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starter spinning but is not engaging to flywheel

13443 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DezertRunner823
Please excuse the length of my posting...I have an 05 that started to develope a problem since Christmas...I live in a cold climate and it may have something to do with the deterioration of my starter. My truck developed an intermittent start problem where the starter would spin but not engage . I would turn the key to off and try again and it would engage and fire up.. I brought it into my shop, cleaned the terminals, charged the battery, it wasnt down too much, then when charged I did a load check and it said the battery was fine (its only a year old).. I left my truck in the shop for about 4 days and thought it was a good time to clean it and vacuum it..I washed it before i brought it in so possibly i got something wet underneath, but when I went to fire it up again it didnt go and after about ten flicks of the key, it finally engaged but the same every time I tried to start it.. So I figured it must be the starter and got a friend to help me take it out.. I called for a new one at a NAPA store and he asked if I was sure it was the starter because he never heard of one going and recommended I call Nissan and find out what it could be. I called the dealership which is 210 miles from me (the closest one) and talked to a mechanic. He told me since the Titan was introduced they never changed a single starter! He told me to bring it in to get it diagnosed. Visually the starter looks fine, not a mark on the gear teeth after 79000 miles. You spin the gear by hand and it smoothly moves the gear outwards to an engaged position..So I figured I should maybe put it back together and plan a trip.. Next day, I had meetings and my buddy came over and put it back in, he didnt think of trying the starter on the bench by using a set of booster cables directly on the solenoid to check for function , and he reinstalled it.. So when I got home I find out that now it wont engage at all, it spins when you turn the key but no engagement.. I had read the tsb about the connector on the side of the tranny getting corroded or damp but it is a hard thing to dry out.. I am almost thinking about changing out the starter and thought some one here may give me some new direction. I have not tried to shuffle the relays around in the EPDM yet or wiggle wires under the dash likeothers have posted but will try tomorrow.Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
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You know where the starter is....right?
Oh Ya..!!! But I bet you there have been some frustrated people when they go out to look for it...

One thing I discovered is that it is possible to remove it without removing the fuel rails which they recommend you do.. If you do remove it, you are then required to replace the o rings on top and bottom of each injector...
It is not difficult to remove the air plenum bolts with the rail left on...

You do need the "special" tool to seperate the fuel supply line, but in my 49 years i have only needed it 4 or 5 times and still have not bought one.. I simply cut a piece of thin metal about 1 inch wide and enough length trimmed to just make a collar around the line ( you have to make the strip narrow enough because there is an elbow on the line before the connector) After I wrap the strip around i just pushed it into the connector with some needle nose pliers and the connection comes right apart...

The tricky bolts that were the real pain was the two holding the starter in...They come in from between the firewall and the engine and there isnt room for a long handle on the ratchet... To get enough leverage I had to climb right in there on top of the engine to undo them..Nissan could of aided big time by making the bolts go through the starter and fasten it by bolting it in toward the firewall... but it really isnt that big of deal if you know the fuel rail thing... They put it in a spot like that because maybe they truly are bullet proof... I can't believe they couldnt put it in a more normal position.. Once the plenum is off you really have to be careful not to drop anything into the engine..I covered them with rags but before reassembling I also sucked each port out with a shop vac to make sure. I hope I get a reply before I go rip it out again. Thanks.
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:lol: It's funny how many people talk of the starter, and don't know where it is! I'm sure glad it's a reliable part, and I'm glad I don't work on these new vehicles for a living anymore! :lol: Best of luck with the problem! :)
I would of just replaced it when it was out the first time.
mine's toast... second time in the last 12 months. no clue what the hell happened the first time for a tooth to break off the flywheel and mess the starter up. the nissan tech's first diagnosis. had it repaired and all was well... then again just last week the sound i had the first go around came back. clacking sound as i fired it up. today, after work started it up and it sounded like metal schrapnel spinning around. then followed by a whining sound much like a coffee grinder on maximum speed. turn the key off and took it out and the whining continued on... had to disconnect the battery for it to stop. called triple a and had it towed to the nissan dealership. gahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
Sounds like a misalignment somehow between the starter and flywheel.
Sounds like a misalignment somehow between the starter and flywheel.
after having the flywheel and the starter and whatever else replaced it fired up like new... 10 months later till up to last week... then the jacked up sound again when starting. what the??? what would be the cause of it misaligning from its initial replacement?
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