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Slow Start When Hot: R&R of Starter Bushing

September 23, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair

By Joe Leoni

Q: Every time I start my car cold, the car starts without any problem. However, when driven a view blocks and the engine is hot it won't restart. The engine cranks only 1 to 2 rpm, whereas the battery has enough oomph to crank the engine many rpm's rapidly when the engine is cold. Why does it seem that the starter experiences more resistance from a hot engine while cranking it??.

A: My guess is the sleeve bushing in the transmission is the culprit. Over time the bushing wears, and the end of the starter shaft hangs down. Probably heat aggravates this problem. Binding results. If many years have gone by and this bushing has not been replaced it is due. It is in the transmission housing, where the starter gear passes through the housing rim.

To replace, drop the starter, use a coarse 14mm tap into the bushing. Hold it still with a pair of vice grips, and catch a couple threads into the bushing. Wiggle it a bit and pull. Out it will come. Install new bushing and lubricate. Then you are set for another 30 years. Stoddard also carries a starter bushing removal tool that will press out a bearing w/o damaging it.

While you have the starter out, check for brush length. The commutator will be dark, but that is okay. If there is a definite burn between two commutator bars that would signal a shorted commutator. I don't think that is your problem. Might want to lubricate opposite the drive end as well. Blow off the accumulated carbon dust. Avoid spraying with solvents. If it need more cleaning dampen a rag and wipe.