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Starting issues driving me nuts


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6 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   railstop

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:30 PM

Hello all, Since my last posts, I've decided to keep my 91. I love it too much, plus I went off to boot camp/a-school. I have been back barely a week now just to find my Pathfinder no longer wants to start. She makes a special kind of sound that cannot be described, so I've added a short video. I have had the starter checked and replaced. The old was ok, but just to make sure I went new. I have checked the flex plate, all of the teeth are ok. I can and have rotated the crank to make sure it isn't stuck. I have gone through everything and am now at a loss what it could be. The sound it makes like in the video is very much not a normal sound.

 

Thanks! 



#2 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:43 AM

I can see why you're at a loss!

It sounds like the starter is engaging, and the rising/falling gear whine suggests that it's doing work. But if the starter's not spinning the crank pulley (I can't see in the video but I assume this is the case, given what you've tried so far), either the crank's not moving or crank snout picked a very odd time to shear off, and if you turned it over by hand and the crank pulley didn't wobble around like it wasn't connected to anything, the crankshaft's not the problem. That leaves the starter and the flexplate.

 

If it's the starter, my guess would be the sprag (one-way) clutch in the pinion. If the shop that tested your old one just did an electrical test, they could've missed this. I'd expect your replacement to have sorted this out, but if it's reman, maybe they didn't test the clutch in that one, either. That said, when the sprag went on my '95, it made a godawful metal-on-metal shrieking noise entirely unlike your noise. So the other option is that the ring gear has separated from the flex plate. That would require eight (I think) separate welds failing. I haven't heard of a Pathfinder having flexplate issues, though I have heard of other vehicles' ring gears breaking up or even falling off when a built-up engine backfires while starting or if there's something horribly wrong with the flexplate. Maybe if your trans went with a bang rather than a whimper it could've warped the flexplate enough to crack the welds, but I'd be surprised.

 

What I'd do is drop the starter again and put a paint pen mark on both the ring gear and the inner part of the flexplate, and then see if you can shift the ring gear on its own with a screwdriver. If that checks out, put the starter back on and try to crank it again, then pull the starter again and inspect. If the paint marks separated, the flexplate's hooped. If the marks didn't separate, but stayed where you put them (suggesting the flexplate as a whole didn't turn), that suggests you got a bad starter.



#3 OFFLINE   Cuong Nguyen

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:29 AM

How is your battery? Get it tested?

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#4 OFFLINE   adamzan

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:13 AM

This is not the first time I've see a reman starter do this. Try exchanging it for another one. It doesn't sound like it is engaging the flywheel at all.



#5 OFFLINE   railstop

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 03:02 PM

Thanks all for the replies. 

  I have checked the flywheel with the starter removed, rotated the engine with it removed, it looks good and solid. I have changed the starter a 3rd time with the exact same noise, I have changed the battery a known good. I am going to check wiring tomorrow. I will update when i have more. So far I am getting too fast at removing/installing these, not exactly what I was looking to be good at doing.



#6 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 10:48 PM

Hmm. Three in a row is a pretty good indicator that it's not the starter itself. You might be onto something with the wiring. Normally ignition switch power activates the solenoid, and the solenoid drives the pinion into mesh and then closes the contacts that connect power to the starter motor itself. If the wire from the switch is on the wrong lug, it could be running the starter motor itself, with the pinion disengaged. Maybe the gearing inside the starter motor is just that noisy. Definitely trace it out and make sure it's wired right.
 

I have no idea how the wiring would've gotten screwed up while the truck sat, though, and I'd be a little surprised that the ignition switch or its wiring hadn't gone up in smoke. Even at no load, starter motors are thirsty little blighters.

 

If you do end up pulling it again, you might try putting a dab of some kind of grease paint (like what you use to set ring and pinion clearance) on the flexplate ring gear, so that the next time you take it apart, you can see if the paint has transferred to the starter motor pinion (indicating engagement).

 

And hey, you're developing a very specialized skill! When you come out the other side of this you could make literally tens of dollars with a Youtube video of the fastest way to do it.



#7 OFFLINE   Citron

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:17 PM

 
And hey, you're developing a very specialized skill! When you come out the other side of this you could make literally tens of dollars with a Youtube video of the fastest way to do it.


Get rich quick schemes never work. 🤑




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