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Broken piece of starter in Yanmar 3GMD engine
I've got a treasured rebuilt Yanmar 3GMD that I installed myself 6 years ago. The purr of that engine means a lot to me.
I'm also, due to circumstances, cheap. I installed a new chinese starter last season and the housing of the starter gear broke inside the engine. I took it off and fished a large broken piece from the place where the starter gear meets the flywheel. I fitted it back on the starter and discovered a smaller piece (about 1/2 inch flat square) missing. Where did it go? How hard will it be to retrieve? What bad things could happen from this piece being somewhere inside near the flywheel? I replaced the starter and the engine starts and runs like it used to. I think I do hear a little metallic "tinkling" sound every once in a while.
My nightmare is that the little piece of metal will get into the flywheel teeth and be driven through the engine casing. Is that rational?
Thanks for your advice.