Author Topic: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!  (Read 1072 times)

sethkestenbaum

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Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« on: 06 November 2019, 09:31 AM »
I replaced my failing starter around May this year.  At the time I installed a remanufactured Bosch from one of the reliable parts providers. The replacement was working fine until a few week ago. It seems that the new starter's bendix is failing to engage every few times I try to start the car. The part is under warranty, but I still have to deal with some shipping cost and the time/labor needed to swap it out. How common are replacement starter failures? Is there anything on my end that should be checked/done to be certain the issues is actually the starter? 

The wires are clean/tight, the battery is fully charged (and new), etc.  Basically, I want to be certain that I am not creating the problem.

Thanks, Seth
Seth Kestenbaum
oldcarroadtrip.com
1929 Model A Ford Phaeton
1969 VW Bug Convertible
1980 300 SD Turbo Diesel getting fixed up
1980 300 SD Turbo Diesel rusty parts donor car

raueda1

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #1 on: 06 November 2019, 09:54 AM »
What were the symptoms the last time?
-Dave
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

sethkestenbaum

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #2 on: 06 November 2019, 11:00 AM »
With the original starter, I would try to start the car and while I could hear/feel the starter trying to engage the flywheel, it just didn't do so correctly. At first this was occasionally and then it became more frequent. The replacement starter worked just fine until recently.  Now about 50% of the time I try to start the car the starter doesn't seem to lock into the flywheel.  You can hear it trying and not sticking  Typically a second or third attempt to start the car is needed. 
Seth Kestenbaum
oldcarroadtrip.com
1929 Model A Ford Phaeton
1969 VW Bug Convertible
1980 300 SD Turbo Diesel getting fixed up
1980 300 SD Turbo Diesel rusty parts donor car

rumb

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #3 on: 06 November 2019, 11:14 AM »
Have you checked the ring gear?
'68 250S, '77 6.9 euro, '91 300SE, '98 SL500 '14 CLS550

revilla

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #4 on: 06 November 2019, 11:33 AM »
A few months ago I had the same exact issue. I solved it by removing the starter (a bit challenging but possible requiring a LONG extension to access the hex bolts). I then disassembled the solenoid from the main body, cleaned all moving parts, arms, gears and added fresh grease. I took advantage and cleaned the cable connections especially the grounds to the body (2)
The issue was worse in cold mornings. So far zero reoccurrences. Success.  It took me about 4 hours but I’m sure it can be done in 1 hour by an expert. Make sure you clean/grease the solenoid mechanism that pulls out the helicoidal gear. I Inspected the ring gear and every teeth was nice and healthy.  Both of my cars suffered from the same problem and in both cases problem was solved after the above procedure was done. So pretty sure yours has the same problem based on your description.
Cheers   
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE

raueda1

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #5 on: 06 November 2019, 04:52 PM »
A few months ago I had the same exact issue. I solved it by removing the starter (a bit challenging but possible requiring a LONG extension to access the hex bolts). I then disassembled the solenoid from the main body, cleaned all moving parts, arms, gears and added fresh grease. I took advantage and cleaned the cable connections especially the grounds to the body (2)
The issue was worse in cold mornings. So far zero reoccurrences. Success.  It took me about 4 hours but I’m sure it can be done in 1 hour by an expert. Make sure you clean/grease the solenoid mechanism that pulls out the helicoidal gear. I Inspected the ring gear and every teeth was nice and healthy.  Both of my cars suffered from the same problem and in both cases problem was solved after the above procedure was done. So pretty sure yours has the same problem based on your description.
Cheers
Yes, this. ^^^     I've done the same on other cars with the same result.  There doesn't seem to be much about MB starters that special (except maybe price.   ::)

