2014 Honda Accord EX-L 3.5 Grinding starter

Paul Owner/Technician California Posted   Latest   Edited  
Resolved
Drivetrain
2014 Honda Accord EX-L 3.5L (J35Y1) (BC5A) — 1HGCR3F81EA009908
Starter Grinding

This Honda grinds when started. We replaced the ring gear/flexplate (local trans shop) tried two Denso reman starters then ordered an O.E. Honda Starter. The grinding is less frequent but still there. There is no crankshaft end play. There is a TSB that says to rotate ring gear one bolt hole over….seems like this is only to find a fresh spot on the ring gear. We tried no gasket on the starer and then double gaskets with no change. Could the starter relay briefly disengage the starter? Battery is good and we tried another as well, ran extra grounds too. 

Thanks in advance

Just to be clear…the problem was there before the ring gear/torque converter replacement which had no effect on the grinding

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Walter Manager
Washington
Walter Default
 

with the flexplates on a flat surface, check to see if the new one is higher. Newer Ford diesel ( like 2018) pickups had that problem and made a new flexplate that has a ring gear that now sits about an 1/8th in closer to the starter. The old design allowed the starter to start to spin before reaching the ring gear. Possibly your flex plate has a little more distance also causing your problem.

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Lonny Diagnostician
Florida
Lonny Default
 

You replaced flex plate or had it done at local shop? Reason to consider is if alignment dowels were re-installed. If not the transmission could be miss-aligned causing the grind .

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Interesting
Nathaniel Diagnostician
Ontario
Nathaniel Default
 

This is the first I've heard of this issue, but it seems that you have a vehicle exhibiting a well-documented problem here. Tempting as it can be, don't go chasing alternative causes until you've exhausted the proven repair. The Honda starter is a smart move on a system that seems to be too fussy, but were the flexplate and torque converter also OEM? If so, you should be able to rotate the…

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Paul Owner/Technician
California
Paul Default
 

We thought through the same process and concluded that it was to get a fresh set of teeth in the ring gear as the TSB doesn't recommend ring gear replacement only starter. Why a clockwise rotation is unclear. The flex plate was not replaced only the torque converter with a reman but keep in mind it had no effect on the frequency of the problem. So the flex plate bolts to the crank and torque…

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Nathaniel Diagnostician
Ontario
Nathaniel Default
   

From what I recall, the TSB does state that if replacing the starter and rotating the torque converter--which is the ring gear--doesn't work, that torque converter replacement is required. And honestly, with a system this fussy, it very likely should have been a Honda torque converter. My next step would be to treat this like it just came in and follow the TSB. You've got the Honda starter, now…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn Default
 

First issue I see, this is a Honda and you are using reman starters. Go with OE reman if possible. I have had issues in the past with wrong bendix gears being used on several aftermarket starters. Has others have pointed out, alignment dowels are important. If one are both are missing, you will have issues with practically any vehicle. The bolts do not align the tranny, the dowels do.

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Paul Owner/Technician
California
Paul Default
 

Hi..so just to recap….new Honda starter…problem there before trans was pulled….torque converter was a reman….flexplate still original.

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Andrew Owner/Technician
Florida
Andrew Default
 

Good morning Paul, I had a look at the TSB and noted the statement about the starter gear to flexplate gear clearance not being optimal. As you stated, the TSB directs to re-index the torque converter to flexplate fitment by one bolt hole. Only by turning the converter clockwise as viewed through the torque converter cover opening. The way it reads to me, they are saying that this is done to…

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Andrew Owner/Technician
Florida
Andrew Default
 

Ok. This one got me thinking some more so I did a quick search over at iATN and found a post by Andrew Gibson. Here is the link: members​.​iatn​.​net/forums/read/ms… He states that re-indexing the flexplate to the torque converter results in a 45 degree shift of the ground off (ground down?) teeth on the flexplate. The engine will tend to stop rotation at predictable…

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Paul Owner/Technician
California
Paul Default
 

So my assumption was the same as yours that the ring gear was on the flex plate….but it's on the torque converter. This was replaced…unfortunately I didn't see the flex plate but it only drives the torque converter

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Paul Owner/Technician
California
Paul Resolution
 

Closing this without resolving the issue.

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