Sorry guys, I have to jump in here. It is a bit of a thread hijack, so forgive me. But, as a member of the ABYC and the NMMA, I have to make this important safety post. DO NOT USE AUTOMOTIVE STARTERS IN YOUR BOATS.
While an automotive starter is exactly the same physical dimension as its marine counterpart for a similar motor; bolts up the same, etc. there is a key difference in the marine starter.
A proper marine starter will have extra features built in to make is comply with SAE J1171 ignition protection
specifications. Specifically, the sparking that is caused by the brushes is completely hermetically contained so that no flammable air/fuel mixture can be ignited, or sufficient screening and heat sinking is in place so that any flammable air/fuel mixture that ignites inside
the starter cannot radiate its heat to the rest of the flammable air/fuel mixture outside
of the starter.
The object of making sure that ignition sources such as starters, alternators, fuses, breakers are ignition protected is to prevent accidents like the one here: http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/messages/3183/712727.html?1246839467
Using marine rated components is critical to the safety of you, your boat, your family, and anyone else who is with you or near you. When you install automotive components in your boat, you put everybody at risk. If you are buying a new starter for your boat, make sure you buy the one that is rated SAE J1171 for ignition protection. Your boat, your family, your friends will never know the difference if you do it the right way, but to think of losing any of them over saving a few bucks at the auto parts counter seems not worth it to me. If you are having a starter or alternator rebuilt, make sure your rebuilder knows it is for a marine application, and make sure you are redundant in telling him that you want all of the safety parts re-installed upon completion. If he answers back that marine parts are just expensive car parts, go to another rebuilder... It is your boat, your life, your friends and family you are putting at risk when you go trying to save a few bucks using car parts in your boat...
Sorry, A-dub, but the price difference is not due to paint.
(Message edited by philwsailz on July 06, 2009)