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Old 07-26-2020, 11:00 AM   #1
freak
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Default starter not engaging

Went out to start my 30 today and the starter won't engage. It's spinning and sounds a little "rattley". I haven't taken it apart yet but for those of you who have worked on them a lot can you give a guess on what went wrong?

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Old 07-26-2020, 11:20 AM   #2
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: starter no engaging

If the starter would spin but not engage , it could be something simple like oil on the starter drive .
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:08 PM   #3
Will N
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Default Re: starter not engaging

More than likely it is a broken bendix spring, or perhaps a bolt holding the bendix spring is broken or has backed itself out. I had that happen to me once. A tab on the lock washer broke and the bolt backed out and fell into the bellhousing. I was able to fish it out with a tool I have that I think I got at Harbor Freight. It's a combination magnet, grappling claw and light on the end of stiff but flexible cable. I shoved it down through the starter hole (after removing the starter), below the flywheel, and sure enough the magnet got it and I fished the bolt out. This happened at a New England meet, and I did the repair in the parking lot. I carry a spare bendix drive, so I was able to replace the lock washer.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: starter not engaging

I don't understand how the bendix works on that starter. Can you explain it to me?
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:42 PM   #5
chrs1961815
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Default Re: starter not engaging

The bendix spring is held in place by two bolts with special lockwashers. They have a tendency to eventually break with all of the torque that happens on the drive gear each time the starter is engaged. If they are not installed correctly, they will fall out. That happened to me two months ago. They are tricky to get out, what I did was stick a magnet on the flywheel and rotate it. If you drop a magnet in there - no big deal, the flywheel ring gear will pulverize it with no damage since it is hardened (which is also what I did).
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Just two weeks ago this happened to me . You exact symtoms. It was missimg one bolt on the bendix spring. Replaced new tab lock washer and bolt . total repair time in and out about 1 1/2 hours. Glad it happened when it did. was going on a 100 mile trip the next day!!
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Mine broke right in the garage. Not typical!
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:17 PM   #8
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: starter not engaging

A weak battery can also be the cause---the gear is on a screw thread attached to the shaft with a cushion spring, that spring is attached with bolts with special locking washers

if the battery is weak it won't spin the starter to speed quick enough to screw the gear into mesh with the fly wheel ---ih there is congealed grease on the threads the gear will stick

as has been mentioned, the bolts can break or come out

another thing that can happen with wear the gear can hit the ring gear just wrong and jam, then you put car in 3rd gear and rock to jar it loose
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Take your starter out and look at it.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:56 PM   #10
Patrick L.
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Default Re: starter not engaging

I agree, Take it out and have a look.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Of course I will. I didn't have time yesterday though and just wanted to get some opinions.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Probably just a broken bendix spring. The classic failure. Easy to fix and does not cost much. If you are in a club, someone will have one in their tool box.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Yep broken spring. Fortunately nothing fell into the housing. Thanks for the input gentlemen!
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: starter not engaging

I just noticed... Mine doesn't have that small pinion gear spring. Should I get a bendix that has that or isn't it necessary?
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:44 PM   #15
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
I just noticed... Mine doesn't have that small pinion gear spring. Should I get a bendix that has that or isn't it necessary?
Post a picture. There are two basic types of bendix. barrell type and original(open). There is only one spring. With the curled ends.
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: starter not engaging

Look at the original style bendix on Snyders or Mac's. There is a very light spring at the end opposite of the flat heavy spring.
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:18 PM   #17
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: starter not engaging

That’s not a spring. It’s the spiral cut the bendix rides back and forth on.
In the picture, I can see how you might think it’s a spring,
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: starter not engaging

There's a spring. I even called Mac's and they said there's a lightweight spring to push the gear back out of the flywheel. He said if I didn't have one it's missing.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:32 PM   #19
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: starter not engaging

not all have that spring/plunger, there are several different designs, to complicate the differences more I have used parts of Citroen drives in flatheads and A, and used "A" drive in Citroen
there is one version that has a weak spring on the shaft that pushes the gear directly, there is a version with the little spring/plungerthat rides in a smaller diameter area when retracted and a version without either.
the gear gets pushed back when the engine starts, the little springs/pins etc are only to keep the gear from vibrating into the ring gear

post some pictures of what you have
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:13 PM   #20
Bob C
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Default Re: starter not engaging

This is the spring he is asking about.
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