Ford 8N tractor starter won't disengage, Positive Drive type

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Posted by Brad Cobb on March 08, 2020 at 21:01:31 [URL] [DELETE] :

Didn't find anything relevant to what I'm experiencing with my Ford 8N tractor (probably 1949 or '48 model), so decided to post a question:

Has anyone experienced their starter hanging up on tractor's ring gear, & failing to retract, being driven round by tractor motor once the engine has started?

I have removed starter, and all the teeth (that I could see) on the ring gear and starter drive looks to be in good shape.

I took the starter drive off the shaft, then took Bendix all apart to see if I could figure out how it worked (it's very non-intuitive. You don't want to go there: it wasn't easy and it wasn't fun, plus taking it apart didn't make it any easier to understand how it was supposed to work).

I got everything put back together, used the "wire wheel on a grinder" method for retracting the Bendix, yet whenever I put starter back into the tractor, inertia-engagement Bendix drive doesn't want to retract after the motor starts. Bendix stays extended on the ring gear and gets "powered" by the tractors engine (starter puts out a distinctive dynamo-type whine when engine spins it; to hear this was surprising).

What bugs me, is that I can't see anything wrong with the unit, but somethings not working correctly, and I haven't the faintest idea of why (my preference is for events to make sense and be comprehendible).

I suppose I could always just order a new starter Bendix, and that would resolve my problem, but I don't like the mystery of not knowing why a starter Bendix wouldn't retract, when a detailed examination revealed nothing obviously amiss.

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