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  1. #1

    how much trouble am I in now?

    I've posted here about my '97 SL700DLX ski. My last trip to visit the ski almost ended well, until I was convinced to take a short cut and broke something. While replacing the ignition kit for the ski it became apparent that the rear part of the flywheel housing (the part closest to the rest of the engine) had been changed at some point and needed to be replaced with the kit (there was a work around identified at the time, I was convinced to ignore it to my woe). In the attached picture, the (a) hole was moved to about where (b) is. Since the guy who sold me my update kit included this part I decided to go ahead and replace it. This was a mistake, and in the process, I have broken off part of the starter motor that I cannot identify a replacement for. When looking at the picture, the starter motor fits into the hole at (c), and when I crowbar'd (very dumb) this part of the flywheel housing off, it took part of the metal with it. In the 2nd picture you can see (d) which is only visible on my ski now because of the metal that tore off inside of (c). This happened on my last day with the ski with only moments of daylight left, so I do not know how much damage I caused to the starter motor, but there was nothing readily apparent.
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    The part that I broke off is what makes a seal between the starter motor and the housing and appears to have some sort of bearing inside of it. I'm assuming this is there to provide support for the starter motor when it is cranking the engine so that it does not shear off teeth. This seems important to me.

    As far as I can tell I have 2 options.

    (1) Put the old crank case back on and use some loctite 518 gasket eliminator on the broken jagged metal break, go forward with the work around (which was to strip some wires, feed them through the original hole and gasket located at (a) then rejoin the wires on the other side with some heavy duty water proofing i.e. solder the wires together, heat shrink the connections, cover each connection in water proof gel as on the circuit board, then another layer of heat shrink for the entire bundle)

    (2) go forward with the crank case replacement and also replace the entire starter motor and hope it includes the metal piece I broke.

    am I missing anything in this diagnosis or description? Can anybody identify the broken part with any accuracy?

  2. #2
    Banned User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Milwaukee WI
    You broke the front of the starter off. You need to replace it.

  3. #3
    Tjdriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Eglin AFB
    Yup. Starter neck broke off. I just did that last week. I had to change my bendix and broke the neck in the process. If you pull the flywheel cover off you can get to the broken piece of the neck from the inside of (C). If it's not corroded in you can beat it out. Mine was corroded and when I beat on it, the flywheel housing broke in 2. I was able to use my 12 ton press to get the broken neck out(that was for shits and giggles since the housing was already broken).

    You can get the broken starter piece from, but it will cost you about the same to get a whole new starter from ebay or amazon.

    Is that the only thing you broke?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tjdriver View Post
    Is that the only thing you broke?
    As far as I could tell at the time yes. We used a very large crowbar (4 feet or so) and I was worried about cracking the crank case, but i won't know that until I get the thing running in the water.

    When I look at the diagrams on partspitstop i don't see the neck part, same thing with the starters on ebay and the like. Though I've never seen the starter motor whole either so I am not sure what it should look like. Is it really in the diagram/picture or is it something that they don't put in promotional pics because it obscures too much?

    I found this part on ebay:

    and also on the seller's website ( but somebody on a VW forum implied that they are selling cheap Chinese knock-off parts. Is that a big deal? The next best thing is used parts on ebay for twice as much...

  5. #5
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Medina, Ohio, United States
    A member on here bought an aftermarket starter that died 1 year and 1 week after purchase. Your call, but there are OEM starters out there from 1994 still running strong. My money is on good used, but that's just my opinion....

  6. #6
    Tjdriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Eglin AFB
    I have a new starter and bendix from rareelectrical on my virage and a used starter on my genesis. I'll see how long each last. My guess is neither will be around a long time since I primarily ride in the salty sea. lol

    Here is a link to a starter on amazon. you can clearly see the neck with the 2 o rings on it. That's the part that was broken off in my flywheel housing. If you haven't broken your flywheel housing, like I did, I highly recommend you pull it and use a press to get the broken neck out. I used a 12 ton press.

  7. #7
    I don't think I broke the original flywheel housing, but this whole issue was caused by me trying to swap the original housing with a new one. I plan to use the new one and keep the other as a spare for some reason. I'm not sure if i have access to a press of any tonnage regardless. Thank you all for your help. I'll get this thing running in a couple of weeks and post a wrap up on the forum.

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