CJ7 Flywheel ring gear fails. Need help diagnosing! - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 9 Old 12-10-2008, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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1983 CJ7 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Starke, FL
Posts: 2
CJ7 Flywheel ring gear fails. Need help diagnosing!

Got a 1983 CJ7 with the standard engine (except for headers & the Weber carb).

Ever since I've owned it (about 6.5 years) my CJ has torn up starters. I went through 2 stock starters and with probably 2 rebuilds on each. I finally went with the Mean Green starter and thought my problems had been solved. Until tonight. I cranked the Jeep and heard a bunch of grind in the flywheel. Got the Jeep home took off the starter and there is metal shavings all over the place. The Mean Green appears to be in good condition, but the flywheel ring gear has obviously been shaved down over the years to the point that it's not fully catching the starter anymore, hence the grinding.

Now, the ring gear has only been on this Jeep for about 4 years. I replaced it when I put a new clutch in.

Does anyone have an ideas on why my Jeep is having these starting issues? The only thing I can think of is that the compression in the engine is way high and it's wearing out these starting parts with each crank. Unfortunately I don't have the capability of testing engine compression so who knows.

Any suggestions, idea, comments? Please help.

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post #2 of 9 Old 12-10-2008, 04:58 PM
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1977 CJ7 
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Location: New Paltz,NY
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Sounds like the starter teeth are not messing enough with the flywheel teeth. Are there any shims between starter and block? Try removing them to see what happens.

Seems like everyday is a Monday.

77' CJ-7 83' Chevy K10
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-10-2008, 05:00 PM
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shim your starter out a little, the starter gear is prolly too close to the ring gear and chews it up.

It was like that when I got here.....
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-10-2008, 05:02 PM
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1977 CJ7 
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^ Yes what coldwater stated. I meant to say add a shim. Sorry.

Edit: When you check for contact between the teeth you could disconnect starter lead and just leave on contact to engage bendix gear to see how they are meshing together. With stater lead off to battery when you turn the key only the bendix gear will advance to the flywheel and you could check to see how they are hitting. Hope that helps you some.

Seems like everyday is a Monday.

77' CJ-7 83' Chevy K10
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-19-2008, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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1983 CJ7 
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Location: Starke, FL
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Thanks for the suggestions! However after some more research I decided there was a good chance it was a bad connection and/or ground to the starter solonoid, which could cause the gear to not fully engaged the flywheel (turns out no teeth were missing, just some metal shavings), thus the grinding. I took everything apart, cleaned up all connections and it worked great....the cranking went fine with no problems

Only lasted for about a week, though. Now it's grinding again and the slowly starting, like it's not getting enough power. I'm guessing this is an indication that solonoid is worn out? Can these go bad? Anyways, I'm going to replace it tonight see as the part is only $12 and see what happens. Hopefully that solves it.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-19-2008, 10:38 AM
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Burnsville, MN
Posts: 2,812
JeepHammer post a bunch of stuff on grounds. You starter is the biggest use of power in the CJ other than winch.

I would pull your battery and have it load tested. Ck battery with multimeter, if not reading 12.5V or little higher I would slow charge, 2amp or less, for 6-8 hrs and then have load tested. Ck you water level if that type of batter if any cells/plates are exposed fill up again with distilled water(supermarket cheap!) to the bottom of plastic splash guards. Then charge after distilled water full. IF maiintenance free skip the water fill step.

I would change your battery leads and grounds if they look old. The starter requires proper Volts/amps to kick the gear into flywheel. JeepHammer like the battery ground to go to the starter since biggest load. Do search for some of the posts. I still used the Block ground but also did a ground stud on block with adequate wires to frame, firewall, engine head(s), alternator body, and starter.

If you had a lead problem last week bet you still have one.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-25-2013, 02:35 PM
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1986 CJ7 
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I know I am resurrecting an old thread, but I am doing just this. CJ-7 1986 258 with a T-5. The old starter had a thread stripping, so it was sloppy. I was happy to see this, because I thought it was just a misaligned starter because it was tight to the bell housing. I put on a new starter and things were slightly better, but now, I am just grinding. I had the battery load tested, it is good at 89%. I have already done all the grounding, and from when I bought this Jeep about 3 yrs. ago, I have re-invigorated the power to where I can do hills in 5th gear that I had to go into 3rd gear before. I have no cracked bell housing dog ears. I am going to have Auto Zone test the starter. I will post in this thread the final solution.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-25-2013, 03:23 PM
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1981 CJ7 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert
Posts: 16,655

Make sure the bell-housing to block alignment pins are in place. There's one on each side of the block.

Without the alignment pins there's enough slop between the bell-housing and the bolts holding it to the block that the bell-housing can shift slightly causing all kinds of starter and clutch alignment issues.

I learned that lessen the hard way.

Good luck,

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-25-2013, 06:27 PM
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1985 CJ7 
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Location: The Mojave Desert - Palmdale, Ca. U.S.A.
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MG's are total CRAP!!!
Fix the FW ring gear and get a NEW starter from NAPA.

Have'n you along, is like loose'n 2 good men
LumpyGrits is online now  

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