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View Full Version : cost to have flywheel replaced?


Old Red Ranger
12-02-2007, 10:24 PM
Hey Guys,

Coming home the other night, I double bumped the starter switch and engaged the starter with the engine running, horrible noises ensued... The truck started twice after that, loudly and with lots of grinding noises. I removed the starter and the teeth appear to be slightly bent, but not chipped or missing. The teeth on the flywheel ring gear are definitely chewed up. swapped the starter with one that is almost brand new and had the same problem(starter spins and grinds, engine does not turn over) I know the engine is not seized, just changed oil today and she will push start at 2mph. Engine was rebuilt approx 18k ago. I am thinking that I will now have to replace the flywheel, I know the ring gear is a cheaper fix but the whole flywheel is only $20 more, so what the hell, cheap insurance at this point right? Since I don't have a lift and a transmission jack, I am going to have to take her in somewhere. My question is this. How many hours of labor should I expect to pay to have the flywheel replaced. According to the manual, you have to drop the tranny and T-case to gain access to it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I rarely ever take my vehicles into the shop unless the fix requires tool I don't own and can't borrow, and I'd really rather not get ripped off on this one. BTW, truck is an 85 ranger with 2.8, 5spd, 4x4, thanks

Sunk
12-02-2007, 10:40 PM
I changed my clutch without a lift or a tranny jack, but my 88 has a 4" lift. If you have a hard surface to work on you should be able to do it yourself also.

As for cost, I would assume about the cost of replacing a clutch, since its the same procedure. Except for the cost difference in parts of course.

Old Red Ranger
01-19-2008, 09:09 AM
Wow, I didn't realize it had been 6 weeks that I've been battling this thing. Been working a lot and haven't been online in weeks. Here's the scoop...

As stated above, I had issues with the starter about 6 weeks ago, took the truck in to the shop and had new flywheel, clutch and pressure plate installed for total cost of $741.25 damn near half what I paid for the truck !! I told the guy not to replace the starter if it was damaged as I could easily do this myself and save some $$$ When I picked it up he said that it would start fine but was still making a "chunking" noise and I would need to replace the starter soon or risk damaging the new flywheel. I replaced the starter with a reman unit from Auto zone a few days later. It started beautifully... twice. After that I had the same issue, grinding and engine not turning over. I removed the brand new starter only to find that the upper mounting ear was broken off. Chalked that up to bad luck and exchanged the starter. Put it on, SAME problem, she started twice and then nothing but grinding WTF???? Not having the time to work on it or be without a vehicle while somebody else did, I have been push starting it for weeks. A few nights ago I pulled the starter off again and inspected everything, the flywheel teeth appear to be fine and the starter teeth are ever so slightly rounded off at the tips, but there should still be plenty of gear for engagement. I put the starter back on it did the same exact thing, started once perfectly, second time made a noise but started, third time just grinding. Does anybody have any idea what the hell is going on here? I am completely defeated at this point and don't know what to do next. ANY help or ideas would be greatly appreciated

enginepaul
01-19-2008, 11:59 AM
Start by asking the shop that did the clutch. They will probably blame the starter to dodge any liability, but try.
There is no reason for what you describe to be happening if you have the right parts. I'd start by counting the teeth on the starter - Ford uses the same basic starter with different teeth on some applications.
Double check with the parts house or try to get the information on line.
Good luck and let us know what the deal is.

Old Red Ranger
01-19-2008, 06:24 PM
I was going to include an image of the starter bolts, but I don't see how I can do so without first publishing the pics to the web. Can I not just upload them directly to the post? At any rate, the upper starter bolt was about 1/4" longer than the lower(stock) bolt. The only thing I can figure is that the mechanic who changed the flywheel and clutch must have switched the upper bolt with one from somewhere else in the transmission. The longer bolt has the same length and pitch of thread but it has about a 1/4" smooth section under the hex head before the threads start, it also has a different head, the stock lower starter bolt has a dished head with a 9.8LL strength rating, whereas the bolt I removed from the upper mounting tab is flat on top and marked with an 8.8 rating. Now that I have discovered that, I have also discovered that because the upper bolt was too long and hole in the bellhousing is not a thru-hole, it wasn't possible to tighten it properly, this is why it would start perfectly the first time after changing the starter out, after the first start, the bolt would back out a little, allowing the starter teeth to engage, but very roughly. Each time it was started the bolt would back out a little and eventually the teeth couldn't mesh with the flywheel, hence the grinding an no start condition.

Only problem is that now the hole is stripped due to overtightening the too long bolt, I am going to go out tomorrow any buy a tap & die set, something I've been meaning to pick up anyhow.

