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Old 09-24-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
swcoupe
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Question Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

What are your ideas for getting broken off casting out of transmission bell housing?
Will I have to separate the engine and automatic transmission?

heard random rattling noise from engine as daughter starts of on trip 4am.
parked car and investigate in daylight. noise coming from between engine and transmission.
Pull starter and starter gear bearing nose casting is broken off with the bulk inside transmission bell housing.


car was performing fine, so torque converter should be ok. drove in aprox 2 miles till parked. noise only under high revs or higher engine vibration before is was parked.

many thanks

99 sc2 auto 125K
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:40 PM   #2
OldNuc
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

You are either have to separate the engine and trans or fish it out through the starter hole. If it is really broken up you might get away with removing the lower tans/engine stiffener plate and then dust shield and pick it out from underneath the flywheel.

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Old 09-24-2016, 04:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
You are either have to separate the engine and trans or fish it out through the starter hole. If it is really broken up you might get away with removing the lower tans/engine stiffener plate and then dust shield and pick it out from underneath the flywheel.
Thanks OldNuc, I'll try both before separating the engine / trans. So strange of a failure. new starter on its way from DB Electrical.

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Old 09-24-2016, 05:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

They break like that after the starter pinion does not promptly kick out of the flywheel when the engine starts. Combination of sticky over running clutch and goo on the armature shaft. That slightly bends the shaft and that then stresses the nose casting as the starter runs. Eventually the nose cracks off like that. The old 327/350 starters were good at that bent shaft - break the nose off trick. It is not a common failure on a Saturn starter though.

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Old 09-24-2016, 11:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
They break like that after the starter pinion does not promptly kick out of the flywheel when the engine starts. Combination of sticky over running clutch and goo on the armature shaft. That slightly bends the shaft and that then stresses the nose casting as the starter runs. Eventually the nose cracks off like that. The old 327/350 starters were good at that bent shaft - break the nose off trick. It is not a common failure on a Saturn starter though.
This was not the normal casting seen on Saturn starters. In comparison it is thinner with ribs.

With dust shield removed I have managed to fine 85% of the broken pieces. The bulk have been on the engine side sitting on ribs reached with bent wires.

Thanks again OldNuc

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Old 09-24-2016, 11:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

I did notice that it looked "different", do you have any clue what brand/PN it was? Is the pilot diameter the same as a normal Saturn starter?

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Old 09-25-2016, 12:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I did notice that it looked "different", do you have any clue what brand/PN it was? Is the pilot diameter the same as a normal Saturn starter?
the gear shaft appear to be the same size. There are no markings on this starter to identify the make. its not the Valeo we normally see.
the failed starter has the 5"+ long bolts on the outside of the starter motor case.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

That is the early GM starter, it is a real genuine OEM Saturn part. There are actually 4 or 5 different starters used between 91 and 02 models. Someone put an early 90s Saturn starter on your car. That on probably came out of a pick and pull yard.

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Old 09-25-2016, 08:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by swcoupe View Post
This was not the normal casting seen on Saturn starters. In comparison it is thinner with ribs.

With dust shield removed I have managed to fine 85% of the broken pieces. The bulk have been on the engine side sitting on ribs reached with bent wires.

Thanks again OldNuc
You may have gotten most of it out. Check with a mirror and flashlight as big chunks can cause expensive damage.

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Old 09-26-2016, 08:17 AM   #10
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Thumbs Up Re: Starter fail- nose fell into bellhousing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
You may have gotten most of it out. Check with a mirror and flashlight as big chunks can cause expensive damage.
Success, back on the road again.

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