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starter 'depth', shims, drives

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:37 am
by Larry Velk
Not a big, critical topic, just some observations on XR's. My daily driver '88 is getting a T5. When I pulled out the C3 drive roller clutch spring parts fell out. The starter was working perfect. When I put a front pump seal in this car 5 years ago the C-clip and roller was similarly damaged (at that time the starter would occasionally 'spin free', so the failure wasn't odd in retrospect). So.... the job is held up while I go to the old school, really cool alternator/starter rebuilding place (BTW - if you need this work done, this is the place - West Allis, WI. These guys did my brother's Rohne 928 altermator and got him on the road to VT when no one else even knew what the thing was).
Anyway, here's what the guy said: "Thurst bearing wear in the engine does this" (!). Granted, this guy is a genius, but I think this is major wrong. They do sell a special shim to move Ford starters "out", however. MAybe the V-8's do this, but in our (and my) case, I think something is odd with the starter housing, bell, or, in other words, some machining issue intrinsict in my car since new. When I worked for Chevy we were somehow supposed to shim starters at times. I knew the theory, but it seemed by guess and golly. You shimmed up or down on a plane parallel to the ground controlling pinion engagement with the ring. Our XR starters can go in and out - so here's my point:
If you blow up a drive or lose an armature C-clip, maybe your clearance fore and aft is askew relative to the flywheel. My drive had milling marks on the face of the roller clutch. An 'overthrow' of the pinion can also cause this, so end play may be at work.
In any case, some thoughts on our starters.

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:38 pm
by Ed Lijewski ... 010199.jpg

That's a picture of a C-3 flexplate with the center section sheared apart caused by a starter pinion gear that didn't retract fully on its shaft and occasionally contacted the flywheel under ceratin conditions. Trust me, the center section is completed separated; I placed it where it shold be for this photo taken for a different purpose. It made a terrible THUNK and the engine would almost instantly drop to just a few RPMs. It took me a while to figure this out and only after it completed separated and I pulled the trans did I confirm what had happened.


Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:24 pm
by Larry Velk
Now that's scary.

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:42 pm
by milehighXR
That happened to our black Scorpio after I rebuilt the trans. The car just stalled, and would not restart. I wonder if this is the problem with my start-stall-hard/norestart on my XR? I rebuilt the trans in that car too... That's another topic...

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:42 pm
by Ed Lijewski
Open the flywheel access port on the bell housing and see if there's any movement in the flexplate that shouldn't be there.


Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:07 pm
by Ed Lijewski
The "two-piece" flexplate (cf. above):