Cat 3412 Starter Ring Inspection
One of our contracted clients got in contact with us the other day. They’d been having problems starting their CAT 3412 engine and in finding the cause, they managed to prevent a bigger problem.
Onboard, they found the starter ring was damaged – this was a result of the regular high forces applied by the starter motor pinion.
As a safety critical engine, they are reliant on it being available during certain operations and with a significantly damaged starter ring, the engine wouldn’t be able to start and they wouldn’t have the cover they need.
Starter rings are prone to this kind of wear or cracking and should be checked regularly as part of your maintenance schedule.
Waiting until the engine can’t start to discover a damaged starter ring is likely to be too late – the chances are you’ll be risking downtime for rectification work, which will be costly.
The good news is that it’s an accessible part of the engine (although a bit awkward with the weight of the flywheel), so changing over the starter ring is not a lengthy job, if the replacement is available.
As an indication, we can complete this type of work within 6 hours.
As well as making sure the starter ring checks are part of your maintenance schedule, it is going to be key that backlashes are checked between the starter motor pinion and starter ring. This will reduce the chances of damage and excessive wear.