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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 1988 318 with the Onan P218, and the starter is loose / slipping and chewing the teeth on the flywheel gear when it tries to engage. I pulled off the side panels, but can't find any way to reach inside to tighten and adjust the starter. Do I have to pull the engine out to get to the starter and adjust / tighten it? Is there any easier way to do this, and any diagrams or instructions available anywhere on the correct way to adjust the starter so it meshes properly with the flywheel? I searched the forums here and the internet but could not find the right information on this problem. The teeth on the flywheel aren't too bad, so I think I can clean them up with a file.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! The grass is growing like crazy and I have to get it running again ASAP!! :cry::unkown:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The information is in the TM1591 and CTM2 manuals. No you will have to pull the engine, remove then engine cooling tins, take the time to clean it, inspect it adjust the starter and put back together.
Thanks, I have been looking through the TM1590 manual but it only mentions testing the starter, not actually adjusting it properly, as far as I can find. I also checked the TM1591 manual, and again it only mentions testing the starter for different engines in the 322 and higher models, not the 318 with the Onan P218 engine. I don't have the CTM2 manual, but I will have to see if I can find the info there on adjusting the starter correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like the bosses that the starter bolts go through are broken. Call boomer the Onan man and he will sell you a fix for it. Been there and done it. Dave
Thanks dave_thompson, how do I get in touch with boomer the Onan man to buy the fix if the bosses are broken? On another note, I noticed last night the left front engine mount leg that bolts through the bottom frame is cracked pretty much all the way through just behind the bolt hole. Any ideas on if I could have this fixed, or what part I would have to buy to replace it? That whole bottom piece with the engine mount holes looks like it is separate from the rest of the engine, so hopefully I could just buy that somewhere? And I wonder if the crack on that one engine mount is enough to throw off the starter gear alignment on start-up when it meshes with the flywheel?
 

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Northshore,

Here is the information in the CTM2 for those starter styles that do have an adjustment for lash...not sure this applies to your P218.
Text


A loose starter certainly sounds like a broken mounting ear (or a broken boss on the engine itself...) Let us know what you find when you get the starter out and inspect everything. Pictures of our starter, flywheel and mounting details will help us with suggesting any further guidance of course...

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Northshore,

Here is the information in the CTM2 for those starter styles that do have an adjustment for lash...not sure this applies to your P218.
View attachment 84794

A loose starter certainly sounds like a broken mounting ear (or a broken boss on the engine itself...) Let us know what you find when you get the starter out and inspect everything. Pictures of our starter, flywheel and mounting details will help us with suggesting any further guidance of course...

Chuck
The information you sent from the CTM2 does look like my starter style with the lash adjustment, from what I can see so far with the engine still in place. Thank You for sending that, it's a huge help! :D
I am going to try and get the engine out tonight after work, and I will send pictures of the current problems and whatever else I find. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if the starter mount is broken on a p218, your best bet will be getting a b43 oil pan and starter and converting over
Thanks KB! Would a b43 oil pan be a direct fit for the p218? And could I use my starter on that if there's no problem with it, or is the starter mounting position different or fixed without the lash adjustment and requires a different starter for that oil pan? If it does come down to converting to a b43 oil pan, would you happen to have one laying around by any chance? You are practically in my back yard being in Maine, so I wouldn't mind the quick trip if I had to pick one up to get my 318 running again soon! :cool:
:popper:
 

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The b43 pan bolts up, and a b starter mounts to the oil pan.

An onan pull is easy, my first took under 2 hours, and went back in in 20 minutes. I have anyoil hoist, but its doable by muscle for some. I can, and Im 6' only 160. Boomer will hook you up, and have a nice conversation about what you need to do. Please share details and pictures
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sorry for the delay, the rest of last week and the weekend were so busy it was tough finding much time to really dive into this mess! But here's the update....


As I mentioned, I found an engine mount leg on the back side of the engine (starter side) was cracked through, so I will need an oil pan with the single side drain valve. Thanks to dave_thompson, jeff_kluewer and KB for referring me to Boomer! I already talked to him a couple times and he's been a tremendous help with knowledge and knows what parts I need so far! I just sent him all this info also. Here's a couple photos of the broken oil pan mount...




The starter was bolted in tight when I removed it, didn't have any play when I tried moving it, and there were no cracks in the starter case around the bolt holes or in the engine block where the bolts run through. The starter pinion gear wasn't chewed too bad, but about a quarter of the flywheel teeth were damaged pretty good on the engine side of the gear. I was going to file the teeth & clean them up, but let me know if you think the flywheel is too far damaged in the photos...










I tested the starter and it seemed to work ok. I tested the solenoid and the pinion gear seemed to pop out ok. I tested the starter motor and the shaft spun but seemed to pull the pinion gear out with it most of the time, then the pinion gear would retract after a short delay while the shaft continued spinning. Not sure if this is normal or not, but I also noticed what seemed like a lot of play in the end of the starter motor shaft when the pinion gear was retracted. Could that be a shim, bushing or bearing in the end of the shaft that wore out and is maybe causing the pinion gear to have excessive play when it tries to engage the flywheel, so it doesn't lash correctly? I took videos of the three starter tests, if it's possible to post them here?




Today after work I plan on trying to test the starter against the flywheel to see how the lash is, and see if I can further figure out the problem. Thats what I have so far, and thanks to everyone for the help! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Decided to take my time getting to know the p218, since I plan on having it as long as possible. Went through it thoroughly, addressed anything I felt needed it, de-carbon'ed it for what looked like the first time ever, and replaced a lot of seals & gaskets to fix several leaks. Finding alternatives to not having some of the JD tools was fun!

Question: Any way to tell if the governor shaft support bearing in the timing cover is there once everything is put back together without taking it apart again? I realized the bearing existed after I had it all reassembled & sealed with a new gasket, and I cleaned the inside of the timing cover while it was apart without noticing if it fell out. Thanks for any advice!
 
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