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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I've searched through the forums and I think I know what my issue is but just want to bounce it here:

My '02 Ody won't start after sitting for a little while. Turning the ignition key to "On" and waiting for the fuel pump to pressurize before attempting to start lets me hear the starter motor spinning away like a happy camper. Wait about five minutes and try again - the van fires right up.

From the other threads I can gather that the Bendix solenoid is not pushing the starter's gear onto the flywheel. If this is the case, I'm going to try to remove the starter and lubricate the solenoid arm.

Couple of questions:

1) Is there a tutorial on removing the starter anywhere? From what I can see I just have to remove the wires, remove two bolts and it should come right off. But, it looks like I may have to remove the battery and maybe some radiator hoses as well... any suggestions?

2) What they of grease can I use in the starter solenoid? Can I just spray WD-40 in there? What about on the gears?

3) Any other suggestions?

Thanks
Sunil
 

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I don't know of any tutorials, I assume because they don't go bad often. Your post is a little confusing because you say you turn it to "on" and wait for the fuel pump but you say that lets you hear the starter spin. "On" would make the pump run but turning further would be the starter. I'll assume it's just a wording issue. In the past people would whack the starter with a hammer if it didn't engage. I've had cars that had a bad spot on the flywheel so the starter would spin when it hit that bad spot but it made a bit of a grinding noise when it happened. A new starter was easier than replacing the flywheel and helped until the gear wore down a bit. Just something to be aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You are correct - what I meant by "On" was the "On" position on the switch - I didn't mean I turned the engine on.

In my case I'm sure that the gear simply isn't engaging because once it does the motor fires right up. There is no grinding noise whatsoever.

I'll try pulling it off this weekend.

Thanks
Sunil
 

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Like you mentioned, maybe it just needs some lube. You can buy individual parts for the starter. Go here, put in your vehicles info and then go under engine/starter. You'll see a breakdown of the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks,

The odd thing is that all the Honda parts dealers list these parts as "(N/A FOR USA: SEE ASSEMBLY)"... some don't show a price and other do... so I have no idea if I can order it...

But, if I have to replace anything, I'm going to replace the whole starter - Advance auto parts has the rebuilt for $120 on sale.

I don't normally use aftermarket parts for my van, but I'm at the end of the rope with my rolling lemon. It has 201,000 miles on it now, so I need to milk one more year out of it. As soon as the 2012 Ody is out I'm buying it (I won't make the mistake of buying a first year again).

Sunil
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just to close this out: I ended up replacing the starter with a rebuilt.

To take the starter our was pretty straight forward: kind of... All that's required is the removal of two bolts (plus the battery wire nut), but to make life easy you may want to remove the battery tray. There are four bolts holding that in place (after you remove the battery and the plastic liner), but one of them is most easily removed from under the car.

My thoughts about lubricating the solenoid arm were dashed because there is no easy way to remove the solenoid that I could see - looked to me that you'd have to tear apart the whole thing to get into it - no thanks!

The new rebuild starter dropped right in and I was on the road in about an hour :)

Sunil
 
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