Worn down teeth on starter gear? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 07-23-2015
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Worn down teeth on starter gear?

My original post started here about my starting problem. I still have the problem, but an entirely new set of questions have come up now that I've had time to dig deeper into this.


https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-gen...deos-help.html


So as suggested in the original post, I took my starter off and took it up to Adance Auto to have it tested. The test came back as "Good" as in my starter is working just fine. But, the teeth of the part that engages with the flywheel are worn down (sorry, not sure of the exact terminology for the gear). The E-14 torx bolts that hold the starter on were not extremely tight, but it also didn't take an extreme amount of torque to break them, just a few good tugs on the ratchet. What could possible be the cause of the worn down teeth?


I noticed while I was under the car that my transmission pan is leaking. Not sure if this could be related or not, but just thought I'd mention it.


The guy I was talking to at the auto parts store said that if I do put in a new starter, it could temporarily fix my problem (maybe), but that it's possible it could be strong enough to just tear up my flywheel if it's already weak.


After all the problems I've already had with this car, I could just cry thinking about needing to replace the flywheel (NOT a job I would attempt as a DIY. It's way above my skill level and beyond my limited tool set). But I don't even know if the flywheel is the source of the starter gear being worn down because I cannot find the flywheel to check the teeth for wear or possibly broken teeth. Any suggestions for gaining access to check the teeth out?
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#2 Old 07-23-2015
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The starter needs to be replaced if you can't R&R the gear that drives the ring gear on the flywheel. You said it was loosely bolted, so that didn't help.

Regarding the ring gear, you should be able to see at least a few teeth at a time as someone turns the engine over using the front bolt on the crankshaft. But why bother? You don't have the knowledge or skill to remove the transmission to replace the flywheel. BTW, this would be expensive at least a grand to do. Usually if there is any damage, only a few teeth will be affected, so the probability is most of the time there will be good engagement between the starter and ring gear. The thing to do is replace the starter hoping the flywheel is mostly OK?

Make sure the engine is in tune so the starter doesn't have to "grind" and the engine lights up immediately.
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#3 Old 07-23-2015
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I agree with DSSG that you should be able to see a small portion of the flywheel gear through the port where the starter boots to the engine. Also agree that replacing the flywheel would be a major..... I would think that the flywheel would hold up better than the starter, so hopefully you are okay.

My thoughts on why the starter gear is worn:

1) Holding the key on and the grinding you have heard in the past.

2) If the gear was too lose on the starter, that could have caused wear as well.

Good luck,
Tim
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#4 Old 07-23-2015
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Thanks for your input guys! My friend's Dad was like "I can loan you my transmission tools and jack." I'm like "umm, no" hahaha! If i were to attempt that, I might as well just go ahead and start digging a hole to burry my car in. I'll put on a new starter and see how it goes. Would it make any difference whether or not I get a Bosch replacement? I know certain things such as the MAF you definitely want to stick with the original, but what about for the starter?
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#5 Old 07-23-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2_Big_Red_Dogs View Post
Thanks for your input guys! My friend's Dad was like "I can loan you my transmission tools and jack." I'm like "umm, no" hahaha! If i were to attempt that, I might as well just go ahead and start digging a hole to burry my car in. I'll put on a new starter and see how it goes. Would it make any difference whether or not I get a Bosch replacement? I know certain things such as the MAF you definitely want to stick with the original, but what about for the starter?
Do you like R&R'ing the starter? If so, take the risk on a cheaper starter. If not, stick to Bosch!
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#6 Old 07-23-2015
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A big big big THANK YOU for all the advice! Went ahead and put the new starter on and wow, what a HUGE difference! I was kind of chicken to try the first crank, but once I did, it started right up like a champ with NO terrible sounds. I never did find the flywheel to check the teeth, but the starter is definitely fully engaging so I think all is good there. I had forgotten to mention before (MAJOR lack of sleep this week!), but I will now just in case someone else might be having the same issue....when I took the old starter to get tested, even though it tested as "good", when the test started, the Bendix (?) gear begins to spin and slides up (at this point I am assuming is when it's supposed to engage with the flywheel). Well, while it was spinning and after it slid all the way up to engage, before the cycle was completely finished, it would start slipping backward towards the housing about a 1/2 inch or so in mid cycle. The guy at the auto parts store wasn't sure if this was normal or not for that particular starter. So before I put the new one on my car, I asked him if he would run the test on it, just for kicked and giggles, to see if it slid back down any. Nope. Not at all. Stayed fully extended the entire cycle and then slid back in. And as he ran the test on the new starter, he commented on how much better the new starter sounded compared to the old one. Not sure what was going on there with the old starter, but I'm tickled to death that I'm back up and running and my car sounds SO much better cranking. And now that I know the real way to crank, maybe I won't tear it up again haha!! And now I don't have to burry my car, hee hee!!
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#7 Old 07-23-2015
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Originally Posted by ichris93 View Post
Do you like R&R'ing the starter? If so, take the risk on a cheaper starter. If not, stick to Bosch!


We must have been posting at the same time! You'll have to fill me in on what R&R'ing is. I'm still learning all this car talk lingo
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#8 Old 07-23-2015
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Originally Posted by 2_Big_Red_Dogs View Post
We must have been posting at the same time! You'll have to fill me in on what R&R'ing is. I'm still learning all this car talk lingo
Remove and Replace. You're learning all sorts of things.
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#9 Old 07-23-2015
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Originally Posted by ichris93 View Post
Remove and Replace. You're learning all sorts of things.

I am! I'm very thankful for you guys educating me. I owe ya!!
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