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Discussion Starter #1
:confused: Hopefully someone has either seen or knows of this type of problem. When the engine is warm ( and this goes for the first start in warm temps ) the truck spins over and fires up just fine. But!!! When the engine is cold, and this varries depending on if it is a first start and how cold it is, the starter sounds like the bendix does not engage the flywheel fully causing an awefull grinding sound. Also, sometimes the starter will start to turn and then kick out. I have replaced the starter twice with brand new OEM equipment. Everything seems ok in the begining then just gets worse. I have rotated the flywheel to look at the teeth and all looks ok. A little wear but nothing major. Anyone have ANY ideas?:doh:
Note: If I keep my engine heater plugged in all works fine.
 

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First off, welcome to the best place on the planet to get help and other great info.

Here's my guess.

I have seen this type of issue on other starters, though not specifically with the cold.

Some times the starter shaft that the gear slides up on to engage the fly wheel some times gets dry or "sticky". Being you have replaced the starter and have the same issue related to temps, maybe the cold weather causes the shaft lube to get way thick? Maybe pull the starter off throw it in the freezer, bench test it to see what it does frozen versus warmed up to room temp.

Good luck.
 

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Thanks. Definetly food for thought. I had a theory, that I need to check out, that I have a voltage drop going to the starter from the battery in cold weather causing the bendix not to engage fully???
 

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Headwind Magnet
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Welcome to the Nation! I would check two things first-off that are pretty easy:
1. Did you check to see if the starter has loosened up? They are known to do that.
2. How old are your batts? Have you had them load-checked?

Best,
Jim
 

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Welcome to the Nation! I would check two things first-off that are pretty easy:
1. Did you check to see if the starter has loosened up? They are known to do that.
2. How old are your batts? Have you had them load-checked?

Best,
Jim
For sure make sure the batteries are peak. Low bat power can cause several ghost issues.
 

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Batteries, cables, and connections. I had the same issues you describe. Tested the starter, it was fine. Tested batts, they were marginal, replaced them. Same issue, not as bad, but still there. Checked and cleaned all of my connections. Better, but still not good. Sliced back the insulation from the passenger side battery connection just a bit. It was green, looked fine from the outside. Replaced the cable from O'Reilly's, 75 bucks. Truck starts and runs perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. I won't get a chance until Thursday, but everything points towards the batteries. They are only 6 months old but that don't mean much. I did check the bolts and everything is tight.
 

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Batteries, cables, and connections. I had the same issues you describe. Tested the starter, it was fine. Tested batts, they were marginal, replaced them. Same issue, not as bad, but still there. Checked and cleaned all of my connections. Better, but still not good. Sliced back the insulation from the passenger side battery connection just a bit. It was green, looked fine from the outside. Replaced the cable from O'Reilly's, 75 bucks. Truck starts and runs perfect.
Andy, funny you posted this. just last week I replaced the pos cable on mine. I load tested the batt & they were good, not great. They are 3 yrs old and thats old here in this heat. I was cleaning the terminals and saw some corrosion starting in the cable going to the starter. A guy on azpsg ( our local forum that you should join) gets some from an Interstate dealer and the cable from ther drivers side to pass side is the same guage as the one going to the starter, it's one continious pc. $80. Spins like new now. I haven't taken the time to strip the cable but will see how far down it went. Some people don't think about that but it happens a lot.
 

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Thanks everyone. I won't get a chance until Thursday, but everything points towards the batteries. They are only 6 months old but that don't mean much. I did check the bolts and everything is tight.
Check the cables not the terminals. Corrosion will start in the cable under the insulation as Andy said. It happend to me. Doesn't take a lot to deminish the current flow. Kinda like jumper cables, ever have to let the truck run for a while before you could jump someone? I made some 25' cables from #2 welding lead and they will start a dead truck the first crank.
 

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I have a set of cables just like that.
 

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I had the same thing happen this winter. I did some testing, I found if I warmed the Bendix with a torch the starter would work fine. I believe the lube on the Bendix shaft either had gone away or got too thick in the cold. I replaced it with a gear reduction unit from DB Electronics and haven't looked back. The truck starts a lot easier with the bigger starter.
 

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I ha.d a bad pos cable on my OBS, had a farm implement dealer make my new one, $50. They normally have all the parts on hand, Just need your old one for a pattern. Took a lot of head scratching to figure out the cable was bad though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bad starter cable guys.... Checked everything else and even replace one battery and still had problems. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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I had the same thing happen to the wifes Excusion about a month ago. It ended up being the that the starter it self was bad. Agian, it did exactly as you described. I replaced the starter and it workes just fine. Hope this helps yah.
 

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Headwind Magnet
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Bad starter cable guys.... Checked everything else and even replace one battery and still had problems. Thanks for all the advice.
Glad you found it Chris. FWIW, you should change both batts at the same time; changing one at a time will cause a premature death of the new one.
Best,
Jim
 
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