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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Transmissions
Satisfied Customers: 8594
Experience:  ASE Certified Diagnostic Technician
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I have a 1994 Mitsubishi Diamante LS dohc 3.0 with automatic

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 1994 Mitsubishi Diamante LS dohc 3.0 with automatic transmission. The engine has been completely rebuilt and when it was reinstalled the mechanics pinched the transmission wires which cause cost me over a year of headaches trying to figure out why the transmission was not shifting gears correctly. Transmission computer was replaced, twice. Eventually I spent $1,500 on a brand new transmission only to see that I still had the shifting problem. Finally the transmission wires were corrected and now it seems to function properly. Well I believe it is. I am not exactly sure because I have not been able to drive it. I've thru three starters, the original cranked up the engine 3 to 5 times and stopped working. I replaced it, right away I can hear a disturbing metal grinding sound. I had the mechanic take out and take back to autozone where they spoke about the vehicle being manufacture in California or in Michigan, I think it was Michigan. Anyway, Autozone gave us another starter, it was replaced, still hear metal grinding but not as bad. well that starter only lasted about 7 or 11 cranks and it left me stranded. Yes painful headaches. When I took it out I can see that the teeth were grinned or wasted away just on the tips. As if starter is not reaching the torque converter completely as it should. I replaced it. It cranked up 1 time, 2 times and then it just spun. Took it out, put it back as tight as I could. Crank up once and never again. The starter is not reaching the torque converter correctly. I have a new torque converter ready to be replaced but it will cost me a pretty penny and I fear that I will still have the starter not reaching the torque converter problem. Is anyone familiar with such headache. what should I do, PLEASE HELP ME.... Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Transmissions
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.
If you haven't already, I would try to get your hands on a factory starter before pulling the transmission out for converter check. Mitsubishi starters are famous for malfunctioning like this with intermittent seizing, lash issues, etc when aftermarket starters are in play. This is because we use very few different actual starter cases, but use VERY different bendix plunge depths and gear designs. Because of that, aftermarket starters are often mimicking the case shape and not paying attention to the different internals. The result being you can go through a half dozen aftermarket starters and never get one that fits correctly with relation to bendix operation.
If you have used a genuine Mitsubishi starter and had the same behavior, and there is nothing else unusual about the situation (like the block to bell housing adapter plate is missing etc), then I would suspect that perhaps the wrong torque converter was installed with the transmission, at which point you would want to pull it out and compare exact diameter and tooth count as well as for damage. If there has been excessive use with incorrect lash from the starter being wrong, the odds of damage to the converter are high and you may end up having to replace it anyway.