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Starter problem? - need help!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by JayK5, Sep 10, 2001.

  1. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    I have been having this problem ongoing now for a couple of months. When I get in and try to start my blazer it sounds like as if I'm trying to start it while it is already running. It grinds really bad. I'm sure everyone has done this by accident a time or two, however my blazer is NOT running. It doesn't happen all the time. Maybe once out of every 6-8 starts. ????? I haven't got a clue.
    I'm not big on working on cars, but I would like to learn more. I bought a Chilton book so if someone can point me in the right direction, give me some advice, maybe I can fix it before it becomes a real problem.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Neil

    Neil 1/2 ton status

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    sounds like worn flywheel or bendix teeth trying to engage.

    Neil H. Alabama.. "It's a full size thang, Jeep owners don't understand!!" '78 K5 400ci 4x4 AT,AC,PW Cheyenne., '74 C10 4x2
     
  3. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like either the solenoid has gotten really weak, or the Bendix spring has - I'd guess that you are about due for a new/rebuilt starter.

    Clean up on aisle 3!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  4. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    How costly is a new starter? and how difficult for a novice to replace?
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a complete dork that doesn't know what a wrench is ; just not a lot of experience working on cars.
    Thanks Pugs
     
  5. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    The last starter I bought ran $62 at Napa with a $22 core. First time changing them you can expect to spend around 45 minutes. - Only 2 bolts and the wiring to put on - easy as pie [​IMG]

    Clean up on aisle 3!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  6. jshadwick

    jshadwick Registered Member

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    yep, if its just the starter, its a piece of cake to fix, I just replaced mine, and it took under an hour. I got a lifetime warranty starter from Autozone or Chief, I forget. Dont know if its any good, but we'll see. Cost about 37.00

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Eagle86K5

    Eagle86K5 1/2 ton status

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    Remove the starter and look up into the hole. Have a friend or yourself, attach a breakerbar with socket to the bolt on the harmonic balancer and turn the crank. Watch the teeth on the flywheel. If you notice any wear on the teeth it is time to change the flywheel. Normally I would suggest removing the inspection plate, but looking at mine and all the stuff in the way, headers, support rods etc, it is easier to just turn the crank.
    If it was happening all the time I would also agree it is the bendix or starter, but because it is intermittant my thoughts would lead me to think you have a bad spot on the flywheel. So the only time it happens is when the bad spot on the flywheel stops right in front of the starter.Good Luck...
     
  8. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    Ok, first I take off the starter. Then turn the crank while looking at the flywheel for "bad spots". I'm assuming it would be obvious if there were a bad spot? That should tell me whether it is the flywheel or if not that it is indeed the starter itself.
    Got an idea of price and work involved in changing out the starter, but how about a flywheel? Sounds a little more difficult.
    Thanks for all the input, I'll be checking it out this weekend!!

    Praying for no "bad spots"!!!!
     
  9. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Changing the flywheel is a PITA - gotta pull the motor or tranny out. Any damage should be obvious, in the form of missing or ground off teeth. I had one on a 454 missing a couple teeth, and just left it alone - I preferred changing a starter every couple of years to yanking out that big block.

    Clean up on aisle 3!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  10. Neil

    Neil 1/2 ton status

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    flywheel is a little more involved. have to take the tranny loose from motor. remove bell housing bolts with tranny on a jack so it doesn't fall. ease the tranny back a few inches is all and set it on some blocks or support of some kind. Take the flywheel loose from the motor and torque converter sandwich it is in. I think it is 9/16 or 5/8 bolts that are on the flywheel to loosen. It is not difficult, just takes a little time and patience. the hardest part to me is moving the tranny back safely cause I don't have a tranny jack or car lift to use.

    Neil H. Alabama.. "It's a full size thang, Jeep owners don't understand!!" '78 K5 400ci 4x4 AT,AC,PW Cheyenne., '74 C10 4x2
     
  11. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    So let me get this straight, if it is missing teeth on the flywheel I can just let it ride ? It won't damage it more if I leave it like that? Appreciate your input Pugs. Have read some of your other posts and you seem to have a pretty good handle on things dealing with blazers.
    Side note - Checked out your website. Your ride is awesome! I have a little girl too and she is also my pride and joy.
    Went to check out one of your links (The Nuge) and it didn't find it. Thought you'd like to know.
     
  12. Beth

    Beth Registered Member

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    Hi! I have a 1981 K5. Last week my starter went out.My truck had also been making that noise. I took it to a starter, transmission shop and had them check it out. Where the insides were wearing down and I kept trying to crank it, the soldering had flown out. I had the starter rebuilt for $45. It only took me 10 minutes to take the starter off myself. It took a little longer to put it back on because I had trouble wiring it back up. One of my wires had broke and it was alittle tight. Good luck on your starter.
     
  13. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the compliment!![​IMG] Usually leaving it alone won't make it get any worse - My old truck is still running around with no probs, other than the occasional grind.

    I'll check that link out ratt now!

    Clean up on aisle 3!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  14. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    Was yours just grinding every now and then, not all the time?
    I'm assuming it hasn't happened since. But if it only happened last week and it grinds every now and then like mine are you sure it's fixed? I don't know I just want to make sure it was the starter in your case and still not the flywheel.
    Thanks for your help!
     
  15. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Jay, I too was having/am having that problem. I used to think it was my starter, then I replaced it and it still does that once in a while. I just figured it was the flywheel, so I have just left it alone. It very, very rarely does it though. If you can live through some embarassing times while trying to start your truck out in public like that, you should be okay. You may want to replace your starter anyway if you don't know how old it is.

    Important Note: Keep your receipt if you buy a lifetime warranty starter and if and when you replace another starter, be sure to take the core oil-free because many places won't accept an oil-soaked starter as a core.

    <font color=red>"Maybe you could drive better with that cell phone up your azz?!!!"</font color=red>
     
  16. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Oh, and try not to return the starter looking as if you just cleaned caked-on oil off of it!

    <font color=red>"Maybe you could drive better with that cell phone up your azz?!!!"</font color=red>
     
  17. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    Thanks BigTex! I just bought the blazer about 3 months back so maybe it is a good idea to change that starter. Sounds like a small price to pay to know that at least the starter is not the problem.
    Whereabouts (not sure that's a real word, but you know what I mean) in South Texas are you from? I live on the south side of Houston.
     
  18. collegeK5er

    collegeK5er Registered Member

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    hey jay where in south houston. i grew up in Almeda area, i'm in huntsville now.

    Doin' it all on a college budget
     
  19. JayK5

    JayK5 Registered Member

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    Off Edgebrook between I-45 and Hwy3.
    I guess you're at Sam Houston huh?
     
  20. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Hey dude! I'm from McAllen, Texas. About 5 hours south of you. If you just got a new starter 3 months ago, then you are probably having the same problem I have. Keep in mind also that rebuilt starters (the lifetime warranty ones) are not always perfect. Some come out bad from the parts store. In other words, a lifetime warranty is not all its cracked up to be. That just means that you'll replace the starter more often than if you buy a brand new, not rebuilt one.

    <font color=red>"Maybe you could drive better with that cell phone up your azz?!!!"</font color=red>
     

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