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Starter is dead after 15 minutes of racing



  Clio RS 201 2012
Hello brothers. I need help. I already despaired, honestly. :(((((
Car: Clio RS 201, 2012 year, mileage 97000 km.
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Briefly: every time I go to trackday, my starter is dying after 15-20 minutes of racing. Car - stock, starter heat cover is properly installed.

Here is my long story from the beginning.
1. I have rebuilt a gearbox, putting helical LSD there. Guys who made that, made that not good. I heard some strange sounds, looks like they did not adjust some bearings.
2. After two months of rebuild I've got huge vibrations from motor and noisy sound at 3000 RPM.
3. I thought that vibrations were caused by damaged fluted tube (two flexible tubes connected to exhaust manifold) and I have replaced them.
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4. Vibrations were not gone, I have decided to ignore them for a while and I went to track there my first started was broken. It was dead because of internal wire breakage because of vibrations.
5. I have replaced starter by new and original one and went to track once again. Starter no. 2 was dead after 15 minutes of trackday. That was f###n surprize for me :(
6. I thought that I accidentially bought faultl starter (s**t happens) and I bought new one once again.
7. And yep. Starter no.3 died just after I started to race. Hahaha
8. I have found good mechanic and we started to find a reason. He have found some:
a) Motor and gearbox were not properly connected and also engine bearers were worn-out - we have found reason of vibrations
b) Сrankshaft pulley spline was broken and valve timing had 1.5 degrees offset
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9. Valve timing belt was replaced, issues with motor/gearbox fitment and with timing were solved. I thought that we have found reason why my starters were breaking.
10. Yesterday I came to raceway and guess what was happened after 15 minutes of racing??? Yes, starter no.4 also was broken.

Additional information: every starter (except last one) had different reasons of death. But no one of them had traces of overheating - all of them had mechanical troubles, for example, with wiring or with magnets fixing (magnets were released and they caused breakage of mechanical parts of starter motor).

No here are two versions:
1. Operations with gearbox caused excessive vibrations and starter can be broken because of them during peak racing overloads.
2. Operations with exhaust caused excessive heating of starter and despite the fact that we have no traces of heat and we have properly installed heat cover, mistakes with exhaust operations caused issue with starter.

I don't know what to do, I can't fix the problem during last six months... now I want to burn my car in fire. Please help, maybe someone here know what is going on...
Thanks.
 
That is strange!

Is the starter motor trying to continuously crank the engine?

Could you fit a rubber damper between the starter motor and the mounting for it, to reduce vibrations?

Does the starter motor try to crank the engine when it is dead? Or is it completely dead?
If it is completely dead, could it just be a loose wire (an earth?) needing reconnecting after each race?
 

GrahamS

ClioSport Club Member
I haven’t read your full post but I had a similar issue when I relocated my battery. After going out for a session the car would try to start but felt like it hadn’t no battery left. My problem was the battery cable was too thin so when it had been on a run the cable got hot, the resistance increased and as a result the starter cable couldn’t support the load required to turn over the engine. A thicker cable sorted it. Look up voltage drop on YouTube and then test for that at all points in the starter circuit, including on the earth circuit.
 
  Clio RS 201 2012
No way, guys. Every time starter is fully dead. Mechanical failure, fully destroyed from inside. Will never start again, needed to be replaced by new one. This is not about wiring. Probably it starts during racing and direct connection of flywheel with starter kills it. Probably vibration or overheating.... I dunno.
And I think it is impossible to use some rubber stuff between engine and starter for decreasing of vibrations... My car is fully stock, this is ridiculous!
 
That is seriously weird.

Is it possible to zip-tie a GoPro (or similar camera) in the engine bay, so you can see if the starter motor is being shaken around when driving?

Or could you buy a 30-minute Rolling Road session and then have someone 'drive' the car on it with the bonnet removed, so you can look at the starter motor and see if anything is happening to it?
 
  Clio RS 201 2012
That is seriously weird.
....
Both options are nearly impossible to do. First I will find time to remove and disassemble starter no.4 and check what was happened with it. As for Go Pro racing, unfortunately I live in Russia and last Sunday was the very last day with dry tarmac in this year. I don't know when I will be able to go to the track once again to test my car. Probably April, not earlier :(
I will come back with results of starter diagnostics when I will find time to remove and disassemble it. If somebody here also had faced with same problem in past, I will be pleased to know what to do. Thanks.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
I doubt vibrations are killing your starter motor that quickly, it's probably dragging or constantly engaged.

Have you got any custom wiring inside the car?
 
  Clio RS 201 2012
I doubt vibrations are killing your starter motor that quickly, it's probably dragging or constantly engaged.
Have you got any custom wiring inside the car?
Nope, wiring is fully standard, no customization there. We even replaced Starter's relay by new one to check electric issue. Useless.
 
Both options are nearly impossible to do. First I will find time to remove and disassemble starter no.4 and check what was happened with it. As for Go Pro racing, unfortunately I live in Russia and last Sunday was the very last day with dry tarmac in this year. I don't know when I will be able to go to the track once again to test my car. Probably April, not earlier :(
I will come back with results of starter diagnostics when I will find time to remove and disassemble it. If somebody here also had faced with same problem in past, I will be pleased to know what to do. Thanks.
Cool, I hope you can work out how it has failed!

If they all fail the same way then something is clearly wrong!
 


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