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  #1  
Old 11-13-2015, 12:14 AM
AX-O's Avatar
AX-O AX-O is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,545
Default Starter Failure

I had a failure on my starter yesterday. I won't post the name brand yet as I sent it in and will wait to hear back. It is one of those light weight starters without a Bendix. The starter has less than 25 starts on it. The engine is a IOX-340 with 9 to 1 pistons.

Yesterday I attempted to start my airplane. I hit the starter and the prop turned without issues. As I let go of the starter the engine caught about 3 firing cycles but I was not able to keep the engine running (still learning this fuel injection thing).

After all motion stopped, I re-attempted. Nothing... My MFDs flickered and the prop did not move. "What is going on?" I tried it again and I observed the same outcome.

Got out of the plane thinking that the prop did not want to turn because it got stuck at the top a compression cycle. "I'll just move the prop and try it again". To my surprise the prop was stuck and I could not move it. My heart just sunk. "oh boy, here we go".

Got the plane in the hangar (luckily it was at home) and took the cowling off. After inspection, I determined that the starter failed (pictures below). Spent the next hour removing the 4 nuts that hold the starter. Has anyone seen this failure before? The starter gear would not retract or turn at all. It was jammed. No damaged to the starter gear or the starter ring. The company tech told me that in over 60,000 units this is the first time he has heard of this. I am sure I am not that lucky.




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The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weigh out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk. Further more, these are my opinions and not those of my employer.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2015, 03:43 AM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
 
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Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,674
Default starter woes

Has it been working well for you before? The teeth do not look properly engaged in the photo. Just wondering if it is the proper starter.
Good thing you were not out cross country when it failed. Keep us posted on the results.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2015, 07:05 AM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NC25
Posts: 3,762
Default Starter Solenoid

Have not heard of any failures such as the one you have.

The light weight starters have had good and bad service history. The solenoid has been a weak part on some of the starters.

I ran a light weight permanent magnet starter for around 2,000 hour with only one solenoid replacement. A friend (based not far from you) had replaced his solenoid every several hundred hours over the same 2,000+ hours. Following manufacturer's recommendations, I sent the starter in for overhaul but the unit was too old to be overhauled so was sent a newer overhauled replacement. The replacement was eating solenoids about every 50-hours. After replacing 3 solenoids and needing a 4th, I sent the starter in and upgraded to a better starter that used less starting current and was a little heaver.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2015, 07:15 AM
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olyolson olyolson is offline
 
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Default Starter

Axel,

I went through several of the "lightweight" starters on my engine before the company gave a trade in allowance to upgrade to the high torque NL model. Never had a lick of trouble since. The lightweights seem to be better on 320s but some guys have had good success on the 360s. With my AEIO-360 and a C/S prop the little starter just couldn't hack it.

Oly
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2015, 08:02 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Default

Although I've never seen a starter (especially a new one) lock up like this, I certainly HAVE heard a vendor say "...I've never seen this failure in xx years..."

Seems like any time I've had a component failure go back to the vendor it's "the first time...". I'm glad (in a sense) it's not just me.

To your situation though, it sure seems one of those "way outside standard deviation", infant mortality things. Let us know what the vendor says.

And to Oly's point above. I had that same starter on my 540 but traded it in on the NL. So far so good.
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Last edited by Toobuilder : 11-13-2015 at 08:05 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2015, 09:01 AM
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AX-O AX-O is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flightlogic View Post
Has it been working well for you before?
No issues before.

My buddy was saying since i do t have the starting procedure down quite yet that i may have damaged the starter due to the motor going to high rpms right after starts.
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The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weigh out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk. Further more, these are my opinions and not those of my employer.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2015, 09:08 AM
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blueflyer blueflyer is offline
 
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If you drain your battery while trying to start your plane, the starter will stay engaged like that. I know that from experience...

After charging my battery and trying another restart, it all worked as it should and the starter retracted after starting.

Last edited by blueflyer : 11-13-2015 at 09:14 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2015, 09:16 AM
aerhed aerhed is offline
 
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Default

It's a new 340, so it should have a 149 tooth ring. That looks like a 122 tooth ring. Am I wrong?
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2015, 09:34 AM
krw5927 krw5927 is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerhed View Post
It's a new 340, so it should have a 149 tooth ring. That looks like a 122 tooth ring. Am I wrong?
Nope, you're not wrong. Definitely looks like a 122 tooth ring gear to me.

http://www.skytecair.com/RingGearTech.htm

Hopefully, Axel, you have the proper starter for a 122 tooth ring gear. Your photos make it look a bit questionable, but it could just be the angle the photo was taken from. Like others have said, the NL starter I purchased used has been flawless. Especially given the high compression 9:1 pistons of the Titan OX-340S (same engine I have, BTW). The NL starter just powers right through the compression stroke.
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Last edited by krw5927 : 11-13-2015 at 09:39 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2015, 10:48 AM
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AX-O AX-O is offline
 
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Location: SoCal
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflyer View Post
If you drain your battery while trying to start your plane, the starter will stay engaged like that. I know that from experience...

After charging my battery and trying another restart, it all worked as it should and the starter retracted after starting.
I will swing by the airport and check the battery. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerhed View Post
That looks like a 122 tooth ring. Am I wrong?
It is a 122 tooth ring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krw5927 View Post

Hopefully, Axel, you have the proper starter for a 122 tooth ring gear. Your photos make it look a bit questionable, but it could just be the angle the photo was taken from. Like others have said, the NL starter I purchased used has been flawless. Especially given the high compression 9:1 pistons of the Titan OX-340S (same engine I have, BTW). The NL starter just powers right through the compression stroke.
I have the right starter, 122. I think the pictures/angles may be faking the eyes. I am not sure if I have enough room for an NL starter. I have a fuel line that may interfere. Hopefully it was not a dead battery and I sent the starter off for no reason.
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The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weigh out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk. Further more, these are my opinions and not those of my employer.
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