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mapleaf
07-19-2009, 09:13 AM
I have an unusual problem, (well not really a problem) with the starter on my 1960 TR3A and was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing. For over 20 years the sound of the starter changes from the normal sound to a low hollow sound if
it's operated for an extended period. This still happens in spite of a starter rebuild a few years ago. Other than the sound the starter operates as normal and always starts the car.
Like I said, not really a problem, but curiosity is finally getting to me. Any ideas?
Thanks

TR3driver
07-19-2009, 09:27 AM
Are you talking about the moaning noise it makes when the motor is spinning but the Bendix has kicked out? That's normal, the nature of Bendix drives.

The drive uses first inertia to engage the pinion gear on the starter with the ring gear on the flywheel; and then applied torque to hold the gear in the engaged position. When the engine fires, it kicks the pinion out of engagement. After that, you have to let the starter motor stop, and start again, to get the inertia to re-engage the pinion. Otherwise the starter motor just spins uselessly. With no load, it spins far faster than usual, hence the noise. Not particularly good for it, so let off the switch promptly.

mapleaf
07-20-2009, 11:01 AM
No, it's not the sound of a free spinning starter drive because the change in sound can and does often happen while the starter is engaged and turning over the engine. This usually occurs after the starter has been in use either continually or intermittently for 30 to 45 seconds. Just wondering if it may be something to do with the flywheel rather than the starter?

TR3driver
07-20-2009, 01:57 PM
No, it's not the sound of a free spinning starter drive because the change in sound can and does often happen while the starter is engaged and turning over the engine. This usually occurs after the starter has been in use either continually or intermittently for 30 to 45 seconds. Just wondering if it may be something to do with the flywheel rather than the starter? That's a non-sequitor. All it takes is for the engine to fire once but not catch, to kick the Bendix out. I've spent many frustrating minutes (especially in cold weather) cursing the Bendix drive, because my engine would only fire on one cylinder and every time I would have to let off the starter button and wait for the starter motor to stop turning.

You could have a bad place on the ring gear, but it should have gone by many times in 30-45 seconds.

mapleaf
07-21-2009, 09:18 PM
Thanks for your reply, Randall. I don't think that I am giving a clear description of what actually happens. You see, even with the ignition disabled, if I push and hold the starter button for 30 seconds the sound tone of the starter will change from normal to a low hollow sound. Additional use of the starter gives the same sound but if I leave it for 15 minutes or so then push the starter it will be back to its normal sound. Weird eh? I'm beginning to think that this is one of those unusual quirks unique to an individual car and I may never know the cause. Like I said, no real problem.

NutmegCT
07-22-2009, 06:30 AM
Randall - if the "sound change" occurs when the starter button was held in for 30 seconds or so ... couldn't that be a failing starter bearing? I'd think that heating up when running for an extended time could cause that sound if the bearings have seen better days.

Mapleaf: was the bearing assembly replaced when you had the starter rebuilt?

Just my 2 shekels.
Tom

TR3driver
07-22-2009, 11:04 AM
Could be, Tom, but it doesn't seem like a bad bearing (they're just simple bushings) would remain constant for 20 years. But I don't know what else it might be.

mapleaf
07-22-2009, 05:40 PM
Can't say for sure, Tom. I assume that if the bushing/bearing were bad they would have been replaced...BUT...that's just an assumption. Next winter when I'm bored and looking for something to do I will pull the starter and see if I can solve the mystery.
Thanks again, guys.
Barry