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2003 Forster XS Premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bought an 03 XS Premium last week, drove it until last night when I parked it. Went to go out this morning....not a chance said my soobie..... Had to leave it for the day, but when I got home and got at it, turns out my starting motor is toast....none too impressed that I had to start the car by bridging the leads with a screwdriver.

But I did size it up and decided not to do it myself, too many lines and small spaces for my hands/arms and really NOT enough experience to try. I used to do it on my toyotas all the time, but the parts were more easily accessible.

So, once running I took it to my mechanic's shop and left it there. I'll find a starter tomorrow and he'll fix it.
 

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99 Forester
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205 Posts
The starter is probably the one of the easiest repairs you could do. Maybe the alternator is easier but ~20 minutes should do it, even for the first time.
 

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Official sf.org decal guy
2006 FXT
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12,367 Posts
Bought an 03 XS Premium last week, drove it until last night when I parked it. Went to go out this morning....not a chance said my soobie..... Had to leave it for the day, but when I got home and got at it, turns out my starting motor is toast....none too impressed that I had to start the car by bridging the leads with a screwdriver.
Sure you don't mean starter relay? If the motor was bad you'd have to pop the clutch to start it (assuming it's manual).
 

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2003 Forster XS Premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sure you don't mean starter relay? If the motor was bad you'd have to pop the clutch to start it (assuming it's manual).
No the relay is fine, it takes 2 people for the screwdriver trick, but it works to get an auto started. The solenoid is toast on the starter itself, so you use a long screwdriver to arc the 2 leads on the back of the starter while someone holds the key in the start position - dangerous yes, but it works to get it started so you can move it to a garage or a place to work on it. My lack of experience and time dictated that I take it to my mechanic; but he'll have it done pretty quick, I just have to find a starter.
 

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2003 Cross Sports
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820 Posts
Any pics of what you did? My electrical knowledge is close to zip and would be nice to know what to do if the same happened to me.
 

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2003 Forster XS Premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Any pics of what you did? My electrical knowledge is close to zip and would be nice to know what to do if the same happened to me.
No, but it's pretty straight forward. On the back of the starter there is a rubber boot, kinda looks like a spark plug boot. Under that boot you'll see a nut/stud - what you can't see is the nut/stud directly below it; but it's there. You just slide the boot back, have someone turn the key all the way ahead and touch a screwdriver shaft off both studs - you'll see sparks & hear electrical crackling but the starter will engage and the car will start.

Be safe - wear leather or rubber gloves, make sure the battery terminals are covered and that you are in no way grounded to any metal - and be sure to use an old screwdriver as you will get some damage that looks like welding slag.

I don't recommend doing this very often - get it fixed asap. I'm sure it's not good for anything. lol and it smells really bad.
 

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2003 Forster XS Premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well my mechanic didn't open today and there aren't any NEW starters available inside of a week - so I ghetto started it and hauled it into my garage - took an hour and a half to get it out and I dropped it off at the rebuilder - He'll get it back to me monday.

7 years in this province left the lower nut a little stiff and I couldn't really get any leverage; but I finally got a pipe on the socket wrench from the wheel well and got it loosened up - used a stubby combination wrench to get it off - then wrestled with the starter to get it up out of the engine bay.

Should go back in much easier/faster monday night - picked up a new air filter too, the one in there was pretty rancid.
 

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2003 Forster XS Premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Went back in in about 20 minutes - starts like a dream - the new air filter has made a huge difference as well. I did crack the intake silencer that goes down towards the ground; but I fixed that up with some automotive goop. Also switched over to the aluminum wheels with the summer tires - much nicer to drive now as well.
 

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2007 FSTI and X 6 MT
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22,252 Posts
Went back in in about 20 minutes - starts like a dream - the new air filter has made a huge difference as well. I did crack the intake silencer that goes down towards the ground; but I fixed that up with some automotive goop. Also switched over to the aluminum wheels with the summer tires - much nicer to drive now as well.
Good to know. The intake silencer is not required, and a lot of people remove them for a little extra sound.
 

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2003 Forster XS Premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah it did have a nice rumble under hard acceleration before I patched it; but that just made me want to drive it harder; which is bad considering the slushbox is really crappy. hahaha

I have a loose heatsheild somewhere near the front of the rig now - gotta find that and rip it off.
 
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