Starter or flywheel replacement? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 05-07-2012
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Starter or flywheel replacement?

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.

Flywheel:


Starter:


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,

Dale

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.
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Old 05-07-2012
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Hmm...let me see if these photos work...

Flywheel:


Starter:
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Old 05-07-2012
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Sounds to me like the starter has seen its day come and go. Time for another methinks
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Old 05-07-2012
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It does look like you do need a new flywheel as well. Wherever you get your alternator tested should be able to do the starters and solenoids as well.
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Old 05-07-2012
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Originally Posted by meistreguy View Post
It does look like you do need a new flywheel as well.
I was hoping you weren't going to say that...but I thought the flywheel was looking pretty rough myself.
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Old 05-07-2012
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How many miles on the clutch and the slave! Might want to consider that also.....especially the slave!
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Old 05-07-2012
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Just a quick update.

Took the starter and wired it to the battery. Spins up fast and pushes the pinion gear out quickly. So I'm pretty convenced it is the flywheel. Any thoughts? Any suggestions? I'm willing to try just about anything to avoid having to get to the flywheel.
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Old 05-07-2012
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Originally Posted by gdgarris View Post
Just a quick update.

Took the starter and wired it to the battery. Spins up fast and pushes the pinion gear out quickly. So I'm pretty convenced it is the flywheel. Any thoughts? Any suggestions? I'm willing to try just about anything to avoid having to get to the flywheel.
That flywheel does look a little worn. If you have to change the flywheel, changing the clutch and slave should be on your list also. If the starter was screeching, the bendix is probably shot
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Old 05-07-2012
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Originally Posted by buckgnarly View Post
How many miles on the clutch and the slave! Might want to consider that also.....especially the slave!
As far as I know, the clutch and the slave are original to the vehicle and it is sitting at 125k. So they are getting up there in age. How would this effect my starter/flywheel? Are you thinking that the clutch isn't fully disengaged so the starter is trying to push the truck forward?

Thanks again,

-Dale
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Old 05-07-2012
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Originally Posted by gdgarris View Post
As far as I know, the clutch and the slave are original to the vehicle and it is sitting at 125k. So they are getting up there in age. How would this effect my starter/flywheel? Are you thinking that the clutch isn't fully disengaged so the starter is trying to push the truck forward?

Thanks again,

-Dale
Nope. to get the flywheel off you have to pull the clutch. If you have to pull a clutch with a bunch of miles on it, you might as well put a new one on
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Old 05-07-2012
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Originally Posted by 07rangersport View Post
Nope. to get the flywheel off you have to pull the clutch. If you have to pull a clutch with a bunch of miles on it, you might as well put a new one on
Ahh. I got ya. I was planning on doing that. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. I thought you were suggesting my clutch was effecting my fly wheel. Sorry, I'm easily confused.
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