View Full Version : Starter Problems

Webb Sledge
03-08-2005, 12:27 AM
I recently (about a month ago) had my TR6 starter rebuilt by a shop who specializes in them. It worked fine for a couple weeks, but then it started failing to engage. It sounds like the pinion gear which should engage with the flywheel ring gear is just grinding and not turning the engine at all. It did this before I had it rebuilt to, and was the reason for its rebuild. Sometimes if I put it in reverse and rock the car back and forth it will engage and start, but even then it will make a nasty grating noise for about every revolution of the engine until it starts. I'm worried it's ground down teeth on the ring gear, necessitating pulling the engine again. The ring gear was fine a month ago when I looked at it, so I know it's due to the starter if it really is worn down. Any thoughts/comments/suggestions? Could it be anything inside the starter causing the nasty grating noise? I REALLY don't want to have to pull the engine again. That was a **** of a lot of work, especially when you're not getting paid for it.

03-08-2005, 01:22 AM
If it specificly coensides with the revolution of the engine then it almost HAS to be in the ring gear. Sorry, since you have to pull the starter anyway, have a buddy turn the engine over with a wrench on the crank pully while you take a look at the teeth all the way around with a light.(mark a tooth when you start so you know when you've gone all the way around) this should identify any bad teeth without pulling the engine first. even a few teeth with the front edge rounded more than the others could cause the starter to jump and grind.
Engines tend to have a few natural spots that they come to rest when shut down, and this causes those sections of the ring gear to take more wear than the rest.
It also wouldn't hurt to double check all the starters electrical connections, including the engine grounds, to make sure that it is not trying to disengage because of high resistance in the circuit
P.S. you don't have to pull the engine, you can get the flywheel off if you take the tranny out (through the interior). I know I know that's not much easier, but it is a little /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

03-08-2005, 01:36 AM
I'd call whomever rebuilt it and see what they will do about it. That would be the first thing. Second, if they replace it I'd sell it and get a low torque starter.. My TR3 had similar problems. Couple of rebuilds. Ordered a new one. It lasted 2 -3 years with lots of sticking bendex problems. Some times it would stick engage to the flywheel (that would make a grinding sound) and most of the time would not engage. Just sit and spin. The low torque starter has never been a problem. It's been installed for 5 years now and it's just wonderful. I've owned the car since 1976 and I did not hesitate to install one recently in my Tr250.

03-08-2005, 02:27 AM
On the high-torque starters, I had to flip mine upside down to reinstall it after putting on headers. Now, ever so often, the little bastard will skip a start. It is little and I had to use a bastard file to make it fit. (that is for Basil) DYK, Triumph installed all their ring gears on the TR6 backwards?! Gives a little less bite, also tends to wear out a little quicker. Yes, pulling the tranny is a lot easier than the engine. The flywheel pops right off, with the help of an impact wrench. Do the peak-through-the-starter-hole trick before you start jerking things out of your car, Webb. I would be very suspect of the Lucas starter. Rebuilt means trouble. By the way, why is it that TRF lists NEW Lucas starters for the 250, but not the 6?


03-08-2005, 05:24 AM
Hello Webb,
did you fit a new ring gear when you built the engine?
Triumph used inertia and pre-engaged starters on this engine and the former has the lead in facing the gearbox and vice versa.
Also its not unknown for the ring gear to work loose and come misaligned. As suggested, inspect the ring gear while rotating the engine. A high torque starter will not correct a ring gear fault.


Geo Hahn
03-08-2005, 04:26 PM
Pardon my unfamiliarity with the 6 engine... but is there no inspection plate at the bottom of the bell housing that would permit an easy look at the ring gear?

03-08-2005, 05:08 PM
A dumb move!
I bought the largest heavy duty Die Hard battery that would fit the battery shelf of my TR6 because a drain/short kept running the small cheap (but "right sized") battery down in 3 to 4 days. After a starter replacement and two ring gear replacements I found that extra hard push the starter made actually was moving the ring gear back far enough to cause miss engagement of the starter over a period of tiem. THe ring gear had to be heated to slip over the fly wheel and there are no pins or other fastners other than friction that holds the ring gear on the fly wheel. A real PIA to repair.

03-08-2005, 09:16 PM
Webb, I think you have all the advice you need and hope you paid attention to the one comment by TR6Bill, the ring gears were installed backwards at the factory, why I can't figure but it's been true on everyone I have worked on that wasn't replaced.
On the TR250 starter, it was the same as the Spitfire and GT6 along with a couple of other BL cars, but when they went to the TR6 they put the solenoid on the starter just like they did on the MGB. Wayne

Webb Sledge
03-11-2005, 08:10 PM
I did not replace the ring gear when the engine was replaced, however it was inspected and it looked fine all the way around. I don't think it's the ring gear as it was making this exact noise even BEFORE the starter was rebuilt, and then once we had it rebuilt it started fine for a little while and then started the grinding again. I'll check into some of the stuff you guys mentioned. Thanks for the advice.

03-12-2005, 01:55 AM
I thought I read somewhere about the backward ring gear installed by Triumph, that it was a result of a change in design or plan and that the starter was originaly going to be mounted on the other side of that ring gear.
Maybe someone can help out here, can't quite remember the story.