RTH: Starter Zinging and engaging Flex Plate, no crank (1 Viewer)

SmokingRocks

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The second starter this has happened to and I'm at a loss. 93 FZJ 80 rebuilt 1fz-fe (40k miles on rebuild).

When I push the starter button the starter clearly engages the flex plate but doesn't spin it. Instead, it makes a zing noise, then when disengaged the starter wheel releases from the felx plate and spins like it should as it goes back to its off position.

I was thinking a voltage drop issue but why would it make a zing sound like a starter motor is actually turning. We have taken the entire starter apart, cleaned all the electrical contacts.
 

mingles

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"Zing" as in the Bendix gear grinds against the flywheel, or "zing" as in the starter motor spins freely at speed without contacting the flywheel and then stops when you release the key?

I replaced my starter a few months back with an aftermarket starter (AC Delco) and on the first start of the day, when ambient temps are below 30 degrees, it will not engage completely with the flywheel and will grind against it. It is like the Bendix gear comes out just a bit too slowly and doesn't quite mesh with the flywheel. If I turn the key a second time it will start normally and above 30 degrees it starts normally as well.

I now have a Denso unit to go back in and replace the aftermarket one.
 

SmokingRocks

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this is a Denso unit, the bendix gear comes completely out and engages the flywheel and does not rotate and you hear a zing. then when it is disengaging from the flywheel (one the gears are completely out of the gear mesh) i can see the bendix gear spin...
 

SmokingRocks

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It was the starter. I put my spare in and it works fine, albeit with a chunk sound. We've torn the entire denso starter apart and can't figure out what is causing it to do this.
 

ppc

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I know in other manufactures the Bendix gears fail with the same sound. The Bendix should only rotate in the reverse direction. When they fail they "ratchet" in the forward direction.
 

SmokingRocks

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Could something have happened to reverse the polarity in the starter motor to make it spin backwards? This would explain how the bendix gear could completely engage on the flex plate, not spin but the starter still sounds like its 'zinging'.

I should say that occasionally when trying to start the engine before the issue persisted it would crank crank then clunk and it sounded like it was trying to spin the engine the wrong way, then it would clank again and crank the engine till it fired.
 
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SmokingRocks

I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
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Thanks for the back up @ppc this has been a new experience. It was invaluable to have my buddy hit the stater while I was under the truck watching the gear. Clearly saw the starter gear engage the flex plate and not move yet I heard a sound like a 'zing' then when he let off the stater I saw the starter gear back off the flex plate and as soon as it lost contact with the flex plate it spun down till it stopped. Based on the sounds I had always assumed that the starter gear was rotating but not engaging/grinding on the flex plate but that's, not the case.

We took the starter apart, torqued all the gears by hand with a vice grip and tried to simulate something slipping. Nothing did. The gears from the starter motor to the bendix were fine, the contacts on the bendix were fine (and cleaned), the motor brushes were fine, all the electrical connections were cleaned. No change

Then we used jumper cables to bypass the battery to starter cable, when we tried it started UP JUST FINE. But this was not repeatable. So we thought it might be voltage drop / bad connection. We replaced the cable from battery to the starter hoping that would fix it. But it didn't.

So we swapped out the stater with my old one which was exhibiting the same type of behavior, but for whatever reason, it works just fine compared to this one.
 

ppc

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I haven't had a problem like this with my Toyota starter, only have replaced contacts and plunger, but with late 60's Fords it seemed to be a common problem. May not apply to Toyotas but like you I thought the gear (starter drive) was fine, similar torque testing as you have done, but the torque of the starter is much greater than that. As a last resort replaced the starter drive and it fixed the problem. The unusual thing was the failure was intermittent which I thought pointed to an electrical issue with the operation of the Bendix.
 

SmokingRocks

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Yes! The intermittent thing was the biggest indicator IMO that it was electrical. Then it became persistent and with the help of a friend i began to get more clues that it wasn't what I had theorized.

I'm still completely unsure of what is going on with the busted starter but I have at least eliminated all the other possibilities, narrowing it down to an issue with the starter itself.

Thank you for your help
 
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