My 408 Stroker engine is almost ready to put in the enginebay and fire up. But before I do that, I've tried turning the engine over, while still laying on the pallet. But...... My OEM starter can't turn the engine over, when I have more than two sparkplugs in it.... The combination Original starter / 10.5 compression seems to be a bad cocktail. So I may need a mini / Hi-Torque starter.

But what to buy ? Summit have a ton of different starters. I've been looking at the Powermaster 9604. But does anybody know if it will Work with the ZF ?

The OEM that's on the motor now, looks like a normal starter for an Automatic ?

Flywheel is a 164 teeth, I think ?
Original Post
I bought a mini high torque starter in 2007 from DB Electrical in the U.S. through their eBay store under part #3223. I've had great success with it turning my high compression (11:1) Cleveland motor, especially when hot which is where the stock starters fail when they are no longer any good. The eBay price is $52.50 US + shipping.
Listing under "NEW FORD MINI PMGR STARTER 302 351 MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS Fits models with 4 Speed Manual Transmissions-Fast ship"
Good luck.
I have the DB Electrical starter in both my Pantera and my 66 Mustang. For the $50 price tag, it was worth the risk. No problems so far!
I bought a high torque starter about 15 years ago I have an 11 to 1 motor, not only has it never missed a beat, NEVER, but once caught in torrential rain my engine died on a off-ramp, I stuck her in first and ran about 50yards on the starter to a safe place to pull off!!! McLeod, and they are a great company with a tech ( Lee) who knows Panteras upside down and backwards. Yes the same company that makes in my opinion the best flywheels and clutches!
Just ordered the one from DB Electrics - Thank you Guys ! It's only 1/4 of the Price of other starters from Summit. I like.......

Question on DB hookup of solenoid wire for battery. Currently the battery cable is connected to the left post of starter solenoid and cable to starter is connected to right post of solenoid. According to the DB wiring hookup the battery cable is now moved to the right post with starter cable and new red wire is hooked up to left solenoid post. Is this correct?  Both battery and starter cables on the same right post? Thanks 

Yes. That is correct.  As long as the left post is the “start” signal from the ignition. 

NOTE:  just the two large cables share one of the large terminals.  The other large terminal will remain empty.  The new smaller wire is added to the small terminal with the start signal from ignition  

Been there. Done that. 

You could run a new length cable directly from battery to starter but it is much simpler just to move the one cable. 


Last edited by lf-tp2511

Hi Larry, thanks for the quick response...much appreciated. One other question if possible.... I also have a yellow wire connected to the left big post of the solenoid along with the battery cable. I assume that I will also move the yellow wire with the battery cable to the right side solenoid big post? I can’t trace back the yellow wire as to where it leads... So when done the Only wire that will be connected to the left solenoid big post will be the new red wire supplied for the DB starter. Correct?

Sorry to be a pain, just want to make sure  I connect the wires for DB starter properly as getting to everything for me is not the easiest to access.

Thanks, Ron

Here are a couple of photos of the solenoid wiring I recently finished for my DB starter project. Hope you can tell what wires go where. There is at least one extra wire connected to solenoid tapped just for power. I ran the "new" wire along the battery cable that goes from solenoid to starter. I put battery cables on left and new wire on right. The solenoid is really just a relay. So, it really shouldn't matter what side you choose for battery cables and the new red wire. 

DB Starter Wiring [2)

DB wiring 2 [2)


Images (2)

Hi, Thanks for the response. First, beautiful looking firewall! Your solenoid connection looks a lot different than mine and solenoid looks more heavy duty than mine. I have a stock 72 Pre-L. I'm using the wiring diagram provided by DB with their #3223 starter. I can't seem to upload a pic but listed below the website that shows the connections. According to what they show the only wire that should be on the big left post of solenoid is the new red wire supplied with starter. Any thoughts? Thanks again, Ron

Ron, Solenoid is just a new Standard Motor Products Ford solenoid. I figure a new starter deserves a new solenoid.  Like I mentioned, the solenoid is just a relay. I used the same DB wiring diagram, but I opted to connect the battery cables on the left post because it seemed like a more natural run from there to the starter, and the cable from battery was already on that side. Only the new red wire is connected to the opposite post. Either way works. Hope that make sense. Ron

Ron, what’s the secret to get the big honking original starter out of the Pantera. Been wrestling with it for the past hour. Can’t angle out of headers or down through middle of frame...Thanks


After struggling to remove like you and not wanting to remove the headers, I took the old starter apart in place. Have fun with that. 

starter1Starter 2


Images (2)

One more thing. The the DB starter flange is thicker than stock starter. Therefore, not enough threads showing for washers and nuts. So, I replaced the stock studs with longer ones I picked up at NAPA. I did not use the brass nuts that were included in the package.

