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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2003 Element DX
AWD Automatic K24a4
70,000 miles
So a customer calls me up and says thier starter is bad in a 2003 Honda Element. I say, I don't work on hondas, but if it is just a starter, I can help you out. I removed the starter and and bench tested it, and it was bad. So I ordered a Bosch reman and installed it, it turns the engine over just fine, but there is a loud metal crunching noise and the engine appears to briefly rotate backwards when the noise happens. So I perform the usual test, first I made sure there was nothing that had fallin into the flywheel area as I made the repair by removing the flywheel inspection plate. All looks normal. I rotated the crankshaft to inspect each and every tooth, all ok! I then installed a remote start switch so I could watch what was happening as it happened. The Bendix of the starter appears to be pulling out with the starter under load still. Now I know what some of ya'll are saying, check the battery! So that is what I did. Using a "Midtronics" inductive battery tester, it tested good. I then proceeded to test it with an old fashion load tester, it tested good, so for good measure I replaced it anyways. Still no change. All right, time to get another starter. Got the new starter, installed it, cranked the car, same noise! No Change! Two bad starters, impossible right? So I get deep, I measured crankshaft end play, 0.35mm high, but within service limit, I checked flywheel run out, 0.45mm, couldn't find a spec for this, but 0.35mm could be the crank. For gigles I decides to remove the plugs and crank the engine with no load. The starter performs normally this way. No noise, no variation is crank speed. While the plugs were out I decided to do a compression test, 160, 165, 160, 160....pretty good hey? Plugs are kind of sooted up as if it runs a little rich, no check engine light though. All seems ok, so on to another starter, this time from a different supplier and different brand. When this starter was installed, there was no noise while starting, but the once the engine started, the teeth stayed engaged. The depth on the starter is too deep. Easy enough to fix right? I had some military spec 0.35mm aluminum sheet laying around and fabricated a shim for the starter. Now the noise during cranking returned. ANY IDEAS? I'm about to get my.45 out and put this thing out of its misery!
Thanks,
Glenn Farris
901-289-0336
[email protected]
 

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Glenn I had the same issue with a CRV. The solution was to install a Honda part. There have been several people that used the Reman Bosch part with no issues. As luck would have it, it did not work for me. I don't know if it's the way the starter is grounded internally, or if it's just a slight variation in manufacturing specifications. It appears to work well for some people.

Take a look at this thread ! See post #9 for the part Numbers.

Did you take off the intake manifold to do the change?


Dom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dom, thanks for the info! I did not take off the intake, I did it all from under the vehicle, and I have the cut up hands and knuckles to prove it! After about the sixth time, it took me only 30 minutes. I will keep you posted as to what I find.
 
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