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Old 02-09-2019, 10:42 PM   #1
Pinstripe
 
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Default Starter Nose Cone Broke

I just finished replacing a broken timing chain guide on my truck, as well as several parts along the way. I got it started almost two weeks ago, and after the first short drive it was having trouble starting. The next time I stopped it wouldn't even start, so I jump started it on a hill but it was sputtering and eventually stalled. I ended up leaving it overnight in another neighbourhood. The only way I could start it and drive it was to hook up a battery pack and actually drive with it hooked up under the hood. After tightening up the alternator/fan belt, and the power steering belt, I managed to get over 13 volts at the battery with the engine running. As far as I know, the loose belt meant that the alternator wasn't charging the battery, and that was the only issue.

Four days ago I started it and heard the starter struggling, and a rattling noise while driving. This happened twice that day, and the third time it wouldn't start at all, so I had to push start it on a hill, and it rattled a lot on the way home.

When I installed a new Bosch starter around nine years ago, the bottom bolt was stripped and I just left it like that. I figured the rattling was the bolt coming out, but when I removed the starter, some of the nose cone had broken off as you can see in the picture! I guess that's what the rattling was. Also, a few years after installing the starter, I started having issues and soldered (not the best, I know) the spade connector to the starter. That wire may have broken off, or I may have broken it off when removing the starter.

When trying to start, I could hear clicking under the dash from the relays, and a clicking sound from under the truck where the starter is. When I unplugged the grey plug going to the starter I wouldn't hear that click, so I figure the starter is getting power.

I did clean the ground connection from the battery to the body, but my battery terminals aren't the best, the negative one even has a crack in it. They aren't caked in corrosion or anything though.

When I removed the starter it didn't appear to be loose, even though the bottom bolt had fallen off. I believe the rattling was from the stripped bolt working itself out, as well as the nose cone breaking off.

In the 16 years and 155,000 km I have owned this truck, I have never replaced any of the relays or the alternator, only the starter once and battery a few times.

How difficult is it to retrieve the nose cone pieces? That part of the starter isn't magnetic. I tested the starter off the truck and the gear does pop out and spin, although it would stop after a few seconds. I'm not sure if that's because it's broken or because I didn't test it properly.



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Old 02-10-2019, 01:20 AM   #2
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I guess the only sure way is to pull the transmission and flywheel. Anything less than that will probably be a crapshoot. Imagine what could happen if a chunk wedged between the clutch plate or punctured a torque converter.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #3
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Agreed. You could have gotten lucky and had your parts fall onto the ground, but the only way you will know for sure would be to pull the transmission and look. If the cast iron parts are in there, they are likely ground up into small pieces. If the bolt is in there, it's not going to bust up - it's going to bust up other stuff.

Once you get it running, you could take it by an auto parts store to have your alternator and battery tested. That's a free service they offer.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:56 AM   #4
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Would it be possible for the nose cone to fall onto the ground? When I took the starter off, even though it only had one bolt, it appeared to be on there pretty tight. I'm guessing that the nose cone is inside, and the bolt fell onto the ground as it's the lower one. All I really know is that I heard a bunch of rattling that was not normal!

Is using a claw tool in there an option? I saw somebody suggest on another forum that you could put a rag on the flywheel and turn the engine by hand. jp2code, I suppose that endoscope from Amazon would come in handy!

Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:39 AM   #5
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Take the spark plugs out so the engine spins without building compression.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinstripe View Post
Would it be possible for the nose cone to fall onto the ground? When I took the starter off, even though it only had one bolt, it appeared to be on there pretty tight. I'm guessing that the nose cone is inside, and the bolt fell onto the ground as it's the lower one. All I really know is that I heard a bunch of rattling that was not normal!
Sure, that's possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinstripe View Post
Is using a claw tool in there an option? I saw somebody suggest on another forum that you could put a rag on the flywheel and turn the engine by hand. jp2code, I suppose that endoscope from Amazon would come in handy!
You need to have a way to snake an endoscope in there. There might be an opening to allow this, but I'm not sure.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default

use the starter hole. its the best for a borescope.



harbor freight sells one for 75 bucks or so. its too big to fit into a sparkplug hole but its good for a lot of stuff around the house too. i have one.



you can also remove the boot at the throwout fork and shove the borescope in there.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacdude1975 View Post
Take the spark plugs out so the engine spins without building compression.
Thanks, this actually really helps as I may have forgotten to do this.

I'm going to see if I can get anything out by going through the starter hole. I'm guessing the pieces fell deeper inside though, because I drove it three short times that day.

It's just been sitting without a starter for about a week and a half, is this bad? We have had snow and some cold temperatures. I'm not really worried about any critters getting in there, I was thinking more along the lines of rust.

If going through the starter hole doesn't work, then I will have to remove the transmission. I put the truck in fifth gear, remove the driveshaft from the rear differential, and then unbolt the transmission from the engine and just slide it back a few inches without actually lowering it, does this sound right? I'll need to remove the shifter, the slave cylinder, and whatever electrical plugs are there... am I missing anything?

Is it possible to remove the slave cylinder and then reinstall it without removing any fluid? I know the piston can be hard to compress.

Since the lower starter bolt is stripped, I figured I would use some copper wire strands to try and get it to grip. How would you even get a drill in there to use a thread insert?

In another thread, somebody said they might just cut away some of the metal from the passenger side fender to access the starter, and I'm considering that. Would that weaken the fender at all, in terms of safety?

Thank you.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:14 AM   #9
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You have broken-off stuff from the starter rattling around. No, pieces from the nose cone will NOT drop to the ground, because the nose cone is INSIDE the bell housing area.

Look...you will have to pull the transmission back to look. Don't waste your time buying a scope. Drop the drive line from the differential, as well as dropping the center carrier bearing. Make sure you matchmark everything so it goes back in the same spot, otherwise you could install off-balance and your drive line will rattle around. (There's a reason why they weld little weights on your driveline.) Mark these spots: Where drive line exits the transmission. Where drive line mounts to the differential. The two points on each side of the center carrier bearing. All should align and go back together the same way.

You need to look at the flywheel and clean out any crap in that housing. Buy a new starter with new bolts. If your one bolt hole is stripped out, coat the bolt heavily with Permatex Brown, the old fashioned gasket sealer, and hope for the best. Or you could clean out the bolt hole with rubbing alcohol and use Super Glue. That will hold great, and will still break loose with a wrench. You can even use a slightly different or larger bolt, and use it to cut new threads, but it should be SHORTER bolt and be careful you don't crack the housing. Lot of choices, none of them as good as having the starter bolt hole re-tapped. If your flywheel is partly stripped or damaged, you can get another for about 75 bucks...and buy NEW FLYWHEEL BOLTS along with it.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:37 PM   #10
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You can unbolt the slave cylinder off the transmission. Just take steps to prevent the piston from fully extending and blowing the seal off.
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