Text by Ken Daugherty, Geoff Fleming, Ray Knight, and Dave Wildrick — with helpful input from Al Zim
[Ed: Removing the 356 starter with the engine in the car can be tricky. Here several experts describe their techniques. Be sure and view the photos at the bottom of the page of Ab Tiedemann's custom modified bolt head.]
Ray Knight: Use a ratcheting box end wrench( 17mm or 11/16") on the engine side nut (feel for it behind the fan shroud, can't really see it). From below I use a magnetic holder for the one on top of the starter (my hands are big but my arms long), so the only way I can reach it is to reach over the top of the trans, this is surprisingly easy for us tall long armed guys. You can also us a box end wedged on the engine side, and a socket and long extension from atop the starter. But the best for the next time is to modify the engine side bolt so it won't turn; weld a tab on the side of the head, clamp a small hose clamp on the head, or buy the modified bol...
Photos by Jim Breazeale
These photos show the "business end" of early and late VW and Porsche 356 starters. Below the side-by-side photos are larger photos that show more detail. [See this page for more information and photos]
Early VW (left) compared to early 356 starter (right)
Late VW (left) compared to late 356 starter (right)
Early 356 starter
Early VW starter
Late 356 starter
Late VW starter
[More information and photos from Jim Breazeale]
[More information from Alan Klingen, Brad Ripley, and Dave Wildrick, with photos by Ken Daugherty]
Text and photos by Jim Breazeale
Bosch (as well as most commercial rebuilders) rebuilt starters have the same part number as VWs. There is only one starter for your 356C Porsche. Unfortunately, Bosch does not have a separate part number for their rebuilt starters and freely substitutes a VW in it's place. The only difference is the orientation of the starter as it bolts to the transmission. The mounting holes on VW starters are at approximately 90 degrees to the solenoid and the Porsche starter had the holes at about 30 degrees. The VW starter will work but there will be problems installing it. The best solution is to have the Porsche starter in your car rebuilt by an expert who knows what they are doing.
C starters are much smaller in overall dimensions than the earlier starters that came in 356s, 356As and 356Bs. Putting a "late" VW starter in a 356 will not cause much of an "interference" problem. The problem arises when one tries to install an "early" VW starter in...
Text by Jim Breazeale, Alan Klingen, Brad Ripley, and Dave Wildrick, photos submitted by Ken Daugherty
The pictures at the bottom of this page illustrate the difference between the 356 (top photo) and VW starter (lower photo) and why the VW starter does not fit well in some 356s. Except in the later cars, the VW starter will hit the underbody of the 356. [More photos of the two types of starters]
Brad Ripley: For the early EED starter (that's the one with the "square" solenoid), only the Porsche version will fit properly in the 356/356A body. That is a four-brush, 0.5 horse unit with an end casting marked: ALLG 28L.
For the late EEF starter (that's the one with the "round" solenoid and installed in cars after August, 1961), the correct casting number is ALLG 56L and one side plus 2-xx on the other side. I've found 2-9, 2-11, 2-12, etc.
On the early EED series, VW versions have only two brushes and are rated 0.4 hp — says that stamped into the case. Probably those ...
By Joe Leoni
Link to PDF file Starter, Trouble Shooting Problems
By Joe Leoni
Q: Every time I start my car cold, the car starts without any problem. However, when driven a view blocks and the engine is hot it won't restart. The engine cranks only 1 to 2 rpm, whereas the battery has enough oomph to crank the engine many rpm's rapidly when the engine is cold. Why does it seem that the starter experiences more resistance from a hot engine while cranking it??.
A: My guess is the sleeve bushing in the transmission is the culprit. Over time the bushing wears, and the end of the starter shaft hangs down. Probably heat aggravates this problem. Binding results. If many years have gone by and this bushing has not been replaced it is due. It is in the transmission housing, where the starter gear passes through the housing rim.
To replace, drop the starter, use a coarse 14mm tap into the bushing. Hold it still with a pair of vice grips, and catch a couple threads into the bushing. Wiggle it a bit a...
By Joe Leoni
Link to PDF file on Understanding and Troubleshooting Generators and Regulators
Credit to Bill Leavit, Joe Leoni, Brad Ripley, Alan Klingen, and others on 356Talk listed below
Bill Leavitt: I got a variety of responses to my query about keeping my 6v starter in my SC when I convert to 12v. The main issue about 12v and a 6v starter is extra oomph on the spin means faster wear on the flywheel ring gear.
Two people had a 6v starter w/ 6v solenoid. One ring gear lasted about a year, the other the better part of 90k miles. That's a big error bar on that one, even for such a small sample. Guesses for grabs!
Most responders endorsed 6v starters w/ 12v solenoids. Experience cited from 2k-10k miles, no problems as yet.
One quoted a rebuild shop citing a Bosch repair parts catalog that showed the armature part number as the same for either 6v or 12v. This person was skeptical about that, and so am I. But this *would* argue well for using a 6v starter w/ 12v solenoid.
It boils down to this:
A new Berg 12v starter w/...
Credits to: Bob Sneed, Harry Pellow
Q: In converting my 356 from 6 volt to 12, I'm considering using the larger diameter, higher output generator used in the late 912s and VWs. Does anybody have any thought about doing this other than cosmetics?
A: If you want to convert to the Large Diameter 912 Generator, you will need:
The Large Diameter Generator
The Generator Strap for the Large Diameter Generator
The special Fan that fits only the Large Diameter 912 Generator, and its special hole covering piece that goes on the opposite side of the Fan from where every other piece goes!
Both of the two Special Generator Shroud Pieces that fit only the Large Diameter 912 Generator
The Special hub for the Fan that fits only the Large Diameter 912 Generator
The Special Nut for the Fan (The same as the Generator Pulley Nut, but different from all previous Fan Nuts that weren't the same as Generator Pulley Nuts.)
One of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the 356 has to do with the 6-12volt conversion. Probably because this isn't covered in any factory material, it's "not original", and a lot of folks go it on their own when they decide they want to make the switch.
Here you'll find links to a number of pages on this site which discuss various issues for consideration during and before you decide to convert your 6 volt system to 12 volts. Remember, some of this is opinion, most of it is hard-earned experience, and all is shared by those who Keep the 356 Faith!
Main Sources, complete conversion descriptions. Most are listed on this site, others are links or lists of other sources (books, articles)
The 356 Registry Magazine has printed a number of articles on this topic. The most recent is available online. Here is the index of the older articles
(Credit Robert Laepelle):