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Larry Campbell
11-05-2003, 09:30 AM
Appx 30-40% of the time when I try to start, the starter spins but doesn't engage the flywheel. Let it stop spinning, and the next time it usually kicks in just fine. Doesn't matter if it is warm or cold. Any thoughts on what I am facing.

Thanks again for all the advice and expertise you keep giving, it is very much appreciated, especially to a novice such as me.

Dave Russell
11-06-2003, 04:10 AM
Larry,

The pinion gear on the starter is engaged with the ring gear by the inertia of the pinion causing it to rotate on spiral splines of the motor shaft.

It could be as simple as the splines being gummed up & not letting the pinion engage. A good cleaning may help. Don't oil the splines. A little dry graphite might be ok.
D

[ 11-05-2003: Message edited by: Dave Russell ]</p>

Larry Campbell
11-08-2003, 09:43 AM
Dave,

Any thing that I should look for in terms of wear or problem areas that may be present beyond the cleaning, or anything that I might be further ahead in doing since I will have it off the car anyway?

Thank you for your help and advice, much appreciated by me and I know many members who wisely value your expertise.

wim janssen
11-08-2003, 10:35 AM
Steve may not be the youngest (cheers, Dave, have one on me!!!) but he sure is the wisest of all.
Dave, we value your contributes to this forum. It has already been said before, but you deserve it.
Keep up that good work.
Even blokes here in the Netherlands profit from your wise advise, one of them being my car mechanic!! He wants a print out of this forum every now and then.

Cheers (and cheese as I wrote before accidentally mix up the two!!).


Wim images/icons/rolleyes.gif

Dave Russell
11-08-2003, 03:27 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Larry Campbell:
Dave,
Any thing that I should look for in terms of wear or problem areas that may be present beyond the cleaning, or anything that I might be further ahead in doing since I will have it off the car anyway?
<hr></blockquote>

I can't think of much else. The big spring on the end just absorbs the rebound when the flywheel speed exceeds the pinion speed & kicks the pinion back out of engagement. There is a very light spring on the other end also, neither of which really have any problems. I think the light spring is just to prevent accidental dragging of the pinion teeth of the ring gear when the car goes over bumps or hard braking.

Some wear on the pinion gear itself is also normal. No problem unless the pinion is obviously chipped or worn a lot.

You can test the pinion action by clamping a starter mount flange firmly in a solid vise & apply power to the starter. when the starter turns the pinion should snap into the engaged position & return when the power is removed & the starter stops. It may not return perfectly but it doesn't matter much because in actual operation the flywheel will force it as mentioned above.

you probably don't need to go further. You could go through the whole starter motor, new brushes, bearings, & what all, but it is probably not necessary if it is otherwise working well.
Good luck,
D

Bugeye58
11-08-2003, 03:34 PM
In my experience, it's usually just a gummed up pinion shaft and gear. It seems that some of our cars have been known to leak a drop or two of oil on occasion, and this tends to collect any loose grunge, which will impede the starter function.
Since it is humanly impossible to stop the oil leaks, clean the starter, and happily motor on down the road for a few more years! images/icons/grin.gif
Jeff