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to shimm a starter or not?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 1BadK-30, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. 1BadK-30

    1BadK-30 1/2 ton status

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    Went to install my starter today got it in fine and all, went to fire it up and it did just fine but its knockin really bad. Turns out its not gripin on the flywheel correctly. Went back to autozone and the general mannager said i needed to shim it. I for the heck of my life cant get the shimms in to try it. My father says i dont need to do it, I've never had to do it the past 14 years have done it. The starter's teeth at the end is sheering off and had metal shavings in it after i pulled it out, I only ran it for about 3 seconds.



    is autozone nuts or is my father? If i need to shimm it how do i get the freakin shimms to stay on?
     
  2. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    dI've never had to shim a starter.
    Get a small paperclip (not the large style) bend it straight and use that as a feeler gauge between the flywheel gears and the gears on the starter with the armature extended out so the gears are meshing. You should be able to stick the paperclip end in between the gears when they are at the closest point. Loosen up the starter and move it and re tighten if you need more clearance you might get just a hair of adjustment. Shims are the last resort.

    good luck.
     
  3. hack500

    hack500 1/2 ton status

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    can you provide some additional info, such as year and size motor, flexplate or flywheel, and size of which?

    btw, in order to move the starter gear outwards and have it stay, you'll need to remove a small snap-ring and shaft from the starter, which is easy to do.
     
  4. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I have had nightmares with some of my starters. I have never had good luck with shimming to get the starter closer. They say to shim the outside bolt and that will do it. I now just take material off the starter housing to get it right.

    I have always used a long screwdriver to pull the bendix gear out to check the mesh of the starter gear and the flexplate in my case. The paperclip is just the right size. You should just be able to put it in but not a great deal of play.

    Also mucho info on this subject if you search.
     
  5. stkcode

    stkcode Registered Member

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    I guess things changed a while ago. When I bought the starter for my burb, it came with shimming instructions, shims and a shiming tool (basically an 1/8" x 4 inch round stock).

    I shimmed the starter on my burb, one shim folded in half, on the outer bolt and I haven't had any problems. That was about 5 yrs ago. If u want, I can check and see if I still have the instructions if it'll help any.
     
  6. 1BadK-30

    1BadK-30 1/2 ton status

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    im sorry should have gave more info


    truck 1982 c10 ( yaa i know its not a k30 but soon)
    block we think is a 79 350.
    flywheel is a 305.

    we SAID we wanted a 79 350 starter but they insisted its all the same which i can understand its GM
     
  7. hack500

    hack500 1/2 ton status

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    according to rockauto,in, '79 the 305 starter is different from the 350 starter. although, it doesn't list the differences only p/n's.
     
  8. 1BadK-30

    1BadK-30 1/2 ton status

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    thats what i was thinking.i just need one that has alonger gear on it so the flywheel well spin the starter.


    if im a bit off on info, this is my first time doing a starter, i think im doing damn good :haha:
     
  9. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    There is a 153 tooth flexplate and a 168 tooth flexplate. If you have the larger 168 tooth flexplate and try using a starter for a 153 tooth flexplate it will make all kinds of noise as the starter bendix hits the wrong portion of the flexplate. Now on the other hand, if you have a 153 tooth flexplate and try using a starter for a 168 tooth flexplate the starter will not even engage the flexplate but the starter will still spin but freely.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, i don't think you can even bolt the starter for a 153 tooth flexplate onto your engine if you have the 168 tooth flexplate on your engine because the starter nose will hit the flexplate.
     
  10. big dan

    big dan 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    a trick I learned from this site was to use a 1/8" allen wrench and use it as a feeler gauge to measure the distance between the shaft that the starter gear is on (not the actual gear but the shaft it travels on, not sure what to call it) and the fly wheel. shim the starter till the allen wrench fits kinda snug between the two. its always worked for me.
     
  11. 1BadK-30

    1BadK-30 1/2 ton status

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    i think i have the 168 and 153 combo, the truck starts but whines like a ***** and knocks really hard. i guess the bendix is the tooth gear? if so the flywheel is only catchin the very tip of that and is chippin away the metal.
     
  12. 78GMCJIMMY

    78GMCJIMMY 1/2 ton status

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    Shim it! I had a starter scream and stay engaged slid in a shim to get the proper clearance as already stated and I was good to go! Good luck Oh yeah the shims are slotted on one side that i used so gettin' the shim in was a breeze.
     
  13. Col_Sanders

    Col_Sanders 3/4 ton status

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    I had the same problem too. Finally I went and bought the new GM starter from the dealer and bolted it on and most of my noise went away. I used the allen trick and got it pretty close. Now it doesnt make any noise and I dont want to crush my Blazer.
     
  14. broncoman6524

    broncoman6524 1/2 ton status

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    Im not sure what year my motor is but its a 350, i replaced the starter w/a stock 84 blazer 350 one, my flexplate is now missing teeth, could the wrong ratio cause them to have been chewed off or no?
     
  15. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    No. Sounds like it just needs to be shimmed as well.

    Over the years the quality of starter heads has improved allowing for alot less shimming. However a few years back alot of sbc's came from the factory shimmed. So I wouldn't hesitate to shim one (been doing it for years).
     
  16. 1BadK-30

    1BadK-30 1/2 ton status

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    ok i guess im going to have to try again to shim it. i think if i stick some gear greese on the shim it well stick to the motor allowing me to install the starter.
     
  17. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    The shims should be sloted on one end with a hole in the other. Take out the outermost starter bolt, loosen the other one, slide the sloted end of the shim around the loosened bolt, stick the other bolt in and through the other hole in the shim and tighten. No need to remove starter at all.
     

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