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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I turn the ignition switch, sometimes I'll get a grinding sound from the bendix not grabbing the flywheel. Sometimes, it'll just crank normally.
Sometimes, it will do nothing. Sometimes it won't start in Park and I have to shift to neutral and it'll either crank or grind. Sometimes not even then.
I have noticed that when it decides to do nothing, if I hold the key all the way to start for a few seconds, it may crank/grind and it may not.
Once its started, the truck runs just fine. The only problem is getting it going. Any ideas?
 

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It's not a bendix, it's just a pinion. Bendix is a brand.

The problem is probably either a missing flywheel tooth or a sticky pinion.
 

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I have a similar issue with my '84, but with a standard tranny. Although mine always either starts or grinds - it never does "nothing". Sometimes it will grind 1-3x, and then start on the 2nd - 4th try, sometimes it will start on the 1st try. Once, with my mechanic friend helping me getting it into better running shape, we push rolled it a few feet while in neutral and I popped the clutch, then it started right up. Question - I know the rear main seal is leaking - it's pretty oily down there, would that contribute to the grinding problem at start up? I didn't think to ask my mechanic friend at the time this question... Or, if it is what drinkypoo suggests - either a missing flywheel tooth, or a sticky pinion, I should consider installing a new flywheel if the former, but how does one resolve the problem of a sticky pinion?
 

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partially disassemble and grease the starter if it's sticking.

can also be a crack in starter or the mounting surface, stripped bolt holes, needs shims, etc.

could even be a loose connection to the solenoid windings... fun with starters :D
 

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Check the starter ground. When they come loose there is not sufficient power to push the gear all the way to the fly wheel. I learned this from experience. If the little, black, thin ground wire from the starter to the engine block is at all loose you can get this symptom. Additionally, this is not uncommon because this connection is difficult to get to and is sometimes not completly snugged tight, out of frustration. Yes, sadly, I know what I am talking about.
 
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