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I'm in 87 yj starter hell! Please help!

Discussion in 'Wrangler YJ (1986-1995)' started by Naughty Scotty, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Aug 13, 2016 at 8:25 AM
    #1
    Naughty Scotty

    Naughty Scotty [OP] New Member

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    hi, I have a 87 yj that goes through starters and flywheels like there's no tomorrow! The mechanic I have now is pretty good and fixing a lot of other problems ( which I'll get into later, after I fix this headache) but he can't find the right starter for. It. He says the ones he keeps getting from parts houses are not the right ones. Something to do with the distance the bendix travels into the flywheel? It either goes too far or not far enough? Does any of this crap make any sense? Please help!
     
  2. Aug 13, 2016 at 9:02 AM
    #2
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    Welcome! What engine do you have?
     
  3. Aug 13, 2016 at 3:15 PM
    #3
    Naughty Scotty

    Naughty Scotty [OP] New Member

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    Thank you. It it has the straight 6 cylinder I'm sort of having a brain fart. I believe it's the 4.2?
     
  4. Aug 14, 2016 at 3:21 PM
    #4
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

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    Are the starters you are installing OEM?
     
  5. Sep 2, 2016 at 6:28 AM
    #5
    Redindian

    Redindian Member

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    You could also have a bent flywheel. Take it down, lie it flat on a "flat" table and observe for war-page.
    Are all your bell housing bolts run up? Look in there to see if you have any gaps between the bell housing and the motor end.
    Yes also check to ensure you have an OEM starter. Don't be tight and buy a $25 to 35 lesser starter...that is exactly what you'll get.
     
    OFFGRID, bostonbilly and chris4x4 like this.
  6. Sep 2, 2016 at 11:17 AM
    #6
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I am going to toss an opinion out...take it for what it may be worth or not worth.

    A parts house often make mistakes. However, they do not generally make them over and over let alone keep making the same two mistakes (too long/short) over and over. And when you start having the exact same issue with two different parts houses...well, I think the problem lies somewhere other than the parts houses.

    I have seen flywheels not installed correctly (backwards) or bent as Matt says above. Hell, I even saw a crankshaft issue once.
    I have seen the wrong flywheel used a few times over the years.

    Remember, it only takes one bad tooth on the flywheel to start eating things.
     
    OFFGRID likes this.
  7. Sep 2, 2016 at 11:23 AM
    #7
    bostonbilly

    bostonbilly Well-Known Member

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    To add to what others have said I recommend OEM starters. Also did your mechanic change bother the starter and flywheel together? If one has a bad tooth and you mate a new part to it it will ruin the new part quickly. Bite the bullet and install factory parts would be my suggestion
     
    C2T likes this.
  8. Oct 5, 2016 at 10:58 AM
    #8
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Did you fix the problem?
     
  9. Apr 22, 2019 at 11:40 AM
    #9
    geowik

    geowik Member

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    I am new to the club and wanted to say hello. I may have inherited Naughty Scotty problem here in AZ which is where he said he was from in a different post.
    I just recently purchased a 1987 Jeep Wrangler inline 6 cyl but I'm not sure if the trim is the Laredo?
    I bought it cheap enough and knew that I would need to put some time and $$ into so.. I have already replaced the flywheel, clutch kit, seals on transfer case and 5 speed tranny, starter motor and solenoid, u-joints etc.
    The previous owner had 1/2" spacer washers between the starter and bell housing so it was not even bolted up flush to the bell housing. After reinstalling with all new parts, it appears that I need to install some type of shim plates because after starting the motor the bendix gear is still rubbing against the flywheel. I am going to measure the distance today when I get home and put some gear paint on the bendix gear to see how the gears are meshing. After much research it appears this is a very common problem with non OEM starters. I also have read about some people going through 2-3 starters per year - wow!! I hope to do better than that with all new parts??
    Does anyone know of a good online place to purchase OEM equipment for these jeeps? Thanks for any help. George
     
  10. Apr 22, 2019 at 12:19 PM
    #10
    Prerunner1982

    Prerunner1982 Well-Known Member

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    Holy Crap what are the odds...
    Hello George, welcome from Oklahoma.
    I remember back in the day replacing a starter on my old Chevy 350 it actually came with shims, I don't believe any of my Jeep 4.0 starters have come with any and I have never needed any.
    Knock on wood I haven't had an issue with parts store starters.
    I really don't have any suggestions at this point. Let us know how it goes.
     
