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starter grinding issues


1986fordranger

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ok so I recently bought another ranger for a winter beater, this time a 1984 2.8L V6 5 speed 4wd ranger, the main issue that the truck is having is the starter will grind when you go to crank it over, ( i have to roll start it) the last owner replaced the starter with a autozone reman a few months ago and it worked for awhile then started the grinding, I was talking with a few guys about this and I was told a 4.0L explorer starter will fix the issue, i did do some checking, and it looks as though the bendix is pointed more toward the ring gear on the 4.0 starter then on the 2.8 one, and the 4.0 one has 10 teeth not 9 as the 2.8 one has, just wondering if anyone has done this swap and if so how well did it work ?, thanks for any info
 


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enginepaul

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First - don't use the started until it is fixed because the flywheel replacement is a LOT of work.

From past posts:
I put in a ten tooth gear and everything was fine except that I also replaced the solenoid with the 'best' that O'Rielly has. The made in China solenoid stuck once; a junk-yard genuine Ford part is better. (Rangers have an ‘old’ style solenoid)

I have a new fly-wheel and original 9-tooth starter and fine. All flywheels are now made in China – the one from Autozone had to be junked, this on from Rock Auto has been in for about 30,000 mile so far.

FYI: The starter can only go on one way and the clearance is determined by the rear engine plate and when I bolted it to the transmission bell-housing, it didn't make more than a couple thousandths of difference. Some Fords could use a flywheel shim, but not these Rangers. Look at the way it works and you will see why.
Auto and stick starters are the same from the parts stores. If there is a difference from the factory, it would be slight if any. I held an auto and a stick starter-drive together and didn't see and difference - but I didn't use a micrometer to see if there were any measurable differences.

An escort starter gear (10 teeth) got me through until I had to swap transmissions and a new flywheel so that escort gear is something to look at.

The Ford starters of this style last a very longtime. I only needed two or three in a Pinto (same starter as the Ranger) that ran 240,000 miles mostly for deliveries in San Francisco with lots of starts and stops.
The original flywheel and starter were on the truck when I bought it and were probably ten years old. In my experience, Ford starters last a very long time---

I also ran a 10 gage ground wire from one of the starter bolts to the frame and that seemed to help with the power to the starter.

ALSO - I had problems with Autozone and they wouldn't give my money back on a bad starter - Another guy here said they will. If you do take it back, they want the receipt from the OTHER place that you buy from - at least that's what they told me in Sacramento, CA - so I just tossed it and counted it as a lesson.
 

1986fordranger

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First - don't use the started until it is fixed because the flywheel replacement is a LOT of work.

From past posts:
I put in a ten tooth gear and everything was fine except that I also replaced the solenoid with the 'best' that O'Rielly has. The made in China solenoid stuck once; a junk-yard genuine Ford part is better. (Rangers have an ‘old’ style solenoid)

I have a new fly-wheel and original 9-tooth starter and fine. All flywheels are now made in China – the one from Autozone had to be junked, this on from Rock Auto has been in for about 30,000 mile so far.

FYI: The starter can only go on one way and the clearance is determined by the rear engine plate and when I bolted it to the transmission bell-housing, it didn't make more than a couple thousandths of difference. Some Fords could use a flywheel shim, but not these Rangers. Look at the way it works and you will see why.
Auto and stick starters are the same from the parts stores. If there is a difference from the factory, it would be slight if any. I held an auto and a stick starter-drive together and didn't see and difference - but I didn't use a micrometer to see if there were any measurable differences.

An escort starter gear (10 teeth) got me through until I had to swap transmissions and a new flywheel so that escort gear is something to look at.

The Ford starters of this style last a very longtime. I only needed two or three in a Pinto (same starter as the Ranger) that ran 240,000 miles mostly for deliveries in San Francisco with lots of starts and stops.
The original flywheel and starter were on the truck when I bought it and were probably ten years old. In my experience, Ford starters last a very long time---

I also ran a 10 gage ground wire from one of the starter bolts to the frame and that seemed to help with the power to the starter.

ALSO - I had problems with Autozone and they wouldn't give my money back on a bad starter - Another guy here said they will. If you do take it back, they want the receipt from the OTHER place that you buy from - at least that's what they told me in Sacramento, CA - so I just tossed it and counted it as a lesson.
ok I pulled the starter today, checked the flywheel ring gear and it seems to be decent for how old it is, had alittle wear on the edge, but overall not bad, starter bendix bushing seems worn, but the bendix drive gear is in decent shape, this new (rebuilt) starter the last owner put in a few months ago turns out to be a autozone aswell, it looks as though the bendix gear is not fully reaching the ring gear to fully engage it thrus the grinding, thanks for all the info
 
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wildbill23c

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I've had the exact same issue with my 84 Bronco 2, and my issue has been the starter kept wanting to slide away from the flywheel, I'm guessing the torque of the starter was causing this. Last time I crawled under and straightened it out I really cranked the bolts down and so far in the past couple months its been fine ever since. So check and make sure your bolts are really tight, use some lock-tite if you have to so the bolts don't work lose, I ended up using some lock washers and lock-tite. The bottom bolt is also a through bolt now with lock washers and a self locking nut. Seems to be holding really good this way.

