Frozen Starter Motor?
In Ontario Canada and 2 days ago we had a large amount of rain and melting snow leaving large and deep puddles everywhere. Of course, we went out and had a splash. Two nights of cold since then and the Jeep wonít start. When the battery is low, we get a clicking as there is not enough juice to properly turn the starter, this morning, we get a whirring as if the starter motor gears are not meshing. Does it make sense that the starter motor is frozen? It is located below the engine, correct? If this theory makes sense, does anyone have advice on how to thaw it? I have no garage. Thanks in advance!
Real Jeeps have dents
Is the battery fully charged ? Are all the battery/alternator/starter power and ground wires clean and tight ? Dump a pitcher of hot water on the starter, if it functions, you have your answer.
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Pull the starter off and take it in the house for an hour or two. You can even give it a good wipe down with some WD40 to clean up any residual mud and water that might be binding the Bendix.
2000 TJ SE
2005 LJ Rubicon
Two bolts hold it in, both bolt heads are the same socket size but I don't recall what it is. The upper one is very close to another bolt of a different head size, so you can differentiate them.
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Once you have gotten as much water out of it as possible. THOROUGHLY flush the inside of the starter out with lots and lots of WD-40 to chase the rest of the moisture out. You can't use too much WD-40 here, it's highly effective at water dispersement hence its WD name. Any water left inside will just freeze again and cause more problems. This is the fix for many starter and alternator issues after getting packed with water, ice, mud, etc.
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Originally Posted by mjbinks View Post
There is a little fork in there that moves that starter gear (Bendix) out. Maybe enough water is getting in there to freeze it up but if it did, 2jhanna has the solution. However, crap could get stuck up in there and hang things up.
If the heater trick doesn't work pull the starter, It is as easy as everybody says it is. You should be able to spin the starter gear (Bendix) by hand. It will have some resistance but should be smooth. Take a screw driver and move the starter gear forward, it should quickly suck back in, all the way back in.
If it doesn't turn smooth and/or suck back in you could damage you flywheel if you keep using it. You can try cleaning it, spray crap in or take it apart and it may be fine. You can spend $150 and get a new one.
I just went trough this. I am cheap and I opted for a new one because if you don't get it working right it may not correctly engage and disengage from the flywheel and this could cause damage to the fly wheel. Mine wasn't frozen. My issue was the gear wouldn't suck back in. I only went a day or do before I fixed it and in that short period of time I did nick a few teeth on my flywheel. Not enough that I am going to change the fly wheel but enough to make me not trust cleaning the starter. My jeep starts fine and no weird noises but I will change the flywheel next time I have to do a clutch it if I have to pull the trans.
01 TJ,33X12.5Flaken WP ATs,Winch, ARBs F&R, belly up, some armor,4.0,5spd
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