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Discussion Starter #1
Hope I can find some guidance here, new to the PSD and diesels in general, and I know Internet fixes can be tough.

First, truck is an '02 Ex 2WD. I let the wife drive it most of this past week (I know, that was my first mistake :damnit) anyway, yesterday morning, she went to start it and the starter didn't fully engage the flexplate and it did one of those loud "Zings". She immediatly let off the key, waited then tried again. This time the truck started, but the starter does not sound like it used to. Before, the cranks were very even sounding, now it's deeper and has a slight miss to it. Batteries are brand new, starter is original (as far as I know, got the truck in October). There doesn't seem to be a big current drain when cranking, and the cranking is fast. The sound is the same whether cold or op-temp.

So, do we think it's the starter drive gear, or the flexplate or both that maybe got damaged? It's 22 deg here and my garage is full with vehicles on jack stands, so I thought I'd post here for opinions before digging into it. Do the ring gears get real torn up on these, or the starters, or perhaps both? I'd like some ideas before getting into it. If I have to inspect the starter, I think I'll just replace it with a Denso unit anyway. If it needs a new flexplate, that's an entirely different monster and I may have to nurse it along until the weather breaks a bit, or find a garage to do the work in. Thanks much!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update

Well yesterday I checked the oil, which was only about 1/8 inch above the "add" mark, so I topped it off. This morning, I was out doing the fog light mod and started it up to test the lights and warm it up a bit (it's about 20 degrees out right now) and it seems to crank much better. So for now, I'm going to list it as coincidence and rough cranking due to a low oil level. Does that sound possible?

Is there an inspection cover for the flexplate?
 

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yes there is an inspection plate on the bottom of the bellhousing.. i guess it might be possible as far as the oil goes because the ford injectors are fired off of oil.. the lack of oil may have had a little bit to do with it... but im not totally positive
 
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