Does anybody know the next size up I could safely drill to? The stock starter bolt (threads included) measures 0.384 so I believe it to be a 3/8" x 16tpi bolt, am I right on this? anybody??? would it be safe to drill and tap the bellhousing out to 1/2" x 13tpi? or would that weaken the bellhousing too much? The surrounding metal doesn't appear to be very thick and I don't want to over stress it and crack it. I know I should just take it back to the shop and have them fix it for free but I just can't afford to be without a vehicle even for one day. Thanks in advance if anyone can help

- J

Ranger61
01-19-2008, 06:49 PM
I had a problem similiar to what you experiencing I later found
out I didnt install my starter properly I went through two
flywheels but to no avail. I later found out that my problem
was a simple oversight I didnt install the shims that fell
out when I pulled the starter. It cost me $400 dollars more
than it should have. The shims cost around five bucks....
Stupid mistake....hope that helps in anyway....

kunar
01-19-2008, 07:06 PM
.384 dia should be 10mm. i know for sure its not english, nor should major diameter be larger than the nominal size of the hardware. if i were you, i think i would get a helicoil kit and make it the same as it was already, then go to your local hardware store and buy a matching set of the proper size and length bolts. 1/2" hardware is way bigger than it would need to be anyways, not to mention having to drill out the hole in your starter.

enginepaul
01-19-2008, 09:37 PM
Those bolts are metric. First, be sure they are stripped. If they have some damage, but the proper bolt will still grab, install with Locktite. The bolts resist horizontal thrust (twist) and the pull-out is minimal. These bolts do seem to work themselves loose so the Locktite wouldn't hurt in any case; it just makes removal more difficult, but you won't do that often.

Old Red Ranger
01-19-2008, 09:55 PM
I didnt install the shims that fell
out when I pulled the starter. It cost me $400 dollars more
than it should have. The shims cost around five bucks....


Thanks, but I did check into this and haven't found any information anywhere that suggests that the 2.8 requires shims. None of the major parts houses even have a listing for them in their computers. I didn't check the dealership but I never get off work in time to go by there anyways

Old Red Ranger
01-19-2008, 10:08 PM
.384 dia should be 10mm. i know for sure its not english, nor should major diameter be larger than the nominal size of the hardware. if i were you, i think i would get a helicoil kit and make it the same as it was already, then go to your local hardware store and buy a matching set of the proper size and length bolts. 1/2" hardware is way bigger than it would need to be anyways, not to mention having to drill out the hole in your starter.

Thanks, I was thinking about doing the Helicoil as it would be far easier, faster and NTM cheaper, I still haven't decided. I have been meaning to get a tap & die set for a long time, and now I have a perfectly good excuse to get one without my Wife bitching about me always buying Tools and other "junk" I don't need,

I do actually have a matching set of the proper stock bolts from a donor vehicle already so that part is covered.

Hey Kunar, is that valve tip in your avatar DLC coated? I used to work at a place that does custom DLC and other PVD coatings, and through a customer there I now have a job at a place that makes Titanium racing valves for Nascar and F1 applications, I've been there over a year and I can't say I've seen one yet with triple keeper grooves

Old Red Ranger
01-20-2008, 10:07 AM
Just returned home with the Tap & Die set, some cutting oil, and a right angle drill attachment. The hardware store didn't have helicoils in M10, so I went with the next best option. I'm getting ready to attack this sucker, I'll let you guys know how it turns out

- J

Old Red Ranger
01-20-2008, 12:51 PM
Sheer stupidity on my part, after getting the truck jacked up and the starter off, I realized that I do not have the correct drill size(at home) to make the m12x1.5 tap work. I will retrieve one from work tomorrow and try it again. Hell, if I'm really lucky the maintenance guy might have an M10 Helicoil insert laying around somewhere, most of our equipment is metric anyhow. I have a drill tap chart at work but I am thinking that m12x1.5 should be a 10.5 or 10.7mm drill. Anybody know if this is correct? Thanks

Old Red Ranger
01-20-2008, 12:59 PM
Just had another thought...

Does anybody know if it would hurt anything to just drill through the bell housing in the upper starter mounting hole and use a longer bolt with a nut? I have a small 120v MIG welder at the house and once the bolt is tight I could weld the nut to the back of the bell housing to secure it

enginepaul
01-20-2008, 06:48 PM
Welding is the last resort. If you do weld anything, disconnect the battery; you may fry your computer and other things.

Don't over-do this deal. The starter has to be fastened securely, but the torque resistance should be the main concern.
While we're at it, put a ground wire or strap from one of the starter bolts to a good chassis ground if there isn't already one.

You'll get it; good luck.

