Ford Escort 1.9L automatic, year-old replacement starter bought brand
My starter briefly grinds slightly when the key is released and the
engine is cold, especially when the weather is below 80-90F. It's
done this since new, and the grinding isn't getting worse. I've tried
moving the starter around, including the addition of washers approx.
.025" thick to shim it (since removed), but nothing changed.
Could this starter have been inadequately lubed? Should I just grease
the throw-out fork (if there is one) and the drive pinion (the one
that goes intot he overrun clutch, not the pinion that goes against
the flywheel gear)?
I know that I should have exchanged it soon after purchase, but now
all they'll give me is a rebuilt, and I don't want to risk that
because it's from Pep Boys, and the original was brand new, not a
Oilite is a tradename used to identify bushings made from sintered
(powdered and then formed) bronze. The spaces between the bronze particles
hold oil. When a shaft turns in such a bushing, capillary action draws the
oil to the shaft/bushing junction surface, providing lubrication. All of
this is contingent upon the bushing having been properly oiled during or
after manufacture. The correct procedure involves soaking the bushings in
hot oil for a period of time, then letting them cool, draining/wiping off
the excess oil, and *then* using them. This, however, is messy and few
manufacturers do it any more, so it's down to the end user. In the real
world, a liberal application of appropriate oil (I like to use Mobil-1
10W30) during unit assembly is usually plenty good enough without all the
heating up and such. But a lot of the reman shops just put a dab of grease
in the bushing. This works OK as long as the grease lives, but it
effectively converts the clever Oilite bushing into a plain ordinary
bushing that requires periodic relubrication.
If you're up for it, take apart your starter and apply oil to the
bushings. If not, just leave it be-- the noise is annoying, but it'll keep
making it for a long time.
Just for the record, remanufactured is not necessarily junk. Years ago,
when I was just a young motorhead, we rebuilt everything. Starters,
alternators, pumps, every thing. Now, we just replace them with either new
or rebuilt parts. No body rebuilds stuff on his own bench any more. Modular
swaps are the norm and they usually work out better for the consumer by
saving both time and money. Nine times out of ten remanufactured is just
fine provided it comes from an established rebuild. The blanket "it's crap"
assessment is emotional but not very accurate. You are correct in that when
it began making noise you should have returned it. Don't beat yourself up
thinking if you had only installed a new part....The truth is, new parts
fail at almost the same rate as reconditioned parts. Otherwise, we would buy
new cars and never have to use the warranty.
Pfft. OK, let me rephrase for you: I've been repairing and maintaining
motor vehicles for close to twenty years, and virtually every time I've
bought a remanufactured rotating electrical part (starter, alternator,
generator), distributor, carburetor, brake master cylinder, water or air
pump, it's been an indifferently thrown together piece of shit that has
neither worked nor lasted acceptably. This is across seven US states and
one Canadian province, at virtually every common parts source.
IMO, Rebuilds are great. Factory reman is junk. YMMV.
I have to second this considering the 'reman' distributor problems
I had. The second one I got, combined with parts from my orginal yielded
one good working distributor. Plus I had to sand a part smooth for it
to work. (to transfer the original would have been more work requiring
complete disassembly of the reman)
As far as the alternator and starter on that car I bought new parts to
replace what was going bad and repaired them myself. Much better to
rebuild one's own components if possible.
Of course not. But everything that you buy "remanufactured" from Schlep
Boys, AutoBone, and the like is most certainly junk. And even that
wasn't always true. I recently removed a rebuilt starter that I bought
at CarQuest sometime around 1981. But as with so many things,
bean-counters prevailed over technical people and cheaper
mass-production methods were applied to rebuilding starters.
And since the market is no longer there, its hard to even buy the needed
parts to do a rebuild yourself assuming you're willing to do it. Unless
you have a local electric motor/starter/alternator shop that is willing
to sell you parts wholesale (fortunately, I do :-)
But a part rebuilt by, for example, a locally owned low-volume auto
electric shop will probably last a very long time. I always advise
people to go that route and many are put off by the fact that the local
shop offers a 90-day warranty and AutoBone offers a "lifetime" warranty.
I just tell them "Fine, if you want to spend the rest of your 'lifetime'
bolting and unbolting an endless string of crappily put-together
starters, then be my guest... because that is PRECISELY what an AutoBone
'lifetime' warranty means."
While I haven't taken the starter apart yet (I did take dissassemble
the factory original partially -- shorted), I'm confused how this
could cause a gear grinding sound because I don't think any bushings
slide in this starter.
They wanted $20 less for a lifetime rebuilt, and the starter I got
didn't have the usual scratches or dents I've seen on rebuilt
alternators and brake parts, even sandblasted and painted parts, and I
wouldn't have bought a rebuilt from them but would have waited the
next day to get one from NAPA or a Ford dealer. The Pep Boys receipt
said "NEW PGMR STARTER", #7-69035-51002, $159.99.
It sounds like a gear grinding sound, but it's actually the shaft
vibrating in a dry and/or overspec bushing. It's common in this starter
design when they get some years/miles on them and when they're
indifferently rebuilt. You don't hear it when the starter is engaged
because cranking puts considerable sideloads on every shaft/bushing
junction in the starter -- it's only when it's free-spinning down that you
hear it, because there are no sideloads.
Every piece of that starter is availble new, including housings, from
"offshore" (Chinese) foundries. If you don't care about machining quality
or tolerance, well, hey!
paint it blue and call it new. sadly this is typical to find. but as the
original qquestion, no, you cannot lubricate a starter motor. i'd say
exchange the one you got and pray you get the 1:3 that works right. or
go buy an OE if you've got money out the wazoo :) pray it's not as
difficult as putting a starter in an LX470 (you have to take off the intake)
That's the problem. I bought a brand new starter from Pep Boys, but
their warranty will replace it with a rebuilt. I think the original
starter was made by Rotating Electrical, and they said that they
manufacture both new and rebuilt starters but no longer deal with Pep
Boys. Is this a good company or not?
I've been supremely lucky in buying rebuilts from my local parts
stores. the basic Chevy starter has been lasting me 10 years. Two
years ago I bought one for $38, which was the lowest price in a long
time. And I do lots of starting. Usually it's just the solenoid that
goes on me.
Most times reman'd parts have same or better warranties than new, at half
the price. I *always* buy reman'd over new. I used to drive a little mazda
mx-6.. alternator went out. only place to get ANY parts for it was the
mazda dealership. New one was over $300.00 with a 1yr warranty, reman'd
one was about 90.00 with a lifetime warranty. Same with CV joints..
Autozone had both new and reman'd.. again, for a pair (inside and outside,
NOT left and right.)of cv joints, new over $189ea., reman'd just under
$70.00, both had a 3yr warranty. (They also had a lifetime reman'd around
I'll take my quality in the part itself, not in the frilly piece of paper
printed with "LIFETIME WARRANTY". If the starter (alternator, whatever) is
built correctly, the warranty isn't needed. I would rather not spend my
LIFETIME replacing crappy remanufactured garbage under WARRANTY -- I'd
rather be doing better things with my time.
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