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63 Starter/Flywheel?


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Went to the local bakery this morning.  When I went to start the car to come home, it sounded like the starter bendix didn't retract when the car started.  Nasty noise, which caused me to shut it right off.  Tried again and it started no problem as it did after a quick stop at the hardware store.  

 

Best I can tell, its the original starter and at almost 60 years and 80K deserves to be a little balkey.  

 

Before I yank it out of there, is this most likely to be a starter issue, flywheel issue, or could be either one?    

 

Has anyone installed one of the mini starters on a 63?   If so, what did you think of it?  Not sure if thats a good option, or if I should take it to the local rebuild shop which has done work for me in the past.  

 

 

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I had my 63 Starter rebuilt for $67.

i then put on an Elrich or Edrich ZHEAVY DUTY Selinoid made in Mexico at NAPA $50.

The rebuild of of the starter included a cheap offshore built selinoid that caused me to take if off and send it back to the rebuilder for $33.00 refund.

Diagnostics? I experienced what you are having problems, BUT it could be other things, loose connection, battery running low.

I would have any rebuildable Part from my zRiviera rebuilt before using offshore components. Americans are slippery because imported parts assembled in the US can qualify for a built in USA sticker. We still have cheap parts. Caveat Emptor.

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Bolt the nose on a different motor.  Hopefully it's not the starter gear ring.  (No flywheel - flywheels are for manual transmissions, automatics have a flex plate.) The starter gear ring on a Dynaflow is welded to the torque converter, hence the need for the long nose.

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Zimm63,

 

     I f you become frustrated going the rebuild route I can supply a "Mini" for you if you would so like.

Of course since the "Mini" is brand new it will be much more costly than a proper rebuild of your original, BUT has the advantage of being MUCH LIGHTER.  ALSO one of the other advantages is it requires MUCH LESS amperage to turn the engine over PLUS a faster cranking speed.

 

Tom T.

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10 hours ago, Zimm63 said:

Went to the local bakery this morning.  When I went to start the car to come home, it sounded like the starter bendix didn't retract when the car started.  Nasty noise, which caused me to shut it right off.  Tried again and it started no problem as it did after a quick stop at the hardware store.  

 

Best I can tell, its the original starter and at almost 60 years and 80K deserves to be a little balkey.  

 

Before I yank it out of there, is this most likely to be a starter issue, flywheel issue, or could be either one?    

 

Has anyone installed one of the mini starters on a 63?   If so, what did you think of it?  Not sure if thats a good option, or if I should take it to the local rebuild shop which has done work for me in the past.  

 

 

What I found on mine was that years of heat had cooked the grease in the starter solenoid into a rock hard mess. So the solenoid did not like to extend and retract well.  I cleaned it all up and then lightly greased the plunger again. It all then worked as designed. 

 

HTH.

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I pulled the starter out and took off the cover so I could inspect the ring gear.  Ring gear appears to be bolted to the convertor, but could be welded as well.    The ring gear has  three-four spots where there is some minor chipping off the leading edge of the teeth.  See pictures below.  The teeth feel rough when running your finger over them lengthwise, like a tiny ridge at the leading edge.  The starter gear looks fine.  No teeth are missing on the ring gear or appear to have significant damage.1250957280_DSCN01681.thumb.JPG.0c99acaabed3488b139c92f2caa5f100.JPG

 

Given that I have looked at exactly one dynaflow ring gear in my life, advice is welcome.  Would this be considered normal wear?  Should I take a fine file and clean up the rough spots?  It would keep me busy while the rebuild shop goes through the starter.  New Echlin solenoid should be at my local NAPA tomorrow and I will drop the thing off to the rebuild shop tomorrow afternoon with any luck.  

 

 

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DSCN0164[1].JPG

DSCN0167[1].JPG

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I grew up working on the British cars. Between me and my 2 brothers we had a wide assortment of Triumphs, MGs and Austin Healys. Had 6 or 7 TR 3s. Liked that little car.

now back to the Buick’s. I am getting ready to replace the ring gear on the Dynaflow in my Electra. It is in a lot worse shape then yours is. I would clean yours up and try it as the alternative is pulling the trans and taking it apart to get to the ring gear. Might as well rebuild it by the time you get it on the bench cause you will be 90 % there already.

i will let you know what it takes to replace the ring gear.

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The ring gear is installed on what is called the "Torus" cover & is welded to it so not an easy part to replace or find.  The converter needs to come apart to remove it from the converter.

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Just another thought on the subject.  For Zimm63.  See how close the Bendix/starter drive teeth is to the teeth on the flywheel.  IF you have at least .060" or more you could take the nose of the starter & remove, let's say, .030" from the mounting surface of the starter which would bring the teeth of the Bendix closer to the teeth of the flywheel so it will mesh better.

