Starter Not Engaging

Tried to start the car today but the starter doesn't engage the ring gear on the flywheel. Here is my setup

ZF transaxle
Kennedy Engineered Products bellhousing
Aluminum 153-tooth flywheel
Ford hi-torque mini-starter

I'm getting close!

Bill
 

Dutton

Lifetime Supporter
Bill,

How frustrating to be THIS close to the finish line! By 'not engaging' do you means that:

• the starter isn't turning over OR
• the starter is turning but the bendix isn't moving the starter gear towards the flywheel OR
• the starter is turning and the bendix is working fine but the starter assembly is too far away from the flywheel?

T.
 

Rob

Lifetime Supporter
Hey Bill,
Sorry to tell ya, but believe you have the wrong flywheel..... I know...I know...Kennedy told you that the bell housing was for a 157 tooth wheel...right? Same for me, once it showed up I figured it out. Amazing that they don't know what they are selling. I used a 164 tooth on mine, and we have the same set ups. Sorry man.....:cry:
 

Rob

Lifetime Supporter
As I said.......SORRY man.... I didn't really want to tell you the input.... I even pulled all my files to confirm what I thought I remembered before I responded.

I wouldn't pull the motor, just the transaxle. It would be quicker than disconnecting all the plumbing and bits.....

Feel free to call if you want to discuss.
 
That means I have to remove the rear clip, axles, the transaxle, disconnect the clutch line, the rear cross member, the bellhousing, and clutch to just get to the flywheel. Not to mention another $350 for a new flywheel!!!!!
 
Ram -1505 weighs 33lb, should dampen out the vibes:). WTF do you need a 164t flywheel anyway, just get an early sandwich plate to match the 157t flywheel & drill /tap the adaptor to suit, might have to add a blob of alloy with the tig for the lower bolt in a worst case scenario, but still gonna cost lots less than a new flywheel plus you retain the lower MOI of the small flywheel, more ground clearance etc, etc.

BEFORE you do anything drastic ensure that you have the correct starter ( or more correctly the right end housing fitted to the starter )- The starter for a 164t manual flywheel has the pinion set further forward due to different ring gear placement than the 164t auto or 157t manual/auto versions. Other than that starters should be identical.
 
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JM
I wish it were that simple. The starter mounts to holes in the bellhousing.

Do you think I could redrill the bellhousing?
 
JM
I wish it were that simple. The starter mounts to holes in the bellhousing.

Do you think I could redrill the bellhousing?
Bill, that is exactly what I am suggesting, the sandwich plate ( the 0.060" steel plate fitted between engine block & bellhousing on all early SBF ) has the location hole for the starter in it, obtain one of these from a 65 thru whatever SBF with the 157t flywheel/flexplate, auto or manual and use it as a drilling template for the new bolt holes in the bell housing/adapter by simply sitting it on the bellhousing and located with two 1/2" bolts in the factory dowel holes. As mentioned earlier the lower starter attachment hole might exit in fresh air/maybe not, but a blob of alloy weld would be sufficient to tap into.

BTW the sandwich plate should be used in order to locate the starter correctly in relation to the ring gear- the bolts are not meant to do this, all you guys that dont use one are asking for trouble-- so buy a sandwich plate and use it, save a lot of aggro later, let me know if you need a pic put up, have all three types down in the shed, becomes self explanatory when you see them all stacked on top of one another. Gotta go pull a 289 to bits for appraisal soon so will take camera with me-hate it when work intrudes on sunday afternoons.
 
Thanks JM
I currently don't have a sandwich plate installed. The mounting holes in the bellhousing for the starter are threaded. PM sent
 
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Bill,

This is a 164 tooth flywheel with the motor plate installed. You need the motor plate anyway, so you should take it apart.



I used a clockable starter, but even in the best position, it is still tight. Worrks well though!

 
Well, I crawled under the car and it appears I have to remove the headers, crossmember, and possibly the engine in order for the bottom of the bellhousing to clear the chassis.
 
Bill, pics of two different sandwich plates and three ring gear diameters. Sandwich plate you require is on top and would be from any early 6 bolt 289/302 either manual or auto.

Three Flex Plates are 164t bottom, 157t middle, & cant remember how many for smallest which is for 50oz mustang/capri models.

Looks like you may need to add a blob of alloy weld for bottom bolt if your bell is same as Marks in pic above or possibly you could drill for longer bolt to go right thru adaptor.
 
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Yes, it's a ZF and I got everything from Dennis at Pantera Performance (thanks Ron!). Including my flywheel, pressure plate, clutch, TOB, clutch slave, and engine plate.

 
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