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TR2/3/3A Starter failure

TR3MT

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My M. M. starter, PN 541-530, failed because the drive retaining nut (PN 149-900) became detached from the drive shaft. I suppose this happened because the cotter pin was not put in place and I missed it when I installed the new starter. When the failure occurred a 2" hole was blasted through the cast iron clutch housing and I found the nut on my garage floor under the car. The main spring (PN149-900) is now jammed between the flywheel and the clutch housing and the engine is jammed. Looks like I may have to tear things apart to get to that spring. I am planning to either braze or epoxy a metal patch over the hole in the casting. Does that sound like a good idea? The spring is barely visible with a mirror and I don't see how it can be removed in place. The starter is under warranty but the rest will be on me.
 

TR3driver

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I had somewhat the same thing happen years ago, except the spring went out the hole too. A crack started from that hole, which eventually ran all the way around the bell-housing flange, ruining the (overdrive) gearbox.

Based on that, I would suggest having a piece of similar material cut to fit (aluminum alloy, not cast iron, assuming this is an original TR3A transmission) and welded into place. The original part doesn't seem to have been overly strong (they beefed the design up several times behind the 2.5L six), and I think you want a repair that is as strong as possible.

Or just go ahead and replace the housing now. TR3 housings aren't that hard to come by; I saw one on eBay a couple of days ago. Starting bid $100 and no bids (at that time). Seems those early crash boxes aren't very popular.
 
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TR3MT

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Thanks for the advise and moral support. It helps to share my pain for such an avoidable failure.
 

Jerry

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The spring should be steel, I removed the starter and fished in the hole with a magnet. Got all the loose parts and put it back together. But I was lucky, no damage to the case.
 
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