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'66 Sprint GT, '67 Duetto, '70 BMW 2800CS
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resistance, increased current draw, increased heat
I think Ohm's Law (I = V/R) says the opposite: since the voltage is constant (approx. 12 volts), if R goes up, then current (the "I" in the equation) goes down.

A proper ground is important to the proper functioning of a starter. Without a proper ground, the current will find an alternate path - such as the throttle linkage - and that component may get hot and smoke.

rogerspeed said:
sounds like the solenoid part of the starter burned up, could be faulty rebuild,
I like that theory. When a component fails shortly after being replaced, it is usually the new part, not something tried & true.
 

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'66 Sprint GT, '67 Duetto, '70 BMW 2800CS
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I took the starter out and there is some wear on the ring gear, a few tiny metal shards here and there. Does any one have a view on whether a mechanical problem at the interface between ring and pinion gears could lead to a failed starter which heats up whenever connected to 12v.
Sure, if the starter has to grind up the ring gear, as well as turn the engine, it is going to get overworked. Might this be as simple as you needed a starter for a 130 tooth ringgear, and you got one intended for a 131? Did the numbers stamped on the starter bodies match for the old and new units? My notes show that a '74 would use a Bosch 001-211-987.

I had noticed that the starter sound was not uniform before this all happened
When you write "before this all happened", do you mean "even with my old starter, the sound was not uniform", or "the new starter worked OK initially, but then began to make a sound that was not uniform" ?
 

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is it a reasonable bet to try again with the reconditioned unit if centerline can repair it, or am I going to keep destroying starters because the ring gear is worn? From my reading of the alfa BB, ring gear problems seem to mostly result in terrible noise and failure to mesh rather than starter destruction...
Ugh! I'd say that the local shop who swore that their unit was the exact replacement part succeeded in destroying your ring gear. There is a reason to deal with Alfa specialists. But, that's water under the bridge now.

Maybe you have two problems going on - a ring gear that is chewed up AND a defective starter from CL. But, the odds of both happening seem low, and since you know the ring gear is damaged, the odds that the starter from CL was also defective seems low.

What does CL say? Do they know the backstory? Are they willing to send you a replacement starter?

I'm no expert on damaged ring gears, and haven't even seen yours. But I can picture a gear that is chewed up in a way that forces the starter to work much harder when it trys to mesh against the damaged teeth. Installing a new ring gear is a huge job, but I'm guessing that's what you'll need to do to stop sacrificing more starters.
 

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'66 Sprint GT, '67 Duetto, '70 BMW 2800CS
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just the weight of the transmission tilts the engine so that the rear almost touches the firewall without having to jack up the front of the engine.
Keep in mind that once you detach the transmission from the engine, its weight will no longer pull the rear of the engine downward. You should probably put a support under the engine's front to hold it in that position.

Is it possible to disconnect the clutch coupling from the transmission without draining the hydraulic fluid?
Not quite sure what "coupling" you are referring to. The way I do it is to remove the boot and front circlip from the slave cylinder, and just slide the whole slave cylinder rearward out of the hoop in the bellhousing. I use a large "C" clamp to make sure the piston stays inside the slave, and a piece of wire to hang the thing out of the way. But if your slave cylinder is rusty, it will not come out easily.
 

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replacing ring gear to allow a modern new starter is best since rebuilds may always be prone to flaws. I am at the point now where I want to fix the whole starter issue for good
What do you define as a "modern new starter"? The 1.1 hp starters used on post '75 Alfas? The aftermarket, gear-reduction starters that Performatek and Alfaholics sell? I think the absolute key point is to make sure the new starter and ring gear are compatible. The vendor websites that advertise the aftermarket, gear-reduction starters don't say whether they are designed to work with 130 or 131 tooth ring gears.

Also I read that there's a flywheel inspection plate that has to be removed. Is that the 4 bolt plate under the starter mount area. Facing forward?
Yup, that's it. Four, 6mm nuts & bolts.

I hope I can remove the old flywheel without too much of a struggle
That isn't a tough job as long as you can prevent the crankshaft from turning. The flywheel locking tool designed for an air-cooled Volkswagen (pictured in post #13 above) makes the job easy.

The hard job is going to be putting the transmission back in. I always do this with the engine out, and even then it's difficult.
 

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There is a steel ring plate under the six bolts. This has two Flat sides. Does it matter how its reassembled?
No.

The is no flap washer to lock the flywheel bolts but didn't see any loctite when I removed them
Use green or blue Loctite when reassembling.
 

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A couple days later I heard some nasty rattling. When I went under for a look and a couple of the bolts had worked themselves loose,...
How long does Loctite take to dry? I would have thought that "a couple of days" would do it.
 

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I wanted to make sure that the starter flywheel ring gear combo is going to work before I commit to this. So if anyone can confirm this I would be considerably happier at this stage. The set I now have is a new 130 tooth ring gear with an outer diameter of 278mm. The starter is a bosch SR484X; here are some numbers from the bosch unit: 1005621071 1073017
My reference on this issue is post #3 in the thread at: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/gt-1965-1974/39666-starters-ring-gears.html

I am a little concerned that none of the starter numbers that you quote (SR484X, 1005621071, and 1073017) appear in the post referenced above. I have found that post to be accurate - that is, the starters on my Alfas have p/n's that correspond to the ones George Willet cites. Where did your latest starter come from, and what leads you to believe it is compatible with a 130 tooth RG?

Another question, does this combination also require that the the shim be in place between starter and bell housing?
Sure. All Alfa starters should use a steel shim against the bellhousing.
 

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The starter and replacement flywheel/ring gear come from Group 2, an alfa specialist shop in seattle who have proven reliable in the past.
Group 2 is a well-known shop - I'd hope they know what they are doing. I suppose one approach would be to visit them again, and simply ask: "Are you SURE this starter is intended for a 130 tooth ring gear?". If they reply: "130. 131, it doesn't matter" then you know you have a problem.

Another Bosch number I have in my notes is: 011-108-081 Apparently that's a gear reduction unit used on 1990 - '94 Alfas with 130 tooth ring gears. Some people substitute those into earlier cars, since gear reduction starters deliver more torque.

The fact that my notes don't include the numbers you cite (1005 821 071 and 1005 821 419) doesn't mean they're wrong - I just can't make sense of them. You might try PM'ing Papajam who wrote post #20 in this thread, and getting his take on this problem - as the AROC librarian (and a very knowledgeable guy), he has access to factory literature that might address this question.
 
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