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308 Starter problem

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Jay GT4, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 F1 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2001
    4,995
    La mamma dei fessi
    Full Name:
    e sempre incinta
    Hey guys, I sent my 308 GT4 starter out to be rebuilt. It came back and on the bench it spun freely. Upon bolting it up to the motor it would come on and spin but it wouldn't disengage. We sent it out to the rebuilder and they changed the solinoid again...back into the car and it wouldn't shut off again. We then put a different starter on the block and it spun and disengaged like it is supposed to. Compared the two and found that the gear was smaller (just slightly) on my starter, so back it went to the rebuilder who put an identical gear on it. Came back and it still would spin but not disengage.

    Finally, I bought another used starter and it works as it should. Anyone else ran into this? Nobody seems to know what is going on with this thing.
     
  2. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    3,299
    Alabama (was Mich.)
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    When you say would not "disengage" you mean the starter gear stayed meshed into the flywheel teeth? Not sure, could be some clearance problem or electrical in the solenoid. I assume the rebuilder is a reputable one in good standing. Could the parts used to rebuild your starter be of a "lesser" grade...not trying to cut anyone down here...just curious?
     
  3. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 F1 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2001
    4,995
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    Correct. The rebuilder is repuitable, others have used him for their Ferrari starters with no problems, but he is stumped on this. We gave him both starters and told him to make them identical. Can't figure it out.
     
  4. Peter

    Peter F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 21, 2000
    6,340
    B.C., Canada
    I don't know if this helps any Jay, but it seems our starter motors are an odd-ball unit (or an unpopular unit that no parts are made for anymore) from Bosch, since when I had mine out during my engine-rebuild, I thought (even though it was and is still working fine) I should install a new solenoid - do it then while I had access.

    Turns out, the Bosch number turned up blank on a local-parts supplier's computer. I re-installed the old one and have had no problems with it (knock on wood). But it looks like I'll be f---ed if this thing ever goes South on me...
     
  5. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 F1 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2001
    4,995
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    Peter, it took about a week for them to track down all of the parts needed, that didn't seem to be the problem...on second thought maybe it was!
     
  6. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    Is that rub n buff on your engine or paint? Sorry to take this off a little but just curious. I tried rub n buff and it works great but even after months of it being on there I can still slide my finger over it and get a silver residue on my finger. Not sure why just thought you might be able to help.
     
  7. Santini

    Santini Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2003
    480
    North Carolina
    I don't know much about Ferrari engines...yet, but could the problem be corrected by shims? It sounds like a clearance problem (as someone else has already mentioned).
     
  8. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 F1 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2001
    4,995
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    e sempre incinta
    Santini, Apparantly the Ferrari starter doesn't allow for shims, we already tried that route.

    The engine was shampooed and washed then areas that were bad were painted with aluminum paint, mainly the valve covers, it's not really shiney, it's just the flash that makes it look that way.
     
  9. John Miles

    John Miles Rookie

    Nov 4, 2003
    19
    I just went through the starter-replacement ordeal on my '76. In my case, I had my mechanic replace the starter assembly with the newer, lighter version from the 328. This unit worked fine at first, but eventually became reluctant to engage the ring gear. It would spin up OK, but fail to crank the engine.

    The problem turned out to be the use of incorrect mounting bolts. Three mounting bolts are used to attach the 308's starter, and the ones my mechanic used were just barely long enough to engage a couple of threads in the boss. Two of them had worked their way loose, allowing the starter shaft to fall away from the ring gear.

    That's where things got strange. I jacked up the car and pulled the wheel and fender housing off to replace the bolts, but I found that I couldn't tell if the bolts on the starter were 8 mm or 5/16". These two sizes are only 25-thousandths of an inch apart, with the 8 mm size being larger. I tried installing longer 5/16" bolts to replace the bolts my mechanic had used, but I found that they stripped the threads in the starter assembly and spun in place upon application of a reasonable amount of torque. Subsequently, 8 mm bolts did exactly the same thing. Finally, a big chunk of one of the thread bosses fractured and broke off while I was turning its bolt, looking like crystallized pot metal.

    In the end, I went with 8 mm x 100 mm bolts and installed locknuts with nylon inserts on them. This was not easy without the ability to see what I was doing, but with the sacrifice of sufficient knuckle skin, it can be done.

    The key observation I made throughout this process was that all three bolts MUST be tightened FULLY, or the starter will not work reliably. If one of the bolts is even slightly loose, it appears to give the starter enough leeway to miss the ring gear.

    I still don't know what size bolts the starter actually wanted. I have a sneaking suspicion that the starter mounting holes were never actually threaded in the first place until I started screwing bolts into them. It's possible that the 328 starter was supposed to be mounted with nuts all along, and my mechanic somehow missed that little fact of life. Regardless, I feel a lot better with the locknuts in place. The starter works great, and it isn't going ANYWHERE now.

    Does anyone know how a 328 starter is really supposed to be installed (i.e, what fasteners were used by the factory)?
     

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