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*STOOPID!* Starter Question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by skink4president, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. skink4president

    skink4president Registered Member

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    Feel Free to Laugh . . .

    Everytime I've replaced a starter in a vehicle it's gone flawlessly. No shiming just unbolt/disconnect old starter and bolt up the new one. Turn the key and everything is OK. My new K-5 is another issue. The "new" starter grinds so badly it's actually painful for me to start the truck. I did not install this starter the previous owner did. He complained that the local auto parts store kept selling him the "wrong starter". I've inspected the starter and the flexplate and everything seems to be fine.

    Now given my history with these things I've never gotten into the details of HOW a starter works. While under the truck I noticed that the starter gear and the outer ring of the flexplate (which I assume make contact to turn the engine over) were about an inch apart. By that I mean that the starter gear was about one inch forward of the flexplate ring. Upon ignition does the starter gear push backward and engage the flexplate and then return to its forward position:confused:

    Thanks again.

    1973 K-5
    350/TH350/NP203
    12-bolt rear
    Dana 44 front
     
  2. sickquad

    sickquad 1/2 ton status

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    You can reach up and pry that little gear forward and check engagement. It sounds like you need a pack of shims from the help section.

    -Chris
     
  3. shanemcg45

    shanemcg45 Registered Member

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    I replaced mine three times within a week because of the grinding. The last time I used the shims that came in the box and worked perfectly. Of course it could've been the crappy AutoZone starters.
     
  4. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    does it spin free when grinding, or kinda grind, catch, crank ?

    either way sound slike either teeth gone on wheel, or starter too far away, measure with 1/8" rod from starter pinion shaft, to outer top edge of wheel teeth

    needs to be 1/8"

    if more than that then starter mounting surface needs machined down, milled

    if less than 1/8 then need shims


    also what year is engine ? the bottom end*

    large wheel or small wheel ? 12.5" or 14" ? IE thats 153 or 168 teeth*


    straight across nose bolt pattern or staggered ?

    the only way it could be wrong starter, is if got wrong diamter wheel with wrong starter nose, which could be possible, might have small wheel and staggered nose in which would cause grinding, IE not fully intermeshing teeth of pinion and wheel

    pinion= bendix gear of starter

    wheel= flexplate


    you will need to measure, and/or find out what diameter wheel you have and what nose style is under there too

    starter bolts can come loose and do this too, check them make sure are tight, have seen that happen and cause this issue many times
     
  5. skink4president

    skink4president Registered Member

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    It grinds, cathces and starts. The bottom end of the engine and flexplate are original '73.
     
  6. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    id say one of these then, some more obvious than others:

    starter junk,
    starter bolts loose,
    starter shimmed too far, mounting surface of nose cone needs planed down,
    teeth missing off wheel or very worn/ground
    wrong starter nose cone for wheel diameter

    hell the nose cone could even be busted

    yes would still start, but not sound pretty., seen it happen many time, just a coupel weeks ago in fact, on a old chevy pickup


    no matter what youre gonna have to get flashlight out and get greasy, hehe

    have fun :P
     
  7. 78 k5

    78 k5 1/2 ton status

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    I went through 2 Auto Zone starters before I got one from CarQuest, and it's been fine since I put it in. Shims are usually necessary even if the one you pulled didn't have any.
     
  8. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    use a good brand...

    I have good luck with AC-Delco rebuilt starters,they are pricey,but have a better warranty than most("lifetime gaurantee on cheap starters means nothing--other than they will give you as many as you can install till you get a decent one!)--the Delco ones I have used usually work perfect without shims--and the instructions in the box told how to use a 1/8 inch allen wrench as a gauge to see if it does need shimming,as Randy said earlier-
    -I have had to file down the nose on more starters than shim them away from the flywheel--usually they are too far away when you hear stripping noises,and it "skips" some teeth..I dont like shimming just the outer bolt like they say to bring it closer,I'd rather file the nose down,I dont like having the starter "cocked" with shims only on the outer bolt,it leads to cracked noses and starter bolt problems in my experience...:crazy:
     
  9. skink4president

    skink4president Registered Member

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    I got under the truck last night and pried the starter cog back to see how it was engaging the flex plate. Sure enough it doesn't go back far enough and only catches the wheel by about 1/8". I guess that would be the grinding sound. I know they specify on starters whether they're for an automatic or manual transmission and it's my belief that the previous owner picked up a stater for a manual tranny?!? I may be wrong about that but I'll be replacing the starter anyway.

    Thanks for the help.
     

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