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Unread 11-06-2012, 08:23 AM   #1
KrazyK3nn3dy
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Starter Issue (Couldn't find an answer)

So the other day, I tried to start my Jeep and I hear a loud grinding noise.. I immediately stop what I'm doing.. The engine then begins to slowly start up and it runs fine enough that I can get it into my garage.. I'm not sure what the issue may be yet, but obviously it has to do with the starter.. Problem is.. I have disconnected the wires and got the bottom bolt that holds it onto the transmission loose, but for some reason can't figure out what is wrong with the top bolt.. First of all, it's hard to get a socket up there because of wires in the way on top of the already limited space.. Second of all, it appears as though the bolt is a different size.. the bottom bolt was a 9/16, which appears to be too small, but a 5/8 seems to be too big??? Any help would be great, as well as any possible suggestions as to what may be causing the noise.. I had traversed some really deep water the day before and had a battery gauge malfunction which seems to have corrected itself when I restarted my rig.. Is it possible that it may just be the solenoid or is it definitely the teeth being worn out?? I'm hoping to get this fixed by Wednesday because we have some nasty weather in the forecast.. Also, any idea what happened to my voltage gauge? It dropped to 9 but everything ran smoothly (headlights, radio, offroading lights, climate control) until I shut it off.. when I did, the gauge dropped even further so I figured it wasn't shot.. I restarted my rig right away and it went to 12 for 2 seconds, then to 14 for about 1 second, then to 12 for another 2 seconds and back to 14 which is where it stayed, and when I started it since then it would go to 14.. Thanks a lot..

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Unread 11-06-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
dcope17
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If you went through mud... prolly just clean out the starter. Try some metric sockets since the standard ones don't fit.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #3
FLATFENDER54
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Seems like I remember mine being 2 different size bolts also. It wasnt anything difficult or confusing to get them out though????
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
KrazyK3nn3dy
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Ok, so it was 15mm and it was tricky due to wires having a mount there.. I did get it and it doesn't seem dirty, and the teeth don't look that bad.. I'll post some pictures ASAP.. I'm going to get it tested tomorrow and I'm about to look at the flywheel now..
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
KrazyK3nn3dy
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
KrazyK3nn3dy
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it appears as though the starter gear is not fully engaging the flywheel from what I could see.. any ideas??
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Unread 11-06-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
VBRubicon
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It probably just wasn't pushing out as far as it should. Just replace the starter and your should be fine.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
dcope17
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Yep, easiest fix is to just replace it...

Before you have to replace the flywheel.
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Life with Christ can be explained like a Jeep...
Being in the Word... grows your tire size.
Prayer... gains more ground clearance.
Fellowship... Is like having a good spotter.

The more of these you have... the easier it is to get over obstacles in your path.
.
.[URL="http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f194/dcope17s-thoughts-bible-please-read-only-do-not-post-1333441/#post13115090"]My Bible Thread[/URL]
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Unread 11-06-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
KrazyK3nn3dy
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ok.. will post back afterward with the results.. thanks..
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Unread 11-06-2012, 04:32 PM   #10
KrazyK3nn3dy
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So I got it tested and they said it was fine, but I wasn't convinced with their method.. So I just got a new one and I will be rotating the flywheel tomorrow just to double check..
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Unread 11-07-2012, 07:26 AM   #11
KrazyK3nn3dy
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Ok, now to explain why I did not trust their method.. All they did was wire it up and crank it, so if the gear was not engaging the flywheel completely then there would be no way of knowing.. They should reformat their testing equipment with a flywheel and adjustable load(6 cyl is harder to crank than 4, etc.) because I am 98% sure that that was my problem..

It was shiny about halfway across the flywheel's teeth.. So to sum everything up, my starter was going bad, installed "new" one an now my rig starts up like a champ, no more grinding..

Haha, to think that their "mechanic" who was a so called "Jeep specialist" said he was positive it was my flywheel that needed replacing.. He should know that 1. I have Emptied Every Pocket 2. Drive a TJ (which requires some mechanical know how) and 3. If I took it off, took pics of the proper parts(which he didn't even personally look at), and attempted to have a discussion about their testing equipment being flawed that I am no fool.. Props on the upsell attempt but major prop loss on being quick to judge.. Some people..

Haha, now that I say this, my flywheel will inevitably fail just to teach me a lesson.. Either way, thanks to everyone for your quick responses and help.. I was extremely tired (work 3rd shift) and using metric never crossed my mind.. Lmao.. Side note, penetrating spray will help you out A LOT with this task.. Now to go pick some up from that store and hopefully I run into a particular two people there.. Have a great day everyone!!
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Unread 11-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
Jonny Jeep
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Bench testing a starter usually just means supplying voltage to it, and seeing if the bendix moves out and it spins. If the bendix is bad it won't show up in that sort of testing.

The bendix has a clutch mechanism in it. It allows the starter to apply torque to the engine to crank it so it will start. Once the engine starts it spins faster than the starter motor can, and the clutch releases allowing the starter gear to spin faster than the starter motor. That allows the bendix to release from the ring gear when the key is turned back from the start position.

I replaced my bendix recently due to a worsening start problem. My starter would sound rough and when the starter disengaged it did so with a clunk and you could feel the Jeep shift as what torque had been applied to the engine was removed. I had plenty of wear left in the brushes and the solenoid tested fine, but I replaced them anyway, and cleaned the starter up inside and out. Refurbing the starter myself cost about 30 ~$50. That's cheaper than I can get a used starter of unknown condition and way cheaper than a commercially refurbished or new starter over here.
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