Also, I'm not sure what the OP's car is.  But on my second attempt I got the starter out of my 6.9 in about 45 minutes, maybe less.  The trick is doing it from underneath, preferably on a lift.  You need space to move your arms and elbows around.  Move the front wheels to maximize the space so you can slip the starter out between the steering rods.  If I remember you need to turn the wheel hard right.
-Dave
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

sethkestenbaum

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #6 on: 06 November 2019, 05:31 PM »
This round I will likely have a mechanic friend do the swap out.  I've ordered the replacement starter (warranty) which I should have by Friday. While he is under the car making quick work of the project, he will check the ring gear (which was fine last time and is hopefully still fine).   If I had time and a personal car lift, I would try to do it myself again. Stay tuned for updates.
Seth Kestenbaum
oldcarroadtrip.com
1929 Model A Ford Phaeton
1969 VW Bug Convertible
1980 300 SD Turbo Diesel getting fixed up
1980 300 SD Turbo Diesel rusty parts donor car

revilla

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #7 on: 06 November 2019, 11:15 PM »
This round I will likely have a mechanic friend do the swap out.  I've ordered the replacement starter (warranty) which I should have by Friday. While he is under the car making quick work of the project, he will check the ring gear (which was fine last time and is hopefully still fine).   If I had time and a personal car lift, I would try to do it myself again. Stay tuned for updates.

Nice. 
Remember the ground contacts.  A brand new starter poorly grounded will reproduce the same symptoms. 
R

« Last Edit: 07 November 2019, 03:38 AM by revilla »
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE

raueda1

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #8 on: 07 November 2019, 06:48 AM »
This round I will likely have a mechanic friend do the swap out.  I've ordered the replacement starter (warranty) which I should have by Friday. While he is under the car making quick work of the project, he will check the ring gear (which was fine last time and is hopefully still fine).   If I had time and a personal car lift, I would try to do it myself again. Stay tuned for updates.

Nice. 
Remember the ground contacts.  A brand new starter poorly grounded will reproduce the same symptoms. 
R
To be clear, you're talking about the battery => chassis and chassis => engine ground cables?  Problems with those are consistent with the recurring nature of the problem.   I'm not sure how a starter can be poorly grounded to the block if bolts are properly tightened.  [Though recent events have proved again and again how much I don't know. :o]
-Dave
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

revilla

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #9 on: 07 November 2019, 07:22 AM »
This round I will likely have a mechanic friend do the swap out.  I've ordered the replacement starter (warranty) which I should have by Friday. While he is under the car making quick work of the project, he will check the ring gear (which was fine last time and is hopefully still fine).   If I had time and a personal car lift, I would try to do it myself again. Stay tuned for updates.

Nice. 
Remember the ground contacts.  A brand new starter poorly grounded will reproduce the same symptoms. 
R
To be clear, you're talking about the battery => chassis and chassis => engine ground cables?  Problems with those are consistent with the recurring nature of the problem.   I'm not sure how a starter can be poorly grounded to the block if bolts are properly tightened.  [Though recent events have proved again and again how much I don't know. :o]

yes, but not only:  battery neg / chassis, ground cable to subframe next to starter, all 3 contacts on starter itself, all cables in contact block under battery tray where the cables from starter land, etc.

R

Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE

raueda1

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Re: Starter Replacement -- AGAIN!
« Reply #10 on: 07 November 2019, 01:37 PM »
This round I will likely have a mechanic friend do the swap out.  I've ordered the replacement starter (warranty) which I should have by Friday. While he is under the car making quick work of the project, he will check the ring gear (which was fine last time and is hopefully still fine).   If I had time and a personal car lift, I would try to do it myself again. Stay tuned for updates.

Nice. 
Remember the ground contacts.  A brand new starter poorly grounded will reproduce the same symptoms. 
R
To be clear, you're talking about the battery => chassis and chassis => engine ground cables?  Problems with those are consistent with the recurring nature of the problem.   I'm not sure how a starter can be poorly grounded to the block if bolts are properly tightened.  [Though recent events have proved again and again how much I don't know. :o]

yes, but not only:  battery neg / chassis, ground cable to subframe next to starter, all 3 contacts on starter itself, all cables in contact block under battery tray where the cables from starter land, etc.

R
Of course you're absolutely right.  You know, as I slowly move forward on my project I'm coming to believe that every 35 or 40 years these cars should be completely disassembled, cleaned, parts replated, etc etc and then put back together whether they need it or not.  I'm not even thinking about actual repairs, just a kind of hyper-detailing.  I've been amazed how many doubtful electrical connections, tiny leaks of anything that can leak and loose nuts and bolts (or at least very far from torque specs) I've found.   the process will identify stuff that you never suspected.  I'm not really serious of course, but still . . . .
-Dave
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0