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Any idea what this sound might be from motot


Senior Member
I just installed a reduction starter in midget 1500 and when I started it I noted a high pitch whine coming from the motor. At first I thought it was perhaps the new starter hadn't disengaged and I had difficulty isolating where sound was coming from.

So I video taped it with sound and when I played it back the sound seems much more isolated, coming from front of car. Not the starter side. Any one have an idea what it might be. Here is the link to the video Click Here (its 17 meg so might be a little slow to load) Would appreciate any thoughts. Thanks


Darth Vader
1. Alternator bearing
2. Water pump bearing

Is the hissing sound overheated water (steam) escaping from the radiator overflow or from the water pump?

with the engine running, use a piece of hose, garden type will work or fuel line; with one end next to or into your ear, either one (ear), and the other end pointed to the various areas where the noise may be coming form. You will need to get that end close to the alt., water pump, etc., but be careful not to hit or get entangled with any rotating parts.

This will allow you to pin point the source of the 'whine'.


Staff member
Country flag
I am almost certain that you have come up against the dreaded EGR Diodes. These are part of the original emission system. I had it with mine and it seems to allow some current to creep in and continue to affect the starter - mine sounded just like the starter was still engaged.

Here is how you check. On the inner fender drivers side is the brass splitter for the brake lines - to front and back. Attached to it is a nylon fitting with a wire plugged into it. This is the brake failure warning switch. Unplug the wire and your problem should go away.

Now, I have removed the diodes (they are under the dash above the glove box) and have cut the wire (white - red or red -white, off the top of my head I can't remember.) And it hasn't gone away. So, I just keep the brake warning unpluged 'cause I figure if the brakes fail I'll know soon enough anyway.

keep us posted.

Deleted member 8987

You should be able to unplug to feed to the solenoid to kill the starter for a check.
However, I think you've got some clearance issues from the sound.
Pull the starter, inspect the housing of the starter for any shiny spots or burring.
Look at the ring gear for spots.
You may need a shim or a tad of grinding on the nose extension.

You'll see it when you get the starter out.

Try the solenoid feed first.


Staff member
Country flag
any answers?


Senior Member
Well I don't think its the EGR diodes as I striped off the emission stuff years back and the brake failure switch is disconnected due to leak so its just plugged with bolt.

I will try using the hose idea to see if I can rule in or out the alternator or water pump. My ears are telling me its up front according to video but I suspect its a clearance problem and as everyone is stating sound travels. I didn't notice any water or steam leak by the way during initial run although I didn't run the car all that long as I didn't want to with that strange noise.

I think I will have to pull new starter. Oh well. When you talk about shims is that put between the housing and the starter? What would one use to shim it? I know how regular lucas starter functions but to be honest I don't recall how reduction starter works. Does it engage by teeth sliding outwards down the shaft?

I will try and get to it this weekend but weather is cold again and its not fun working in below zero weather in a garage. Thanks everyone for suggestions


Senior Member
Also I am pretty sure its metal on metal and that it,s the new starter I put in and will have to pull it but was wondering about the following:

In the instructions it never mentioned this and stated it was a simple swap out. I did notice that when installing the new starter the alum ring designed to allow nippondenso starter to be fully rotated didn't fill the entire opening in the transmission bell housing, left about a 1/4" gap. I questioned the place I purchased it from and was told this made no difference and just to bolt it down and it should be fine.

Here is the gap. I thought this was strange as won't water or other foreign matter just get encased in bell housing and have no way out? I know there is a seal between motor and transmission components but seems odd that metal ring doesn't completely cover hole.

If image doesn't come out its at this site towards the end of the page: https://www.visn2.com/Flash%20Website/1500_Ignition_System.html

appreciate everyone's thoughts on this.


Country flag
Well you could consider that a drain hole or if you are concerned some Marine Goop, silicone sealer would likely fix it for you and be unnoticed.


Senior Member
I found out it was the starter not releasing. I spoke with the person who designed the adapter ring and he told me that the distance from the mounting area on the bell housing to the teeth on the flywheel (surface facing hole) should be just a hair over 1 inch. I measured mine and it was just under 3/4 inch which is way different according to him that the usual. Does anyone know if there starters ever came with a shim from the factory and also does anyone know what their distance is?

What could cause such a difference?

I do want to tell everyone how impressed I am with Gustafsonspecialty.com. He was extremely helpful and even willing to send me various components to meet the required distance and mail back the unused ones. You don't find that kind of service these days. I am very impressed.


Jedi Trainee
I just installed a GR starter in my '79. The old starter had a spacer (about a half inch thick) installed between it and the bell housing.

I bought a cheap GR starter that did not include the "rotating" ring needed to retro it into a midget. I ended up machining an adapter to accomplish this. It took allot of measuring and futzing to get the spacing right, in the end it worked.

As far as spacers, the starter I ordered came with "stainless steel spacers" that could be stacked to achieve the necessary gap to disengage as needed. They were basically stainless steel washers. This would lead to the "gap" between the starter and the bell housing. I don't think that it's such a big deal.
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