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  #1  
Old 10-24-2006, 11:25 PM
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Starter issues

Ok. My 81 240D stick with 380000 is on it's sixth starter arrording to it's rather extensive maintenance record. It's only had this one for about 10k miles. It's starting to make a grating sound intermittantly when starting about every fifth start or so. Just for the first split second I touch the key. I'm wondering what actually causes that noise? I guess it must have teeth in it that mesh with teeth inside the engine itself not so? Why would it only make such a dreadfull grating sound occasionally?

- Peter.
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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 340000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2006, 11:54 PM
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Starter's not correctly meshing with the teeth in the flywheel. It could be that the starter is not correctly located in relation to the flywheel or (more likely?) on the previous starter problems deteriorated the teeth in the flywheel causing the problem.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2006, 12:52 AM
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Flywheel

I guess then the obvious question is, is replacing the flywheel a big job?

- Peter.
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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 340000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2006, 01:24 AM
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Not too bad. You can pull the transmission and leave the engine in the car, or pull the engine out of the car to do it. I would pull the engine out to save the hassle of having to work under the car. You will need to mark the orientation of the current flywheel and then remove it and have the new flywheel match balanced to the old one. Plan on about 10 hours or so for the job.
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1982 300SD - 232K miles - Wife's Daily Driver

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  #5  
Old 10-26-2006, 12:42 AM
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If you have some time, you might want to pull the starter first and inspect the flywheel teeth while hand turning the engine, save you some extra work if its only the bendix mechanism in the starter getting sticky. You want to look for broken/chipped teeth and teeth with worn ends, should be cut flat and square on the ends.

Rebuilt engine in my truck once, put new flex plate on just because old one was getting well used looking, reused old starter as it had been fine and wasnt too old, drove 10 miles after breaking in motor and starter engaged suddenly @ 40 mph. Starter solenoid had decided to short itself out. only had a benchtop foxtail brush in the truck, beat the cable to death until it released from the lug & got starter stopped in time to save wiring/battery from meltdown. Towed home and replaced starter, engine cranked with a clunk......clunk.......clunk....pulled starter and new flex plate had one missing tooth, drove it that way for a few years till it was killed by a DUI.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2006, 12:55 PM
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I agree, pull the starter and inspect the flywheel. More than likely you will find a damaged area. this starter should have a brace or support on the front of the starter. Could it have been left off on a prior replacement? With a brace missing the starter can engage at an angle causing wear on the flywheel.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2006, 04:50 PM
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Can you not shrink a new starter ring onto the flywheel on a 240 if you can locate one? Might be easier than locating another 240 flywheel is all I am thinking. . On some of these cars the flywheel to crank mark is hard to find. That could really complicate things costwise. Then again it may not be the starter ring gear. Lots of poorly rebuilt starters out there so overall results could have been just bad luck.

Last edited by barry123400; 10-26-2006 at 04:56 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2006, 05:14 PM
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I bought a 240D recently with a "bad starter"
and blown clutch and had to replace the fly wheel as the ring gear had come adrift. I think a new one was $100, but in my case the flywheel was damaged by the spinning ring gear.
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