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Topic-icon Starter Solenoid locks up after hard landing

  • Steve Jordan
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7 months 3 weeks ago #1911

Thank you to all of you who have responded to my post. I contacted Hartzell (HET) and they have volunteered to provide a replacement starter indicating that the problem was a manufacturing defect that they inherited from their purchase of this line of starters. They indicate that the problem has been rectified in the current production starters. I am grateful to the FBO owner who posted and alerted me to this endemic problem with these starters. I had my mechanic clean and reassemble the starter and reinstall it. Apparently, the problem would have re-surfaced. With the starter properly assembled and the new copper power cables installed, the starter runs like a scalded dog. I believe that HET is responding to this issue in an honorable manner.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #1910

I just replaced one on my Piper Warrior that started giving problems after 6 months. So far Hartzell has stood behind every unit we have had to replace as long as it was within their warranty period.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #1909

Hi, Thanks for passing on your experience on SkyTec starters. I noticed that Hartzell, that now owns SkyTec has owners manuals and installation and shear pin repair instructions on its website.
I also found quite a few posts on different owners groups sites reporting problems with the "bendix."
Hopefully Hartzell has addressed these problems.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #1908

I own a FBO and we have had several Skytec starters that the bolts have worked loose on. SkyTec has replaced each one under warranty. I think the newer starters have been updated to prevent this from happening again. I have also had two SkyTec starters that the bendix has failed on. The starter bendix will energize but will not engage the ring gear.

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8 months 1 day ago #1900

Hi Steve;
Thanks for the follow up report. I installed the Bogart copper cable kit in my Comanche and believe it's a very worthwhile update.
I'm glad you found your problem. I am surprised the SkyTec starter didn't hold up better. I installed a Lamar starter which has been faultless for the last 7 years.
Glad you're back in the air.
Happy Flying

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  • Steve Jordan
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8 months 1 day ago #1899

Steve,
Thanks for the reply. Just to close the loop, I replaced all of the 50 year old aluminum cables with new #1 AWG copper cables from Bogert Aviation. I also modified the battery box with a mod kit from Bogert Aviation. Skytec (the starter maker) didn't want to discuss troubleshooting the starter till the cables were replaced. This needed to be done, but did not solve the problem. However, when the starter was removed (had only been installed less than 4 years) it was found to be falling apart. The motor had backed off from the gear housing and some internal wiring was loose. The starter was cleaned and repaired and is now working as designed. So I guess you had it right, there was something loose. I just can't imagine why the starter began to fall apart in such a short time. However, I did find out about the Piper SB regarding the dangerous aluminum cables, which I think may have caused my previous battery to fail (case ruptured around the positive terminal).
Steve Jordan

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