I have a 83 Cherokee Chief with the 360 engine.
The starter have been weird for years, it spins just fine, but it does not engage to the flywheel.
the problem is that i have never seen this type of starter before, and i have no clue how it works.
this is the same one i have (visually), but factory oem.
I ordered a Solenoid that was suposed to fit, it does not however. And after opening the starter to have a look inside i can't see any solenoid in it at all.
Is there any way to fix it or has the starter gone bad and needs replacing?
i live in sweden, so after shipping and taxes even a cheap asian replacement starter would cost about $200, so if anyone has any idea of how to fix the starter it would be greatly appreciated.
I realized the starter solenoid was nearly completely burnt out, so i replaced it with a new one. the first 3-4 cranks worked perfectly! the drive went into the flywheel and everything, but after a few times it stopped engaging the flywheel again, the starter "works", but just spins freely.
my thought is that it might be a weak battery? it's a quite small 60 amp that i normally use in my camaro, it has no problem cranking and starting the tiny 305, but maybe the bigger 360 needs a bit more power then 60 amps...
If you take the starter off and look under that metal cover, you will see a rectangular steel slug on a hinge, connected to the starter gear. When the motor field is energized, magnetism pulls the steel slug in toward the starter which pushes the starter gear out to engage with the flywheel teeth. When the slug is fully seated and the gears are engaged, the motor is switched on and turns the flywheel. The gear only has an over-run clutch, so that the engine can run faster than the starter motor gear. A Bendix gear is different - it slides forward on the starter motor shaft when the starter turns, which engages the flywheel.
There is a contact that runs the motor and is made when the gear slides out. That must be sticking for the starter motor to run.
If this starter does not work reliably, you can take it out and fiddle with the internals to try and make it engage smoothly. But I would just get another one.