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Old 11-06-2014, 12:07   #16
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

It is almost always the case that what happened before the fault has something to do with the fault. So cranking the starter so long it started smoking leads one to believe some wiring melted, the solenoid contacts arc'd, etc.
Given you replaced the solenoid and have directly wired the starter to test,
it does leave just a mechanical failure. I'd just replace the starter in this case.
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Old 11-06-2014, 13:24   #17
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

I'm looking at a High-Torque offset reduction starter for $400. I read in another form about a similar scenario and that was what the guy finally tried. And it fixed it!

Cheaper than a new engine (and probably cheaper than continuing to dink around with this old starter!) I'll let y'all know if it fixes my issue as well.

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Old 11-06-2014, 13:50   #18
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beebopbogo View Post
I'm looking at a High-Torque offset reduction starter for $400. I read in another form about a similar scenario and that was what the guy finally tried. And it fixed it!

Cheaper than a new engine (and probably cheaper than continuing to dink around with this old starter!) I'll let y'all know if it fixes my issue as well.
Sorry but buying a new starter is a cop out. Everyone here has invested a lot of time and energy (OK, would you believe a brief few seconds at the keyboard) trying to diagnose the problem with the old starter and now we must see the cure.

For the peace of mind and final satisfaction of all concerned I feel like you have a moral obligation to do whatever it takes, even if it requires investing inordinate amounts of your time and money, to fix the old starter.

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Old 11-06-2014, 15:03   #19
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Haha skipmac! Okok, let's just call this new starter a "troubleshooting tool." If it works, the starter was bad. If it doesn't, it DEFINITELY has to be my engine. Starter mounting surface? Flywheel angle? Flywheel teeth? Main bearing wear? Ugh, I don't want to think about that.

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Old 11-06-2014, 15:22   #20
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Well it does sound just a tiny bit like you're trying to weasel out of your responsibilities but just this once we can let it slide. Probably won't ban you from the forum for this minor transgression.
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Old 12-06-2014, 23:06   #21
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Well now that we got some clarification, try this. Put a couple 3/8" washers (or whatever the bolt diameter is) on each of the bolts that attach the starter to the engine, between the starter mounting flange and the engine. Sounds a lot like what we used to call the bendix is going too far. You can also manipulate the orientation with washers, say one on the middle bolt to angle the drive away from the ring gear. Just saying, that's a trouble shooting tool for 40 cents instead of 400 dollars.

Which brings up another point. Gear reduction starters are kind of the norm nowadays, They're lighter, generally more efficient, and often give higher cranking speed. I've used them to replace the direct drive starters on my 50 year old tractor, 25 year old fishing boat and several cars and trucks. A quick google search though shows 4108 starters from 108.00 to 140.00. Do you have any explosive gases on board?

And skipmac has a point, although he puts it more graciously than I do. In backwoods mizippi, we called some guys mechanics and others parts changers.

Not calling names, just saying that analysis is often times the most economical solution. (If the new starter doesn't fix it we buy a new engine?!!)

But I always forget lots of people have lots more money than I.
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Old 12-06-2014, 23:58   #22
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Hey, that's a good idea with the washers. Of course, before we go down that road, is there any possibility of damage if the angle is off? We're only talking a washers width here, but just checking.

Also, the tooth overlap is good. Before installing the starter last time we put some black marker on the starter's teeth to indicate wear. All teeth had about a 3/4 overlap and consistent wear on all of them. It seems straight with correct bite.

If the alignment was off, wouldn't the teeth show weird wear?

And one more thing: if we don't get it fixed by June 14th, 2014 (in 2 days) we won't have time to depart for Tahiti! One of my crew's plane departs Tahiti for a wedding July 8.

At this point, I'm definitely a parts changer, haha. For how much money I've put into this refit, I feel like it's all monopoly money at this point. My August gig better not fall through, though!
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Old 13-06-2014, 01:40   #23
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

unbolt the starter and test it on the floor? if it still keeps spinning then it can't be a gear thing but probably electrical.
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Old 13-06-2014, 11:07   #24
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Did it. Tests perfectly. Can also move the gear in and out smoothly with a screwdriver for leverage against the spring.

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Old 13-06-2014, 11:56   #25
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Starte motors, and starting systems including the solenoid relay, all are built for intermittent service. Like, 20 seconds every 20 minutes. It is very easy to just crank it, like for purging fuel lines, and overheat the entire system and slag it down. The starter motor windings expand and warp and abrade themselves and the frame windings. The varnish insulation in them breaks down. The solenoid relay may have overheated and similarly be internally shorted now. Or the relay contacts may have been damaged, so they arc and stay shut now.

