Hello boys and girls,
I am new here and have a quick question for you. For the past few days, startup has been a little noisy and I was hedging a bet that it was my starter going bad. Then, last night she wouldn't start for me at all. All that happened was the dreaded screech of the starter not engaging the flywheel. Luckily, I've got a manual tranny and was able to roll it a bit, pop the clutch, and start it up. I was able to hobble back to my place so I could take a look at it. This morning I crawled under my truck, dropped the 4x4 parts of the drivetrain out of the way, and pulled the starter. I took a gander and the pinion gear on the starter and it looked surprisingly nice. No missing teeth, however there was a little wear. Then I turned my attention to my flywheel. It definitely looked a bit on the worn side.
So...I'm hoping the solenoid on the starter is bad, causing the pinion gear not to fully engage the flywheel. That would be an easy part swap. But, if it comes to it, how difficult is it to replace a flywheel? I imagine it is necessary lift the car a bit, drop out the tranny, and then pull a few bolts. I realize that is incredibly over simplified description and is much easier said than done. I can whip out the dial caliper and try to get some dimensions off the flywheel teeth for you if that would be a better indication of wear than a picture. Also, is there any good way to test if the solenoid is bad? For instance, is there an auto parts store that has some sort of test bed? I know they exist for alternators, just not sure about starters.
Thanks for all your help,
P.S. I got a little carried away and forgot some basic info. It is a 2003 Ford Ranger FX4 Level II. It has a 4.0L SOHC engine. 5 speed manual transmission.