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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those that want to keep your OEM starter and want a fresh start and don't to pay $310 for a rebuilt OEM from Honda or an auto zone special for $100 or so with a missing or enlarged buck tooth that doesn't mesh to the drive plate correctly, here are what you need:

I was able to find specific Mitsuba part numbers here, then I used those part numbers and found the parts on ebay and Amazon. Or you can buy right off that site.
- Solenoid part number: Mitsuba 66-8504
- Brush holder part number: Mitsuba 69-8501
https://www.ebay.com/itm/132488405814

The OEM brush holder out of my original starter has a plastic shroud with coil springs for the brushes instead of wound up springs with a metal plate as you see in the ebay listing. This really does not matter as long as the brushes are under tension touching the armature arm. What I find interesting is that now when I look at the OEM brush holder (whopping $90) on various Honda parts website, it looks nothing like the one the came out of my starter, and it looks like the one on the ebay listing. I waited 2 years to rebuild my original OEM one. The planetary gear is fine and I will be lubricating those with new synthetic grease.

Parts are coming and I will post pictures here. Your other alternative is to buy a used OEM alternator off a crashed car, this is how I ended up with 2 starters total, one in the car that came off a crashed Accord with just 54k miles that I bought for $50 only. If you are lazy and don't want an aftermarket starter, then buy a used one like I did and stash it in your garage because that starter WILL die one day and you'll end up wasting money buying inferior aftermarket starters or towing your car. When my starter was about to choke with a few last starts, I drove straight home and replaced it with the spare I had -> $50.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Received new brush assembly today. $14 from ebay, Mitsuba.

Sanded the outer shell and the end cap with sand paper, blew clean, used permatex rust converter t dull out the surface rust, then gave it a couple coats of weber bbq paint. This thing will never rust again. Waiting for paint to dry at the moment. While that's going on, I sanded the brush contact surface area with fine grit sand paper, then fitted the new brush assembly onto the armature arm. The bottom bearing is sealed, therefore, I did not touch it at all since it's in good condition. Packed the top bearing of the arm with synthetic grease, since it's exposed on one side. It is exposed since it'll be sealed inside the gear assembly once assembled back together. The bottom picture shows the new brush assembly in complete contact with the arm.
 

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Nicely done. Which brand/type of synthetic grease did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I use Valvoline, but they are all about the same. I will be putting the starter back together tomorrow then perform a test using a jumper cable. The total for the rebuild is $26 for a new solenoid and $14 for a new brush holder assembly, $40 for a refreshed OEM starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
New solenoid mated to the intermediate body of the starter. I have it taken completely apart so you can see the hook piece that the solenoid pulls on, in order to push out the pinion gear to turn the internal gear mechanism which meshes the outside gear of the starter to mate with the drive plate. The solenoid engages whenever signal is sent from the ignition switch to the electrical connections on the starter's body.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now pack the pinion gear's teeth with synthetic grease, and pack the open/non-sealed bearing for the pinion gear with synthetic grease also. Install it in the outside body then mate it to the intermediate body. 3 bolts hold the 2 halves together, don't go crazy here, but I used an impact and lightly cranked it down.
 

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Re-insert the breather port back onto the painted casing. This is what allows some brush debris to come out whenever the starter spins. Then re-insert the armature arm with brush assembly back into the case. This part might be a little tricky since the super strong magnet inside around the case will "suck" the arm back in. I had to re-seat the brush assembly at this point because it fell off.

Now re-insert the case with the arm back onto the main aluminum body. There is a key way here, you can only insert it one way. Then put back onto the end cap, tighten the 2 small screws that affix the end cap to the brush assembly, re-tighten the 2 very long 8mm screws which secure the end cap to the body.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tighten electrical lead of the brush assembly to the screw without the plastic shroud around it, to the solenoid.

Starter rebuild is complete! Now you can test it by using a spare 12v battery or hook it up to a running car's battery using a jumper cable. Hook the red + to the large electrical stud on the solenoid and the negative - to any part of the aluminum body of the starter. Using a screwdriver, connect the jumper cable's + side with the small S terminal of the starter. You should see the pinion gear pop out and spin.

Finally I put the rebuilt starter back in a box with bubble wraps + some desiccant to keep it dry. Now it's ready for a rainy day when that starter dies in your car. Again, this cost me only $40
 

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I would like to add that I doused the pure aluminum area of the starter's body with CRC 3-36 corrosion inhibitor so while it sits in the box, it does not tarnish. I sprayed it, then let it sit for over a day to dry so it's not oily all over then I reassembled the starter back.
 

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Thank you for this rebuild procedure and I wanted to add that the website you provided that lists the starter components also sells the rebuild kits for slightly more than parts seperately

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
 

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I understand the rational behind replacing both the brushes and the solenoid. The carbon brushes are subject to wear every time we start the car. The solenoid doesn't seem to be a hard working component. All it does is to pull the gear in/out with magnetic force. Is it absolutely necessary to replace it? Not sure if replacing only the brushes is gonna be good enough in most cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not necessary, but it was most likely the problem of my original starter's solenoid. It might not be others' problem. Because my original brushes were just half worn, plenty of life left. I recall when that starter died, I did not even get the single click noise. The single click noise is the pinion gear popping out of the body of the starter, I wasn't even getting that. So I assumed the solenoid was bad.
 

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Looking forward to rebuilding two starters. They are both SM442-43 models (for a 2006 V6 6MT car).

The original developed an occasional symptom of doing nothing (no sound) and then you'd hit the key again and it started perfectly.

So I replaced it with the cheapest one I could find, which was from DB Electrical for $75. Everywhere else it was well over $100, maybe twice that. "Too good to be true" << yes, the replacement is now dying after just two years.

This second one is different (when it acts up, which isn't all the time ... ) It spins but I can't tell if the solenoid popped the pinion gear out to engage the flywheel. It tries and then stops completely before you let go of the key. Actually it sounds horrible, like maybe the pinion is jammed against the flywheel or there's a broken tooth. Hit the key again and it starts up perfectly.

So I own two starters, one plays completely dead sometimes and the other sounds like you dropped a spoon in the garbage disposer ... but on the next attempt on both = perfection. Neither one has ever failed totally, but the wife is tired of my answering, "probably" when she asks if the car's gonna start.

I've never had starter issues on any vehicle like I have with this car.
 

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Forgot to ask my question, which parts to buy? I notice they sell brushes, solenoid, and "kit" separately. Or is it the case that busted parts will reveal themselves upon disassembly? (I know what worn brushes would look like.)

And then there's the question if any of this is any better than another 2-yr starter from DB Electrical.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I cannot speak for DB electrical starter. But you can buy a used low mileage OEM starter from LKQ Online if you wish to go that route.
 

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Thanks, I didn't know about LKQ. But I'll probably rebuild both of the ones I have since I'd have the luxury of doing that while still driving the car (unless the starter that's on there fails completely beforehand).

And after another look at ASP's site I answered my question; their kit includes the brush assembly. So if i buy from them the only question is whether or not to also buy a solenoid. Not sure about replacing the solenoid since the failures of each of my starters is only occasionally. I'd expect a bad solenoid to be dead all the time?
 

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I had my Napa starter shit itself this past weekend (old owner put that in). I just had my indie shop swap it and he used a WPS starter and he said he's had really good luck with them

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wouldn't put any aftermarket starter in, that's just me. Why would you? Heard too many stories of wrong pinion gear used on aftermarket ones that grind against the drive plate. I bought a 54k mile used OEM starter for just $50, even the outside shell still had a shine. A solenoid that's going bad might work and not work occasionally. But sometimes it's simply brush debris clogged inside the casing.
 
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