View Full Version : TR2/3/3A TR3 Starter nose broke off, ring gear,lots of ???

10-18-2012, 11:12 AM
Attempted to start the car. Got some "kick back" when engine started to hit. Louder than usual though. Hit starter button again,locked up and would not move. Pushed car in gear to dis-lodge. Tried again and got slow grinding crank. Walked away swearing(as I do alot). Took starter out today. "bull nose" completely broken off starter. This is a post 60K comm number car with a pre 50K comm number engine TS 32XXX. So I think the bull nose starter is correct for the engine number...but I do not recall, from when I installed the clutch, if the flywheel had bolt on or shrink on ring gear. Is there a way to tell through the starter mounting hole, which one it is? Is it even possible to put a later flywheel on the earlier engine? Parts get swapped out so much. I plan to buy the gear reduction starter as replacement, but want to be certain I get the right one to work with the ring gear. Last issue: ring gear has some burrs (sp) on the teeth, but none missing. Is this something that I can get by with or will I need to replace the ring gear. When I changed the clutch I noticed the teeth but everything had been working...until now. If I have to change both, should I go with what is correct for the engine number or body number...or does it matter.

10-18-2012, 01:44 PM
You should be able to see the bolts (or absence) through the starter hole.

On my TR4A (bolt-on ring gear), the ring gear came off. Sometimes the car would start (the gear would stick on the flywheel), other times not. I was able to get it bolted back on through the starter hole, which consisted of getting access to one bolt through the starter hole, then pushing the car until the next one appeared. This also used the engine block to press the ring gear back in place.

10-18-2012, 03:11 PM

The cranks are all the same, so any flywheel will bolt to any engine. The gear drive starters are a pre-engaged design (meaning the gears are fully meshed before the starter motor starts turning), so they are a lot less picky about damage to the ring gear teeth. You'll probably be fine as long as the teeth aren't chewed up too terribly bad.

If you do have to change the flywheel, my slight preference would be to use the one appropriate for the car. I think it might possibly reduce confusion in the future (if you pass the car on to someone else), plus ISTR the later design flywheels were a bit lighter than the early ones, which will give you slightly better performance in 1st & 2nd gear. But it doesn't really matter all that much, so I would probably take whichever one I could find.

I've got several laying around, but probably not worth the shipping to KY.

10-18-2012, 05:35 PM
The hit you describe....common on Chryslers and somewhat on GM, advance stuck or a crossfire in the cap, kicks back and snaps the snout. Lots of "parts changers" go through a lot of starters without checking the cause.
I would be looking closely at the cap, and any wires shorting to each other.
Then I'd check the mechanical advance closely.
But, that's just me.
I am not a parts changer.
Still think you have something else going on.

10-19-2012, 02:03 PM
One other possibility....hydraulic lock.
Fuel or water.
I'd check that.....key in your pocket, 4th gear, roll it for at least two full revolutions of the engine.

10-19-2012, 02:22 PM
It's certainly worth checking those things, but IMO it is possible that the broken nose is just from having a mismatched starter (if it was mismatched). The early starter has a smaller pinion than the later one (either 9 teeth instead of 10, or maybe it's 10 teeth instead of 11, I forget which offhand), so the gear teeth just barely catch at the tip (if at all). That can put a lot of extra side force on the starter shaft, especially if there is a little runout in the ring gear.

10-20-2012, 07:11 AM
Being somewhat a "parts changer" myself, to the tune of about $3000 this year, to get the car up and driveable, I ordered a new gear reduction starter. I really have not had the car driving long enough to do much fine tuning. It is a little hard to start(first time) which I have attributed to fuel delivery adjustments, but actually runs quite well and starts quite easily after first start up and idles smoothly @ 750 once warm. It generally sits several days between cold starts and I assume loses some fuel from the float bowls through evaporation,requiring a few cranks to bring that level up and I do have to fiddle with the choke to find the sweet spot. I also discovered, while removing the carbs to change the starter, that one carb did not have oil in the dash pot. I assume flooding, could cause the hard starting issue. Having had three TR3's that I built from near basket cases,and numerous other LBC's, I've been able to throw enough parts at them to make em go. Rolling the car in gear was one of the first things I did, in order to dis-lodge the starter. I have also turned the engine over by hand to inspect the ring gear. Hopefully I will not mess up another starter with a suspect ring gear, but I'm willing to take some risk to avoid having to pull the transmission out....again. If the bushings were bad in the 50+ year old starter the alignment with the ring gear could have been off also. I can't tell much about them.... now. What I have found,with LCB's, is you can take a basket case and replace all the parts at one time or you can buy a complete car and replace them one at a time.