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Old 09-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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KY Starter not engaging the flywheel

2004 mazda rx8 84K 6spd

The car was not starting...(not flooded)...the oem starter would not engage... it tested bad.... so i got a new starter from advance.... after i put it in it the starter would not hit the flywheel and engage... so i got a new battery with 850 cold cranking amps... nothing changed... took the starter back and got another one.... still will not hit the flywheel... so i take it to advance and a local starter shop to test the starter and both said it checked good...i took the car to a local mechanic to have him put it in and still the same he told me the starter is missing the flywheel by an 1/8 inch..so i went and got another starter from advance.... still the same... the starter from advance had the part number n3h1-18-400 (right starter for the car) and they told me it was the updated starter and was putting out the right amps....... the car still has the factory flywheel... any suggestions.... HELP PLEASE..... all the teeth on the flywheel is good by the way.... has anyone had the same problem????


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Old 09-07-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderjhv1997 View Post
2004 mazda rx8 84K 6spd

The car was not starting...(not flooded)...the oem starter would not engage... it tested bad.... so i got a new starter from advance.... after i put it in it the starter would not hit the flywheel and engage... so i got a new battery with 850 cold cranking amps... nothing changed... took the starter back and got another one.... still will not hit the flywheel... so i take it to advance and a local starter shop to test the starter and both said it checked good...i took the car to a local mechanic to have him put it in and still the same he told me the starter is missing the flywheel by an 1/8 inch..so i went and got another starter from advance.... still the same... the starter from advance had the part number n3h1-18-400 (right starter for the car) and they told me it was the updated starter and was putting out the right amps....... the car still has the factory flywheel... any suggestions.... HELP PLEASE..... all the teeth on the flywheel is good by the way.... has anyone had the same problem????


Thanks

JOHN
you either install it wrong. or you got the 09+ starter. (I think its the same tho. hmm need to check)
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:34 PM   #3
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I'm curious how they could tell it was missing the flywheel by 1/8"

First thing you would normally check is the gap for the drive pinion while its extended out, but with a new (and multiple) starters having the same "issue" I really doubt this is something you need to do.
How exactly are they testing the starter?
Just applying voltage to the solenoid to watch the drive pinion extend out?

Like nycgps mentioned... might be the wrong starter.
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Last edited by Jon316G; 09-07-2009 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:48 PM   #4
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Thats just what they told me... they said something about the teeth on the flywheel had marks where the starter was barely hitting...
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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The upgraded starter p/n is N3Z1-18-400
N3H1-18-400 was the original.
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Last edited by Jon316G; 09-07-2009 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:03 PM   #6
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the drive on all three starters was going out all the way to the end...

as for advance and the starter shop checking to c if the starters was good... they checked it on a machine that reads amp put out and just watched the drive come out...
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:04 PM   #7
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o... then advance lied to me...
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:06 PM   #8
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But they never measured the pinion gap to tell if it was traveling to where it should be.
Either way, three starters having the same symptom tells me it isn't an issue with the starters.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #9
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Lets verify the basics.... is it wired correctly?
Starter not engaging the flywheel-starter-10-.jpg
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:13 PM   #10
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yes... when i unbolt it and hold it in my hand it zips out 100 mph..... i just put it back in and it catches the flywheel barely... i can hear it tap it.... but it never engages... I wish more rx8 owners lived near me... London, KY by the way..
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:15 PM   #11
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Does it sound like the teeth are constantly grinding when you attempt to start it?
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:17 PM   #12
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they do not grind at all... it just zips... but the plunger comes out...
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:20 PM   #13
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Just to clarify...
When you have the starter out and you turn the key to 'start', the solenoid pushes the drive pinion forward and the gear spins continuously until you turn the key off of the 'start' position?
Meaning, you can hold that key on 'start' for a good 5-10sec and the drive will continue to spin with the pinion extended?
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:23 PM   #14
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yep
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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And when the drive pinion retracts back (key not in the start position) the gear is in the same position as in the attached pic below?
Starter not engaging the flywheel-starter-2-.jpg
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #16
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Its the same one.

hmm, Jon has a point ... check it out.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:00 PM   #17
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I am very interested to see what the issue is here. I have never heard of this problem unless someone were to buy the wrong starter.
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Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on!!

The RX-8 is like cocaine. It is addictive as hell, will run you broke, and your wife will leave you unless she is an addict too.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:03 PM   #18
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sorry im back.... i fooled around with it... no luck.. still wont catch...it goes back in everytime...... Do i just need to buy the new upgraded OEM from the factory...
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:08 PM   #19
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does nething seem loose around the starter which could have put it out of position?
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Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on!!

The RX-8 is like cocaine. It is addictive as hell, will run you broke, and your wife will leave you unless she is an addict too.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:17 PM   #20
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theres nothing loose....I twisted the flywheel around with a bar and it of course didnt slip and ever tooth was good....
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:19 PM   #21
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Thought you said the teeth had some wear from the starter not quite biting? If that us indeed the case, you have atleast the wrong model starter or something is not in line right to cause the starters teeth to not engage with the flywheel teeth
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Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on!!

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #22
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the teeth are fine.. but you can c where the starter hits the very edge of the teeth....
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:33 PM   #23
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Sounds like the starter mount housing is too short. Do you have your old starter handy to check to see if the housing is the same length?
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:41 PM   #24
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turned it in for the core
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:52 PM   #25
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Here's a couple of pics for measurements. Don't mind where the gauge is sitting on the left. It's just the camera angle. See if your starter housing is close to these numbers. They are in Millimeters.
If your starter housing is under those dimensions then the autoparts store has an issue with their supplier of starters.

75.63 mm
Click the image to open in full size.

38.63 mm
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Easy_E1; 09-07-2009 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:52 PM
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