Take a look at the gear on the starter itself (bendix gear). If the
shaft -is- extending out of the starter to engage the the flywheel (get
a flashlight, and have someone tap the key), the bendix gear may be worn
down. In that case, you need a new starter.
Also, is the flywheel or flexplate missing teeth? Take a good look
around down there and see what's happening. You don't need to get your
face right in it; just get a good view of the flexplate or flywheel
first, and if it isn't missing teeth, then have a trustworthy partner
hit the key for you and see what the starter does.
The starter on my '89 has worked without fail for the last 75,000 miles,
and is now at 201,000. I have no idea how old it actually is.
But the starter is spinning. How could it be that i need a new starter. Its
just that the silinoid isn't kicking the gear out and its brand new. Worked
fine outside the car. Once I installed it, then the gear wouldn't kick out.
The gear doesn't kick out because the silinoid is not pushing it. The gear
slides out easily by hand when the starter is out of the car. So I know
its not stuck. Also the silinoid worked fine when I had the starter out of
the car. Its not even clicking like a silinoid usualy does.
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