new engine/starter grinding

Engines, Transmissions, running gear, etc.

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new engine/starter grinding

Postby RicardoSwe » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:56 am

I have 100 miles on my new engine (CB Performance) and Hi-torque starter. All parts are new. The starter has increasingly started to grind when trying to start.

The flywheel is CB Perf. #1303 Lightweight forged Chromoly, toothed for 12V (confirmed w/ CB Perf.).

The starter is HyTorque IMI-101 12V. Confirmed with HyTorque that this is the right starter. This starter "requires no starter bushing...it is self supporting...". From HyTorque site: "This unit is designed for a Volkswagen application using a type I transmission..."

HyTorque said issue could be caused by a weak battery not suppling sufficient voltage/amperage to starter. But battery is a new Optima, trickle charged regularly, i.e. it should in no way be weak. HyTorque offered to bench test the starter if I ship the started back to them, which I probably will do.

I have checked the mounting bolts and they are tight. I have not yet taken it off to inspect the gears and flywheel gears, but will be doing so.

I can not figure why it is grinding --- any ideas?
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby Larry Jowdy » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:02 pm

I'd still check the battery. Optima batteries hate to be trickle charged and it can cause premature failure. Hook up another battery to your existing battery via jumper cables and try again.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby RS-60 mark » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:43 pm

Try hot wiring directly from the solenoid to the battery a few times and see what happens. If you get solid starter operation (and with a HyTorque it will be very solid!) this might then indicate there is a weak connection (or undersized wire) in the circuit between the solenoid and ign switch, starter switch, relays, fuse, etc.

And, just as an adder to the confusion: Is your transaxle from a 6v car or a 12v car?? 12v flywheels are larger in diameter than 6v flywheels. I think (just a wild guess, for sure) that the bell housing of transaxles from 6v cars might need to be clearanced in order to swing a 12v flywheel. In other words: Maybe your flywheel is "self clearancing" and that is the grinding you hear? (Although I suppose you would have been hearing this during the entire 100 miles if you had a 12v/6v mismatch, maybe.)
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby VintageGreg » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:17 pm

Richard,
Its the solenoid not activating the gear correctly, do you have a ground strap from the transmission to the chassis??
Had the same problem with another car even changed the starter to a stock new one and it did the same thing once we added the ground strap this fixed the problem.
Mark you make me laugh!!!


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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby WasserSpyder » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:45 am

I have 7 IMI 101N Hi Torque starters here and all 7 of them grind randomly (different cars, and whether they are wired through the car or jumped directly with a fresh battery/jump pack) .
I spoke with IMI yesterday and they have no idea why. They asked me to send them back so they can look at them. In all of those cases, replacing the IMI with a stock VW starter solved the issue. I also pulled a 2 year old IMI off of my own car and tried it on several of the ones that were grinding and it did not grind. My guess (despite the advise above) is that they have recently had something in manufacturing change...
The advise above (re: wire diameter and ground strap) is valid, and may also be the root cause of your issues, but again I have a feeling there is a starter issue in the most recent batch.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby RicardoSwe » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:01 pm

Thanks all -- I have some follow up to do.

Answering a couple ideas given -
* Yes, I have a grounding strap from the transmission to frame.
* Transaxle is appropriate (I didn't know there were 6V and 12V types). I bought the one recommended by Vintage Spyder.

I am suspecting that I have a poor electrical connection somewhere in the battery-relay-starter wiring and that is causing a voltage drop at the starter/solenoid. This is consistent with HyTorque's comment about a weak battery as a potential cause.

I found a couple helpful YouTube videos about methodical testing of the battery-starter wiring. They make a lot of sense about voltage loss at poor connections affecting starter operation.

