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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

Add me to the starter issues list

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Old 01-06-2018, 02:41 PM
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Add me to the starter issues list

Battery and relay issues aside, my truck has always started like a champ in my opinion unless it's cold out. Now it has been sitting a couple of months and wasn't shocked to find my battery dead. Got it jumped and charging a bit off my other car for a good bit and attempted to start the truck. It turned over once but then the starter seemed to disengage it's mesh and just spun. Each attempt to start now only sounds to barely engage a mesh but then separates and spin. This a start just happening to fail issue or more indicative of the battery not having juice?

I have the battery on a charger now while I head out for the day but if I need a starter instead I can pick one up.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:29 PM
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This problem can be the starter bendix. That is what they call the gear assembly on the end of the starter. Behind the gear there is a large round metal piece. Inside this is a one-way bearing assembly. This assembly lets the starter motor drive the flywheel, but will not let the flywheel drive the starter motor if the engine starts and you hang onto the key a little too long.

This one way bearing can go bad or can get iffy when it's cold outside. The gear is engaging the flywheel, but the one-way bearing is not letting the starter motor drive the gear to turn the engine.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:51 PM
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11350 is the starter (Bendix) drive, 11135 is the bearing.

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Old 01-06-2018, 05:00 PM
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I love nothing more than a good electrical issue. LOL


Like you, the cold has played a number on my truck as well.


I replaced my starter with a Bosh from RockAuto a few weeks ago. (Lifetime warranty on the starter) Every other start it would grind on the flywheel. Upon removal I discovered it had actually ground about 20% of the width of the teeth on the flywheel.


All that being said, it never made any real grinding noised until it went bad. I believe as Franklin2 said, the bearing went bad not allowing the gear to easily mesh with the flywheel.


The new starter gear has a very sharp point at its leading edge. This allows it to engage every time without issue.


One of these days, I am going to buy a new transmission. Ill change the flywheel at that time.


If you have not already replaced all of your battery cables, I recommend doing so. I spent about $45 at AutoZone and got everything i needed. The positive and negative cables were super corroded under the insulation which you could not see until I dissected them.


The duralast cables are made in America by the way.



Thanks,
Cody
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:21 PM
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Hmm good point about the cables. I got a set right off the bat but saw that they looked good to me visually. I wouldn't mind getting a new starter. Really want to just straight to a pmgr starter and swap in a higher amp alternator. Though going to take it one thing at a time. Cables and OEM starter to start (heh, puns) then can move into better things when it gets warmer.

Thanks for the diagram NumberDummy. Thought about hitting it with a hammer like I used to do with my old 4Runner but it had the solenoid on the starter that was my issue.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:25 PM
matthewq4b matthewq4b is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wagoner View Post
Battery and relay issues aside, my truck has always started like a champ in my opinion unless it's cold out. Now it has been sitting a couple of months and wasn't shocked to find my battery dead. Got it jumped and charging a bit off my other car for a good bit and attempted to start the truck. It turned over once but then the starter seemed to disengage it's mesh and just spun. Each attempt to start now only sounds to barely engage a mesh but then separates and spin. This a start just happening to fail issue or more indicative of the battery not having juice?

I have the battery on a charger now while I head out for the day but if I need a starter instead I can pick one up.
80% sure this is a bad battery issue.

The drive is engauged by by a movable pole shoe on the starter.
If there is insufficient voltage/amperage it will not fully pull in the pole shoe not engaging the starter drive leaving the starter to spin.
Since you are getting initial engaugment then disengaugment I strongly suspect this is the issue. As the bat voltage/amps drops it can no longer hold the drive in engauged.

The other issues it could be.

Failed over running clutch in the starter drive.

Starter drive seized/hung up on to armature shaft.
Either through lack of lubrication/corrosion or stuck/jammed on damaged drive engaugement splines.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:06 PM
kr98664 kr98664 is online now
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Originally Posted by James Wagoner View Post
​​Each attempt to start now only sounds to barely engage a mesh but then separates and spin.
Great to hear from you again! Been a while. Was wondering if it was time to send out a search party. I was getting worried, what with no signal from the JamesTracker(tm), but now I see your battery was dead. After charging your battery, would you mind hitting the reset button on the tracker? Thanks.That should get it transmitting again.

Before we delve too deeply into the starter system, let's step back and look at the timeline of events. If I was a lawyer, I'd have a nice whiteboard and a wide variety of colored markers for the following:

1) Truck had been running fine, with no hint of starter problems.