Really, if the shop was any good (a clean shop usually is, a dirty shop usually isn't) and they really fixed it, then you need to tear apart the rest of the system. Very likely the solenoid relay is kaput, that can be removed and bench tested as well.

Starter systems are only intended to start healthy engines--if it doesn't start right up, break for lunch before you try it a second time. And don't even think about purging fuel systems with it. A separate electric pump is cheaper.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:18   #26
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

I probably wouldn't leave a single washer in place to correct the alignment; I suggested it for diagnostics. But if putting one or two under all the bolts solved the problem, as long as they were reasonably the same thickness I wouldn't have a problem leaving them.

Another thought, when the shop refurbished the starter, did that include painting? Believe it or not, a coat of paint can be enough to jam the starter (guess how I know). If there's any paint inside the hole on the engine or the circumference of the starter where it goes into the engine, clean it off. Also the mounting flange That goes for any corrosion as well. You want clean metal all around, and when you remount the starter a smear of grease all around wouldn't hurt either.

As far as being a parts changer I've been one before and'll be one again, being a mechanic is an always receding goal. Which is what makes it enjoyable I guess.

Hellosailor is right, some other method of pumping fuel is preferable to using the starter. I use a squeeze bulb like on an outboard, it's permanently mounted in the fuel line before the primary filter.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:44   #27
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

I am not sure if the starter on the 4.108 is the same or similar to the one on the 4.236 but I had an interesting experience that I wish to pass on. I was replacing the starter in the engine (4.236) as I had a new rebuilt spare and was having a problem as you described with the new rebuilt. I was about to put the old one back in when I decided to compare the two. Low and behold I dicovered that an adapter ring/spacer was installed on the original but not the new rebuilt. It had been well painted over and was hard to distinguish from the rest of the starter. I removed it from the original and transferred it to the rebuilt. Problem solved. Check with your rebuild shop to see if they have a part left over which does not affect the bench operation of a starter but really screws up the fit.
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Old 13-06-2014, 14:09   #28
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

1) The old starter was disassembled at the shop, soldered some of the armature, shaved a few millimeters on a couple flat spots to make her perfectly round (they mentioned there is plenty more material if it needs future rounding) and the solenoid replaced with a brand new one. Clean shop, everyone recommended them at my harbor (which is how I heard of them in the first place) and amazing customer service. They've helped me a ton, explained everything and reworked the starter for no extra charge. Central Pacific Rebuilders if you're ever in Hawaii

2) The space on my starter was about an inch thick, unpainted. It has to be clean to get a good ground on the engine in addition to alignment considerations. And as I said, the gear overlap is currently just right, so adding washers would only result in less bite on the flywheel. Although.... Moving the teeth back of the flywheel some WOULD reduce friction... Is a half-tooth bite enough? It's currently overlapped about a 3/4 tooth width. I'm assuming if you as too much spacer it would put too much pressure on the end of the teeth resulting in premature wear. Just a guess, no science behind that statement...

3) I've been bleeding using an electric pump. The only time I'm cranking the starter is on the final step after I've removed the air as far as the high pressure pump. The next step is to bleed the high pressure lines attached to the injectors. The electric pump doesn't have enough umph to squeeze fuel up there, hence the starter. I guess the starter cranks the engine which runs the high pressure pump which then squirts fuel out the cracked injector lines. Before the starter issue I was getting fuel squirts out the injector lines but no engine start. But that's another thread: How to Bleed the Perkins 4-108.
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Old 13-06-2014, 17:03   #29
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

Starter solenoids are both electrical and mechanical. The current through the solenoid pulls the contact together that send current to the motor. It also moves a lever that allows the drive gear to engage the flywheel. If something is holding the solenoid in the engaged position the motor will run even if you stop pushing the start button. Hot wiring the solenoid with a wrench does the same thing. So if the motor runs after removing the wrench or screwdriver then something inside the solenoid/starter is not letting the spring push the solenoid back. In other words the tests you have done prove conclusively that your problem is mechanical.

Have you tried spraying the bendix and solenoid liberally with some light machine oil? Often times a starter that has been dunked in sea water will exhibit this problem. Oiling it may get it working but the problem will come back.
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Old 13-06-2014, 18:19   #30
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Re: Starter won't disengage!

The starter's Bendix moves perfectly on the bench test. It also moves smoothly by hand (well, prying with a screwdriver against the new, beefy spring they put in there). No binding or grinding.

That's why I believe it's the alignment or flywheel or some other yet-to-be-thought-of cause of too much friction on the flywheel/starter gear contact points. If the new starter works, perhaps something was bent or worn in the old one.

The starter should be here Monday, three more days.

--
--
--

Oh, haha. Just as I wrote that last line I was interrupted by the starter guys saying the new starter is in! I'll throw it on and see what happens.

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