1986 f150 302 starter broke


Asked by Jamesmc1120 Jun 12, 2019 at 10:03 PM about the 1986 Ford F-150

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just picked up a 1986 f150 302. Was a bit of work to get it
started, connected the starter directly to another battery
with jumper cables as the one in the truck was pretty low.
When the engine started up it broke the starter, I can go I to
more detail if needed.
My question is. Does this sound like just a starter dying? Or
could something specific have caused it to break?

4 Answers


Also, the starter was not connected to the solenoid when the engine started up and I disconnected the starter from the other battery as soon as the engine started.


Do you know if the pinion gear retracted after starting? If the pinion remained in contact with the flywheel after the engine is running it can brake a starter. Many times a starter requires shims to properly fit. To run correctly it needs to have proper clearance (to avoid getting jammed or not engaging flywheel) and the starter solenoid (the solenoid will engage/retract pinion). If no solenoid was hooked up and you jumpered starter, then my guess is pinion remained engaged to flywheel until it broke into pieces.


So the solenoid was on the starter. I'm assuming it receives power from the large gauge cable connected to the ignition solenoid. The wiring is a bit of a mess on this truck and the battery was pretty low. Could any of those things result in the pinion gear not retracting. I had previously removed the starter and put it back in. Do you have to be that precise with the placement?

1 people found this helpful.

As far as shimming, it's only needed if pinion gear jams on the flywheel. You would know if that was happening. Reading your post again, it seems the problem you have is the solenoid is not hooked up or not working properly and did not retract the pinion gear. You'll have to troubleshoot why it's not working.

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