Won't start, weird sound.

NtendoDude

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I need some help guys before I start spending money. For a few days the only way to start my 2005 Jeep Liberty 3.7 Liter V6 4WD was to pop the hood, and grab the serpentine belt and turn it until I heard click click click, but now no matter how many times I crank it it gives this weird whining sound. I can't upload a video so I posted it to my YouTube. And I attached a Pic of the starter if that helps at all, maybe someone sees something I don't. Here is the link,
I'm being told that the starter and flywheel aren't grabbing each other, that the starter is misaligned and the teeth aren't grabbing, but I wanted to see what actual jeep owners had to say. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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DadOSix

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starter not engaging the flywheel.

Take it off (starter) and look at the teeth.

Either they are torn up ( not likely ) or the Bendix (gizmo that throws the starter gear into the flywheel ) is shot.

Bad bendix = new starter.

Teeth torn up = new starter and better look at the flywheel too.
 

NtendoDude

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Appreciate the quick response. Looks like I'll order the starter today. Thanks again.
 

turblediesel

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Sounds like a bad bendix to me. You might be able to just replace the bendix drive.

Worst case scenario would be missing some teeth on the flywheel.
 

Billwill

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"Bendix" is not really the correct term!

This was made in the old days by the Bendix Company.

This had a small gear running on the starter motor output shaft.
When the Starter Motor was energized this small gear would shoot up the shaft as there was a spiral track on the shaft.

So centrifugal force would fling the small gear out in one direction, it would engage the flywheel and turn the motor over.

Releasing the starter key would cause the small gear to fall back out of the way.

The newer systems such as our Jeeps use do not have this small gear flying up a spiral track but has a Solenoid flip it out to engage the flywheel. At the same time inside the Solenoid assembly two large flat copper contacts are bridged together.

This then supplies major current to the starter windings to turn the engine over. When the key is released the small gear drops down again out of the way.

So for our Jeeps there is a very thick red lead going direct from the battery positive...unfused....to one of the flat copper contacts. When the solenoid is energized it connects the motor to +12 volts.

So the point here is that the solenoid needs to be removed from the Starter motor and the copper contacts inside it that carry all this current need to be cleaned nicely...even filed down carefully to obtain a good contact when the solenoid bridges the outer flat pieces.

So the whole Starter Motor may not need replacing but only the Solenoid needs a good service or replacing. The motor itself though could have a bad commutator or brushes or the solenoid gear could be worn.

The starter motor has a large lug on it that the thick red cable connects to....is always live...make sure you disconnect the battery completely before removing the Starter Motor assembly!;)

There is a Starter Motor Relay in the fuse box under the hood that operates the solenoid via a smaller lug on the Starter Motor assembly. A bad Starter Motor Relay contact could cause bad solenoid switching ability...easy to swap that Relay over!

Check all lugs on the motor assembly are on tight.

If you replace the starter motor complete with the solenoid attached it should fix your problem but some work on the solenoid only may do the trick.

Missing teeth on the flywheel should also be checked for as suggested!
 

turblediesel

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Actuation methods aside the Bendix assembly I was referring to has the small driving gear with it's attached ratcheting mechanism that allows it to engage and turn the flywheel allowing for the fired up engine to spin the ratcheting assembly freely until the driver lets go of the key and the starter gear retracts to it's stand-by position. The ratcheting mechanism will sometimes engage and sometimes spin as it fails but eventually they fail completely and do nothing but spin freely. The starter gear/drive/ratcheting mechanism is an unrepairable crimped together assembly.

In the old days when I was young this assembly only cost $15.00 which was a lot cheaper than a new starter. It takes a little skill to take the starter apart to install it. Sometimes the brushes and bushings in the starter were shot too and a complete starter replacement made more sense.
 

Billwill

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Actuation methods aside the Bendix assembly I was referring to has the small driving gear with it's attached ratcheting mechanism that allows it to engage and turn the flywheel allowing for the fired up engine to spin the ratcheting assembly freely until the driver lets go of the key and the starter gear retracts to it's stand-by position. The ratcheting mechanism will sometimes engage and sometimes spin as it fails but eventually they fail completely and do nothing but spin freely. The starter gear/drive/ratcheting mechanism is an unrepairable crimped together assembly.

In the old days when I was young this assembly only cost $15.00 which was a lot cheaper than a new starter. It takes a little skill to take the starter apart to install it. Sometimes the brushes and bushings in the starter were shot too and a complete starter replacement made more sense.

Yep I agree with you that the small gear has a one-way ratcheting action so that it can carry on spinning as the motor fires and this can indeed fail.;)

Always worth while to disconnect all power to the Starter Motor assembly, remove it and inspect it carefully before simply replacing it!
 
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