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  1. Should I use a heat shield?
     
  2. Why are the cables and battery so important?
     
  3. What do I do with the wire that went to the "R" terminal on the original starter?
     
  4. The pinion is too far away on my 9000 or 9004. What do I do?
     
  5. Why does the starter cut the tips off the starter pinion after a few months?
     
  6. I test fitted the starter and noticed that the pinion does not retract when it is released on the engine stand. Why?
     
  7. Why does my starter seem to run on after the switch is released?
     
  8. Why doesnt the M/T Ford starter I have fit in the hole in the intermediate plate?

Should I use a heat shield?

It is not necessary, but it is not a bad idea.

Why are the cables and battery so important?

The starter circuit pulls a lot of amperage, up to 500 amps depending on the starter, the engine load, and battery condition. This kind of amperage stresses all of the components in the starter circuit, including the battery, battery terminals, the battery disconnect switch, the cables including the ground path, and any remote solenoids. Problems with these components are hard to find because they appear fine at rest or under a light load, but generate high resistance under heavy amperage draws. The result will be low voltage to the starter during cranking, resulting in heavier amperage draw and increased internal heat in the starter. Over time, this will cause starter failure. Voltage measured at the starter during cranking should always be above 9.5VDC.

What do I do with the wire that went to the "R" terminal on the original starter?

In early original wiring harnesses, the "R" circuit was a ballast resistor bypass. This terminal is no connection when the starter is at rest, and is +12VDC while cranking.This circuit provided +12VDC to the ignition coil during cranking for easier engine starting. Cars that do not have a ballast resistor (i.e. HEI, MSD, or other aftermarket ignition systems) should not need this connection. In most cases, this wire can be eliminated. If the engine has no ignition during cranking, then the wiring of the coil is going to require an "R" terminal signal. To accomplish this, connect a 3A/400PIV diode (or Powermaster part # 600 ) in line with the MOTOR SIDE of the solenoid. (Note: This is the terminal on the solenoid which has the cable from inside the starter motor connected to it. It is opposite the BATTERY terminal on the solenoid. The cathode or banded end of the diode goes away from the starter. This allows current to go from the starter to the coil and yet not from the coil to the starter.)

The pinion is too far away on my 9000 or 9004. What do I do?

The 9000 and 9004 starters have a block on the front that mounts the starter to the engine. Between this block and the starter are two shims. To remove these shims, remove the block from the starter by removing the three socket head bolts, remove the shim on the blck and the one in the bearing bore, and reassemble the block and starter. This will increase the pinion's depth of engagement by 1/16" approximately.

Why does the starter cut the tips off the starter pinion after a few months?

If the starter pinion is being damaged in this way, the gear meash is too sloppy. The pinion needs to be closer to the ring gear. If there are no shims installed, then material needs to be machined off of the mounting surface of the starter. Optionally, shim the outboard starter mounting bolt only. This will roll the starter towrd the ring gear, tightening its engagement.

Another possiblity is that the ring gear itself could be out of round, egg-shaped. This is especially possible with new, inexpensive ring gears. Check the pinion to ring gear engagement dimensions in at least six places 60 degrees apart on the flex plate.

I test fitted the starter and noticed that the pinion does not retract when it is released on the engine stand. Why?

It is normal for a gear reduction starter to hang in the ring gear when the engine is cranked, and yet does not start. Direct drive starters do not do this because they can rotate the small amount necessary to retract the pinion. Gear reduction starters do not retract in this situation because of the resistance of the gears. The tiny amount of rotation necessary to retract the pinion is amplified in the gear ratio inside the starter, requiring four to five times the rotation insude the starter. All of this gear movement results in the pinion remaining in the ring gear until the engine fires.

Why does my starter seem to "run on" after the switch is released?

This is a common complaint on Ford permanent magnet starters, although it can occur on any permanent magnet starter in the right conditions. This situation develops when the ignition terminal on the starter is "jumpered" to the battery terminal on the starter and a remote solenoid is used. Permanent magnet starters can actually produce power if they are driven from an outside source (i.e. the starter will act like an alternator once the engine fires and starts spinning). The current produced in the starter for this second or so will flow from the starter's battery terminal to the starters ignition terminal and hold the solenoid in. This will cause the one to two second delay in the solenoid release and an irritating noise. The solution is to wire the starter per the instruction sheet, which will ensure that the ignition switch terminal goes dead the instance the key is released.

Why doesnt the M/T Ford starter I have fit in the hole in the intermediate plate?

The locating circle on the face of a Ford starter is made to different dimensions for manual and automatic transmissions. This keeps a person from mixing the two starters up since they look similar. If the starter does not fit in the hole in the intermediate plate, this indicates that a person either has the wrong starter or the wrong intermediate plate. Do not enlarge this hole or grind on the tsarter to make it fit, instead change the incompatible part. (Please note: Part # 9172 is for pre-1975 (auto) and pre 1980 (truck) manual transmissions ONLY. Part # 9162 is for automatic and 1975 and later (auto) and 1980 and later (truck) manual transmissions.)

site last updated 2.15.09

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