Starter Disengages Prematurely

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Bill Michigan
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#1 Starter Disengages Prematurely

Post by Bill Michigan » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:23 pm

Recently, my starter has begun disengaging as soon as the engine first fires but before it's fully running, thus requiring many attempts before the engine finally "catches." Is this fixable by an adjustment or repair, or should I just plan on replacing the entire starter?

Thanks.

Bill
1963 S1 3.8L OTS Cotswold Blue
2013 XF
Previous:
2002 XJR Series 100
1996 XJ6

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lopena
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#2 Re: Starter Disengages Prematurely

Post by lopena » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:07 pm

Bill:

You’ll need to pull the starter (admittedly somewhat a PITA) and look at the pinion gear and spring. These two items used to be readily available at a low cost (although I haven’t shopped for them in years). If the starter spins strongly (have it tested for free at Autozone) you may get away cheaply by replacing only the pinion or the spring (which sometimes breaks in half).

Good luck,
Alan

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#3 Re: Starter Disengages Prematurely

Post by Bill Michigan » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:34 pm

Thanks, Alan. That broken spring theory sounds very likely, since the problem wasn't progressive but rather, came on all of a sudden.

Bill
1963 S1 3.8L OTS Cotswold Blue
2013 XF
Previous:
2002 XJR Series 100
1996 XJ6

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Bill Michigan
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#4 Re: Starter Disengages Prematurely

Post by Bill Michigan » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:15 pm

In case anyone else has starting problems with the same symptoms I experienced, I want to close the loop on this thread with my troubleshooting results.

After preparing to repair or replace the starter motor, it now looks like the hard starting was actually due to a carburetor issue -- specifically, a stuck (non-functioning) enrichment system. So, yes, the engine would fire once after heavy cranking and the starter would then disengage, but the failure of the engine to "catch" was really due to insufficient fuel, not a mis-functioning starter.

I partially remedied the problem with penetrating oil on the enrichment levers external to the carburetors and carburetor/choke cleaner on the internal parts. The mechanism does not yet have full-range travel, but it's enough to give me trouble-free engine starts every time. There are more comments and photos in the thread "Stuck Choke (Enrichment) Mechanism."

(I'll likely be taking off the carburetors for cleaning sometime in the future. This is no less intimidating than the prospect of replacing a starter motor, but at least the parts are lighter.)

Bill
1963 S1 3.8L OTS Cotswold Blue
2013 XF
Previous:
2002 XJR Series 100
1996 XJ6

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