Help with starter needed -- terrible sound

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by ArtBasement, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. ArtBasement

    ArtBasement Erwin Timmers

    Location:
    DC
    At least I think it's the starter... 2 weeks ago a loud tinny noise started coming from the engine compartment at start up. It would go away after some driving. It sounds like a loose heat shield, but I don't have any heat shields. It's high pitched, not grinding, more scrapy. Ducking under the car my best audio direction guess is the starter. I've removed the v belt, no change, so water pump and alternator are not it. It doesn't matter if the clutch is in or out.

    my first thought is that the starter is not disengaging. Could this be?

    If so, is it cleanable/fixable, or does it mean a new starter? And how do I get it out? Manual just talks about 3 bolts. I assume it releases down, but the cooling hoses look to be in the way. Can I do this without disconnecting those.

    Any help is much appreciated
     
  2. dllubin

    dllubin True Classic

    Have you checked the flywheel shield underneath?
     
    ArtBasement likes this.
  3. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    The starter shouldn't spin unless the key is engaged. I guess anything is possible if something in the circuit is trying to fire the starter all the time. Could be the tensioner bearing. When is the last time you serviced the timing belt?

    The starter is indeed held in by 3 bolts. It can be birthed out the bottom with the hoses in place. Sometimes it comes out easy, sometimes not so much. You can take a starter apart and try to clean it up. First you need to try really hard to isolate this noise. No sense pulling stuff off the engine before you have a better idea where the noise originates.
     
    ArtBasement likes this.
  4. EricH

    EricH Eric Hamilton Moderator

    Location:
    Durham NC, USA
    The noise you're describing (tinny, high-pitched, scraping not grinding) doesn't match how I think of a starter engaging when the motor is running. You could check this, just to be sure, by twisting the key to "start" while the motor is running and see if that produces your noise.

    JimD's tensioner bearing suggestion would be high on my list of things to check, although if that's the problem I'd expect the pitch to change with revs.

    Is there any chance at all that you've managed to get a foreign object into the bell housing? That will make all sorts of wonderful noises scraping against the dust shield dllubin mentioned.

    Look for stray hoses and wires touching the moving bits at the front of the engine.... take the belt cover off and check for foreign objects bouncing around the timing belt....
     
    ArtBasement likes this.
  5. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Erwin, I have removed and installed more X starter than I care to think of. They do indeed come out after removing the three bolts that hold it in place. There is a shop in Manassas that does a great job on rebuilding my Fiat alternators and they do starters too. If you need help removing it, DCfiats stands ready to provide assistance. Don't forget to disconnect the battery before trying to remove the starter.
     
    ArtBasement likes this.
  6. ArtBasement

    ArtBasement Erwin Timmers

    Location:
    DC
    Thank you guys for the suggestions, I'll see if I can locate the flywheel shield and check it. And I'll try to engage the starter with engine running see if I hear anything change. Haven't really heard a corelating change in noise with rev changes. I have my home work assigned
     
  7. dllubin

    dllubin True Classic

    Engaging the starter with the engine running sounds a bit dangerous (to the starter & flywheel) to me. It will make a sound for sure, but maybe not the one you are looking for.
     
  8. ArtBasement

    ArtBasement Erwin Timmers

    Location:
    DC
    Yeah, I know, I've done it before by accident, but never on purpose.
     
  9. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    It's extreme but you could remove the starter and get the car running by bump starting to see if the starter is somehow the source of the problem (when you can't generate the sound when the starter is out).
     
  10. ArtBasement

    ArtBasement Erwin Timmers

    Location:
    DC
    OK, follow up; got home before the rain and checked out the shield etc. Success!! Turns out it was the bracket that attaches the exhaust to the transmission. No need to remove starter, but my job was complicated by the presence of so much rust inhibitor, ie oil leak. Thanks everyone!!
     

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