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Unread 10-28-2008, 05:57 PM   #1
A2SuperCrew
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Starter Grinds Flywheel after Start on Cold Mornings

The starter on our TJ grinds the flywheel for about 10 to 15 seconds after starting the engine on cold mornings. It's only a slight grinding, as if the starter gear is not retracting back far enough after spinning up the engine. Repeatedly reving up the engine makes it go away.

I pulled the starter off, and cleaned nine years of grease, dirt and gravel from it. I sprayed some white grease on the shaft and re-installed it. There is some obvious wear on the flywheel and starter gear, but not bad yet.

This morning, it was 27 degrees outside. The starter ground the flywheel more than ever!

This only happens on the first cold start of the day. Once the engine is warmed, it no longer does this.

Is there anything I can do to recondition the starter myself?

I really don't want to drop another $200 on a new starter. Especially since I just replaced the radiator two weeks ago!

Thanks!

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Unread 10-28-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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You could try a lighter lube... something that won't get as 'sticky' in the cold.
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Unread 10-28-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
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Clean all of that grease off and use a light oil like 3in1 oil. If that doesn't work then you may have to tear into the starter and clean out the solenoid assembly, you might want to go ahead and do this the first time so you won't have to pull it twice.
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Unread 10-28-2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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I bought a new starter for somewhere around $60 at Autozone. Just replace it.
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Unread 10-29-2008, 04:44 AM   #5
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If you still want to do it on the cheep, you need a new BENDIX GEAR assy. The bendix is what causes the gear to retract when power is removed from the starter. The mechansim is weak and this will get worse and worse. While the starter is out, clean up the teeth on the fly wheel with a file. and replace the brushes in the starter. Any good STARTER /ALTERNATOR Repair shop will have a bendix and brushes.

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Unread 10-29-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
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In my initial search I found starters for just over $200. This was a shock since I just had the expense of replacing the radiator a couple weeks ago. My wife is starting to give me "that look" every time I head out to the garage to fix the Jeep again. We've been really trying to watch expenses, and the Jeep is not going along with that plan very well!

Today I found an Autolite Reman starter for $129. I've not seen any for $60, so imped4now got a really good deal! I'm thinking it's a good idea to just replace it now. Winter is coming, and I don't want to have to do this when it's below freezing out there.

Thanks for your replies, everyone!
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Unread 10-29-2008, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2SuperCrew View Post
.. Today I found an Autolite Reman starter for $129. I've not seen any for $60, so imped4now got a really good deal! I'm thinking it's a good idea to just replace it now. Winter is coming, and I don't want to have to do this when it's below freezing out there.

Thanks for your replies, everyone!

My son thought that a few years back with his beater Ford truck.
Grabbed re-man starter as his was getting noisy. It lasted 3 weeks and packed up totally. He ended up having to change it at -20C (windchill -30C) on the side of the road.
Look for one from a decent manufacturer or by new with a lifetime warranty.
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Unread 10-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #8
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My jeep has done this since new. I have searched and searched and even changed out the starter and is still does it when the temps drop to below 35 or so. I figured it has something to do with the tolerances of my particular setup. Luckily it doesn't get that cold for too long around Texas and I don't drive the jeep daily anymore so it isn't a big deal for me.
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Unread 10-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2SuperCrew View Post
The starter on our TJ grinds the flywheel for about 10 to 15 seconds after starting the engine on cold mornings. It's only a slight grinding, as if the starter gear is not retracting back far enough after spinning up the engine. Repeatedly reving up the engine makes it go away.

I pulled the starter off, and cleaned nine years of grease, dirt and gravel from it. I sprayed some white grease on the shaft and re-installed it. There is some obvious wear on the flywheel and starter gear, but not bad yet.

This morning, it was 27 degrees outside. The starter ground the flywheel more than ever!

This only happens on the first cold start of the day. Once the engine is warmed, it no longer does this.

Is there anything I can do to recondition the starter myself?

I really don't want to drop another $200 on a new starter. Especially since I just replaced the radiator two weeks ago!

Thanks!
You're running a 2.5 with an auto trans. The auto trans on the 4 bangers uses the G.M. style belhousing. You may want to try a shim or two on the mount and see if that changes anything for you. Try 1 first and if it still does it try another. I tried this on mine and it worked.
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Unread 11-02-2008, 07:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexetr30 View Post
You're running a 2.5 with an auto trans. The auto trans on the 4 bangers uses the G.M. style belhousing. You may want to try a shim or two on the mount and see if that changes anything for you. Try 1 first and if it still does it try another. I tried this on mine and it worked.
Thanks dexetr3! I installed a new starter yesterday. This morning, the noise is still there.

I wondered about shimming it. There is actually a small gap at the bottom of the starter in the bell housing opening.

The new starter definately is much stronger than the old one. I just still have the noise. It's a shrill metalic grinding that occurs on cold start at any RPM. It also occurs if I rev up the engine while sitting in park.

I'll pick up shims when I take my old starter back to collect the core charge.

The shims go between the starter and bell houseing on the surface where the bolts go?

Thanks again.
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Unread 11-02-2008, 07:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imped4now View Post
I bought a new starter for somewhere around $60 at Autozone. Just replace it.
How'd you manage that? I bought a reman from autozone about a month ago for somewhere around $175. Had no choice to buy it, it was 10 at night, was the only place still open and then were closing, and I had to leave for work at 4 in the morning.
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Unread 11-02-2008, 01:54 PM   #12
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OK. I shimmed the starter, working my way up to the 1/16th shim. The noise is mostly gone, but does still occur if I rev the engine above 3K RPM while parked. It's MUCH better than it was before. The engine starts SO easily now with that new starter!

We'll see how it does tomorrow morning in the cold. It may need more shims......
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Unread 11-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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Just for curiosity, have you checked the tightness on the flex plate bolts? There are 4, they hold the torque converter to the flex plate!
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Unread 11-02-2008, 03:18 PM   #14
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Just for curiosity, have you checked the tightness on the flex plate bolts? There are 4, they hold the torque converter to the flex plate!
No, I have not. How can I get to them?

If these are loose, would that also account for the "thunk" when putting the transmission into gear?

Wow...............
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Unread 11-02-2008, 04:51 PM   #15
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Look underneath. You will see an inspection plate cover at bottom of bell housing. I believe it's 2 bolts. Remove and with a flashlite you will see where torque converter bolts to flex plate (automatic flywheel). You need to check those for bolts tightness! They can cause bad sounds!! Just my 2 cents! Good luck!
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