: Starter Idiocy?

02-13-06, 08:07 PM

My 1997's engine was replaced about 1800 miles ago with one from a sideways smashed deville with 23000 miles. I paid $2400 for it, which to me is very reasonable. About a week ago the starter started acting up. The starter was from the Deville engine, not my original one. It would just refuse to turn over. I could hear the relay click (near the fuses in the engine bay) but no solenoid click. This was only after a prolonged drive (1/2 hour or more). It would start after waiting 10 or 15 minutes. After a few days of very light use (I cut down on driving the car to a couple trips per day until I would have time to fix it) it simply refused to start after not being run for a day and a half. I pushed the car into my garage (they say this car is light? Maybe it is by Cadillac standards... But I guess 30' of pushing makes anythign heavy) and took it apart. The starter is an easy change. I put it back perfectly, the hardest part was finding the torque specs for the manifold bolts.

I swapped it with the one off my old engine, and it worked fine for a few more days. Now it has a new problem. When the key is turned to start, the starter operates, then does not cease to operate when the key is released. The starter motor keeps running for 3 or 4 seconds, then stops. It does not stop if put into gear while the starter is still turning but the engine is running.

My feeling is that it is stuck, physically, and the gear is not retracting from the flywheel. Does this make sense? Or could it be something else? It's somewhat cold here, and my garage is heated only by a kerosene machine, and takes forever to warm up. I would hope for some input before I go out there for an hour or two and take it apart again, especially as I cannot test it with the starter exposed. :mad:

Am I missing something? Perhaps I am drunk on coffee again? :coffee:

02-13-06, 08:21 PM
I think you have it figured out. The pinion is binding on the ring gear and preventing release. You probably need to shim it.

Tommy Deville
02-13-06, 09:15 PM
Funny thing samr thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago only on a Truck, check your ground wires.

02-14-06, 12:13 AM
Shim? On this engine? That's not in the manuals.

I'm going to take it apart again to see if I can find anything.

All connections are fine.

02-14-06, 06:00 AM
Fixed. This is weird. I think it may be a different problem. If it comes back I will post.

After putting it back together, it did the hanging up thing one more time.

Then after that it was perfect. 12 or 14 starts and stops.

Odd. :cookoo: :banghead:

02-14-06, 11:10 PM
There may have been some rust on the starter shaft from sitting around in your old engine. The starter snout would be exposed if the engine was sitting out of the car and a little corrosion on the shaft that the pinion moves on would not be unusual. The rust probably cuased it to hang and not retract...hence the sound that the starter was still running. It sounds like it has cleaned the shaft up and the pinion is retracting properly now....

02-15-06, 01:18 AM
My old engine has only been unused for a month. It was in the car a month ago!

02-16-06, 04:17 AM
Ok, starter idiotic again. This is getting really annoying. Here I am again in a 50 degree garage taking apart my car at 4 am. I'm going to replace the starter relay.

This car is MOO!

02-16-06, 07:10 AM
The relay is full of water. And corroded to hell!

02-16-06, 07:22 PM
Yikes! How'd that happen?

02-17-06, 06:14 AM
It was hanging off of its little mount next to the big fuses in the fuse panel in the engine compartment. IT was actually below the black plastic cover, so even with the cover in place it was exposed to salt water spray. (I live in Michican you know!)

02-18-06, 07:30 AM
Sorry about quality. Nothing meats 1.5mm lens with bad lighting.

Images in no particular order:







Strange, hmm? Pictures lightened via tool on Sprint's site. May look a little washed out on LCD monitors due to the goofy contrast and gamma curve on most of them.