412 Starter


The 412 we have at the shop had a intermittent start issue that I suspected was in the starter. As these starters wore out, resistance would rise and they would develop a hot start issue, or occasionally not start at all. After checking all the usual issues, we decided it was time to pull the starter.


With an injected car, the Bosch CIS injection unit had to be removed first before getting further into the engine to reach the starter.


With the injection unit removed, the rear most header was removed to make way for the starter to come out.


I ordered a high torque starter to replace the Ferrari unit. These Japanese units mated to a special adapter plate draws a lot less power and provides more torque than the old Marelli unit. They’re also a third less in weight!


I installed the new starter, in the Ferrari, but found we had a problem. The pinion drive was not engaging! At first comparison, I found the pinion was different with more teeth on the original starter. After a phone call to my starter supplier, we decided it was best to send the original 412 starter back so they could see the problem.


A couple days later, I was sent a new starter with a correct pinion and a new adapter plate machined especially for the 412.


Since this was a prototype, I found a couple places I wanted to modify. There wasn’t enough clearance for the nut and washer on the adapter plate.


I took the plate off, made a quick change to the plate, and told http://ferraristarters.com/ to make the change to future starters for 412s so there wouldn’t be a problem.


Working on this 412, I was reminded of the things that drive me crazy about some of the newer Ferraris. I sometimes sound like a old-timer resisting change and modernization, but here’s an example of over complication for no reason. The 400 and 412 Ferraris used micro switches to operate solenoids to release the trunk, hood, and even the fuel door. Not only do these switches fail, but there’s another problem…


If you use a cut off switch for the battery, locate it under the hood, and shut the hood with a disconnected battery, how do you open the hood? Ferrari had manual releases for all the door openings (because they expected problems with the electrics?), but you have to crawl under the dash to find the releases. Dumb, dumb, dumb!




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