: Starter won't engage
07-28-2004, 09:39 PM
Alright. Got another one that keeps that car stuck in my garage :)
Basically, when I turn the key, the starter will engage for half a second or so and turn the engine but it pops out and just grinds away on my flywheel. Most times it won't even engage the flywheel at all, it just grinds on the flywheel. Here are my specs:
AT, 2bbl 2.0
New starter (actually, this is the second starter I exchanged in hopes the first new starter was bad)
I switched batteries - not the problem
wiring is tight on the starter
bolts are tight
flywheel is NOT chewed up, plus I turned it by hand in case there was a bad spot and the problem still occurs
Do I need to shim the starter to get it into a different angle?
Where might the wiring be faulty?
Anyway, thanks to all with my previous postings (are you listening, Princess :) )
08-01-2004, 04:47 PM
Check to see if you can move the flex plate with the starter out using a screw driver or something. If it turns too easy then it's likely the problem..... or a broken ring gear....
Let us know......:)
08-01-2004, 05:08 PM
I have an automatic transmission.... is the flex plate part of a manual-transmission equipped car? Either way, I'll see if the flywheel will turn or move in an odd way. Thanks!
08-01-2004, 05:11 PM
it's part of the AT
08-01-2004, 06:49 PM
Man, can you call 'em or what?!!?! Pulled the starter off and stuck a screwdriver into the gear hole, and the flywheel turns about 20 gears worth all by itself then stops. I can turn it both ways about that far. So. Now what? Do I pull the engine or is the transmission all that's necessary, then tighten bolts/replace flywheel/???
08-01-2004, 06:58 PM
Alright, I'm reading that I need to jack the car to drop the transaxle, but what am I going to have to fix when I get the flywheel/ring gear exposed? I know generally how this system works but I've never actually gotten inside one to see how it ticks.
08-01-2004, 08:47 PM
Flex plate bolts to crank shaft then to the torque converter...... but you'll have to tear it apart to inspect to see exactly what's needed. The ring gear is attached to the torque converter, so it would need to be either re-welded or the torque converter replaced. Either the flex plate or ring gear will give you that ease of movement, so you'll have to SEE it.
Keep us informed.....
08-02-2004, 04:19 AM
Does the ring gear have any fore or aft movement or just rotational play?? If you only have just the normal rotational play and no wear on the teeth then check distance from starter mounting surface to the far edge of ring gear.. then check distance on starter from mounting face to end of starter gear when engaged(with electric)are they the same distance? You may have a problem there.
If the ring gear has a broken weld or the t-converter has moved in(loose bolts or frt trans bearing bad) then you're going to have to pull tranny. But if all the above items do not exist then you may have a voltage issue, frame ground, starter wire etc... and you may not be able to visually see it.. wire may be corroded or broken down inside insulation jacket..you will have to physically disconnect and check.
I am not exactly sure where frame ground connection is on you're year but that would be the 1st place I would look..
08-02-2004, 08:15 AM
Just an update:
Not sure what "normal rotational play" is, but I can turn the ring gear approximately 3-4" until it stops, then back the other direction about the same. Like I said, I'm new to this system and I figged the ring gear shouldn't turn at all but if it's supposed to have some rotational play then this feels about normal to me. As far as fore/aft, it has a slight (approx. 1/16") amount of movement. Again, it feels "normal" to me, about what it would feel with two gears meshing. I didn't get the feeling it felt funny, if you know what I mean. My batt cable ground to engine is tight, but I'm still looking for other wiring issues.
More to come!
08-02-2004, 12:15 PM
It's bad :( I think we're beyond "normal rotational play". Originally, I was turning the ring gear by hand and it would stop after a few inches. I used a screwdriver to turn it now, and it just keeeeeeeeeeps on a-turnin'. It obviously got stuck at one point when I turned it by hand but with a little force, the ring gear spins past that. I'm thinking now that the starter didn't actually pop out like I originally thought. I bet it did engage and just kept spinning the ring gear.
