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Starter, Ignition, Ring Gear -- rusty case & bendix

Starter issues all over. Last year -- starter was draining battery, couldn't turn it over. Possible bad plugs, bad starter too.

Replaced with new starter (eBay) - last August. This year, finally get her out (93 spx) only to have no luck starting. Starter spins/wines but does not engage flywheel. Battery is fine. Pulled starter. Bendix and entire front assembly of starter is seized & rusted. The old one was similar before I replaced it (I thought it was just old-- looks like I have another problem.

I looked into the hole where the starter goes and I can see the ring gear and teeth-- moist, rusty. So I take off the casing and nasty rusty orange water/slime comes out. Entire thing is rusted inside.

What could cause this?

I'm cleaning everything up right now and making sure starter spins freely, but I don't want to have to go through this again. Is the magneto case supposed to get wet inside? There was a water rust stain to about 2 cm up on inside of case (easily visible on ignition housing cover).

What gives? Thanks
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that area should be dry. If you have the oem starter, try opening it, and fixing that one, or take to starter/alternator shop, by far, they're the best. Starters from ewbay, are no good. Should tell ya, when they're only 50-70 buks, vs. 200-250 for oem ones., but clean up, then while there, inspect the seal, its possible, that its bad, allow'n oil to seep in, along with the o-ring around the mag housing itself. Replace it, and inspect the groove for it..
Thanks for the quick reply.

When I took out all the screws, the very bottom-most one was sheered off (still sticking out on bottom once I removed the cover. I was trying to twist it out but seems stuck.

Are there supposed to be two gaskets? There's a rubber one still on the housing that looks good, but it seems like there is some rubber/residue (black) on the cover.

Can I just use some blue RTV silicone and seal it all back up?
(That big seal is probably pricey if I payed 3dollars for a jet pump oil change oring.

How might the inside have gotten wet?

if the bottom one was "sheared", then water from inside hull, made its way thru that opening. If you pry the oring out, just clean/scratch the calcium off it, then grease ur up, should be ok, and for silicone, you can, wouldnt hurt.
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