rotating armature powered by strong field coils. But inherent in this early design are several faults. Most notably, the starter post is not securely fastened to the starter housing and is often subjected to over tightening which results in a failed connection. The rear and nose bearings are were babbit and wear out, and the armature brushes only last so long. Field coils are wrapped with cloth tape which disintegrates after being in contact with oil for 100 years. And Ford relied on the interference fit of the brass armature bushing to keep oil out of the starter. As you have probably discovered, old starters leak a lot of oil.


  • Completely Disassemble & clean
  • Paint all exposed surfaces both inside and out to prevent rust.
  • Replace Field coils with brand new field coils (NOT rewrapped)
  • Replace terminal post with SOLID COPPER post that I custom manufacture from solid copper rod (the vendors all use brass) and silver solder it in.
  • Replace terminal post insulator, washers and terminal post nuts
  • Clean and completely rebuild brush holder plate, replacing broken/worn out insulators and assemble with solid copper rivets.
  • Tap all holes with thread-chasing tap.
  • Replace all screws and and all lock washers with new.
  • Install 4 new brushes in brush plate.
  • Brush Terminal screws replaced w/ brass screws for better conductivity.
  • Pre-Test Armature on growler and check on lathe for straightness on both front and rear shafts, true shaft as needed.
  • Clean armature and take off ~10 thou on commutator surface or as needed for perfect brush contact on South Bend Lathe.
  • Undercut mica on commutator
  • Commutator final polished
  • Re-Test Armature on growler for shorts after cleanup.
  • Fit armature into field coils for final clearance as needed.
  • Remove babbit on rear armature bearing & Fit back shaft with new sealed ball bearing & spacer for proper clearance.
  • Replace Nose shaft bushing with new IMPROVED bronze bushing & neoprene seal to keep oil out of starter
  • Replace Bendix babbit bearing with new bronze insert. Mill and hone on lathe for correct alignment and clearance for perfect Bendix fit.
  • Check and adjust end play of assembled unit.
  • Final Paint ALL surfaces with gloss black enamel


  • Test fit reconditioned Bendix (not included, keep and reuse yours)
  • Run-in on bench to ensure all brush contacts are clean and true, bendix fits well and doesn’t bind.