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The starter on my 07 F5 is pretty noisy, I have isolated it to the gears not meshing very well.. It looks as if the Pinion drive sorta bounces in and out of the Ring Gear and the wear on the pinion gear is all on the leading edge. Is this a lube issue in the Pinion Gear assembly? It seems a little sticky when I pull the dust cap and move it manually, or just a worn out Pinion Gear Assembly? All seems tight as far as the mounting goes.. Also this all seems a bit scary looking at how close the flex shaft is to coolant lines and such.
 

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Hit it with a can of carb cleaner/degreaser to get the belt dust/gunk off, get it clean, dry, hit it with a light shot of wd40 and see if it still acts like that. Could just be dirty.
 
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