Caterpillar D8 Starter

Neighbor bought a running D8 out of a scrapyard for to finish building pasture.

This particular machine is ‘indirect start’ using a two cylinder gas engine to start the big diesel.


The pony motor ran poorly, and was not engaging properly. The Cat has been parked long enough that an enterprising raspberry has found its way up the control pedestal.

An electric starter is available as a replacement, and appears to be more cost effective than rebuilding the pony.


Notice the overhead beam for lifting. The starting motor is fairly heavy, and needs to come up out of a tight space.


The shop manual conveniently neglects to mention the part where the starter mount bolts are inaccessible with the belly pan installed. This rig is out in a field, and I’m not inclined to bench press several hundred pounds of plate steel.

I breached the hull with an angle grinder and sawzall, running off a portable generator. I can weld the chunk back into place once we can drive the machine back to the shop.

Was careful not to set any pan debris or the local flora on fire.


Ready, set…


Giddyap. (It’s a pony….)


Worn drive pinion. Also a bad head gasket.(white spoo).


Tooth beavers have been busy. The electric starter engages from the close side of the ring gear, so he should get plenty of years out of this machine before having to pull the flywheel.

We hope…..