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  #1  
Old 03-23-2011, 08:24 AM
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Angry RANT: Starter replacement surprises

My starter would freewheel every now and then on my 4-cyl, so I pulled the starter to replace it. This is what I found:



The previous owner left a surprise for me in the form of two broken studs, still in the bell housing.

Which means there was only one bolt actually holding the starter in place.

Which means it'll flex under torque and take out some ring gear teeth.

Toll: One broken tooth, a dozen more severely worn, and the rest don't look so hot either.

I did manage to remove the broken bolts (after LOTS of PB blaster over three days, vise-grips, lots of heat, nothing worked). So the plan became, drill them out, run a tap through to clean up the threads and reassemble.

The bottom bolt, I was able to drill from behind. Since that was the case, I didn't need a left hand bit to back it out. Got a little way in and I was able to turn the stud out with the vise-grips. That took about 10 minutes.

Incidentally, it's a 21/64 bit for the final hole, if you're ever wondering.

There wasn't enough clearance to hit the top bolt from the back so I had to do it from the front, and that took a LOT of time - progressed through 1/8, 1/4, 5/16, all left handed bits. Finally managed to get through it. Still couldn't back out the remaining fragments, my guess is galvanic corrosion had it in there TIGHT. This, I found out when I tapped the holes. First two, really easy. Top one: No way, bits of bolt had anchored themselves into the threads for eternity.

So, plan C for the top bolt: 3/8 drill straight through, mount the starter with a long 10x1.5 stud and backing nut. Finally, victory, though diminished.

Final score: two bolts restored to factory spec, one with an alternative that isn't ideal to me but it will hold solid. Far better than what I found, at any rate. Someday I'll helicoil it so it's done right.

Bottom line is the starter itself is fine, so the old one is back in. The flywheel is the problem at this point, so I'll obviously need to plan replacing it sometime (along with a clutch job whenever it comes along). I have no plans to pull that thing apart right now. For the time being, if/when that bad spot lines up with the starter, I'll just need to bump start it. I can live with that for a little while - just kinda bites that I need to.

Last edited by seabass; 03-23-2011 at 08:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

wow talk about going from something not so big to a huge pain in the a**...
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

Good fix!!

The little crap like is put on earth just to piss us off!!!
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2011, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

when you tried to start it did it make a loud grinding noise almost?
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2011, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

ive had exp. with broken bolts that wont come out.

I feel your pain and im sorry for it!
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2011, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger1985 View Post
when you tried to start it did it make a loud grinding noise almost?
It does, and will until I replace the flywheel. Severity of the grinding sound depends on the quality of teeth it's engaging at any given start.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

good luck Craig, I would have waited till trans was out to tackle the broken bolts, then I would have used one of these tools
stud removal tool
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2011, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

Quote:
Originally Posted by terryduanemiller View Post
I would have used one of these tools
stud removal tool
That would have been helpful a week ago. I didn't know such a thing existed.
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2011, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass View Post
That would have been helpful a week ago. I didn't know such a thing existed.
on that note, sorry I missed your original post
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1999 MAZDA 2500SE, 2.5L 4-clanger, 5 speed, Green n slow
Quote:
Every Saint has a past. Every Sinner has a future.
Quote:
it's a ford ranger not a Ferrari?!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by edgeman4.0 View Post
If it's got tits or tires, it's going to give you problems..
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2011, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

I posted it after the work was done, so it didn't matter.

No big deal, it's fixed now.
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2011, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: RANT: Starter replacement surprises

Loretta had the exact same problem. Mine is automatic so I had to replace the entire flex plate. Took Forever to get the transmission off. New parts all went back on easily enough and transmission was easy to put back on. Biggest job I've ever done on a vehicle.

I cleaned and painted the old Flexplate chrome, i turned it into a wall clock and is now my personal trophy.

Make sure that when you replace the ring gear, that you install a new starter (or at least the starter pinion). Also clean the whole area out really thouroughly when you have it open. It will suck if you have to fix this more than once.
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I have a 1990 Keystone Ranger 2wd with a 2.9L, V6. She's a beater and I named her Loretta. In the past 2 years I have replaced the battery, starter, starter solenoid, radiator, alternator, and the driveplate. Little things that I have replaced include all the mirrors, spark plugs, in dash radio, headlights, air filter and brakes. Would like to start modding her and adding some performance parts
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