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Triumph TR6 - 'zingin'' starter

Hi. The starter on my 76 TR6 sometimes "zings". It sounds like the starter pinion is grinding against the ring gear but not engaging (a very painful and disturbing sound). It only does this occationally (usually in front of a crowd). I've dissassembled the starter and cleaned and regreased everything to no avail. Anyone ever encounter this? Any suggestions?
C.S. Wiebe

Sounds like your ring gear is on the way out.


It's a mistake to grease or even oil the Bendix gear on the starter, the one that throws the pinion into engagement with the flywheel - unless you have the 'pre-engaged' type starter. Grease on the Bendix picks up dirt and jams it. Use graphite(rub well with a 4B pencil, or use scrapings from the lead)

If it is a pre-engaged starter, the solenoid is faulty.

There have been many responses to the topic of "the ring gear coming off". Check out the archives on this subject.

The ring gear needs to be pushed or pressed back into place. To do this, you need to remove the gearbox. There are several threads on this too. Some have suggested screwing, bolting or welding the ring gear to the flywheel once it is back in place to prevent it happening again. Others say not to do this.

I suggest that the reason that it only "zings" occasionally is that you have a few teeth on the flywheel that are worn more than all the others (from all those years of the starter engaging (bashing into)the flywheel teeth and when the engine stops at this spot, the starter "zings". If you were to turn the engine half a turn (pull on the fan) or give the car a push while in gear with the engine off, you might find a good spot where the starter engages the flywheel - at least till you eliminate the problem once and for all.

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A

Don Elliott

Thanks for the tips but:
1)The PO renewed the ring gear probably less than 5000 miles ago, I've looked at the ring gear teeth when the starter was out and they look OK.
2)I can't remember which manual (Haynes I think, I didn't own a Bentley at the time) said to use grease on the bedix gear, so I did. Actually I use oil (I thought grease as too thick)
3)When it zings, the next try almost always engages with or without turning the engine
4)It may be just my imagination but it sems to happen more if I have the clutch depressed while starting.
Chris Wiebe

Is your crank moving due to wear in the thrust washers.


Speaking of starters . It has been so long since I removed the wires from the starter I can't remember where they go back I wrote them down put I can't find that either. Big br. wire, small br. wire And positive to battery.
Don E., back in the land of the snow again, eh?
Don K.

This thread was discussed between 09/03/2002 and 11/03/2002

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