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MG MGB Technical - Starter motor pinion parted company!

I have a no name geared starter motor on my 18GB engined MGA coupe. Went to start yesterday and after a couple of attempts (no choke - Weber carbs) just a whirring sound from the starter (spinning but no load).
I removed the starter and found the pinion had come off the splined shaft and was sitting in the pocket in the bell housing - the retaining circlip and I suspect a small tension spring behind the pinion are no where to be seen - now lying in the bottom of the bell housing.
Has anyone had a similar problem with these aftermarket starter motors? If I can source the missing parts I was planning on tack welding a keeper plate in front of the pinion in place of the circlip so it doesn't happen again. Any thoughts?

Mike Ellsmore

Why not just tack-weld the pinion to the shaft, you've got nothing to lose. The pinion teeth look pretty worn anyway, how old in years and miles is it?
Paul Hunt

Drill and tap a hole in the end. Then insert a small bolt with a washer that will retain the pinion. Be certain to loctite the bolt in place. This way will not damage the splined shaft.
ss sanders

I'm going to be the devil's advocate here.

My first concern would be about the circlip, washer etc. that might be floating around in the bell housing. If you just replace the pinion and somehow lock it into place, what happens if one of those stray parts gets picked up and travels into the messing gears?
I know it's a pain, but I would be tempted to pull the 'box to find those bits and to also see what caused the problem, broken circlip, badly installed etc., and how can the problem be overcome permanently.
Welding things to the shaft doesn't sit very well with me, I would rather solve the problem by assembling as originally, with what ever is needed to ensure no more failures.

Herb Adler

All fixed thanks to being a member of the biggest (and best) MGCC in Australia! One of our members specialises in converting Nippon Denso style gear reduction starters to suit MGs and other BMC cars. He had the missing bits to repair my starter - actual the retainer for the pinion is not a circlip but a plain wire ring and keeper ring.
I will take my chances that the missing bits wont cause a problem in the bottom of the bell housing due to their size and centrifugal force from the flywheel/clutch unit.
If you have any problems with these type of starters or are looking to convert suggest you give him a call - see his advert on this link.
Mike Ellsmore

You probably won't encounter any problems with the small components lying in the bell housing, but the next time you have the starter out you can remove them with a flexible magnet. RAY
rjm RAY

Yeah Ray, I tried that but my magnet kept sticking on the steel bits making it hard to get to the bottom so I gave up!
Mike Ellsmore

Well, at least you gave it a try. RAY
rjm RAY

This thread was discussed between 10/05/2014 and 15/05/2014

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