Gonna have to pull that pig out, eh? Would it make more sense to drop the transaxle out the bottom or pull the engine out the top? With the engine out, it would be easier to change gaskets and stuff like that, no? And when the engine/trans separate, does the flywheel/drive plate/ring gear stay with the engine or the t/a?
Thanks for reading and for your continued input! This forum isn't huge, but I get more help here than from other forums!
08-02-2004, 12:49 PM
Not sure on sequence of removal.. But I would believe the trans would be easier to pull than the motor.. The only issue that I could see would be getting to the Flexplate to T/converter bolts unless you put a breaker bar on the crank to rotate for access..
The flex plate should be bolted to crank and then t/c bolted to flexplate...those will more than likely be the bolts that you have to remove first then split the eng/trans... the flexplate should probably stay w/motor and t/c with t/a... 1st recommendation would be a service manual for proper procedure...
08-02-2004, 02:12 PM
Amen to getting a manual.....I was going to scan & post the "how-to's"....but it's about 80 pages! The Torque converter is attached to the tranny. And normally you'd remove the axle on that side, then remove the whole transmission, then you can get to what you need at that end of the engine.....
Here's a couple of pages about the installation.....
Replacing the seals while you're at that end of the crank is a good idea!
08-02-2004, 02:13 PM
I just can't seem to get the quality very good..... you need to see about buying a gooid manual! You'll need the torque specs!
08-30-2004, 08:43 PM
Well, got the ring gear welded up. I guess the mechanic just separated the engine/trans far enough to get a welder in there. Cost around 3 bills, but I didn't have to do it.
However, two days later, the car began to overheat in what I can only guess is coincidence. The coolant overflow reservoir began overflowing as soon as the car reached operating temperature. The hoses are good and I replaced the radiator cap without a cure. I bought a thermostat today even though I read that if the upper hose gets hot, the thermostat is operating. Of course, as I was attempting to remove the thermostat housing, the two bolts (yep, both of 'em) snapped off. They were rusty enough and they just broke. The thermostat housing is attached to something - some kind of transfer valve? - with a few hoses coming in and out of it. So, I'm trying to remove that thing so I can get to the sheared bolts. Can't really get to the bottom bolt of that thing yet. Kinda got frustrated so I left it for now. All this and it may not even need a thermostat.
So, to reiterate:
The car takes approximately 10 minutes at idle to reach operating temp. At that time, the rad cap starts diverting to the overflow res and the car begins to overheat. The upper hose is hot. It's got a new cap. Hoses seem ok.
Thanks again for all the help with the first problem!!! As a sidenote, my (ahem) Father-In-Law had "never heard of such a thing" when I told him about the ring gear problem, and his "mechanic" hadn't either. Showed him, didn't I? Small victories......... :)
08-30-2004, 08:56 PM
If the thermostat is working both hoses should feel warm/hot....if the upper is hot & the lower is cold, it's not opening. Also check the fans!
That housing is replacable, it's a pain to get off because of the air injection pipe is in the way. Here, the housing is about 30$. You'll need an "abstruction wrench". (a 12mm "U" shaped thing)
08-30-2004, 09:02 PM
Yeah, that ba$tard pipe is in the way. Mine is a 1"ish clamp nut (I say 1" because I don't have a metric wrench big enough!) but there's just nowhere to turn it. Gah.
Can't check the lower hose now, but I'll get the thermo in there and see how she runs. That thermo was about a year/half old and looked kinda nasty so hopefully that's the cause. Can't handle much more of this :)
09-04-2004, 12:47 PM
Thermostat it is. Car runs barely above the low C now. Beautiful. Cost $40 to have the rusted bolts extracted from the t-stat housing (ouch) but it's done now. Awhile back, it blew a head gasket and the shop says they replaced the thermostat but I don't buy it. There's no way those bolts got that rusty over the period of a year/half. And the thermostat itself looked like crap. Anyway, now that it's done the car is cool and all is well....... for now ;)
Many thanks again for all the help!!!!!!
09-05-2004, 05:40 AM
Glad to hear that problem is solved! If you run across another one, let us know....we'll do our best to help!:)