Old Red Ranger
01-22-2008, 05:49 PM
After consulting the Tap drill chart at work, it was determined that a 27/64" drill was the closest you can get to a proper size hole to tap for m12x1.5, this would net approx. 75% thread engagement, so I "borrowed" a HSS 27/64" bit from work and went to Lowes to get a new m12x1.5 bolt. Lowes apparently doesn't carry that thread pitch, they only have m12x1.75, so after a frantic call to God's gift to machinists(my boss) it was determined that the 27/64" bit would only yield a little better than 50% thread engagement. I settled on a 13/32" drill bit and headed home. Cole also told me that unless you are tapping t60/61 aluminum, you should use kerosene as a cutting lube because the aluminum gets so gummed up on the tap it just grinds with regular oil, I also purchased a 29/64" bit to drill out the hole in the starter to allow the m12 bolt to bass through. I stopped by the gas station on the way home and asked if I could purchase $1 worth or kerosene

"sure" the kid said holding out his limp wrist
"but what the heck are you going to do with $1 worth?"

" I have to drill into some aluminum" I answered(shoulda just said thanks and left)

"A LEMON?!?" he queried
"Why would anyone want to put kerosene in a lemon???"

"No dumbass, A L U M I N U M, its an alloy... nevermind"

So off I went with my gatorade bottle full of kerosene. After getting home and jacking the truck up again, I realized that the length of the drill bit wouldn't allow clearance for my drill, and my right angle atachment only accepts 1/4" bits so back to the store I went for a right angle atachment with a 3/8" chuck. Got back home, only to realize that I STILL didn't have enough clearance. Time to put the old thinking cap on... Luckily the right angle atatchment has a 5/8" nut holding the assembly together at the bottom and it turns with the chuck, so I put a spark plug socket on it, a 3/8" swivel to get the proper angle, a 10" extension behind that, and I sacrificed a cheap-o 3" extension by cutting off the female end so I could fit it into my drill's chuck. Finally I had everything I needed and began to drill the hole. Naturally my wife called me for dinner just as I was starting to drill, after pulling the whole contraption down out of the truck to go eat dinner, I realized to my horror that I had, in my haste, put the 29/64" bit into the chuck and drilled about 1/2" into the bellhousing. The hole was now about 0.060" too large at the top.

After dinner I went back out to the garage and drilled the rest of the hole with the 13/32" bit and then prayed for a while. It didn't help. I couldn't get the tap to seat properly because the "pilot hole" I had drilled wouldn't let me center it, and every full turn I made only ripped the last set of threads out. Left with no other options at this point, My plan is to drill all the way through the bellhousing tonight with the 29/64" bit and install the starter with a longer M12 bolt, a couple of split lock washers, and a nut with a nylon insert.

Off I go to measure the length of bolt I will need and back to Lowes, hopefully for the last time on this repair...

Old Red Ranger
01-26-2008, 09:36 AM
I Got the starter fixed the other night, everything went surprisingly smooth. Just drilled the upper mounting hole in the bellhousing out to 29/64" and slapped it all together with a M12 bolt, a couple lock washers, and a nylon insert nut. The only hard part was getting enough clearance with my 3/4" drive ratchet to tighten the nut. I don't have a 3/4 extension so the pear shaped head was hitting the solenoid cover on the starter. Other than that, it was much easier than expected and my truck now starts beautifully with no ugly noises.

Thanks very much to all who offered help or suggestions, or even if you just read my rants on here.

Mutant Pony
01-26-2008, 10:02 AM
I wish I had caught this thread sooner. I would have(and have many times) drilled the hole the proper size for 10x1.50 threads then tapped it all the way through. Then measure for the proper length to fit just flush with the back side of the hole. You would have the proper bolt size and the threads would hold fine.

Old Red Ranger
01-26-2008, 10:34 AM
good idea in theory, but since the hole was already drilled and tapped for M10x1.5 from the factory, and the threads were stripped out, this would not be possible except for installation of M10 STI. Thanks for your input though

BlackBII
01-26-2008, 09:40 PM
Just had another thought...

Does anybody know if it would hurt anything to just drill through the bell housing in the upper starter mounting hole and use a longer bolt with a nut? I have a small 120v MIG welder at the house and once the bolt is tight I could weld the nut to the back of the bell housing to secure it

I had this EXACT prob with my old 85 BII, I did almost exactly that, ruined a flywheel, and stripped out the bellhousing. I drilled through the bellhousing and used a longer bolt with a nut and it worked great, I didn't weld it, and I do not suggest welding it. I noticed that my starter wasn't fully engaging my flywheel, it was like it off by about a 2' degree angle, I placed a washer under the oppisite side of the ear on the starter to direct it the other way, and it worked great with no grinding whatsoever after that, just something to look at I guess.