2002 Toyota Camry Starter gear missing

Tiny
FIRENZE
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
I replaced my starter in the middle of April (something was wrong with it, I don't know what). A few days ago, the engine wouldn't turn over (no engine sounds at all, but the battery seemed to be fine), so I tried tapping on the starter while my friend turned the ignition. The starter then made a whirring noise.

Took it out and discovered that the gear on the business end of the starter that engages the gear inside the engine block is missing. I'm assuming it's sitting in the bottom of my engine block, cause I don't know how it could have gotten anywhere else. So, I guess my questions are:

a) Is it gonna be feasible to try to get the gear (perhaps in pieces) out of the engine

b) If I can get it out in one piece, can I still use it (i.E, put it back on the starter)

c) If I can't get it out, would it be possible to drive my car to a repair place with another starter, or would that deal severe damage to my engine

d) If I can get the gear out, but can't reuse it, where would I get a new one (assuming I don't need an entirely new starter)

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 12:06 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

I would not drive the car as the Bendix drive may jam up and damage the torque converter, there is an access plate at the bottom of the bell housing, remove that and you may be able to fish out the bits, I would get the starter re built with new parts that way you know it will be ok.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 12:17 AM
Tiny
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Okay, sounds good. Thanks for the advice; I'll see if I can fish the pieces out. Can I do the rebuild myself (basically, do I just stick the new gear on there, or is it more involved)? And if I can, where would I find just the gear, and not an entirely new starter assembly?
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 2:18 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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It is a bit more involved than that, as there is a clip and a nose bush, is the housing broken? Best you show it to a autoelec or post a pic as I fell that it may be past repairing

mark
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 2:22 AM
Tiny
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Here's a picture. The yellow residue on the rim is just grease, with a tiny piece of grass stuck in it.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/395833_CIMG7827_1.jpg

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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 8:19 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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It looks ok, I would get a new Bendix fitted and the retainer and you should be ok

mark
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 8:32 AM
Tiny
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Thanks for all your help. Sounds simple enough. Where do I go about getting them? Would a typical auto parts store (e.G, Advance Auto Parts) have them, or do I have to go to a dealer or something like that? Time is kind of an issue, so I'd like to avoid an Internet order if possible.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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An auto electrician should keep this in stock, as this is a normal replacement item on overhauling starters,

Mark.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 6:14 PM

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