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Discussion Starter #1
I have replaced coil, plugs, points, condensor, rotor, and battery. When I turn the ignition key, there is a spinning, whirring, kind of clattering sound, like dragging a stick on a picket fence, but it doesn't turn over. What might this be? P.S. I also reworked the starter, including a new gear at the end, which worked the first time I tried it but hasn't since. Thanks for any help or ideas.
 

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Sounds like the starter isn't engaging. Double check the flywheel teeth to make sure there aren't any teeth missing. Turn the engine by hand a couple inches to see if it engages.
 

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Your starter has a "Bendix" drive and after many years of usage, the teeth on the flywheel ring gear get damaged. The engine has a tendencyto stop in the same spot and over the years, that area gets damaged. Sometimes, you can reach in with a file and clean them up and they may work for a few years. Otherwise, Replacement of the ring gear is advised but sometimes they cam be moved about 3-4 inches either side if none is available. Also, it is possible that the spring broke on the starter drive and it will sound that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. I'll start with the easiest possibility, starter spring. BUT, if it's the flywheel ring gear, does that require removing the transmission to replace or move it?

Also, is it true that nothing in the distributor could make such a noise?
 

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No. Your sound indication is that the starter is not turning the engine over to start with. So start with the engine rotation to see if there is an engagement problem first, a little visual check of where the starter is touching/engaging the flywheel to make sure it is OK and not ground down, and then the removal of the starter to bench test it to make sure the bendix is engaging/spring is still good.

And yes, if the ring gear has teeth missing it does have to have the transmission (or engine) to get to it to remove it, or at least separated enough to remove.
 

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You should be able to bar the engine over to inspect the teeth on the ring gear once the starter is pulled. OR You might have a sheet metal plate/cover to pull to inspect the ring gear from the bottom. Make sure that you block the car carefully when going underneath. Never trust the driveline brake especially if you are close to lifting a tire off the ground. (Don't ask me why I know).
 

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KOG
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Some of us don't have to ask you why you know. We know the same way.
 

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KOG said:
Some of us don't have to ask you why you know. We know the same way.
Today, there would never be an issue such as that. (When was the last time you had to pull the factory supplied tire block from the trunk? No fuel tanks in the cowl. No fuel tanks filled behind license plates, single circuit brakes, non-safety glass windows, leaky carbs, fuel pumps that leak to the outside (or into the engine). When was the last time you used a 36' tall bumper jack that barely clipped under the bumper? Had a carb backfire when you were tuning it? Wipers that stopped every time you touched the throttle? How long has it been since you installed (not replaced) seat belts into a car? Had the oil line break inside the car on a mechanical factory gauge? The list goes on and on.
 
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