2) Weather turns cold, so you spend the next two months indoors playing video games, subsisting on Top Ramen, Cheet-Os, and Mountain Dew. The truck sits neglected.

3) Truck battery now dead from sitting. After an abbreviated partial charge, you suddenly have starter problems.

By this point, I'd have the jury eating from the palm of my hand. They'd be ready to give you the electric chair, but I'd suggest a more merciful response: The battery charger. Not for you, but for the battery.

[SARCASM] Not sure if I've mentioned this before [/SARCASM OFF], but ALWAYS BEGIN ANY ELECTRICAL TROUBLESHOOTING WITH A FULLY CHARGED BATTERY.

Get a full-fledged charger on that poor battery and leave it running overnight at the very minimum. Don't use a trickle charger, the equivalent of a butterfly fart, as Tedster so eloquently put it. Then see how the starter behaves and report back.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:49 AM
madpogue madpogue is offline
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No starter issue thread (at least if it's one of those silly starters with just one wire to it) should go without a mention of this mod - PMGR Starter Wiring - ???Gary's Garagemahal . It's akin to the way the diesel starters are wired, the later gassers are wired, and the way ALL starters should have been wired from day one.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:45 AM
kh0432 kh0432 is online now
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I agree that it's probably the starter drive. One good indicator would be if you try to start it 4 or 5 times in a row and it starts. The friction of the drive slipping will make the rollers inside expand from the heat and eventually grab.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:22 PM
'86F350ken '86F350ken is offline
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I wondered where you had been while I was at some junk yards pulling parts last week! There have been a bunch of trucks popping up lately!
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kr98664 View Post
Great to hear from you again! Been a while. Was wondering if it was time to send out a search party. I was getting worried, what with no signal from the JamesTracker(tm), but now I see your battery was dead. After charging your battery, would you mind hitting the reset button on the tracker? Thanks.That should get it transmitting again.
Coming up for air again and took a look at my tracker. Needed to replace the little coin battery, had to go to a Bi-Mart to find the right size... Started a new job last month and it has been draining me of all mental energy. Come home only wanting to eat dinner, watch a show or two and go to bed. Spend the weekend with the kids and not on projects so, yes Karl, the truck does sit. I will stare at it though from the window longing for some motivation and a real plan to work on it.

The battery is charged up (12.67v) but being about 10pm, my neighbors don't need a big 460 trying to crank over ruining their fancy HOA life. I'll keep checking the battery voltage and charge if needed till the weekend to try starting it up. Prepared for a new starter but also maybe replace the bendix drive for bit of cost savings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by '86F350ken View Post
[...] I was at some junk yards pulling parts last week! There have been a bunch of trucks popping up lately!
I have my eye on this parts truck that has an amazing interior and a tailgate!! I just have nowhere to park another truck without it getting it towed. It's killing me inside.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:19 AM
kr98664 kr98664 is online now
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​​​​​I have my eye on this parts truck that has an amazing interior and a tailgate!!
Thanks for the heads up! It's amazing how quickly a guy can seal a deal with a cash offer. Don't get discouraged, I'm sure you can find another if you keep searching...

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Old 01-17-2018, 01:45 AM
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Exactly why I opted to not mention where! Don't need you snipping my tailgate... Though sure it won't sit around forever but still hope I can make it happen.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:22 AM
sdiesel sdiesel is offline
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if you do get a new starter, consider kevin at arts elec in longview. they rebuild with tough tough components. and they are my first choice over new. he can also help with that 3g upgrade. kevin rocks
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:31 PM
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Thanks sdiesel! I am wanting to build up a roll-o-dex of local shops for various things I need to outsource. I'll add him to my list.

I saw a ray of sunlight splash across my living room floor this afternoon and shot out the front door to see about my starter. Have 12.50v on the battery, drops to 12.22v with the ignition on, then drops to 12.10v when key is in start. Hear the replay but nothing from the starter. Looks like I am going to have to do a full dive with a voltage drop test. My test leads on my meter are quite short so ordering longer ones to make the stretch from the starter to my battery. Also a trigger starter switch so I don't have to be in the cab. I'm of the mind to just replace EVERYTHING but won't know what the issue actually was.

Got my timing light today since I have had suggestions to check my timing back when I posted about popping I heard from the exhaust and seeing my headers glow when I had the throttle opened up maybe 1/3rd. Can't do that until I get the truck starting.
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