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Starter Woes

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by schwinnd, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. schwinnd

    schwinnd 1/2 ton status

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    Hey All,
    I've had my blazer for about two years and I'm about to go install my fourth starter. I check the clearance and install the appropriate shims but I only get about 9 months out of the starter before it dies. I know this isn't rocket science, it's 3 wires and 3 bolts. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

    btw it's a '76 blazer 350/350/np203 all pretty much stock.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dave
     
  2. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Does your starter get exposed to lots of heat on a regular basis? Overheating the starter is one of the best ways to shorten it's lifespan. Are you running headers? Do you have a heatshield?
     
  3. schwinnd

    schwinnd 1/2 ton status

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    No headers, stock exhaust manifolds and no heat shield. I thought it may be a good idea to the shield.

    thanks
     
  4. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Put in an AC Delco starter and a heat shield. If you do a search for starters, you should find a lot of posts about it.
     
  5. 83PJW

    83PJW 1/2 ton status

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    do you do alot of mud running? water and mud dont mix to well with a starter. a combo of gook and heat is probabley your answer.
     
  6. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Pam brings up a good point- where are you buying your starters from? Have you been using parts store cheapies? /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  7. reddog64

    reddog64 1/2 ton status

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    i went through 3 starters on my big block...
    Found out the proper shimming was to only shim one side....

    Go to the dealer and get a good starter or get a napa one...

    /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  8. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I always read about people going through starters and it makes me feel lucky- my 84 still has the factory starter. Come to think of it, so does my 83 1/2 ton.......
     
  9. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    You know I had 2 blazers and 2 vans, all with 350 chevy and only one always gave me trouble, I broke 3 noses and stalled 2 pinions, and now I am looking for an all cast starter to see if this one will make it.
     
  10. NITRO

    NITRO 1/2 ton status

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    hey, my starters have always had trouble turning my engine over and eventually die. so i finally spent $240 on a powermaster XS Volt Starter. it has 4.44:1 gear reduction. its a really nice starter and can always crank my truck over now.

    NITRO
     
  11. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    My problem was never the power.
    I align it right and it starts perfect for a week then it starts grinding, so I loosen it and retighten it, and it works great, and so on and eventually I find a bad pinion and a broken nose.
    I am guessing if I had the rear brace this wouldn't happen.
     
  12. NITRO

    NITRO 1/2 ton status

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    have you replaced your flywheel?? sounds to me like the tolerances are off. o yea, are the teeth on the starter or flexplate shiny in between them. it could also not have enough shims in there to create the gap needed

    NITRO
     
  13. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    I ran into a very similar problem about 1 to 2 months back (search my name). Went through 3 flexplates and like 6 starters. Built my own tail end of the starter support bracket. Finally found out just by luck of trying, got another starter from a different place, put it on, and worked perfectly. Got to measuring the old starter and come to find out, the store that I got them from originally got a bunch in to sell that were all machined at the wrong angle /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif were it mounts to the block.
     
  14. reddog64

    reddog64 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    My problem was never the power.
    I align it right and it starts perfect for a week then it starts grinding, so I loosen it and retighten it, and it works great

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You need to SHIM HALF THE STARTER....

    either the outside bolt or the inside bolt... more than likely the outside bolt needs a shim or 2 or 3 under it to rotate teh gears into more contact with the flywheel...
    What i have to do....
    Get a lifetiem warranty witht he starter you buy... only buy once :d

    I did this and havent had probs since....
    PM if lost... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. marine_enlisted

    marine_enlisted 1/2 ton status

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    Do you have real starter bolts in it. The ones with the knurling on them.If not the starter will shift around. I was eating starters and switched to one from a 69 chevelle big block with manual trans. It's an all cast nose, at does't flex like alum. You might try a starter for a 96 and up pickup. They are smaller and farther away from the heat. I'm not positive , but I think they will only work on 86 and up engines with the one piece rear seal /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  16. Waxer

    Waxer 1/2 ton status Author

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    I went through numerous starters from Pep boys and Autozone. Tried shims up the wazoo, checked clearance, even went as far as replacing the flex plate. What finally fixed it was buying an AC Delco starter, using starter bolts, using the support arm on the back. Its been over 2 years now and not a single problem since.
     
  17. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    To all who responded to me:
    I will tell you everything that happened to me, and you will notice that everything you mentionned has been tried or was not the case.
    It was running fien untill one day it started slipping, bad pinion so I rebuilt it with a new pinion.
    It was fine for 2 days then it started to grind.
    I tried to shim it, and I found out that the only way to get it to align was shimming only the outside bolt.
    It worked for a couple of days then it started to grind again, so I took off the shim and tightened it and it worked perfect.
    ...for a couple of days then again, so I shimed it again, and it worked, after 2 day it grinds so I take it off and check it the nose is cracked.
    I get a starter that was on my other blazer, running fine.
    It ran for a week then same problem.
    I checked the bolts to see if the knurling if in the wrong place ( I have seen different lengths) it was fine and it fit snugg which it is suposed to do.
    I checked the flywheel teeth, they were a little shiny so I changed it and put a new one.
    Worked for a week then the same.
    The only difference between this blazer and the other, and all my other GM trucks is that the rear brace/braket, you know the one on the tail of the starter, was missing.
    So my guess is that since the nose is Aluminum, and the braket is missing, the vibration is making the bolt enlarge the hole and shifting, when I loosen it and realign it and tighten the bolts it works until the vibration shifts it again.
    That is why I decided to put a cast iron nose, and it worked.
    At the time I didn't think this small bracket would make the difference, but now I know. Every little bit helps.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    I will get the braket just for extra insurance but the cast iron starter helped.
    By the way, just for the info:
    All chevy V8 starters might work, since they all have the same mounting bolt pattern, but I came upon so many sizes (diameter) and after some research, I found that there are 3 sizes:
    one for I6, V6, and 305 and smaller V8's.
    one for the 350, and 400 V8.
    And one for big blocks.
    Now I only get the big block version, much stronger, and indestructible. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  18. schwinnd

    schwinnd 1/2 ton status

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    Wow! Thanks guys. It sounds like I need to double check my tolerances when I go to put this on (after Thanksgiving). I have only used napa's starters and it does have the rear brace. What I noticed was my motor mount on that side appears to be broken. I'm wondering if that may be part of the problem?? Of course it's all bolted to block anyway. Man do I love this stuff.
     

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