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pontifex4's Avatar
 
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Angry Help! 944 S starter turns, engine won't turn over

I had the belts on my 944 S tensioned (not replaced) on Friday, and the car started fine, afterward. Now, having sat two days, the engine will turn over once, then the starter just spins freely without turning the engine over any more.

Is this a common problem, and can I fix it, myself? Furthermore, if I push it to start it, will I break anything?

Thanks,

Charlie.

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Charlie
'99 996 C2 6 speed - Arctic Silver
Old 03-29-2009, 09:11 AM
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I dont think you want to push start it, but I assume it wouldn't "break" anything as push starting a car has been done forever. Sounds like something is up with the bendex in the starter. I wouldn't say it is common, but does happen to starters. I would just replace the starter if it were me. Very easy to do
Old 03-29-2009, 12:42 PM
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Oh one more thing, when yu pull the starter, make sure the flywheel teeth are all looking good. Hopefully thats not the problem cause that would be a difficult/costly fix
Old 03-29-2009, 12:43 PM
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Before I push-start the car (it's 50 miles from a garage) can I get a quick opinion poll as to whether anyone thinks it's the timing belt? The mechanic (a 944 owner, himself) said all the belts are fine, though they were a little loose before he retensioned them.

I'm leaning towards it being a solenoid/bendix problem, too; the starter catches for roughly 1 revolution of the engine, then spins freely.

Thanks for your help,

C.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:22 PM
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Almost definitely the starter (sometimes a low voltage situation might make that happen), It's a very easy job to replace it, with the car up on ramps or jackstands, Two bolts, and the nuts for the elec. cables. Just be sure to disconnect the battery! You wouldn't want to accidentaly short something down there and engage the starter while your under the car!
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:47 PM
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let me know what happened, thanks
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:06 PM
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I will let you know.
My mechanic thought it might be a combination of brake/clutch fluid leaking on the starter and dust sticking the bendix in place, or at least inhibiting its movement enough that it won't fully engage the flywheel. (I stored the car over the winter, and the brake fluid resevoir was down enough in the spring that the warning light came on when I started it so we topped it up).

I'm going to pull the starter this afternoon to have a look.
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'99 996 C2 6 speed - Arctic Silver
Old 03-31-2009, 07:19 AM
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sounds like you will be needing a master cylinder
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:36 AM
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Time for a more accurate update: I got someone to watch as I ran the starter, and it turns out that all the belts ARE moving as they should, there's just no compression after the first revolution of the engine. In other words, the starter is doing its job -- something else is at fault.

Any ideas?
Old 03-31-2009, 08:01 PM
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Does the engine sound like a sewing machine? I'm guessing yes. It's probably that the chain tensioner pads failed and the chain grabs then it slips. Whatever it is, it most likely has to do with having two cams, a chain, tensioner pads, and two sprockets in the head. It doesn't sound like your lucky day.
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Last edited by mattdavis11; 03-31-2009 at 09:15 PM..
Old 03-31-2009, 09:09 PM
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Yup. Looks like a broken chain (a product of the plastic guide deteriorating).

The engine has never run in this state, but it's been turned over roughly 100 times on the starter. The tops of the pistons don't show any marking from the valves through a scope, though. We're going to do a compression test tomorrow -- how likely is it that the valves are bent?

Thanks for your help,

Charlie.

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:57 PM
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