New Starter not engaging

Discussion in 'V8 - Emergency Issues' started by 98SF19, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    So my starter's been steadily declining over the last month and last night it bit the dust. I just happened to be at a parts store for their grand opening. I bought a reman'd (ToughOne) with lim. lifetime warranty.

    I'd already had an older starter for about 8 years that was intended to diagnose another SHO that I had considered buying a long time ago. Well, it was a pita but I swapped this old one in and now when I crank, I just hear the whirring of the starter motor - it's not engaging the motor gear. I'm hoping that somebody gives me a simple fix for this.

    I don't think this is related, but over the course of wiggling my hands down from the top, I must have pulled out a small black plug that comes off the ground strap wire that attaches to the bottom bolt of the starter. I looked around and the best plug candidate I could see was a small threaded peg sticking forward from the oil filter housing. Did I get that right?

    EDIT:
    Parts guys says the Bendex (sp) gear is not moving to engage the motor gear, and they can test it out in their store. This is what I get for not just putting in the new one.

    UPDATE:
    Yanked the spare starter and put in the new (reman) one and now when I crank it, there's a horrendous clattering, almost like gears slipping, but the car starts. I've started it 3 times today and it did that every time. Guy at parts store says I'm up a creek - that the problem is on the engine side and there's most likely something wrong with the flywheel. Is he full of it? I haven't come across anybody having this problem, so is it more likely the starter?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  2. stephen newberg

    stephen newberg Moderator Staff Member

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    What was the characteristic that you were getting with the old starter that you say was in slow decline? I am trying to get a feel for the development of the problem over time.

    pax, smn
     
  3. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    Thanks for the reply . . .
    Be careful asking me for details - I might write a book!
    I think I posted something a few weeks ago about it not starting. Luckily then I was parked just down the street and it started when I went back that night.

    Since then, I've had a few sluggish starts, no grinding, just the normal sound but with slow turning. It seemed to be worse when the car had only been off for a short time. When I got under the car a few weeks ago to do a direct hammer-tap, I noticed that it was a bit oily. I wiped it off then, but yesterday, I noticed it was back to how it was before. So I think the coolant hose right above it may be leaking a bit. But this is beside the immediate point as the one in the car now couldn't have had time to get any drippings and was grinding from the get go.

    At the parts store Friday night, they did a battery check and it was a bit over 12v (car off). Jump starting did not work. I tried tapping the starter with a tightly rolled-up umbrella stuck down toward the starter, but no luck (it did turn a smidge more that time though). Left it there that night but car wouldn't start Saturday morning. That's when I called for a tow.

    I was surprised at how few post there are on changing the starter, both on this site and v8sho (descriptive posts with troubleshooting).

    Thanks again!
     
  4. luigisho

    luigisho SHO Member

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    Which part did you buy? It's been a while since I tinkered with a GenIII and don't remember if there are significant differences with that part vs one for a regular Taurus of that year. Rebuilt/reman starters from the box stores are hit and miss, as are alternators. It is one of the most common defective parts out of the box that stores carry. I have changed to having a local shop rebuild them when I need a replacement.
    If you have fluid leaking on the terminals I guess that could have some effect but the car gets wet a lot under there. I would remove, test and reinstall or replace it. That is after I checked voltage under load. The starter pulls a good amount of juice.

    If you notice better part operation while banging on it that should be a sign something is amiss. I also recently had a starter nut that I installed come loose and back off causing sluggish starts on my GenII.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  5. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    lessons learned

    Thank you for the response. You said it all. I replaced the alternator about a year and a half ago, and had gone with a pricier make (Remy). It's been working like a charm. But being that I'm broke this time of year (broker than normal anyway), I went with the cheapest one they had. I think I'll go back tomorrow and get a replacement.

    I just don't get it - the spare I'd had for a while spun up quickly when I had it installed, but it was only the airy sound of the motor spinning with no load, as if the bendex wasn't even translating down the shaft to the flywheel. But when the dude tested it at the store, it not only spun up nicely but the gear did what it was supposed to do (snap to end of shaft).

    If a replacement gives the same result, I'm hoping that a dealer will be willing to test it with a known good Motorcraft model. If THAT doesn't bear fruit, then it'll be off to the place that rebuilt my tranny to have the flywheel diagnosed. What I shoulda done when I returned the original was to have him test THAT one on their machine.

    (To answer your question, part # was P3264S. Brand is ToughOne - yeah, I'd never heard of it either)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  6. luigisho

    luigisho SHO Member

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    I have seen bench tests at the store (autozone) look good but still perform poorly. it's good to see if it's total crap right out of the box but doesn't guarantee perfect performance on the vehicle unfortunately.
     
  7. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    flywheel

    As far as Gen3's go, are the flywheels ever an issue or are they pretty tough?
     
  8. luigisho

    luigisho SHO Member

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    Never heard of an issue but that doesn't mean it can't be a problem.
     
