I Have heard about the bendix sticking when engaged but has anyone had a problem with it sticking in the disengaged position?
This just happened to me. It was the first time I started the newest motor.
The first time I let it turn the motor over a few times (maybe 2 seconds max) and it worked OK.
When I tried to do it again it spun but the bendix did not engage. After a couple tries I took the cover off.
The gear seemed to be stuck but I was able to free it up with very little pressure. After that it was free.
Is this a indicative of a problem or just a strange incident.
Could be that the starter shaft is slightly bent.
Same experience, stuck in the withdrawn position up the shaft.
Bendix was new reproduction, 12 years ago, the square screw form was too ragged at the far end and the gear stuck up there, so used a file and valve paste and cleaned it up. Worked OK after that.
The newest reproduction Bendix are far better and work fine.
Lapped with valve paste.
If used old Bendix, then could be worn, or the follower pin locking it back, or some mechanical thing. Sometimes the bolts holding the spring are wrong with too high a head and will catch on the inside of the Bendix cover. Check the cover inside for any scratches.
There are Bendix drives floating around out there where the end of the thread was ground incorrectly allowing the gear to stick in its normal resting position after being thrown back to their resting position with (normal) significant force. You can clean up the thread on the drive near the end of this thread to correct this problem.
Ron the Coilman
Or, since you posted it was the first time, maybe too little oil on the Bendix gear shaft, always oil that gear and mechanism when installing on the starter shaft.