406 self destructing starter - any thoughts?
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  1. #1
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    Default 406 self destructing starter - any thoughts?

    As you may have picked up from other threads i have had some ignition switch problems and i have been messing around with wiring which would automatically suggest this is of my doing - but I can't see how - but of course i want to check before i fit another starter.

    Car has been working perfectly but late yesterday i used the car after it had been sitting in the sun. Fired up as usual but power windows wouldn't work or a/c but only had to go a short distance. Got back into the car now not in a rush and thought i needed to sort this. turned to the on position and everything was working. Then went to start and nothing. I didn't have tools to check if my handiwork on the ignition switch was a problem but by chance i had parked on a hill so i roll started.

    Then i pulled it all apart again and couldn't see any problems. Then i removed the solenoid wire , connected up a multimeter and with an assistant turned the starter and it all seemed to work correctly. Next off with the starter itself and i noticed a bit of a smell. On removal of the brush plate there was just black powder everywhere, a spring hanging out against the commentator, burnt wires to basically non - existent brushes.

    I am guessing this is all coincidental but the timing is very suspicious. Even if the times when i had bridged the starter wire in the ignition switch had not made full contact, maybe didn't pull in the solenoid fully, i don't see how that would adversely affect the motor part of the starter.

    The only thing i can think of is that if the starter was jammed on and spun up with the motor - maybe that generates current that exploded the starter internals. Any experiences or assistance greatly appreciated. Also a source of a new starter!

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  2. #2
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    Just had another thought on that though - this starter seems to have some sort of reduction gears etc, but normally on a solenoid starter or a bendix, there is a clutch that stops this happening. This starter also seems to have that in that if i try and turn the pinion gear it will turn in one direction but not another.

    Maybe it was just time and the brush wore out and those pieces flying around did the damage?

  3. #3
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    Having a conversation with myself here (!) but thinking more about it, I think I have a plausible theory. My hybridised ignition switch i made up was a little stiff and i have since dismantled and lubricated and now much more free (used the rotating part of one switch in another and guess worn differently but more lube in there seems to have fixed. I think that possibly the switch stuck in the start position, although it is strange i didn't hear anything. In that position i think the other items don't work while it starts and meanwhile for that few minutes of driving the starter was running continuously that cooked the innards of the motor. Once turned off and back on again all the other items were working again but the damage to the starter was done. Does that make sense? Will be nervously checking things once i get another starter in there!

  4. #4
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    if the switch plays up the starter will engage while the engine is running

    this will kill the starter very quickly
    3 x '78 604 SL

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