BUT, 1st. I would check the Bendix gear, solenoid, brushes, bushings etc. before going this far.

AGAIN, just a thought because, as they say, "there's more than one way to skin a cat".

 

Tom T.

 

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Geez, you are an inquisitive bunch.  

 

For the record, I got a pecan sticky bun and a large coffee, black.  Yummy stuff.  

 

Been filling with Brit cars and bikes since I was a kid- more than 40 years now.  I tell people my shop is evidence of a hobby gone mad.  

 

Back to Buicks- starter is at the rebuild shop.  I will spend some time cleaning up the ring gear in the meantime.  Once its installed, I will check the clearance as Tom suggests.  From the appearance of things, its possible the bendix wasn't extending fully.  That would fit with Jim's thinking that the solenoid could be sticky.  The rebuild will come back with a new Echlin solenoid per Bob's suggestion, so that should eliminate that.  

 

Reading the above, it really does take a Village to keep these things going.  

 

I do want to hear more about the ring gear replacement though.  That sounds like loads of fun.  

 

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To ALL,

 

    In reality the starter drive/Bendix on stock starters ONLY engages approx. 1/3 of the flywheel teeth. Definitely less than 1/2.   I have designed most, especially '64-'66  "Mini's" to engage 1/2-3/4 of the flywheel teeth to take care of a ring gear that may be worn to some extent, BUT NOT missing teeth.  Could save the cost of a NEW flex-plate/flywheel.

    An 8 cylinder engine ALWAYS stops in one of four places.  A 6 cyl. one of three & a 4 cyl. one of two. Most all standard, manual shift, flywheels have the ring gear pressed onto the outer diameter of the flywheel. When/If the teeth go bad in the one of 4 spots, usually not missing teeth, BUT can be tried, I heat the ring gear & rotate it so now the starter will engage the good teeth.  Saves on the cost of a replacement flywheel with a ring gear attached especially IF it's an oddball/hard to source part.

    There are sources out there that DO supply the ring gear separately, Pioneer is one, as well as a couple others.

Just relating some of my experiences.

 

Tom T. 

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Tom

 

When you say engage 1/3 to 1/2 of the tooth, to you mean depth of engagement, or the cross section of the tooth front to back?  

 

The chipping I see is on the front edge of the tooth, not the top.  It fits with the engine stopping at one of 4 places, which is new knowledge to me.   Glad to learn more.  From the appearance, it looks like the starter gear didn't immediately engage the ring gear with enough depth and caused wear.  I have a 64 flex plate from a car with similar miles and the ring gear teeth show no apparent wear.  

 

In any case, the damage to the ring gear wouldn't seem to be enough to prevent engagement of the starter.  I'll clean it up a bit and see what the rebuild does for things. 

 

 

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To ALL,

 

    In reality the starter drive/Bendix on stock starters ONLY engages approx. 1/3 of the flywheel teeth. Definitely less than 1/2.   I have designed most, especially '64-'66  "Mini's" to engage 1/2-3/4 of the flywheel teeth to take care of a ring gear that may be worn to some extent, BUT NOT missing teeth.  Could save the cost of a NEW flex-plate/flywheel.

    An 8 cylinder engine ALWAYS stops in one of four places.  A 6 cyl. one of three & a 4 cyl. one of two. Most all standard, manual shift, flywheels have the ring gear pressed onto the outer diameter of the flywheel. When/If the teeth go bad in the one of 4 spots, usually not missing teeth, BUT can b I heat the ring gear & rotate it so now the starter will engage the good teeth.  Saves on the cost of a replacement flywheel with a ring gear attached especially IF it's an oddball/hard to source part.

    There are sources out there that DO supply the ring gear separately, Pioneer is one, as well as a couple others.

Just relating some of my experiences.

 

Tom T. 

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Report back from the rebuild guy is that the armature is damaged from being overspun.   The bendix fork was also broken, which likely was the source of it hanging on the ring gear.  Estimated total to fix, including the new solenoid I provided, is about $160.  Should be back to me tomorrow or Wednesday.  

 

Given that this happened exactly once, to my knowledge, its a good thing I pulled it right out.  That starter was going to leave me somewhere.  

 

Should be back on the road by the weekend, assuming this making a living nonsense doesn't screw up my shop time.  

 

 

Edited by Zimm63 (see edit history)
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Final (I hope) report on this issue.  

 

Rebuilt starter installed and working fine.  Had the car out on an errand run and stopped and started a half dozen times without issue.   Thinking of having the rebuild shop go through the alternator when opportunity permits, to avoid issues there. 

 

On to the next thing.  

 

 

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