Author Topic: Starter problems  (Read 732 times)

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Red Lehr

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Starter problems
« on: June 03, 2018, 08:42:56 AM »
I've been using a Robb MC starter on my 428 and in 5 years and  less than 5  thousand miles this is the third Bendix gear that has been ruined. From the looks of the Bendix gear, do you guys out there think that the gear is engaging the flywheel properly? There is no damage to the flywheel. When the engine was originally built I was running a scatter Shield, when the first gear got chewed up I thought it might be an alignment issue so I put an original bell housing back on the engine and it is still chewing the gear up. What could possibly be the problem? The pictures show two of the gears that I have gone through.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 08:45:58 AM by Red Lehr »

jayb

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 09:36:35 AM »
From the starter picture it looks like you don't have the nose support for the end of the shaft.  That's an extra cost option when you buy the starter, but it keeps the shaft from flexing away from the flywheel teeth when the gear engages.  That could be the source of the problem; you'll notice that all Ford starters for FEs have that support built in.  Robb is a good guy to deal with, I think I would contact him and ask him if he could add that support to your starter.
Jay Brown
- 1969 Mach 1, Drag Week 2005 Winner NA/BB, 511" FE (10.60s @ 129); Drag Week 2007 Runner-Up PA/BB, 490" Supercharged FE (9.35 @ 151)
- 1964 Ford Galaxie, Drag Week 2009 Winner Modified NA (9.50s @ 143), 585" SOHC
- 1969 Shelby Clone, Drag Week 2015 Winner Modified NA (Average 8.98 @ 149), 585" SOHC

   

machoneman

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 11:50:53 AM »
2X to Jay's reply. I'll add it looks like the starter's teeth aren't engaged deeply enough. On some Fords, especially those with aftermarket bells, tolerance stack-up can cause this condition.

With the new parts, I'd use some white lithium grease on the ring gear teeth and spin here over a few time, plugs out for cranking speed. Pull the starter and see how deep or not the starter's teeth engage the ring gear's teeth. One fix is to enlarge the bolt holes to 'swing' the starter closer to the ring gear for deeper engagement. 
Bob Maag

GJCAT427

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 11:56:44 AM »
RED, I`m running the same starter. When I first put it in it wouldn't engage the ring gear. I called Rob on a sat afternoon and he explaned the shim process to me and I discovered it needed another few thou. I called him back and he sent me more shims and reinstalled it. It works fine but it will at times free spin. I`m hopping to get the nosecone end sometime soon when the motors out. Good luck.

Red Lehr

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 08:20:10 PM »
I thought I would post this reply from Robb McMackin for future reference ....

If you purchased the only five years ago, the nose (i.e. the adapter/mounting block with three "ears) should already have the counterbore required to use the pinion support cone (i.e. nose cone). To be certain, remove the four allen head screws and look inside the nose to see if it has a 2-3/8" diameter by 1/16" deep counterbore. If so, you can install the nose cone with no machining to the nose required.

Make sure you are running a thin factory starter locating/block plate. From the photos, it appears that you may have excess backlash. The starter plate is what locates the starter radially to ensure proper backlash. Here are examples of the plate:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-FE-332-352-390-406-428-427-BLOCK-PLATE/273248022722?hash=item3f9ed9f0c2:g:ptQAAOSwQcJaCd4H
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-FE-360-390-427-428-CJ-SCJ-Mustang-Shelby-Cougar-Mustang-Comet-Block-Plate/332654604362?hash=item4d73c2704a:g:YMgAAOSwFAZTuiL0

Aftermarket scattershields often come with a thicker version of this plate. However, the hole for the starter is often oversize and/or not located accurately. So, use the thin factory plate even if you are also using the thick scattershield plate.

I will certainly sell you a new gear and/or nose cone if you want but we recommend that you ship the starter back to us. We will examine it for further damage, load test it and install a new gear and cone. If we ship you a new gear, it may be too loose or too tight on the splines of the shaft (we select fit the gears to the shaft splines)

Leny Mason

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 08:06:11 AM »
Hi Red, I have used a few of these starters and not had a problem but after reading his response to you he needs to have better quality control,  but I guess if you sell them to Chevy guys with no quality control, you have to shim every GM starter any way. and having to select a gear to many different size shafts is BS, it looks like you need to move it in to the flywheel then drill a hole and pin it for it to go in the same place next time. Leny Mason   

Red Lehr

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 08:03:21 PM »
Starter update,
I sent the mini starter back to Robb and had the pinion support added, he also load tested the starter , all checked out ok.
I re installed the starter, I rotated the flywheel checked the teeth and all are in good shape.
After two starts all was good, on the third start , same problem engaging, grinding noise....
The bell housing is a '67 and btw this is a 428 engine...
I guess I'll take out the starter and put some white paint on the pinion and see where it's hitting the flywheel.
Why would I only hear the grinding noise every 3 or 4 starts ? Has anyone else had to shim a mini starter ???

CaptCobrajet

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 08:47:17 PM »
Hey Red, do you for sure have the OE alignment plate like Rob mentioned?  Without the proper locator, it will eat everything you out on there.......
Blair Patrick

Red Lehr

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2018, 09:31:37 PM »
Blair, I think you can see the bottom of the OE alignment plate in the pic here. When the engine was built 5 years ago, I was using a scatter shield with the alignment plate that it came with. My car was being re-painted at a very reputable local shop (V8 Speed and Resto) and one day they started the car up and the pinion gear actually fell out of the starter. They thought it might be an alignment problem and suggested using a OE bell housing. So I put on a 67 bell housing and still have the same problem...

FordEver

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 08:29:54 AM »
Red, sorry about the situation, it gets frustrating.
I had a RM starter in 2007 when i built my engine. It worked/sounded o.k. for a few races.  Ran the eng for warmup, then on class call, gear had come off, got a new Napa , started o.k., but gear had bent flexplate, hitting block. Expensive weekend !
No nose support at that time, and no rotating locking clamps, i got my money back, as i would not reinstall a starter with no nose support.
Don,t use RM without those two updates !
NAPA still in use.
67 Fairlane FE with 2" Hookers.
Try a stock starter before you damage something, then go from there with RM.


« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 07:07:34 PM by FordEver »

Red Lehr

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Re: Starter problems
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2018, 02:02:38 PM »
Starter update :
I called Robb again and he suggested measuring the end gap (distance from the end of the pinion gear to the ring gear) the distance should be 1/16th to 3/16 ths. Mine end gap was 2/16 ths so Robb suggested putting in the 1/16" thick shim that is sent along with his starter. There was a shim in starter already so now my end gap is 3/16ths.
So after 10 starts no grinding noise.......so possibly a shim did the trick. Stay tuned.....