1930 Hudson Essex Super six, Autolite starter motor needed

Hello everybody
I am a new member on your forum. I come from Croatia and I am looking for a starter motor for my friend's 1930 Hudson Essex Super six.  The correct starter motors would be: 
Autolite MZ 4005, MZ 4014, MZ 4017.  All 3 of them fit, from 1928-1930 if they are a Autolite brand. If I am correct, the factory switched in 1927/8 from "American Bosch" to "Autolite" starter motors. If I am also correct, only the "Autolite" starter motor would be correct for my friend's late Super six. Thank you very much on your comments or corrections.
Btw his 1930 Essex was assembled in Zagreb/Croatia in the eary 1930's and used alongside the Tatras, as a taxi in Zagreb. 
Some 50 examples were assemled in total. His car is the only surviving example.
Thank you very much for any info or offer.


  • Jon BJon B Posts: 7,456Administrator
    edited April 2022
    Welcome to the Forum, H. Kozul!  I wish you good luck on your pursuit of a starter motor.  Perhaps there are some dealers in used automobile parts in Europe, who may be able to help you.  Possibly some of our members who are knowledgeable in Essex automobiles, will be able to tell you if a particular Autolite starter for another make or year, may be usable.  That way you will have a larger pool of starters to look for.

    The story of the Essex taxicabs in Zagreb sounds like an interesting one.  Perhaps you could write an article about this, and pass it along to Sam Jackson, our H-E-T Club magazine editor! 

    Incidentally, here is a photograph (taken in Zagreb?) which shows an Essex automobile.  But there are no markings on it to indicate it is a taxi. 


  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,605Senior Contributor
    You can only use  the starter specifically for a 1930 and 1931 model  Essex.   Earlier models will not fit. 
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • HansHans Posts: 256Senior Contributor
    Many calls I get from people have had the wrong identification of their car.

    I would like to know more about your car, to be helpful. Sometimes engines and other parts are changed to keep them running.

    Many starters have ID tags missing so we need to determine measurements.

    Do you have a starter that fits the engine?
    If you do, then please measure the center-to-center holes of the top two holes. Then measure the center-to-center distance of the two vertical side holes.

     If you have no starter, then measure the center-to-center distances between the top two studs and two vertical studs.

    Side note: 1930, 1931 and 1932 Essex starters are interchangeable. The newer starters just have more power. The motor bodies are a little longer.

    I have also used a 1932 Hudson 8 starter on a 1930 Essex, so the Hudson starters with 3 bolt holes for 1930 thru to 1933 are likely to fit.  

    Later starters with 2 bolt holes do not fit.

    I look forward to your measurements.


  • HansHans Posts: 256Senior Contributor
    /The picture has two Essex cars, a 1928 with plate 11-1050 and two cars back is a 1927 Essex.

  • fiatsport76fiatsport76 Posts: 7Member
    Hello Hans, thank you very much for your response. I am still struggling to find the way to answer to all of the members who responded to my post. I only found the window to answer to your post, so I appologize to all other memebers for not responding to them. I simply can't figure out what to do to answer to each individual post. Do you find the pictures clear enough Hans? responded me
  • HansHans Posts: 256Senior Contributor
    Your dimensions are for a 1930, '31 and '32 Essex starter.  (3 3/8"  and 4 3/8" ) Hudson starters can work too.

    The 1927, '28 and '29 Essex dimensions are 3 1/2'  and  3 1/2".

    I have a 1929    Essex that had a 1931 starter installed on it, the mounting holes were modified to have it fit.


    Are you missing a starter, or have you one needing repair?

    Hopefully the info will help you find what you need.

  • fiatsport76fiatsport76 Posts: 7Member
    Hello Hans, thank you for your answer. My friend's Essex is missing the starter completely. There was a cca 1930's Essex starter motor on German ebay, cca 2 years ago, but back then he was not sure if he displaced his starter or he didn't have one at all. So of course, he haven't bought it. And the price was 70€!! I also bought an Autolite MZ4005 starter motor 2 weeks ago on American ebay, for him, but after a few days, the seller informed us that he doesn't have that particular starter motor(that he lost it or sold it not knowingly). So that is when we started to search for the starter motr intensivly. That is how we ended up on this forum.
  • HansHans Posts: 256Senior Contributor
    just some thoughts: to help you in your search.

    The engines for 1929 and 1930 have the same size bore and stroke, but they have two different engine block designs. ( '29 engine block is the old one and the '30  block is the new design )

    Both engines are rated at 60 horsepower, so it may be assumed that the starters would work satisfactorily if a '29 starter mounting bracket was modified to fit a '30 engine.

    The starter for the 1929 could be made to work by adding metal to the top edge and right-side edge. 
    Then drill new holes the proper distances from center line of armature shaft to make sure Bendix gear is in the proper location to mesh with the flywheel ring gear.

    There were many more '29 cars sold than the later '30 to '32 ones, so the likely hood of finding a '29 starter is much better.

    Of course getting a '30 or newer starter is best.

    If you purchase a starter from the USA, it might be a good idea to have it rebuilt here where some one is likely to have parts needed.

    I had a starter repaired last year, new Bendix assembly, Bendix spring,  brushes, armature turned and mica cutout, it was US $225.00.
  • fiatsport76fiatsport76 Posts: 7Member
    My friend's Essex has a redisigned 1930 engine block. We have a promisse from the ebay seller, that he will try to find the MZ4005 starter motor among hundreds of starter motors that he's selling. I am posting a picture of the Essex assembly building at the Heinzelova ulica(street) in Zagreb. I will ty to get a better scan of the picture in the next few days
  • fiatsport76fiatsport76 Posts: 7Member
    My friend's 1930 Essex, made in Zagreb/Croatia
  • fiatsport76fiatsport76 Posts: 7Member
    I have managed to acquire a correct set of wooden wheels in Switzerland. Shortly after acquiring the first set of wheels, another set of wheels came up on Ricardo.ch a dvertising platform. Since I both live in Croatia and Switzerland, I managed to deliver the 1st set of wheels from Switzerland to Croatia by car and send the 2nd set to Croatia by bus. Endless thank you's to the "Zelic Reisen" company, who transported the wheels to Croatia with their bus, without too many questios asked. There is a funny anegdote related to that particular time, when the wheels were beeing transported to Zagreb. If anybody would be interested, I would be glad to tell the story.
    Look how enormous the 20" wheels look today. Btw, all 9 wheels turned out to be in almost perfect original condition.
  • fiatsport76fiatsport76 Posts: 7Member
    The 2nd set of wheels beeing loaded into the trailer. The one that traveled to Croatia by bus. I bought this set of wheels some 30 km from Basel. The 1st set of wheels came from Bern. Correction: the wheels and the tyres are 5-5.50 x19" and not 20" as I wrote before.
  • HansHans Posts: 256Senior Contributor
    Interesting story
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