has been working great for about 8 months but I decided to change the fuel
filters in preparation for a big trip. Unfortunately, during the bleeding process my starter started smoking slightly so I immediately stopped the process. After about 10 minutes I tried the starter again bit it wouldn't disengage even after removing pressure from the start button. I shut off the battery
to stop the starter. I figured it had to do with overheating
, so I removed it, brought it to the shop where they refurbished it. They installed a stronger return spring, soldered some of the internals and smoothed out two flat spots to bring it back to round. It then tested perfectly on the test bench.
After reinstalling, same problem.
I removed all wiring
except the power wire from the battery
and the ground wire from the engine
lug to the negative terminal on the start battery. Jumping the heavy solenoid terminals spins the starter without engaging as expected. Jumping the S terminal to the power terminal on the solenoid cranks the engine over as expected but doesn't disengage after removing the jump (I was using a heavy wrench).
The shop suggested rough flywheel teeth so I again removed the starter and felt the flywheel teeth. The teeth had tiny burrs I could feel with the tip of my finger, way less than a millimeter. I used a file to grind all the teeth smooth using a magnet to catch the small amount of filings until all the teeth were smooth to the touch (3 hours of back breaking work. I have blisters
on the top of my get from kneeling so long, hehe). After reinstalling, still no change.
Someone suggested slightly loosening the 3 bolts holding the starter on to maybe help release the starter gear
from the flywheel. I did so, activated the starter, it wouldn't disengage, so I jiggled the starter, but no go.
Every test, I adhered to the 15 sec on, 5 min off limitations to prevent overheating
the starter. Learned my lesson on that first bleed! 30 seconds fried the starter.
What could prevent the starter from disengaging???
1) Solenoid? No. I remove power from the solenoid but it keeps cranking.
2) Friction at the flywheel? Seems all right. The starter folks painted the teeth black and said the wear looked normal when I brought it back after testing on the boat.
issue? I can't see how that could cause this problem.
4) Starter alignment? It works great with the current
shim for over 2 years until now.
5) Starter itself? Works perfectly on the test bench.
What's next? New engine?