Hi-Torque Starter


Moss Motors Hi Torque Starter Installation

Instructions for MGB installation     -     Moss Part# 131-215

NOTE:  First step - Disconnect the battery ground wire!

Electrical connections:

Original Lucas starters have three connections; the large battery connection, the start wire and the ignition connection.  During cranking the ignition is supplied by the starter solenoid, bypassing the coil’s ballast resistor, to insure a good spark despite the huge starter battery draw.

The Moss 131-215 has only two connections; the big battery lead and the "Start" terminal. 

The start lead should be wired like this:

Terminate a 1/4" spade female terminal with two wires one 18 ga. and the original start wire.  You may need to extend its reach.  The 18g a. wire goes to the anode of a 5 amp 16 Volt, or better diode.   Then it goes to the coil plus side.

Starter -|>|- Coil (+) lead

The lead to the coil is not provided on this newer style starter.  The work around is to power the ignition via. the start wire from the start relay.  Now the start position of the ignition switch will crank the engine and feed power to the coil.

The problem is that wire flows current in two directions; meaning when you let go of the key, the ignition power will flow back from the coil to the starter in attempt to keep the starter engaged. 

The coil ballast resistor may be enough to keep the starter terminal from receiving sufficient current to actually hold the starter in engagement.  The solenoid draws so much current that it needs a starter relay to feed it properly.  Many aftermarket electronic ignitions don’t use the ballast resistor making matters much worse.

So, a diode must be used to protect the ignition from the extra load, the solenoid from heating up and, worst of all, the starter refusing to disengage!  The diode works by allowing the start relay to engage the starter and power the ignition, but, it block power from coming back to the starter when the car is running. 

Moss recommends a diode (515-565) to solve this problem.  The starter I received provided a diode wired to a connector matching that of the starter and labeled to make installation easier.  Unfortunately the diode was installed backward and buried under the heat shrink.  I just happen to be a detail freak and measured everything out prior to installation.  THIS MUST BE CHECKED PRIOR TO INSTALLATION!

Your stock wires will not fit over the battery connection requiring modification.

Mounting the starter:

The starter has an indexable head allowing it to be installed at a variety of angles relative to the side of the block.  I found the factory mounting angle provided the best clearance.  The electrical connections are on top away from road grime and easier to reach.

The lower bolt has access limitations that are difficult to resolve.  The only way I could come up with was to re-machine the transmission as shown in the following photos.  Sorry I did not think to take a "before" photo.  I did not know things would get out of hand then.


I did not know how deep I could trim this part without taking it apart.  I was able to take off around .160" in the area in the area marked in black.  This could be done much easier, by hand, with a die grinder without having to open the unit starter.  Opening it reveled that enough meat was available to do the job.

Wow! Revelation! (more hindsight) would it have beed easier to use a allen head bolt?  Let me know if you find out.

I cut the gear case and a unused boss motor drive end housing to make it possible to get an extension on it.

This was all done last minute on the night before a parade.  This starter makes quite a screech when the engine catches.  My recommendation would to pass on this "Some modifications may required" option.  :( 

Copyright, Ken Adkison