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Unread 11-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
SniperYJ
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Starter not engaging flywheel (I think)

Let me give you a little background to this ongoing story. About a month ago, I was having issues starting the Jeep and I ended up getting a new starter. It worked great when I first put it on, but it soon started making kind of like a grinding noise when I would let off the push button after it started. This noise was only a split second long and I didn't think much about it, just thought maybe the starter wasn't disengaging fast enough when I let off the button or maybe my reflexes aren't what they used to be. Anyway, soon it started to make a whining noise sometimes, like the starter gear wasn't engaging the flywheel, but if I let off the button and tried it again it would crank up. This has been happening more and more often until today when it won't do anything but make the whining noise. I took the starter off and took it to Autozone (where I bought it) and they looked at it and tested it and it was fine. I have tried mounting it with and without the shim that was on the other starter, tested all the wiring to make sure full power was getting to it. The flywheel looks fine to me as do the teeth on the starter gear. I really don't know what else to do. I would really appreciate any help that you can give.

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Unread 11-11-2008, 12:49 PM   #2
Jeepsr4me19
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Its bad replace it. Had the same thing happen. It tested good but would not work on the truck. Changed it with new one and it works fine.
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Unread 11-11-2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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Sounds like a bad starter to me as well.
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Unread 11-11-2008, 01:15 PM   #4
SniperYJ
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that's what I was thinking, but ****ing Autozone won't make a warranty return because it tests fine
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Unread 11-11-2008, 01:31 PM   #5
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You need to complain higher up the chain of command then.
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Unread 11-11-2008, 01:36 PM   #6
SniperYJ
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sounds like a plan - thanks
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Unread 11-11-2008, 03:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SniperYJ View Post
sounds like a plan - thanks
Man, I had this EXACT same problem Its the starter solenoid. I can garuntee it. I was pulling plenty juice, good starter, good flywheel teeth and just a whirring noise. Replaced the solenoid, not a single problem since.
Get the solenoid, it is your friend!
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Unread 11-11-2008, 04:03 PM   #8
SniperYJ
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my starter and solenoid are a package deal - do you think getting mud and/or water on it would cause this problem?
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Unread 11-11-2008, 04:07 PM   #9
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Mud can be especially problematic with starters, and alternators. If yours has been "dunked" recently, disassemble it & clean it out really well, and lube the appropriate items. Re-install & check for improvement, you may still need the solenoid, though.
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Unread 11-11-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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I know how to fry one if they will not take it back cause it test good. Put 110 to it.
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Unread 11-11-2008, 08:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by themonkeyman View Post
Man, I had this EXACT same problem Its the starter solenoid. I can garuntee it. I was pulling plenty juice, good starter, good flywheel teeth and just a whirring noise. Replaced the solenoid, not a single problem since.
Get the solenoid, it is your friend!
I agree...it's either your solenoid or the small green wire going to it not making a good connection

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Originally Posted by SniperYJ View Post
my starter and solenoid are a package deal - do you think getting mud and/or water on it would cause this problem?
the solenoid is easy to remove from the starter and disassemble/clean and then test when not in the jeep...again, i'd put $$ on it that it's a connection. and that is why it checks good at the zone and not on your jeep.

let us know what you find.
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Unread 11-12-2008, 01:56 AM   #12
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You can check out everything that has been suggested but let me tell you my experience.

My Jeep is a Frankenstein (aren't they all) it took me forever to figure out what starter I would need since the dips at pep boys didn't go from the part number. Long story short there I figured out that ever after the transmission and engine swaps done by POs the original bell housing and flywheel were not replaced. So I got a starter for 1987.

It worked fine once I got the wiring all set up thanks to our fellow jeepforum members. Worked for about 3 starts then my solenoid died (not surprised since it was the one from 1987). So I replaced that the next day. Everything was cool for a week till I had to take my GF to the hospital. Then it decided to stop working. In my instance the thing was jammed up. Due to the teeth on the flywheel being damaged. However, with the old starter I got those noises you are talking about. The grinding means your teeth are getting or are already ****ed up on both the flywheel ring gear and the starters gear. And that whining noise probably means the starts gear is grounded down and not catching teeth or your flywheels ring gear is missing teeth or they're damaged and not catching.

When this happened I also looked at my flywheel and thought "oh it looks OK" but I was wrong. If I were you I'd get a second opinion. Have a mechanic or fellow jeeper take a look at your ring gear and give it a spin with a screw driver to see all the teeth. I honestly think your problem lies in that ring gear.

I'm not gonna lie I'm half in the bag right now but if you have any other questions about my starter/solenoid/flywheel experience feel free to PM me or ask me here I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. Also if you're replacing the starter do like everyone else said and swap out your solenoid for a new one while you're at it. It's easy and quick. I made the mistake (as I mentioned) of not doing them at the same time.
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Unread 11-12-2008, 02:10 AM   #13
Lumpymayo
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This reminds me of this thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/freakin-start-solenoid-601846/

I even got a new starter motor, no difference. I'm completely stumped.
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Unread 11-12-2008, 07:50 AM   #14
xeroid81
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The bendix is probably bad. It'll check out fine on a bench,but not strong enough to engage the plate. Tell those bozo's you're taking all your business somewhere else from now on and you're gonna spread the news on their shoddy practices!
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Unread 11-12-2008, 05:28 PM   #15
SniperYJ
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Alright, I have a theory and I will test it in the next few days. Talked to my father-in-law yesterday and he made me look at the whole shimming approach a little differently. Basically, he thought that maybe the starter is not shimmed down far enough and that when the gear is being "pushed" into the flywheel, it is butting up against the face of the flywheel instead of actually locking the teeth together. I went tonight to find some shims, but can't find anything. Anybody have any ideas on where to get one - I have looked at O'Reilly's, Auto Zone, Advance, Napa, and checked online with Pep Boys, Carquest, Quadratec, and JC Whitney. Don't know where else to look. I figured I would try this approach as it is fairly simple and sounds like a sound theory. Any help on where to get the part?
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