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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all... just got done putting the TKO back in my "fun" car and now it won't start. The starter turns over, I can hear it spinning, but it's not engaging the flywheel. I can't tell if the teeth are jammed against the flywheel and not allowing it to slide forward and engage, or if it's too far off to the side of the flywheel, or what.

At first, the starter wouldn't even turn, and the ground strap at the back of the motor would become red-hot and wire loom near it would start melting if I held the key in the start/ignition position. That's a new one for me (!). Thought it was a grounding issue of some sort, but everything seems fine. I swapped out starters with my daily driver to see if that made any difference, now the starter spins, the ground strap doesn't get hot, and nothing smokes.

I've tried the trick with a screwdriver across the solenoid, no results other than sparks and the fuel pump priming again when I let go. I'm not new to the hobby, but I'm at the end of my rope. Don't want to replace the starter if I don't have to... wondering, if the second starter made a difference but still won't turn the motor over, would a brand new starter fix the problem? Or is it something else in the ignition system?

Any help would be appreciated, as I'm currently borrowing a car to get to work and the "fun car" is going to be my daily driver for a while.
 

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if you can hear the starter going then the teeth aren't jammed into the flywheel, you would definitely be able to tell if it was trying to start but jamming up.. so if you can hear the starter gear turning and its not cranking your motor at all then you definitely would want to make sure that the starter gear is coming out all the way and also make sure that its not going too far past the flywheel.. you might have to shim the starter.

do both of your cars have the same flywheels? i know you said you're running a TKO in one car.. did you change the flywheel to something other than a 157 tooth? figured i'd get that question out of the way..

if you tried two different starters, i doubt that a new starter would help the problem because the second starter you tried actually works.

when you jumped the solenoid, did you get the starter to spin like it did with the key? you said there were sparks but you never said if it spun the gear or not.. you went from the little post on top to the post with the wire going to the starter right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
if you can hear the starter going then the teeth aren't jammed into the flywheel, you would definitely be able to tell if it was trying to start but jamming up.. so if you can hear the starter gear turning and its not cranking your motor at all then you definitely would want to make sure that the starter gear is coming out all the way and also make sure that its not going too far past the flywheel.. you might have to shim the starter.

do both of your cars have the same flywheels? i know you said you're running a TKO in one car.. did you change the flywheel to something other than a 157 tooth? figured i'd get that question out of the way..
Both cars are running stock 157-tooth flywheels. I've got the starter out of the car tonight to take it to Autozone and have it tested, to make sure it's coming out and contacting the flywheel and not just spinning in place.
if you tried two different starters, i doubt that a new starter would help the problem because the second starter you tried actually works.

when you jumped the solenoid, did you get the starter to spin like it did with the key? you said there were sparks but you never said if it spun the gear or not.. you went from the little post on top to the post with the wire going to the starter right?
It sparks, but it doesn't spin the starter; yeah, that's how I did it.

As I was pulling the starter out, I noticed something about the back-plate and bell-housing... there are two sets of holes so that you can kind of index the starter, either angled like "/" or "\" but that the starter will only bolt into one set of holes. It will rotate to ALMOST fit into the other holes, but it stops just short of getting the bolts to thread. Going to try that tonight after I get back from Autozone to make sure the starter isn't jacked up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, the starter is good per testing at Autozone... going to re-install it tonight, then it's back to the drawing board.
 
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