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Old 10-14-2014, 06:38 PM   #1
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Starter spins but wont engage.

Hey all, I spent quite of bit of time searching but cannot find my exact problems, Please Help. My 1998 900 SE. manual, symptoms as follows:
1. Car would crank, crank and crank but would not start. Then after sitting in parking lot for an hour it suddenly started and had no issues for a week.
2. A week later after having traveled for an hour, made a stop when came back the car starter would only spin but not engage. Tried jumping but that made no difference. Tried rocking car in gear to move the flywheel, no change. The car would crank over when car left in gear, no change.Then after a few hours the car suddenly started. Drove directly to shop where it would just spin and not engage.
3. Replaced starter with no change in the symptoms ( just spinning without engaging) Fly wheel was intact, wires seemed good.
4. Thought maybe it was a bad starter. Replaced starter with no change in the symptoms ( just spinning without engaging)
5. Thought maybe it was a bad manufacture. Replaced starter with no change in the symptoms ( just spinning without engaging)
6. Replaced battery, no change in the symptoms ( just spinning without engaging)
The car will start when push started.
Quite frustrating, Any ideas?

Last edited by rh911; 10-14-2014 at 06:41 PM. Reason: The car will start when push started.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:50 AM   #2
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That is odd. I am wondering if you could engage the starter on a workbench to see how it would work or not work.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:30 PM   #3
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Still haven't figured anything out. When and if the starter gets pulled again will do some bench testing. BUT I've put in a total of three starters all with the same results.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:02 AM   #4
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There is a black observation port on the top of the transmission, is the flywheel spinning and its not catching or starter not even turning?

Go another route, have you changed the CPS? Search for the spark, fuel and air diagnostics route. I also had one that the connections to the starter were rusted, it would start and you drive it and it wouldn't start up again, leave it for an hour or two and it would start.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:03 AM   #5
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Check your grounds.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:56 AM   #6
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Unbolt it from the engine and let it dangle (careful the positive terminal doesn't ground against anything) and run the starter. You should be able to see that the little spur gear in the shroud at the tip if the starter pops out when you run it, and retracts away when you shut it off. Then you can take a look at your flywheel and see if any of the teeth are chipped off the ring gear.

Without applying power to it you should also be able to slide the spur gear up to where it would engage the flywheel by hand, you can make sure it's not bound up or something that way.

Where are you buying starters from?

3 in a row is really weird.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:48 PM   #7
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I've seen the ring gear separate from the flywheel before. Had to see it with my own 2 eyes to believe it, didn't think it was possible
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:05 PM   #8
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Got two of the starters from Autozone and one from NAPA. Going to recheck all the connections.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
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Car started would spin and not turn over - Thats it.

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Originally Posted by seriks1 View Post
I've seen the ring gear separate from the flywheel before. Had to see it with my own 2 eyes to believe it, didn't think it was possible
After installing 3 starters, checking all grounds. The car would easily start when cold but once warmed up it would not engage. After removing the one access and inspecting the flywheel more closely we discovered that the ring gear would move, and it should not have. But first thing in the morning it would not. After it idled for a while the ring was loose. Replaced the flywheel and it seems to be working fine, for now.

Could not believe that was the issue either.
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Old Today, 03:31 AM   #10
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Question Automatic?

Automatic Transmission?
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