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Starter Problems

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by wide load, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. wide load

    wide load Registered Member

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    I'm having a starter problem that I hope one of you can help me with. And yes, if any of you are wondering, I am a natural procrastinator - but this is about my Blazer.

    Problem:
    The starter will not spin the engine.

    What I've done:
    Made sure I'm using a good strong battery
    Installed new battery cables
    Put on a rebuilt starter
    Tried to shim it 4-5 different ways (no change in performance)
    Direct wired the battery to the starter
    I've turned the starting ring gear with a pry bar to ensure the engine is not frozen
    I've taken out all of the spark plugs to make sure I don't have a hydraulic lock of any kind

    What happens:
    When I turn on the ignition, I get bright lights on the dash
    When I hit the starter, it throws the starter gear into the ring gear then clicks like the battery is getting low, except much harder - like the battery is strong but the starter cannot turn.

    I plan to take the rebuilt starter back to the store to have it load tested to see if I got a bad one, but I'm at my wits end here. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif

    What else could be the problem? Any ideas anyone?
     
  2. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I am suspecting you bought a bad starter. One thing you can try is not to tighten the starter bolts too tight, but not too loose. Tighten them down only loosely seated, and hit the starter only for a second to see if this works. I have only run into this problem once with a GM starter because somebody had stripped out the original starter bolt holes, and then drilled and taped new threads into the block at an incorrect angle, which caused the starter housing to distort when tightened down. I ended up having to use a 1" stack of washers on the starter bolts, in order to get it to tighten down properly and still have the starter motor work.
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Not questioning your abilities, but I might advise against this if at all possible.

    I've never had it happen, but I KNOW it is quite common for the outer bolt hole for the starter on the block to break off. If your starter cranked well while the bolts were loose, I would imagine it would be very easy for the starter to crack that ear right off.

    Am I wrong?
     
  4. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Thats is why I say "only crank it for a nano second." I would totally not advise doing what I said as well, but the instance I was talking about was a 1 in a 100 situation I had with a GM starter one time. After spending a long time with this one particular starter, I decided to see if leaving the bolts a little loose would work, and SURPRISE it did. That is when I removed the starter, and noticed that the threads where all tore up with heli- coils in them.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I know, getting off topic here, but I had an idea for starters awhile back.

    Sometimes you replace a starter, and you have to shim it. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes the one on there was shimmed, sometimes not.

    On a starter, the only thing that really makes shimming necessary or not (or in your case was tweaking the case) is the nose. What SHOULD happen is that when the starter is replaced, the nose should be swapped from the original to the new. This would eliminate all problems associated with swapping starters.
     
  6. monsterjim

    monsterjim 1/2 ton status

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    are you sure that the starter is grounded to the motor real good. if you painted the block or have a rear seal leaking, the oil can get over there and the starter won't ground real well. Also if it is a 350 ask for a Taxi cab starter, they are all steal, no aluminum nose. and usually have a lifetime warranty from any dealer. Cost about 80 bones around here.
     
  7. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Sounds to me like your wonderful, "strong" battery is dead.
     
  8. wide load

    wide load Registered Member

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    I hadn't thought about the "taxi cab" starter, however, unless I got a bad rebuilt, I still don't understand why mine won't spin the engine.

    Tuesday, I'll be taking it back to be load tested.

    Chuck.
     
  9. wide load

    wide load Registered Member

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    monsterjim,

    I can appreciate the "is it plugged in?" type of info - but I can assure you that the battery I'm using is fully charged.

    Chuck.
     
  10. 86gmcjimmy

    86gmcjimmy Registered Member

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    I've had that exact same problem on my 82'GMC truck I wnet through 4 napa starters they all did the same thing then i just got a mini starter and I never had a problem again.
     

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