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Old 12-14-2008, 08:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electric Starter sticks when cold

My starter pinion (Bendix) doesn't engage when the engine is first started but works fine after running for a while. The starter turns fine either way.

When I had a clutch problem diagnosed a month ago, the shop left the sled uncovered out in the rain. Could moisture have gotten in there to cause it to freeze up?

Is there anything I can lube to prevent this from happeneing? Would drying it out with a portabe heater help?

Any help will be appreciated. Maybe some of you car guys have seen this before?
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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ok, i don't know if this is the same problem, but my friend just bought a sled from a guy who said it did the same thing. it would not start when cold with the electric start, but after driving ten/twenty minutes, it would work just fine.

we took the starter apart and i think one of the little brushes was gone, and it just looked like it was in rough shape. he is getting a repair kit that will hopefully fix it.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Could be related but the starter seems to spin fine it just does not engage the ring gear. The bendix is not extending the pinion to engage the ring gear at all.

Could it be that the brushes are bad and the motor does not spin fast enough to engage the bendix?
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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not sure man...
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1992 Polaris RXL 650 EFI
1990 Skidoo Formula MX 470
1997 Skidoo Grand Touring 500
1997 Arctic Cat Pantera 580
1979 Ford F150
~360 5.9L, Edelbrock intake, 4bbl carb, 4 speed, divorced transfer case, 3" body lift, 3" suspension lift, 33's, redone interior.
2003 Dodge 3500 srw 6spd

1981 Suzuki GS850L

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Old 12-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe there is a throw spring that makes the starter engage once it starts spinning.
moisture usually results in a dead spot where the starter won't spin at all but its worth having a look at especially if thats when the problem started
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Problem solved!

While doing other work, I noticed the ground cable lug terminal at the starter was broken. The plastic heat shrink tubing was keeping both halves together so I hadn't noticed before.

The battery was grounding through a 14 ga wire from the voltage regulator area. I'm glad nothing got fried. Good thing the starter didn't engage when cold or I may have melted something.
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