  9. stephen newberg

    stephen newberg Moderator Staff Member

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    I have also never heard of a Gen III with a problem with the flywheel engagement to the starter that was not traced to the starter eventually. Its good that on the bench the Bendix seemed to be functioning on visual inspection, but to be sure I think you need to know about the velocity and such. I am not an expert on this, but the sounds of your problem are very much that of a Bendix that is not engaging properly. The initial noise on engagement and then just the whirring might mean damage done to the flywheel though. The oil coming from it sounds like a further problem. I think you need to get it up on a lift, take out the starter, and look at where the starter engages for damage there.

    pax, smn
     
  10. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    Happy Christmas Eve

    I might as well take advantage of the limited warranty with this new rebuilt starter and have it replaced. I'll check flywheel teeth after removing current one. I'm getting good at removing these things! I assume I'll need a mirror and flashlight for checking flywheel teeth.
    I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks to you both for the input!
     
  11. luigisho

    luigisho SHO Member

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    Good place to start. FYI many years ago I had a '90 SHO and went through 5 alternators from 3 stores to get one that worked correctly. I don't think that is typical but quality control is bad on these and starters.

    I remember a forum member ,who worked at a parts store at the time, posting on one of these topics years ago that the returns on these items were really high compared to anything else they sold.
     
  12. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    hindsight

    If I knew then what I know now, I may have just gone with a Motorcraft starter. With an exact OEM replacement, at least if there were problems, I'd know that the starter spec was matched to the motor and that the flywheel was likely damaged already. Cutting corners like I did may end up costing several hundred more $ if the POS has damaged the flywheel.

    I do feel a bit better after changing wife's car's oil tonight though, especially with a Pennzoil and K&N oil filter special. Not a big fan of Pennzoil, but hey, it's a minivan. Right back on it tomorrow with the starter though. I'm keeping fingers crossed that it was just a bad starter and that flywheel's fine . . .
     
  13. luigisho

    luigisho SHO Member

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    that's why I go with a local rebuilder business. Less money than a cheap replacement part, my last starter job was maybe $70. but I know they do good work & can go back if something is wrong.
     
  14. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    good times

    I was able to eyeball all flywheel teeth (with son's help) and they look good! No anomalies and none missing. Oh, the relief! Props to Mr. Nimz for some good tips.

    I just heard back from a coworker who used to have his own auto repair shop (does IT now) and he's going to give me a name/address of a guy he used to have rebuild starters. The price he remembers was . . . $50-$80.

    (1 hour later)
    I put the starter I've had sitting in my garage for over 8 years (Motorcraft) back on and . . . works like a champ! This is the same one I had on Saturday that jusr spun but made no contact with anything. I can't imagine I messed up the installation so bad that first time, but it's a possibility. The other possibility is that it's not working consistently.

    I'm taking the reman'd unit back now to try and get my original back. If this spare pukes, I'll have the original and the spare rebuilt (for about the same cost as 1 Bosch starter from Advance).

    I hope to not be adding to this thread anymore, but thanks to you guys for the advice! I may pop in a new thread about the starter removal, as I never did find anything on either site that described it. Might help some brave newbs in the future.
     
  15. 98SF19

    98SF19 AlphaKennyBuddy

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    Well . . . the root cause of all the above snuck up and bit me in the butt again; leaking coolant hose above starter causing sluggish starts, which get worse over the course of a week or two, especially when restarting after a short time. So I took the liberty of nipping root cause in the bud. First, removed the battery due to an old comment from Nimz on v8sho about attacking the starter from the top. Can't be done - the battery support flange and the ABS hardware are in the way and not easily removed. Removed the starter (from below) and stared at the leaking hose for a while before deciding to remove and replace, and it sucked. Store didn't have direct replacement, of course, so they searched the back shelves, using the eyeball matching approach. What they sold me is larger, but only barely. This resulted in a headache when trying to get the spring clamps back in position. Even at full open, it took forever to get them to move into position.

    As soon as it's time for an oil change, she's getting this: http://www.v8sho.com/SHO/RepairingaLeakyOilCooler.htm since the oil cooler being clogged may be the cause of the hose leaking. I thought about doing it today but I've got a few months left till oil change.
     
  16. GEN 3 SHO FAN

    GEN 3 SHO FAN SHO Member

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    Hi,

    I was just making a list of SHO unique parts numbers for future researches (and repairs). Do you made a search with part numbers to find a good fit ? If not, here is the part numbers for concerned parts.


    Oil cooler (F6DZ-6B856-??)

    Oil filter adapter gasket (F6DZ-6840-??)

    Oil cooler water hose (short) (F6DZ-6B850-??)

    Oil cooler water hose (long) (F6DZ-8B851-??)

    I also remember that someone found (E1 on V8SHO ?) a good replacement for the rubber O-ring in the cooler which is often faulty when it's leaking but don't have this info on hand... Ok I found it in my bible.

    http://www.v8sho.com/SHO/OilCoolerOring.htm

    Good luck,

    (P.S. When it's possible, I always prefer putting old used Ford parts rather than new other chinese brands ones, they are more reliable, and cheap.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
    98SF19 likes this.

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