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starter grinding???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by redwood, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. redwood

    redwood Registered Member

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    I tried putting shims in, the teeth didnt even reach the flywheel. I mounted it up with no shims, it chewed the teeth off of the flywheel. I ground about a 16th of an inch off of the starter where it mounts to the block, it started perfect, no grinding, like 5 or 6 times... I thought sweet, problem solved... I just tried to start it again and... hellacious noise, no start. I have tried three different starters, same problem on all of them.
    its on a built 383 stroker, I bought it used and have no idea whats in it. When doing machine work would there ever be any reason to machine the bottom of the block or is there any way that the crank would be mounted marginally higher up in the block? It was a new flywheel too...
    Is there any way to check the mesh of the starter gear to the flywheel without engaging the starter motor?
    Any help on this would be great, I keep thinking it should be an easy fix but nothing I try seems to work.
     
  2. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Not sure if you have an auto or standard trans. Auto is what I am used to and fought the same problem through two flexplates and many starters.

    To answer your question YES there is a way to check mesh of the bendix gear and the flexplate. Dissconnect the battery cables, take the inspection cover off and I stick a long screwdriver in and get behind the bendix gear and pull it forward. As it comes forward and begins to mesh it will rotate some. It takes a little practice but you can keep the screwdriver behind the bendix gear and push it into the flexplate. Then I use a feeler guage on the gaps. I can't remember what the proper gap is but for some reason .05 comes to mind.

    There are a few different methods I have heard of to help if no shims doesn't work. One is to shim only the outside of the starter so the starter is cocked inward. this was a very temporary fix for me.

    I always found it better to file or grind on the housing of the starter until I had a good fit. I always tried to grind it level. When I got a good fit my starters lasted years instead of months. When a starter did die I bought a new one and had the old one rebuilt so I didn't have to regrind.

    I found my outer bolt hole on the block had a crack in it and fabbed up a mount to keep the back of the starter from twisting. this worked well.

    Hope this helps. One thing is I got really quick at swapping starters.
     
  3. LVJimmy

    LVJimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I had the same problem with my 1970, 350. After many starters and a few flex plates I ran into an old parts guy from the local chevy dealership and he claims GM screwed up the mounting surface thickness on some 350 blocks. In order to correct the problem GM made a different starter sprcifically for these blocks. I have never been able to find a different listing in any catalog and from what he remembers they never showed a different parts listing. He suggested that if I was having the problem to take the starter to a machine shop and have it cut down. I did, and have never had the problem again.
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    GM starters...GRIND--ZZZIIPP!

    The starters seem to be the achilles heel in a GM product!,,I've had my share of ill fitting starters that I had to file down quite a bit to get good engagement of the gears..replaced mucho flexplates too!--I got good at doing them by only sliding the tranny back an inch or so--didn't even take the cooler lines off,or driveshaft out!..its a BITCH putting the flexplate bolts back in,especially first getting them "started"--but its do-able!.. :crazy:

    You can measure the clearance without prying the drive with a screwdriver or taking any cables off by sliding a 1/8" allen wrench between the shaft the starter drive slides on,and the outer edge of the teeth on the flexplate--it should fit snugly,with no "slop" --if its too tight to fit in,shim the starter to increase clearance--if its too lose,get the file!--and "shave" it as level as possible,until its the proper distance..just as accurate,and much easier than trying to hold the gear engaged with a screwdriver in one hand,and measuring with wire feeler gauges in the other!..

    I find many rebuilts have the "wrong" nose on the starter-often Buick and Caddy starter noses are installed,and they are close,but not exactly the same as most chevy noses..just different enough to strip the flexplate after a while! :doah: ..The noses crack easy too,and can cause stripping and grinding,when the cracks spread open under load,and let the starter flop around..having that "rear brace" is important too,that bolts to the block--an absolute MUST have on a diesel!.. :crazy:
     
  5. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    if its grinding before it turns the engine over its the gap or starter... but if it cranks it over and grinds after you let off the key its the Bendix spring in the starter... my bro had his bendix spring go bad on his 4.3.
     

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