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Re: starter trouble on 1966 MGB

To: "MG List" <>
Subject: Re: starter trouble on 1966 MGB
From: Max Heim <>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 16:41:07 -0700 had this to say:

>Here is a perhaps silly suggestion, but the starter on my 74.5 B and I have 
>quite intimate in the past, and at least once this same thing happened to me. 
>had read that by rocking the car in gear slightly it might work, so thats 
what I
>did and it worked.
Not a silly suggestion at all (from the point of view of a modern, 
reasonable starter design), but in the '66 starter, the pinion is not 
pre-engaged. It sounds ludicrous when described, like some kind of Rube 
Goldberg device, but the pinion is on the end of a long shaft that 
extends beyond the flywheel, actually hanging out in the breeze, 
unprotected, beneath the car. When you start the starter motor spinning, 
the pinion gear shoots down the shaft and crashes into the flywheel ring 
gear, hopefully engaging some teeth instead of knocking them off. I kid 
you not.

So you can see that rocking the car in gear has no effect on the starter 
motor or pinion. But what it *may* do is move the flywheel into a better 
position for the pinion to engage, and indeed that helps in situations 
such as the one described in my other post on this subject. But Dirk's 
problem was that the starter wasn't even spinning, the solenoid was just 
clicking to no effect.


Max Heim
'66 MGB GHN3L76149
Runs great, 
looks particularly bad since some SUV clown backed into it.
If you're near Mountain View, CA,
it's the red one with the silver bootlid.

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