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Noisy starter motor


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Vitesse with Lucas starter, has developed a grating noise sometimes when turned on. Iv'e got a feeling it not's turning the engine.


This will happen when engine hot or cold.


If I try again, then will start normally.


Starter is not loose.


The starter pinion and flywheel ring gear appeared in very good condition about 5,000 miles ago when had gearbox out.


The starter pinion was also clean (and no oil/grease)and free moving along the shaft.


Is the pinion not meshing properly with ring gear and will it be mullering the teeth if not sorted soon?.  


Any ideas please?.


Thanks, Dave 



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My ignition switch occasionally got stuck in the "fire up the starter motor" position, resulting in a horrible grinding clattering noise once the engine started. A shot of WD40 sorted it, until the next time. Might be that?

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The starter Bendix teeth may not be meshing on first turn and so are scoring along the rear face of the flywheel rather than meshing. Can you see score / scrape marks on the edge of the starter teeth and possible shiny new steel? There may be a slight alignment issue between flywheel teeth and starter teeth.

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Other than the bendix is sticking or the spring is broken theres an obscure one

is the correct flywheel ring gear

as a pull bendix drive will have ring gear teeth chamfered at the back where as a pre engaged push pinion

will have the chamfer on the front


if its wrong damage soon arrives



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Hi and thanks a lot.


Starter has been on car for the 4 years since I bought it, taken off about 5000 miles ago when rebuilt G/B.


Bit hard to get good purchase on those S/M fixing nuts on bell housing side/front bulkhead side , though seemed tight when i checked them a couple off days ago.


Will take S/M off when get a bit of time and check teeth/movement etc and flywheel chamfer position/wear  if can do this with starter off ? .



One other thing.  I think it maybe it does this when battery is fully charged (high cranking power battery, that I charge every couple of weeks), as runs down with dynamo only. and really spins the engine fast.  Could this make a difference?.


Cheers, Dave 

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Hello Dave.


Re your last paragraph, do you think or are you saying that the starter motor may be spinning too quicky to engage the flywheel properly ??


Mmmm, I can picture it but is that physically possible ??


Do you get the same situation when the battery has slightly reduced strength, so in essence the starter motor is turning slightly slower ??


I think it will be worth removing the starter motor stripping it down (again), clean and lubricate with graphite - it might just be the pinion is NOW not 100% free with its movement and dragging slightly since you last had the unit out.


If you have a spare starter motor that could be used to see if the problem still occurs; if it does then it is likely to be something more than just the starter motor.





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