Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

  1. #1
    DX User
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Vehicle
    1987 Honda Accord DX
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    16

    Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    so i was trying to start the engine about a week ago (after letting it sit for 2-3 weeks), and i let it crank for a few seconds. i pressed the gas pedal to prime the carb a bit, and tried to crank again, and all the sudden the starter motor was just spinning without engaging the flywheel. no grinding sounds, or sounds of anything breaking. it was cranking one second and not the next.

    after looking through some posts, i thought it could be flywheel, seized engine, starter solenoid, battery, or main fuse. but i checked the flywheel teeth, they look okay no noticeable damage, and i can turn the engine by hand so it doesnt appear seized. i swapped the starter (motor and solenoid), got the battery tested, and changed the 70 A battery fuse, but i'm in the same spot. the tachometer also does bounce a little when i try starting.

    i also tested the old starter while i had it out and the starter drive is popping out...which made me think it would not be solenoid/motor.

    there is a whirring noise from the starter, so i know its spinning, but definitely not engaging and cranking the engine. thanks in advance!!



  2. #2
    DX User FourLeaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord DX
    Location
    connecticut
    Posts
    3

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    I'd say it still sounds like the starter, sometimes they get stuck and testing it once or twice it may still work- id recommend tapping it with a mallet next time it does that. If it fixes it- it's definitely the starter. Not an uncommon issue, just a thing old starters do.
    I have zero idea what I'm doing. It'll be fine! ... nope probably not

  3. #3
    DX User
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Vehicle
    1987 Honda Accord DX
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    16

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    i did replace the starter with a reman, so i was hoping that would have fixed the issue. but i havent tried tapping it yet, i can give it a shot tonight

  4. #4

    conozo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord DX, 235,000 Miles, Daily Driver
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    I had starter issues. Replaced it with one from Autozone. Had to return it 3-4 times to finally get a working one.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  5. #5


    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vehicle
    88 LXi
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    5,046

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    I know you said the battery tested good but I would make sure its got about 12.7 VDC.

    Since the new starter doesnt work I would try the old one again and double check the connections and there is a ground wire on the trans close to it. I did a video of it last year.

    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

  6. #6
    DX User
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Vehicle
    1987 Honda Accord DX
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    16

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    I took your advice conozo, and returned my starter. It's still doing the same thing for now. I could replace it again, but I am feeling like I'm missing something else in the starting system.

    I also got around to checking the connections around the battery, as you showed in the video Oldblueaccord. The video was really helpful, I did clean some of those key connections, including the black stuff on the battery terminal connector, and the 90 degree connections in the fuse box. But even after, I'm still getting 12V in the fuse box and at the starter, and it still just spins.

    While I had the starter off, I did check the starter pinion and it looks like it was making contact at about half the depth of the gear (observed this by looking at the scratches on the pinion gear). Now I'm getting more confused, because looking at those scratches, I would think that it is making contact with the flywheel/TC, just not spinning it? But the engine can be turned manually so its not seized either. Any suggestions on anything else I can check? Thanks for the help guys!

  7. #7

    conozo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord DX, 235,000 Miles, Daily Driver
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    Do you have an automatic or manual?

    You should be able to remove a little rubber cover (if its still there) on the front of the engine/trans thats the timing sight hole to see if the flywheel is spinning or not when you crank it.

    Just because the starter works on the bench doesn't mean that it will crank the engine. Also there are different starters, automatic vs manual transmission starters. I dont think they can be installed on the wrong car but its worth checking.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  8. #8
    DX User
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Vehicle
    1987 Honda Accord DX
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    16

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    It's an automatic transmission. I am using a Mitsuba starter for automatic as well. Are you referring to the timing hole?

  9. #9

    conozo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord DX, 235,000 Miles, Daily Driver
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    Yep, the timing hole. See if the starter moves the flywheel at all. I know you said your flywheel teeth are fine but did you check all the teeth around the entire flywheel?


    Maybe you could put some marker paint on the teeth of the starter and see if any ends up on the flywheel

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  10. #10
    DX User FourLeaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord DX
    Location
    connecticut
    Posts
    3

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    Jeez sounds like you really can't catch a break, being a parts store employee- even though you got a different starter it's still possible that the starter is still the issue. I've had customers go through a couple of them before they worked. reman starters are kinda iffy unfortunately. That said I'd chase any other leads you're getting first. Sounds like conozo has the right idea. Just figured I'd share my experience as a parts guy just to keep in mind.
    I have zero idea what I'm doing. It'll be fine! ... nope probably not

  11. #11
    DX User
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Vehicle
    1987 Honda Accord DX
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    16

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    I ripped out all of the battery cables to the starter and fuse box, just because i did see some corrosion and discoloration on the cables. Figured I might as well change these while I have the battery out.

    I did check through the timing hole and it looks like the flywheel is in fact spinning when I turn the key in the ignition. So then the question is: if the flywheel IS spinning why is the engine not cranking?? Thanks for the suggestions, Iím determined to get to the bottom of this!

  12. #12

    conozo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord DX, 235,000 Miles, Daily Driver
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    Next, take your oil cap off and see if the valves are moving up and down while you crank.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  13. #13


    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vehicle
    88 LXi
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    5,046

    Re: Starter Spinning, Not Engaging Flywheel

    Quote Originally Posted by 87revival View Post
    I ripped out all of the battery cables to the starter and fuse box, just because i did see some corrosion and discoloration on the cables. Figured I might as well change these while I have the battery out.

    I did check through the timing hole and it looks like the flywheel is in fact spinning when I turn the key in the ignition. So then the question is: if the flywheel IS spinning why is the engine not cranking?? Thanks for the suggestions, Iím determined to get to the bottom of this!
    Well that pretty wild.

    I guess look and see if the accessory belts are turning on the front of the motor and then check the timing belt.

    I would be very surprised that the flywheel bolts all sheared going to the crank.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

Similar Threads

  1. Honda spinning off Acura as stand-alone division in bid to wake up brand
    By 87accordlxi in forum Classic Honda Community Chat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-12-2014, 02:02 AM
  2. Timing gearnot engaging on 87 accord not working.
    By waratah in forum 3geez Accords
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-01-2013, 04:13 PM
  3. starter motor or starter solenoid
    By conozo in forum 3geez Accords
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-10-2006, 10:55 AM
  4. only thing still spinning is ya head
    By MarioBurke in forum Classic Honda Pics & Videos
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09-15-2004, 08:24 AM
  5. car shaking when engaging the clutch
    By rdn in forum 3geez Accords
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-12-2004, 06:26 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
     
VigLink badge