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Starter makes major metal grinding noise...

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Rooba, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. Rooba

    Rooba Registered Member

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    It sounds as if the gears are slipping or something. The starter was new and installed in May, so it should be good. I'm planning on tearing it out when I get a chance, but was wondering if anyone has had problems with starters "wearing out" in their rigs?

    I don't know if this would be related, but sometimes when I start the truck the negative cable gets REALLY HOT and sometimes melts the connector. (I've been carrying spares). The cable connects to the engine block and I just noticed that it was painted underneath the screw, so I scraped that away, hopeing for a better contact. I don't know if that will help or not. Didn't affect the grinding though.

    Any suggestions appreciated,

    Thanks,

    Cpt. Rooba
     
  2. BobK

    BobK 1/2 ton status

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    Location:
    Petrolia,Ontario,Canada but working in Port Huron,
    Check your ground and negative wires.Make sure there is no corrosion at the battery treminals,both pos. and neg. cables.
    The grinding noise from your starter is most likely an alignment problem.The starter teeth are either too far away or too close to the staring ring on the flex plate.You can buy shims at you local auto parts store and shim it yourself.A very common problem is the starter support.It's a metal brace that attaches to the rear of the starter,then bolts to the block and helps support the rear of the heavy starter.I just had this happen to me 2 months ago.I didn't have that metal brace and the weight of the starter and the bounceing of off road driving actually broke one of the starter bolts and bent the other one.I've since shimmed the starter and bought the proper brace for it and no problems since.Hope this helps.

    <font color=green>BobK<font color=green>
     
  3. Rooba

    Rooba Registered Member

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    Thanks for the ideas BobK! I think you're right about the alignment problem. I just got done shimmin' the heck out of it, but didn't get much further. 1/64, 1/32, 2/32, etc. Nothing seemed to help at all, and I can't watch it and start it at the same time. Do you remember what you shimmed yours at?

    It might possibly be the starter, and it may be the next replacement part on the list, but you wouldn't think that it would go bad in 4 months of use would ya?
     
  4. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    You can watch it and start it at the same time. Just stick a screwdriver between the place on the starter where the purple wire connects and where the bat. cable connects.
    Or you could go out and buy a remote starter switch for under $10 and hook it up to the same place if you are not into having the thing spark inches from your head.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
     
  5. Steve_Chin

    Steve_Chin 1/2 ton status

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    You should have about 0.020" (+/- 0.010") clearance between the crest of the tooth of the starter pinion and the valley between the teeth of the ring gear on your flex plate or flywheel. Use a round feeler gauge to measure the clearance. I usually use a 0.010" gauge and a 0.030" gauge. If the 0.030" gauge fits I close up the clearance, and if the 0.010" gauge doesn't fit, I open it up. I usually shoot for 0.020" right on the nose, though.

    Oh, you can take off the flex plate inspection cover to get a view of the starter. Use a pair of Vise-Grips or other suitable tool to engage the pinion and ring gear. Disconnect the battery BEFORE attempting to do this adjustment or you will be injured.
     

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