And yes the autozone starters are junk but that's all I could afford, and next trip to the junk yard I'm going to look for a ford starter.
 

1986fordranger

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I've had the exact same issue with my 84 Bronco 2, and my issue has been the starter kept wanting to slide away from the flywheel, I'm guessing the torque of the starter was causing this. Last time I crawled under and straightened it out I really cranked the bolts down and so far in the past couple months its been fine ever since. So check and make sure your bolts are really tight, use some lock-tite if you have to so the bolts don't work lose, I ended up using some lock washers and lock-tite. The bottom bolt is also a through bolt now with lock washers and a self locking nut. Seems to be holding really good this way.

And yes the autozone starters are junk but that's all I could afford, and next trip to the junk yard I'm going to look for a ford starter.
ok cool, i'll check on getting some lock tite, I did notice now that I think about it on mine if I just loosen the bolts one turn I can move the starter around 1/4'' or more toward and away from the flywheel, seems as though the bolts are too small for the mount holes on the starter, also noticed that for some reason the top bolt is a 5/8 and the bottom is a 9/16, seems strange but it might of been that way from the factory, thanks
 

wildbill23c

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ok cool, i'll check on getting some lock tite, I did notice now that I think about it on mine if I just loosen the bolts one turn I can move the starter around 1/4'' or more toward and away from the flywheel, seems as though the bolts are too small for the mount holes on the starter, also noticed that for some reason the top bolt is a 5/8 and the bottom is a 9/16, seems strange but it might of been that way from the factory, thanks
Yes, I noticed the same thing, the bolts leave a lot of play in the starter mounting flange holes so if one bolt is slightly lose it will kick the starter away from the flywheel and thus the grinding noise.

As for the bolt differences they should both be 9/16". Sounds like someone screwed up the top bolt threads and re-threaded the hole to a larger size.

I seriously had the starter issues from day 1 a year ago when I purchased the B2 and got it home, a few days later it started grinding, then wouldn't start at all. Got a different starter, and a few days later same issue. Then realized what was going on, and just loosened the bolts re-positioned the starter and tightened the bolts. kept having the same issue over and over, every 3-4 days I'd have to crawl under and re-tighten the bolts again. Well then I realized the bottom bolt hole in the engine was stripped and of course I don't have a right angle drill to get in there and drill a new hole, so I had that done. Just had the guy drill the hole completely through and put in a bolt with washers and lock nut and since then I haven't had the issue. You may have the same problem, one of the bolt holes may be stripped out, and it makes it feel like the bolt tightens down but its only a couple of threads, so it slowly just works its way lose again and pretty soon the starter is slid down away from the flywheel.
 

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had the same problem on my 84 BII. Drilled the bolt holes completely through, and now no more starter issues. Make sure that you use bolts with a longer "shoulder" on them since the hole will be worn out next to the starter. This helps to keep the starter aligned more evenly.
 

wildbill23c

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had the same problem on my 84 BII. Drilled the bolt holes completely through, and now no more starter issues. Make sure that you use bolts with a longer "shoulder" on them since the hole will be worn out next to the starter. This helps to keep the starter aligned more evenly.
Right now I just have the lower bolt drilled through, but may drill the other one through at some point, but right now it seems to be holding really well. Just don't know how much money I want to throw at this thing that I could be using for my woodworking project ideas.
 

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I reinstalled the starter motor today, I noticed when bolting it down the bottom bolt hole threads are stripped and won't tighten down, but I did crank down the top one, still grinds, so I think i'm just gunna roll start it for the winter and then maybe drill through and bolt and nut it next summer
 

wildbill23c

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I reinstalled the starter motor today, I noticed when bolting it down the bottom bolt hole threads are stripped and won't tighten down, but I did crank down the top one, still grinds, so I think i'm just gunna roll start it for the winter and then maybe drill through and bolt and nut it next summer
The only way to solve that is to just drill the holes all the way through and put lock washers, loc-tite, and some locking nuts and crank them down really good. So far I'm going on 3 months now and haven't had the starter in my B2 come lose anymore.
 

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Not sure yall are still around... Im having the same issue. Both of my bolt holes are through bolts. Ive been having this issue for a while and it keeps happening. Whenever I reinstall the starter I push it as close to the flywheel as I can and then tighten the hell out of the bolts. When I go and start it grinds and makes a horrible sound.
 

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I had this exact problem. The escort bendix (10 tooth I believe) solved my problem permanently.
 

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I had this exact problem. The escort bendix (10 tooth I believe) solved my problem permanently.
same problem, whats new. 97% sure both of our tailgates dont open either ;missingteeth;
what were the steps you took? is it just a matter of swapping out starters? or is it more work to that? broke 18 year old im on a budget
 

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Mad Max had another thread going and he swapped in the 10 tooth escort bendix and it solved his issue also. You have to get the correct bendix (the gear assembly on the end of the starter) and then you have to take your starter apart and swap the gear assemblies out.

Do a search on "10 tooth bendix" and see what comes up.
 


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