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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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So, this is the culmination of my previous post about shimming a starter. This is a new starter. After I installed it, the vet first time I turned the key, it sounded exactly the same as before, like a brass wrench in a blender.
This is on a 1990 318, that cranked perfectly, until I pulled the starter for other maintenance. There was a random washer that fell out when I first removed the starter. However, I certainly couldn't tell which side, or if it had even come from the starter for certain. That washer was very thick, nearly 1/8". That seemed entirely too large to have come from the starter, especially since there was only one. After the maintenance, I put everything back as it was, so I thought. the engine cranked and ran like a sewing machine, but I had to run the wrench through the blender to get there.
I pulled the engine and starter to inspect, and test. The starter turned fine, but the pinion wouldn't fully extend. So, I figured that was the problem.
I bought a new starter to get me running until I could try to repair the old one, and here we are. The tractor has only been cranked four times since the overhaul, and the flywheel looks pretty mangled.
Looking for advice, solutions, consolation, and donations, anything I can get. :LOL:
I'm pretty heart broken at the moment. I only need her to get through 6 more weeks or so, until I can do a complete tear down and rebuild, which was the plan.
I fear that I'm going to have to pull the flywheel and replace the ring gear before I can get past "go". When looking at it, it looks as if the pinion teeth will barely engage, even if I flipped the ring gear.
 

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Your pictures show quite a large gap in the pinion to ring gear mesh...so that will never be a reliable way to do it. Is this engine a P series or a B series? The starter looks to be a solenoid-shift type with the plunger fully actuated -- maybe that was needed to get these pictures. The two starter types have a different number of teeth on the pinion, so they need different spacing from the center-line of the crankshaft / center of the flywheel. Here is a statement from Boomer in a much earlier thread.

can you post some pics of this?
if this indeed a P series the starter will mount on the bottom of the # 1 cyl.
it has the 9 tooth.
the B43/ B 48 M has the 10 tooth, but it mounts to the oil pan.
the ring gears are the same.
thank you. boomer (the used onan engine parts guy)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your pictures show quite a large gap in the pinion to ring gear mesh...so that will never be a reliable way to do it. Is this engine a P series or a B series? The starter looks to be a solenoid-shift type with the plunger fully actuated -- maybe that was needed to get these pictures. The two starter types have a different number of teeth on the pinion, so they need different spacing from the center-line of the crankshaft / center of the flywheel. Here is a statement from Boomer in a much earlier thread.

can you post some pics of this?
if this indeed a P series the starter will mount on the bottom of the # 1 cyl.
it has the 9 tooth.
the B43/ B 48 M has the 10 tooth, but it mounts to the oil pan.
the ring gears are the same.
thank you. boomer (the used onan engine parts guy)
It's definitely a P series.
Yep, that gap is significant for sure. You're also right that this is a solenoid shift starter with 9 teeth.
I honestly don't see how it was starting before I got into this fiasco. However, the flywheel definitely didn't look like this before I removed the starter. Automotive tire Engineering Gas Auto part Rim
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I skimmed through your previous thread and I didn't see any mention of checking the starter mounts on the block. These can crack, and throw off starter engagement. The shim washer that was there earlier was likely there to tilt the starter a bit for better engagement.
As Chuck posted in the previous thread, the tooth clearance side to side is supposed to be about 5 - 15 thousands.
The problem is obvious that there is not nearly enough engagement, but I'm not sure what the answer is.
If it was mine, I would probably try another starter from my stash, and if that still didn't help, I might look at putting a B43 oil pan and starter on it. The B43 starter bolts onto the oil pan, not the block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seeing as how you already bought the new starter, I wonder if its possible to buy and install the larger pinion gear?
Good point. I've actually got the old one on the bench going through it now. It performed far better than this one anyway.
Now to just figure out the puzzle of how to swap them.
BUT, I decided to go back to try the setup that the P/O had, with the thick washer.
I now see exactly why they had it that way. Check out the attached photos and look at the difference.
Any feedback you guys have is always welcome, but I think I'm going to try to run it this way until I take her offline for the season. At that time, I'm going to go through the engine from stem to stern. So, while I've got the flywheel off I might as well put a new ring gear on then.
The way you see it is the way that I've been running it for the past two years, since I acquired it.
It appears that this machine is far more clapped out than what I saw with my lovestruck eyes :love::LOL:
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If it was mine, I would probably try another starter from my stash, and if that still didn't help, I might look at putting a B43 oil pan and starter on it. The B43 starter bolts onto the oil pan, not the block.
I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that, but yes, I checked for cracks and any "wallowing out" that there could be.
I had remembered reading about that on here when I first started looking at this issue.
Yes, the washer that they had, (and I have):sneaky::rolleyes: was/ is intended to can't the starter enough to close that gap.
I may consider changing oil pans when it's down for overhaul over the winter. It's going to need a new ring gear anyway, so I'll be able to go check the fitment then, and make an informed decision.
Cross your fingers, toes and eyes or anything else you've got for a positive outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vbosch, it worked out just right. In the pictures, it was just snugged up, and not completely settled. Once I removed that stick, and released the pinion, I tightened everything to spec. As I did that, the clearance pulled back a bit, and everything set in just fine.
I have to admit that I was about as nervous as a man can be when I first turned that key. I was expecting things to fly all to pieces, and produce that horrible sound of mangling gears again, but it all went perfectly. She now turns over just like she used to.
As I mentioned earlier, this likely will not be a permanent solution, since the engine will be coming out for a complete overhaul around the end of October.
Than you all for your help, and support.
 
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