Starter Studsx


Images (1)
Last edited by rlee63a4

Ron, thanks for all of the advice and support. I will tackle tearing the old starter apart tonight. Appreciate the add’l comment on the studs. That would have been my next #!%@!*! Yelling rage.

Again, much appreciated. I’ll post when it’s completed, hopefully this weekend. Ron

There are special tools for grabbing the studs, or you can try the "double nut" trick.

Scroll down a little, and you can see info on my experience.

The other comment for those adding a gear reduction starter...  Don't listen to (some of) the gear reduction starter instructions, and just run a short jumper wire from the starter solenoid on the starter to the main power connection (also on the starter).

It looks like it should work, but if you do that, your starter will "run on".  You have to run the separate wire to the external solenoid (as everyone is advising in this thread).



Last edited by rocky

Hi Rocky, thanks for sharing your experience and details in previous forum link. Your setup looks great and the pics are helpful. I have a stud remover but haven’t tried yet. I’m also planning the extra ground cable like what you’ve done. Great job!


Update on installing a DB Electric High Torque starter part #3223 in my 72 Pre-L. I completed the project last night.. Amazed at the torque of DB vs the old Motorcraft starter. I would like to especially thank Larry and Ron for their comments and advice. They were very informative and without their advice installing would have taken twice the time and much frustration... Thanks. If anyone plans to replace their old stock starter suggest you heed the suggestions in this forum post. I connected cables exactly the way Ron suggested and his pics really helped. Even though a pain to complete the project, especially disassembling the stock starter in place so it could be removed, I’m very glad I replaced. The new DB Starter was $47 plus free shipping, has twice the torque than old starter and no more hot start issues. .....Also, not sure how you could ever install a full size stock starter without pulling off the header or pulling the engine..... thanks, Ron Witt

Hi..very nice insight..on the how to do it. electric to me no issue, studs no issue I understand bouble "NUTING", is all Euro DIN.....BUT:: (looks we got a sunny Day tomorrow in old D land, good to work in the open garage..)

Question: can I get the old starter out without removing the engine fixtures or need to lift the engine..



Last edited by matg

Hi, don't see how you can remove or install a new stock starter without removing headers or lifting engine. I tried for about a hour moving starter in different angles and couldn't get through header pipes towards wheel area which is largest opening. I can't find any forum articles about removing/installing stock starter. Ron's pics and comments in this link confirmed issue, and his suggestion to take apart in place. The DB started is much smaller, more powerful and breeze to install. I also have a Pantera tech manual and little to no information on how to replace stater….. Rocky was also very helpful with his comments, he might have advice or experience with replacing....Have fun..

Tx ronwitt

HEADERS IS A NO they go on aluminium heads took me a day per side..with levers and tricks

Any other thoughts /experience please....!!

1) so far ONLY lifting ENGINe & Gear box (???)  is an option a mess as well !

if the studs are out does this any help?

2) ....except GRINDING IT DOWN..2 cases of German beer needed..

Please more insight!


Last edited by matg

Hi Matthias,

Maybe Larry, Ron, Rocky or others have a few suggestions. The studs to me were not the issue... Just not enough clearance to get through header pipes, no room to down between frame, and certainly can't go up... I assume you are replacing with a stock size starter?...Not sure exactly where you live, but might think how you can get a DB starter and take the old one apart in place. If you want a stock starter probably have to lift up engine, if headers are not a drop option?? Again, maybe others have a few suggestions for you...sorry. Ron


I have a hight torque starter on the desk (hand import from US in November, was until now to cold to do, it sits on my workshop desk, was tesdeed and works!!) .

is mainly the question on how to get the old sucker out,...

I can disasseble it, in place and grind the rest our (WHAT A MESS) ..etc. as the sucker goes to junkjard. ASAP.

do not want to tak e starter out until I know the HOW EASY TO DO IT, as all working fine on COOLD, when HOT same issue as bove, high comp engine 10.5:1, runs top class..



Last edited by matg

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