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Strange Starter Noise


NAXJA Forum User
96 XJ 175k.

I replaced my starter about a year ago and it has been driven approximately 8k miles since then but there is a weird sound that the starter makes that has become increasingly more common.

When starting it cranks very normally but mid crank it will often "slow down" or "bog down". Its like there is one bad crank amidst all the other good cranks that sounds like it's slow motion or about to die before it catches again and the cranking sounds normal. The Jeep always still starts but the increase in frequency now has me worried. The noise happens very quickly amidst the normal cranks but is very audibly noticeable.

Battery voltage tests fine and my terminals are tight and clean so I'm not yet suspecting the battery. Anyone ever had a starter that sounded like this?
My first thought would be bad battery or cables along with a bad starter. Has the battery been load tested at the battery and at the starter?
Like he said, get your battery load tested.

Also check the battery connections at the other ends (grounds, starter).
Ok thanks, load testing and wiring inspection is up next.

The first time it did this (made the slow crank noise) was maybe a few weeks after I installed the new starter. It would then go weeks or maybe a month before I would hear it again. Now it happens about once out of every 5 startups and sometimes twice in a row. It was a brand new starter not a refurb fwiw.
What brand?
What brand?
I wish I could remember. Ordered from Rockauto and I know it was new and not remanned. Since its a good possibility I'll be buying another one soon are there manufacturers I should avoid? Conversely, what names do you recommend?
My path was to rebuild my own starter.

GrimmJeeper's pics are gone from this thread, but mine are still there: How to rebuild your starter

Note that GrimmJeeper's symptoms sound very similar to yours.

I have made it a point to pull a couple of extra starters from the junkyard so that I have cores to rebuild. The one I rebuilt for those pics is still going strong, and it has been a solid 10 years.

I don't know if you still have your original laying around, but if you do, I would rebuild it and swap it in. If that solves the problem you will know the replacement was poorly built. That is no longer such an anomoly as one would hope.
I don't have much faith in starters/alternators these days but after 50yrs my go to is still Bosch.
Interesting, I hadn't considered rebuilding one myself. Thanks for the writeup link.

I'll see if I can track down a Bosch. There's a remmaned Bosch on RA but I would prefer a brand new version to start.

*Unrelated to the starter topic but I want to post some pictures to the forums, I saw folks mention uploading to imgur first and then posting a link? Do I need to create an account on imgur? I also read someone else say they uploaded photos to their profile and then posted from there but I can't figure out how to do that either.
To post pics here you need to be a member, for photobucket or imgur you'll need to open a account.
If you suspect your starter (it might be), I'd look into any warranty first. Go back to RA and look up past orders. Some of them have 2+ years on a new starter.

I had a '87 Nissan P/U truck that had a bad starter, Bought one at a local Autozone (Limited Lifetime Warranty). Something like 8-9 years later, it went bad. Went back to replace it, expecting to pay (brought the old one as the core). Still had the Duralast sticker with PN. They put it on their load tester, it failed and gave me another starter under warranty. Not suggesting you get a Duralast, just recommending you check into the warranty status.