<VV> Starter Mystery

Brian bmoneill at juno.com
Fri Aug 7 11:38:44 EDT 2015

I need help with a great starter mystery. I have been using a high torque starter, one of the gear driven ones purchased from Clark's for many years. About six weeks ago I started the engine in my track car to discover an oil leak from the case. I removed the powertrain separated the engine and disassembled it. Had the oil leak professionally welded. It was small. Iit was one of the oil galleys inside the case. I reassembled the engine and reinstalled it in the car. Nothing was changed.Same transmission, same differential, same starter, same everything. When I went to start the car this starter spun the engine about twice and then there was a loud bang. Yg. You could actually see it stop the engine in its rotation. I remove this starter and took it to the local repair shop which has a great reputation. It was checked out and operates perfectly. I reinstalled it on the engine which was still in the car. I then checked to be sure that I did not have the distributor 180° out. The thought was that maybe the engine was firing and trying to kick backwards. While I was double checking to be sure that the distributor was installed correctly and by the way it was, I used this starter to crank the engine to close where I thought number one firing should be. I used the range on the balancer bolt to turn the engine the last little bit to be sure I was exactly on number one. The instant I started to turn the engine with the ranch I could hear a click which sounded very much like the Bendix retracting . I tried this in number of times and always got the same results. I then borrowed another one of these I torque starter and got the same results. At this point the whole powertrain came out of the car. I separated the engine and using a piece of a differential as a spacer installed both of the starters . With both starters when power is applied the Bendix drive comes out, spins the engine but when power is off the Bendix does not retract. I thought I might have a problem with the ring gear so I installed another pressure plate. Same results to add to the confusion I then installed a stock starter. To add to the confusion the stock starter works perfectly. The Bendix drive those retract when power is off.I checked the teeth on both pressure plates and the starter. There are no burrs, nicks or anything else that might prevent the drive from retracting. At this point I'm confused. Is it possible that when the engine starts it will kick the Bendix drive back? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks in advance for any help.
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