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There is a spacer that is made of sheet metal between the motor and the gearbox. On some cars the opening for the starter is part of the spacer and it's all one part. On others it's in two parts, one big one for the motor/trans and a small oval spacer with a big opening for the starter and 3 smaller holes for the starter bolts. You might have the two piece one and the one that goes with the starter was left out. Since this started with the starter change your problem most likely is related to the repair. If you can get a good well lit view of the starter you should be able to see the spacer. It's thin about .045 inch thick. A mirror might help. That and what was mentioned with the shoulder bolt are the things that jump out for me. When I'm bolting up a starter I rotate the starter on that middle shoulder bolt and put it half way of the pivot distance. It's not much of a pivot but in the middle has always worked for me. Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
At a distance Mark, it is so hard to tell what a problem is. Most starting problems are electrical. It sounds as though your car was turning over quite well, but now the (new) starter won't turn - and is not caught up on the flywheel teeth (i.e., you can push the car). So the solenoid (relay) on top of the starter is a question, as is the ignition switch. However, if it was me - I would first be running a long, high amp cable from the battery positive terminal to the starter solenoid +ve terminal and just touching it on quickly to see if the starter spun over. That would eliminate the ignition switch from the equation. If no change then then bench testing is not difficult of the solenoid and starter. If the cars starts and runs but sometimes won't, I would suspect the condenser or something electrical in the ignition process.
thanks for that tip, might actually do that first before ordering anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
There is a spacer that is made of sheet metal between the motor and the gearbox. On some cars the opening for the starter is part of the spacer and it's all one part. On others it's in two parts, one big one for the motor/trans and a small oval spacer with a big opening for the starter and 3 smaller holes for the starter bolts. You might have the two piece one and the one that goes with the starter was left out. Since this started with the starter change your problem most likely is related to the repair. If you can get a good well lit view of the starter you should be able to see the spacer. It's thin about .045 inch thick. A mirror might help. That and what was mentioned with the shoulder bolt are the things that jump out for me. When I'm bolting up a starter I rotate the starter on that middle shoulder bolt and put it half way of the pivot distance. It's not much of a pivot but in the middle has always worked for me. Hope that helps.
Hey, yeah I thought that was the case after my replacement starter failed. So when I ordered another lightweight starter from Classic Alfa the second time I also ordered the 3 hole spacer sheet metal and a new shoulder bolt and installed it with them. It's now failed again. I don't think the starter is working at all now, if you watch the video you'll hear a loud click of the starter coming on but not turning.

 

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Discussion Starter #44
Also just found this post which I am gonna try doing
Basically installing a starter relay and seeing if that solves it
 

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it is a good idea to install a relay, but I doubt in your case that is the underlying problem.

the little spade connector on the starter solenoid (trigger wire) needs to be making good solid contact....make sure it is clean and tight.
 

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A starter relay is good, but really is there to take the 'heat' off your ignition switch. The solenoid is the thing to test first. As a couple of us have suggested test the solenoid connection and try a 'jump' lead from the battery to the +ve on the solenoid. In a second you will know if the start circuit (including the key/switch) or the starter is a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
A starter relay is good, but really is there to take the 'heat' off your ignition switch. The solenoid is the thing to test first. As a couple of us have suggested test the solenoid connection and try a 'jump' lead from the battery to the +ve on the solenoid. In a second you will know if the start circuit (including the key/switch) or the starter is a problem.
gotcha, will give this a shot today and report back. thank you guys as usual!
 

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Discussion Starter #48
A starter relay is good, but really is there to take the 'heat' off your ignition switch. The solenoid is the thing to test first. As a couple of us have suggested test the solenoid connection and try a 'jump' lead from the battery to the +ve on the solenoid. In a second you will know if the start circuit (including the key/switch) or the starter is a problem.
Hey quick question, I found my old starter so wanted to see where the +ve on the solenoid is before I go down to my car and attempt to jump it. There isn't anything written on it, could you by any chance help me by telling me which is the +ve in this picture? Is it the top nut, the bottom nut or the spade connector on the right?

thanks!

1618692
 

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Discussion Starter #49
ok just a quick update. I tested my previous starter which is the same one as I have installed right now (lightweight from Classic Alfa) and I think my current starter has the same issue.

If you watch the video you'll see it "clicks" but then the motor doesn't spin. It eventually does start spinning but clearly not the way its supposed to. I thought maybe my Alfa battery is the issue so I tested it out with my other car's battery and it was the same thing.

I'm not a mechanic nor am I good with working on cars but I'm assuming its the starter thats the problem here and not the ignition key. I'm just going to order a different starter model since the two lightweight ones I have purchased so far have failed on me in the same way.

 

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It should be the large nut with nothing connected to it Mark (normally 12V always on). However, by itself that will not trigger the starter. The small spade connector is from the ignition switch or coil side (12V - i.e., switched power). This video shows the correct sequence

In essence, connect a thick jumper lead from the negative side of your car battery to the starter metal bracket (or body) anywhere suitable (the Earth/-ve). Second, connect a thick jumper cable positive lead from the battery to the nut with nothing currently connected. Then, gently and briefly touch a third (smaller is easier) cable from the battery positive terminal to the spade connector (simulating the ignition being turned on). Alternatively you can 'bridge' some power temporarily to the spade connector with a screw driver from the positive lead (video). Have the starter well secured on the bench first as it may 'kick'. The starter drive should pop out and spin vigorously as in the video.
 

