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Starter working but not turning engine

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Happy New Year!

I'm experiencing an unusual problem with my 200Tdi 1993 110 Defender.

The last few weeks I have noted when turning the key, the starter kicks in and whirrs but does not turn over the engine. After a couple of attempts it eventually starts fine. Now however it refuses to engage just about all the time.

It is a Valio starter. I have taken it out as I thought the bendix might be gunked up on the shaft, but no. I have stripped, cleaned and reassembled it. I can move the bendix out all the way by hand without any difficulty other than the solenoid return spring.

Bench testing also show the drive sprocket throwing out with force all the way and motor turning on as would be expected.

I also thought the sprocket might be slipping in the one way coupling, but no. I'm unable to make it slip even when mounted in a vise and with a big wrench.

When putting it back in the car it still does not seem to engage the flywheel. The teeth on flywheel and starter look fine although it has done some nearly 400,000 km.

Any ideas?

Lars Svensson 




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Hi Steve, 

Thanks for a quick response. I have been thinking just that, but I'm a bit sceptical since I have put great load on the sprocket when holding the shaft in a vise while trying to turn the sprocket with a pipe wrench. It won't budge even a bit one direction and is completely free the other.

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Bendix clutch in your starter motor has worn out and is slipping - the wee barrel's wear in the wedge shaped holes and it no longer grips - it happened to me in April 2016 - i cut it open to have a look see. You can usually buy the clutch as a separate part and just replace. I would recommend this other than spending your money on a non original starter motor...


Valeo - http://www.lrseries.com/shop/product/listing/10887/RTC4982-PINION-DRIVE-PARIS-RHONE.html?search= RTC4982&page=1

Bosch - http://www.lrseries.com/shop/product/listing/11656/STC1244-DRIVE-ASSY-ST-MOTOR.html?search=STC1244&page=1






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Hi, and thanks for your input.

I was thinking the bendix clutch is buggered, but why is it working just as it should when I test it in the vise?

I am unable to find a replacement part for this particular starter (Valio) here in Nairobi so I decided to get a new starter and that has worked well.


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