View Full Version : replacing starter 98 outback

06-17-2009, 10:05 PM
Help, (for the do it yourselfer chick) what do I do when the old starter had 4 terminal locations to hook up wires and the new one has 3 terminals. Ok this is what I have found out; bought the "new" rebuilt starter in (Fenton Michigan) at Car Quest. The said it is auto and marine. Marina told me car and marine are different. some rotate different directions, and marine housings are completly enclosed due to spark possibly igniting fumes ( due to cars having more open engin campartments and boats being more. 4 existing terminals on old one as follows; #1-lg terminal, top vertical, battery in and out. (basicly power from battery to starter). #2-lg terminal, bottom vertical (or 180 degrees from #1), ground from starter to cyl. (all ready attached on new assembly out of box). #3- small terminal, left horziontal, labled "R" with orange smaller wire. #4-small terminal, right horziontal, (180 degrees from #3) lables "S" with red wire slightly bigger than orange on #3. The new assembly is missing terminal post for the #3 position. Paperwork say this is sometimes bypassed and is ok with no reference to auto or marine application. I could install and ignore the #3 position but I would like to know if this has anything to do with the safty of spark in an enclosed marine application or what and why. Really want to understand completly. 3 different marins in my area dont have a clue. The say I must have thoe wrong starter buy one from them, however the price does jump about 50 bucks. Please share info if you know what and why. Thanks;)



Just for everyone's info...

A post very similar to this (where one individual started posting how car parts may or may not be perfectly fine for marine applications) recently caused a huge stink on the Supra forums.

The whole discussion went totally stupid and started lots of flaming and tempers flew out of control. Who knows why.

We are not going to allow that to happen here.

A modertaor will delete this thread real quick if we think that's starting to happen on the Moomba forum.
(an individual who has been permanently banned has already tried to reply to this thread).

Lets just answer the young ladies questions and get her on her way.

And by the way SkiGirl...welcome to the Moomba Community!


06-18-2009, 06:24 AM
The wiring for the starter is one wire from the battery, the big one, one from the ignition (S) and one to the ignition (I). The one from the ignition carries the signal to engage the solenoid, the one to the ignition loops power back to the ignition, for ignition power during starting.

I'm not sure I understand your post. New starter has 4 posts, but it is missing the number 3 post?

06-18-2009, 07:25 AM
I would make sure that you really have the correct rotation starter! Boat engines do turn opposite directions from the automotive. On my old boat I would simply take the starter in to a "starter/alternator" repair shop and have them rebuild the old starter. Was also much cheaper!!!

06-18-2009, 09:32 AM
I could not find anyone to rebuild my starter. They would not accept the liability of boat starters. Marina charged me 160 for a new one. Ya know, these boat starters are suppose to be sealed, but the whole reason why mine failed was rust.... So much for a sealed unit.

06-18-2009, 10:59 AM
Thanks for replies and thanks for allowing this post, and glad to be here. Who knew a post could cause so much trouble. Reply to gcnetti, the not understanding.. old starter has 4 terminals, new one has 3. Whats up with sealed starters rusting. I had a starter for the tractor rebuilt localy so Thanks I will try to see if the are still there and can help with marine one. thanks again.

06-18-2009, 11:38 AM
Well found a rebuild shop. $85. Still now one really knows what the 4th terminal is. The best guess is it runs something on the boat like the tach???

06-18-2009, 12:10 PM
OK, Rob from Inland Marina said the 4th "R" terminal assures there will be enough voltage delivered at time of starting. Lots of things factor in when key is turned that may reduce voltage at time of starting. (Battery strength, Loss of voltage thru length of wiring, ect.) He was very informative but takled very fast, so this is what I got from the conversation. He also added that if he finds a starter with out the "R" terminal he will add one. I have also learned that the marine starters being sealed for spark is a safty thing which I know for me and my kids is worth knowing, worth doing and glad I have learned. As far as the bad posting on supra and the montering of this info needing to be done. I had a marina that didn't want to deal with this issue on the phone or at all with auto / marine parts, I do understand the problem here. It is what it is. Durks Bently song "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy." My quoat "It's all about whats in your head and how ya deal with it" PS: STILL NEED A BACK SEAT FOR THE 98 OUTBACK. PSS: I did call car quest back and the assured me the starter is sealed for spark however they can order me a bran new one specific for marine with 4 terminals for $150.00. For now going to see what the rebuild place has for $85.00.

06-18-2009, 04:15 PM
Skigirl, my 98 back seat is nothing more than a cushion on a couple of plastic boxes. An upholstery place should be able to get the cushion made and then attach a box below. If I didn't take mine out all the time, I would build a storage compartment below the cushion.

06-19-2009, 12:37 AM
I am draging my feet on the building the seat, but the storage sounds great.

06-19-2009, 12:44 AM
Bought a bran new one at a rebuild shop in flint. Went over the "R" 4 terminal again and this guy sweares it basicly runs a gauge, cuz it's "AC" and the "S" terminal is "DC". I'm lost. The good news is a new one was $85 bucks and I'll be in the water this weekend. YEAH!

06-20-2009, 11:17 PM
Don't you just love the rebuild shops!!!! We have them for starters, alternators and props. Ok I am going to give my age away here, before the plastic capped aluminum radiators came along we had radiators repairs shops all over the place too!

Glad to hear you are getting back on the water!

Gauge?? AC hummmmm.... no AC comes out of the alternator as the current goes through diodes, but it might be the hookup for a volt gauge.

06-22-2009, 03:41 AM
Um yes loving the rebuild shops, only if it works out thou. The price was great. Got in put in tonight and will check it out in the driveway this time before driving to the launch. Dont feel bad about the age I remember the raditor thing too.

06-22-2009, 09:01 AM
Uh oh. We're gonna have to change your name to "skilady".

06-25-2009, 04:39 PM
all done all set runs great. oops forgot the plug and got the new starter wet. Oh darn. Still running great. Its Summer time in nothern Michigan Yeah!

06-25-2009, 04:40 PM
Ok what is skiady?

06-25-2009, 06:50 PM
Ok what is skiady?

I think he means in terms of you not being a girl and you being a lady.

07-01-2009, 12:56 PM
Well, I'm not that old, but I remember Abe Lincoln's inauguration.

07-01-2009, 01:05 PM
Kane, I remember seeing you there. Didn't you have the "Free Tibet" T-shirt on? Remember? I asked you where all the free Tibets are.

Great canoe jamborees back then.

07-02-2009, 01:21 AM
No, I think that was the day I wore my: "I Know an Artesian Well" shirt.