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OK that is no good based on your video. Good work there. It should be much faster of course. The solenoid is just a switch. However, it is hard to believe that you have had 2/3 dud starters? The new starter came with a new solenoid also?
 

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Discussion Starter #52
OK that is no good based on your video. It should be much faster. The solenoid is just a switch. However, it is hard to believe that you have had 3 dud starters?
Yeah its too big of a coincidence but, the first starter that failed was the original Bosch starter and it wasn't in the best shape


The second and third starters both failed in the same way and it took around the same time to fail (approx 2 months). They were the cheapest starters available so maybe they're cheap for a reason. I figured I'd order a third different kind of starter, one that is more expensive and more powerful and see how that performs. If it also fails then it would have to be something causing them to all fail.

Right now looking at the Race Gear Reduction Starter motor from Alfaholics and the WOSP lightweight reduction starter from Centerline as two possible candidates.
 

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It is still unusual. The cable from the battery is not damaged and is connected well (and battery well charged with no current 'drain')? I am not a great fan of gear reduction starters but many are. Robert at Manning Motors in Sydney would have several good original starters, but he is far away from you. Any good quality or well rebuilt one should last for years. At least Mark, you have learned how these things work (or not). :)
 

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Discussion Starter #54
It is still unusual. The cable from the battery is not damaged and is connected well (and battery well charged with no current 'drain')? I am not a great fan of gear reduction starters but many are. Robert at Manning Motors in Sydney would have several good original starters, but he is far away from you. Any good quality or well rebuilt one should last for years. At least Mark, you have learned how these things work (or not). :)
lol yeah i now know how starters work.

The battery is still brand new and i tested it with the voltmeter and it's fine. I found a rebuilt original on eBay with a guy in the UK and as thinking of getting it but figured i'd rather get something that is lighter and drains less power since it would be easier on the car. Still doing my research though!
 

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Get the best you can in the circumstances Mark. I tend to try to restore Bosch original parts where I can arrange it. Might be a nice back up for you.
 

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Only a thought, but years ago I had problems with the Bosch starter solenoid not working in my Sprint GT. Turned out the solenoid shaft was worn, and hung up as it moved, not moving enough to close the internal contacts to turn on the starter motor, and thus not shoving the Bendix drive gear into the flywheel teeth. All I got when I turned the key on was a click as the solenoid tried to activate. Tapping the solenoid with a long rod and the key turned on to the start position would jar the solenoind shaft enough to let it slide, engaging the Bendix gear into the flywheel teeth. Replacing the solenoid fixed it.
 

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Mark, electrical problems take a while to understand fully without experience, I am not suggesting your mechanic is incompetent but, it worries me to hear him tell you that the engine would need to come out to change the starter motor, that simply is not true.
I and many others I know have changed the unit in situ. From the beginning your car has been messed with by other people who did not refit the original unit correctly with both the special shoulder bolt and spacer plate both important parts. I would if possible get a second opinion from another mechanic, before you buy another starter, ignition switch, relay. The specialist person is an auto electrician, if you can get one of them to call out to you they will identify the problem, they see all types it doesn't matter what make the car is, electricity is their business. The video just posted illustrates how to test the unit you can do it while it is still in place, just get some jumper leads and a wire and follow the video lesson.

You should buy the car disc manual for your car they are great load it on to the computer show the parts in detail diagrams magnified up easy to see.
PS, I would check to see that the copper earth strap bolted to the underside of the car floor and connected to the bell housing is clean and also making good contact, corrosion is your enemy here, in fact I would get a wire brush and clean all the terminals carrying electricty to the starter including the small terminal on the solenoid.
Tim
 

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It is I believe. Mark, the starter can be replaced in situ as Exhausted well describes. Quite a few of us have done it. Also the starter solenoid (changed I believe with each starter you received) seems to be working correctly. It could well be, as Exhausted suggests, that the starter has been incorrectly installed (see post #33) and has placed an inappropriate load on the starter operation that has damaged the unit each time (you did check the number of teeth on the original and new starters?). The 'new' one on the bench is now not working correctly however, even with a good earth from the jumper lead. Your ignition switch and relay also seem to be doing their job, but do check the earth strap to the body and make sure it has clean metal to metal contact at each end. Given your location, a new starter of known good quality, should be bench tested and then installed correctly. I agree with the suggestion to try to somehow find an auto electrician first however. So your advice from the folk here seems good and centres on the installation process (does your model need the shim?) and obtaining a quality starter.
 

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Just check the engine earth. You can run a jumper cable from the negative terminal to a good earthing point on the engine itself - one of the starter motor bolt heads is quite good. I experienced similar symptoms, my earthing strap looked alright but after replacing starter motors, wiring in relays etc with no better result it was simply desperation, and a rethink of the basics that finally got success. Well worth checking.
 
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