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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently had my starter rebuilt at a local Auto Electric shop. After installing it back in motor I have had an intermittent issue. Sometimes the solenoid will click but starter wont spin, if I rock car in gear (rotating ring gear slightly) starter engages and starts normally.

I pulled starter and took it back to rebuilder. Today they tore starter apart and this is what they found. The bearing behind the drive gear has been ground off, obviously coming into contact with the ring gear.

When they rebuilt starter they replaced the drive assembly. We took measurements of the gear and the gap between the front of the gear and the stop. They were; gear= 15.25mm, gap=16.72mm.

The rebuilder thought the solution may be as simple as adding a shim behind the existing stop shown on the shaft. If you look closely at the shaft you can see a mark(line) around the circumference about 1/8" in front of the gear. He thinks that is where original gear was located, so he is thinking a shim of about 1/8" will cure the problem.

I have talked to Papajam about this problem. He had a .7hp starter on hand and was able to take the same measurements as mine. His were; gear 16.13mm and gap=13.3.

Papajam also thought there was supposed to be a shim between the starter and the bellhousing. He emailed me a pic of the shim out of the parts book. After looking at the pic, I am 100% sure my motor never had that shim. I have had the bell housing off on numerous occasions.

Now I am wondering if I have more than one problem. wrong drive gear and missing shim? I can possibly fabricate a bellhousing to starter shim, but does anyone know how thick this shim actually is?

Am I missing something obvious?
 

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It's been a while since I had the starter out of our '84 Spider (knock on wood...) but I do recall a metal 'shim'. I don't recall the thickness - probably less than 1/8" though.

Also, do you have the 'shouldered' bolt installed?

 

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Discussion Starter #6
ghnl, yes, I do have the shoulder bolt.
Tifosi, Thanks for the drawing. If it is in fact only as thick as the bellhousing/block shim, then I dont think it will fully solve my problem, may be wrong though, It looks like the wear ring on the shaft indicates the original gear was further forward on shaft.
 

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You're gonna make me walk out to the garage in the frikkin dark, dig through a box and measure aren't you.

EDIT
.035" thick
Yup, put on yer big bunny slippers, grab a sweater and go measure it would ya!! Don't trip over your Snuggy tho...

:)
 

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TSuppa said:
I dont think it will fully solve my problem
I bet that wear ring on the shaft is from the back of the bendix or something close to it, not the front, onnaconna the gear shoots forward til the nose snubs that fat washer like it should, or the shoulder of the bendix gets up against the flywheel like it shouldn't and as described by the shop.

Try it with a shim, I bet you'll like it.
It also does an excellent job of preventing the starter motor from tweaking a little bit in the hole which in turn can cause the bendix to 'stick' in the flywheel teeth instead of retracting like it should.

Worry about chasing issues after it's put together with the right parts if there's any issues to chase then, but don't second guess the right parts as being wrong to begin with before they are even present. ;)

***

@ Jon:
Doggy slippers actually.
The missus has the bunnies.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I bet that wear ring is from the back of the bendix or something close to it, not the front, onnaconna the gear shoots forward til the nose snubs that fat washer, or the shoulder of the bendix gets up against the flywheel as the wear pattern on yours indicates ad as described by the shop.

Try it with a shim, I bet you'll like it.
It also does an excellent job of preventing the starter motor from tweaking a little bit in the hole which in turn can cause the bendix to 'stick' in the flywheel teeth instead of retracting like it should.

Worry about chasing issues after it's put together with the right parts if there's any issues to chase then, but don't second guess the right parts as being wrong to begin with before they are even present. ;)
Excellent point. Sometimes I a guilty of overthinking a simple problem, which can be extremely dangerous for someone with as simple a mind as mine.

I will fabricate a shim and see if that solves the problem.
 

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Because the thought just popped into my head:

WARNING!!

Do not attempt to use washers or simular to space the starter out just to try and see if going through the effort of making a proper shim will be worth it.

You need the whole shim as shown above otherwise there's definite risk of breaking the starter nosecone and/or the bellhousing in that area.
 

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Do not attempt to use washers or simular to space the starter out just to try and see if going through the effort of making a proper shim will be worth it.
Scarey how much we think alike... Good thing we don't look alike.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Problem solved. Rebuilder re-rebuilt starter. Replaced drive assembly. Thanks to Tifosi's drawing I was able to draw the spacer in cad and cut it on a waterjet.
 

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Told you that would do it Tom!:cool::D
 

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Coolness.

Just out of curiousity, was it expensive to do the water jet thing?
Sometimes the shims are difficult to find for folks, and I'm not even all that certain new ones can be had at all.

Not saying run out and cut a pile of them in the hope of getting rich, but it would be nice to know that they could be had on demand if neccisary.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No, actually the waterjet cutting is relatively cheap. It is the drawing that takes time(money). Since I did my own drawing it was not bad. I will be glad to draw parts for BB members if they need unique parts made. (within reason)
 
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