The wear on the ring gear in the picture does not look that serious to me. I have seen a lot worse that did not give a problem.
I would recommend rolling the engine over by hand and looking at all the ring gear teeth.
A starter pinion has a sprag clutch built into it that stops the starter from being over sped when the engine starts and the starter is still engaged.
This sprag or over running clutch may be failing.
When a starter pinion spins but does not engage the ring gear it will make a horrible grinding noise.
You describe the starter as whizzing so I don't think gear engagement is your problem.
Can you get a replacement pinion for the starter?
This will likely solve your problem and should not be that expensive.
I think maybe the problem is me greasing things too much ...
the solenoid had a bit of sticktion / suction caused by the grease sealing the cylinder too much
There is no official service manual on these things ..so I don't know if the solenoid should be greased .,..or dry
anyway have wiped it all clean and polished it ..now dry
this is how I greased it before ..
Now polished and dry.
all the best..markj
Until you get around to fixing it properly, I would suggest carrying a wrench of some sort with you to roll the engine over with manually.
One the starter starts "zinging" without cranking the engine, you are going to need to turn the crank by hand until you get to a "good spot" on the ring gear to get it going again.
Usually a nut on a drive pulley (alt, p/s pump) will suffice to get enough movement on the crank via the drive belts to do the job.
Best of luck!
p.s. Solenoid should be DRY.
Last edited by Highpower; 07-02-2012 at 10:41 AM.
Originally Posted by MrSleepy
Not all starter motors have visible helical shafts. Do a search on google images for "starter motor parts diagram" and you will see all sorts of designs.
The original Bendix drive used a spring and no helical groove. You can find old starter motor designs that had no solenoid on the starter at all. Since then there have been many designs but people still call it a "Bendix" (like a tissue is a Kleenex.)
Most any starter you look at post 1970 has both a solenoid and a "Bendix" of some sort. However the starter motor works internally most all starter motors I have seen over the past six decades have some sort of method for forcing the engagement both mechanically and electromagnetically in to engagement with the flywheel ring gear. They also have a method for disengaging the pinion so that it isn't over run by the engine.
What has been already said is right, their is no easy way other than fixing it the right way and that is often the cheapest in cost time and heartache. That been said the motor usually comes to stop on certain spot,as already pointed out, so only an inch or two of the ring gear is stuffed if you look at the photo it will show this you may of lost just enough off the front face to stop the engagement of the starter dog. You may get away with packing the starter out, if my memory serves me right a piece of 14# sheet steel as a packer
The solenoid cylinder has a micro switch at the bottom of it ...I presume it pushes in all the way ..then hits the micro switch and the starter then spins
I think the cylinder was sticking and not returning all the way ...so when activated didn't have the inch of travel it needs to accelerate into the ring gear ..
what I have now is a ring gear that has quarter inch of wear on it ...so at the position it should be just engaging ..its not engaging ..and it starts its spin before its fully into the worn teeth.
so its down hill from here on in ......
its a matter of time before it fails altogether.
all the best..markj
I would have thought the starter needs to be closer not further away.
Originally Posted by Kiwi
packing the selonoid would maybe help ..and could be packed so that the microswitch was activated when further into engagement
all the best..markj
Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 07-02-2012 at 11:19 AM.
For a low bucks solution, I'd get a new starter from the manufacturer - the gear will be new on starter. I'd also file the front of the teeth on the flywheel. On the fifth bad tooth from the top, it appears shiny as though it was rubbing on the starter.
ive got a spare starter that has a longer pinion on it ..but still the same amount of travel
the originals starters pinion looks unworn ..the wear has only taken place on the ring gear.
well... we will see ..put the old one back on .......if ok for a period of time ......it will be left on ....if not will swap for the spare one ..
spare one will have to be taken apart cleaned up ...its an unknown bought from car boot sale for £1..apears to have the same mounting points
all the best..markj,
Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 07-02-2012 at 11:37 AM.
Aboard, lots of good comments and most are right on track --- here's what the facts are -- regardless of how this starter engages - be it lever activated from solenoid or helix drive the damage is done from the starter spinning before its engaged - this should never happen - You can use your cheap digital calipers to find out what's going on - by taking measurements from the starters mount to the flywheel teeth and by hand operating the starter and figuring out what's what as far as when the main brushes get contact...
they should get contact only when the starter pinon is reaching close to the end of its travel and you need to verify that the pinon itself would be fully engaged to the flywheel for that to happen...
now --- as far as your ring gear --- if you get this right it could still last forever (well - long enough to junk the car)
but, I would get in there and make some nice chamfers instead of the pinon going up against a wall...
Keep in mind this important little tidbit --- esp. if you have a manual transmission,
Its may not be over for your ring gear at all,,, it's simply set up a pattern in a few area's due to the engine favoring coming to a rest there when you shut it off ---- this is not only due to engine compression but also camshaft positions and such,
Sooooooooooooooo, maybe all your ring gear needs to survive is till your next clutch job or rear main seal replacement --- then if your flywheel to crank bolt pattern allows you mark everything and simply rotate the flywheel on the crank to where non of the positions will be a bother and zipp it back down -- done deal...