  11. Apr 23, 2019 at 12:25 PM
    #11
    geowik

    geowik Member

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    So I measured the depth of the flywheel from the bell housing vs the depth of the bendix gear and found that when installed the bendix gear would overlap on the flywheel ring gear by 1/4" without even being engaged. I went back to parts store and found that a starter for an 1988 Wrangler was the proper fit and works great. So apparently the engine has been changed out to at least an 88. It is COVERED in grease/oil as the previous owner just kept adding oil rather than fixing the valve cover oil leak. Im thinking of putting an aluminum valve cover on because I not even sure if this steel one has been bent from over tightening or not. I need to find a way to identify the engine if someone knows how.
     
  12. Apr 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM
    #12
    Prerunner1982

    Prerunner1982 Well-Known Member

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    On the passenger side of the block between Cylinders 2 & 3 there should be a flat area with a date stamp.
    [​IMG]
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  13. Apr 23, 2019 at 12:44 PM
    #13
    Prerunner1982

    Prerunner1982 Well-Known Member

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    Glad you seem to have figured out the starter issue.
     
  14. Apr 23, 2019 at 1:42 PM
    #14
    geowik

    geowik Member

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    Yeah thanks for the help, BTW and of course this starter motor costs nearly $200 including a $68 core and me without a core. I can return the other starter but they wont accept the one I already turned in as a core because its a different style. I should have just started off asking for the most expensive as usual. The newer starter has a solenoid on it rather than on the firewall. I just wired it in a series for now until I figure out how to rewire it. There are more terminals on the solenoid thats on the firewall. There used to be just one cable from the ignition side of the solenoid on the firewall to the starter and the newer starter has 3 terminals. One for the battery cable, one for the ignition wire and I think the other larger post is just a ground from the armature to the solenoid? Anyone have an idea?
     
  15. Apr 23, 2019 at 1:58 PM
    #15
    Prerunner1982

    Prerunner1982 Well-Known Member

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    Does it look like this?
    [​IMG]

    If so the big lug is power from the battery and the small lug is the signal from the ignition to activate the solenoid.
    Your current solenoid on the fire wall should have similar connections but feel free to post up a picture of your current solenoid for better clarification.
     
  16. Apr 23, 2019 at 2:26 PM
    #16
    geowik

    geowik Member

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    Yes it looks like that. The existing starter relay solenoid on the firewall looks like this [​IMG] Is has the cable from the the battery along with 3 other wires to the left large post, the small left post is the ignition which I ran a jumper to the new starter solenoid, it has small wires to the right side small post and then the other cable to the starter on the right side. Im not sure what to do with the small wires on the right side small post. It is working fine for now so maybe I leave it???
     
  17. Apr 23, 2019 at 7:19 PM
    #17
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Wow.....An almost 3 year old thread relived. And a fix. This is why members should post up their fixes. It just may help out another in the future. Dine and dash members suck.

    Thanks for posting up your fix @geowik . :thumbsup:
     
    aggrex likes this.
  18. Apr 24, 2019 at 8:21 AM
    #18
    Prerunner1982

    Prerunner1982 Well-Known Member

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    Here we go. Per AllData, forgot I could look up wiring diagrams. It looks like the other wires on the right side small post go to the "Engine Controls" (??) and to the Backup NSS (clutch switch on a manual?).
    The other wires on the left side large post with the wire from the battery sound like something a previous owner added to power accessories, trace them and see where they go.

    87 YJ Starting Circuit.gif


    It looks like the wires to the engine controls and the NSS were moved from the solenoid to the starter relay in 88.
    88 YJ Starting circuit.gif


    Starter relay: https://www.autozone.com/batteries-...tarter/duralast-relay-starter/788852_0_0_8203

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    aggrex likes this.
  19. Apr 25, 2019 at 8:43 AM
    #19
    geowik

    geowik Member

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    Thank you very much for the help, much appreciated!!
     
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