1st -- showing step by step testing various connections (on motorcycle):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV5wdGtP34o&list=WL07B96BDC170B66D8
and 2nd -- showing a poor connection preventing a starter from operating. Once the bad connection is found, it worked.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry68G0C2Fyc&list=WL07B96BDC170B66D8



So, I plan to do some voltage testing. I'll report back with what I find.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby beck688 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:59 pm

If memory serves the only difference between a 6 and 12v transmission bellhousing is the starter bushing but you don't use the bushing so you can cross that off your list.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby Larry Jowdy » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Not quite true. The 6 volt bellhousing is smaller in diameter as the 6 volt engines had a 180 mm clutch in the flywheel and the 12 volt engine has a 200 mm clutch in the flywheel. The inside area of a 6 volt bellhousing MUST be ground out to accept the larger flywheel.

It is possible that someone used a 6 volt 200 mm flywheel used on early VW busses but highly unlikely since the tooth count is totally different and a 12 volt starter will not turn the 6 volt flywheel but rather it will lock up when you try to start the car.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby beck688 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:55 pm

I did qualify that with jf memory serves -- and I am old so that is my get out of stuff free card.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby Larry Jowdy » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Yeah, I know that feeling all too well
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby RS-60 mark » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:44 am

VintageGreg wrote:Richard,
Mark you make me laugh!!!
Greg

No problem Greg, you are easily entertained.

Which part did you find the funniest:
The part about hot wiring directly to the starter solenoid in order to sensibly isolate the problem to either the starter itself or to the related electrical?
Or the part about the remote possibility of a 12v/6v bell housing mismatch http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=539091 ?
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby DannyP » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:06 am

Mark, I thought he was laughing at the "self-machining" comment. I was, it was funny!
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby RicardoSwe » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:22 pm

I've completed some testing -- the results seem a little inconclusive, but I have some follow up ideas. Bottom line is that the grinding continues -- with fully charged battery.

Please bear with me, as there's a lot of granularity to this note -- maybe someone will spot something I don't.

Resistance in the starter to battery negative circuit may be slightly high -- don't know if "slightly" is enough to cause the grinding (reportedly would be "due to weak voltage to solenoid" while cranking).

Battery as-it-was when I started trying to trouble shoot the grinding was 12.2 volts. This was 2-3 weeks since the last trickle charge. This is too low and possibly a factor in the starter grind.

After trickle charge over night, battery was 12.9 V. That's OK.

Voltage drops on the starter to battery negative terminal --
* info I found said that 0.1-0.2 V drop was OK, but more than this was indicative of a problem.
* voltage drops section by section from starter to battery negative were mostly good (0.1-0.2 V)
* voltage drops across the starter to grounding-straps-bolts-to-chassis were a bit high (0.32-0.33 V). (Note that I put in two grounding straps, both bolted to the frame at the same location - one on transmissoin and one on engine case.)
* I am thinking the resistance at the bolts holding the grounding straps may be slightly high and the resistance across the starter to transmission is a bit high. The grounding strap bolts have star washers, intended to aid the connection. No star washer on the starter to transmission bolt -- which I can add hoping to lower resistance.

Voltage drops on the starter to battery positive terminal --
All the voltage drops here were quite low (0.1V).

Solenoid testing --
I'm not entirely clear on what the test mean, but I did them (per the first video I posted -- which is quite thorough). The resistance across solenoid poles while cranking looked OK (1.0 ohms). So, I'm inconclusive about whether the solenoid itself has a problem.

So --
First I will work on the grounding strap bolt connections and the starter-to-transmission connection, hoping to lower the voltage drops there. Assuming this does not resolve the grinding problem, I think my next step will be to take the car to a mechanic who has the experience to track down just what the cause may be.

Again -- sorry this is so long and detailed -- hoping it may reveal something I don't see --

Thanks for reading this far!!
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby beck688 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:21 pm

I think you have a bum starter -- Your starter should be way better than my stock starter. My stock starter has never caused a problem even though it is heat soaked like crazy. So like Wassersyder suggested I think you have a bum starter.
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Re: new engine/starter grinding

Postby DannyP » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:20 am

My IMI starter is 2 or 3 years old now. It still works as new. I think you have a bum starter, as Carey said. Extra ground straps are good, I have a couple of them also.
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