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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
Started my car up the other day to take it for a run as the weather (UK) was ok! anyhow on start up the engine sounded like a lot of grinding, even when turning the ignition off this noise continued - eventually car kicked into life and I took it for a decent run, performed well (albeit at the start it was a little lumpy since it hasn't been driven for a while) - when I got home I started the car up again and got a similar noise - during my drive pressure was good, temp good - anyone had this issue, recognise it or have any advise

much appreciated
 

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Any recent work/changes? It is odd that it'd suddenly start making noises.

There is supposed to be a special 'shouldered' bolt to position the starter motor correctly in relation to the ring gear. Supposedly if that is not used the gears will not mesh properly.



Otherwise, a failing starter could begin making new noises...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Eric

Apologies for the delay in replying - will check your advice, appreciate the quick reply

all the best

David
 

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The starter soloniod performs 2 distinct functions. The "piston" inside the solonoid travels backward inside the solonioid windings when the solonoid is energised by the starter momentary contact on the ignition switch. This piston compresses a spring in the end of it's travel inside the solonoid winding. When it compresses this spring at the end of its travel, it does the following: (note - the compressed spring returns the "piston" to its rest (disengaged) position).

1. It makes contact acrross the 2 big electrical lugs which are on the back of the solonoid. One of these lugs holds the big B+ cable which comes from the battery and energises everything electrical on the car. The other lug goes to the starter motor windings and makes the starter motor turn to turn over the engine for starting purposes.

2. But the starter motor is normally disengaged from the engine. So the solonoid performs a second function - shifting the starter motor drive from its rest position into engagement with the ring gear on the flywheel. There is a shift lever inside the nose of the starter motor unit which holds this lever. You can see the fulcrum pin of this shift lever in the photo above.

Most likely there is one of 2 problems with your starter. Either there is a build up of brush and bushing dust plus dried out lubricant inside the nose housing which is preventing the drive from sliding smoothly into and out of engagement with the flywheel ring gear, thus causing your noise. Or the solonoid is getting weak and is no longer propelling the "piston" fully inside the solonoid windings.

The good news is that whatever has finally gone wrong, it is internal to the starter and a starter rebuild or replacement will cure your problem. The bad news is that it is a huge pain in the a-- to remove and replace the starter. If you research this BB you will find many threads on the easiest ways to R and R an Alfa spider starter. The easiest way, but never actually easy.
 

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Ditto the advice above, it's probably the solenoid, but might be loose starter bolts. Check them first. If the starter is hanging loose, the solenoid will not engage or disengage smoothly.

Also, what year is your car? Put that info in your sig, and no one will need to ask you again.
 

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Most likely there is one of 2 problems with your starter.
Most likely the problem is with the starter/solenoid. But from davesam's description, it could be something else (though I'll be darned if I can speculate what). Still, rebuilding the starter and making sure it is re-installed with the correct shoulder bolt, is probably the logical next step. I dislike changing a part that I'm not certain is bad, but in this case I'll agree it is worthwhile, especially if the starter's history is unknown. If the grinding that davesam hears is the flywheel ring gear getting chewed up, he doesn't want to let that continue happening.

The bad news is that it is a huge pain in the a-- to remove and replace the starter.
Oh I don't know - depends a lot on the year/model of spider (as Boccaccia asks above). On carbureted cars it isn't hard to remove the air cleaners and carbs to gain access.
 
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