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Starter Problem


New Member
Good DAy all. I've ran into a problem I'm not sure how to handle. My old starter was acting up and not starting on the first ignition key turn. You would her the starter zing/spin without any engagement of the bendix solinoid gear. And I on occacation would have a high pitch squeel like metal to metal that you would here after about 1/2 hour of driving. Coming from between the engine and the transmission. Well I new the starter could have some problems so I replaced it with a new rebuild. Everything seems to be working but I dont get any engagement at all this time. Theb bendix gear comes out and in, but no starting. Is their an adjustment I need to know about or shimming or what do I do to get it closer to the gear so it will engage? I'm lost please help so I can drive and enjoy again.
the Harleydude.:sad:
Ya didn't say,but I'll try a guess for ya,SBC v8 use a ether a small flywheel or big one and sounds like ya got a starter for big wheel,but ya have a small wheel=wrong starter.
There are shims to do fine adjustmints with for depth of teeth,but no contact at all is wrong starter.
I'm guessing at some stuff here but I saw no one gave ya a shot yet.
Other wise fill in some extra info,if I'm off base.
So many possibilities to this one, but I would make sure you are getting full voltage to the starter AND a good ground too. I like to run my ground cable right to the starter bolt, that way I know I am not losing voltage anywhere along the line. Don't depend on your ground just going to a chassis part, or even the transmission.

If it is a Chevy engine with the normal 3 post solenoid (one big fat one in the middle and one skinny one on either side at 11 and 1 oclock) put a screwdriver between the fat one and the skinny one on the right (1 oclock position) to make a temporary contact between them. See if it cranks ok now. If so, you have some power loss in the rest of the ignition system, maybe even the ignition switch itself.

Sounds to me like weak voltage to the starter or a bad ground.

This may sound crazy, but on our Bucket someone had originally mounted the fly wheel backwards. The starter couldn't kick out the bendix far enough consistantly. Just a thought.
The starter mounting bolts are either stagered or in line, make sure the replacement is the same as the old one.

If you're not sure what you've got, the big flywheel ( flexplate) is 14 inches, has 168 teeth and uses the stagered bolt starter. The small flywheel is 12 3/4 inches, has 153 teeth and uses the in line bolt starter.
The starter seems to match up pretty much the same as the old starter. bolt pattern is the same. When it came off no shims were used,in fact this is the first time I've replaced a starter and seen shims? Dont do enough fixing I guess. It seems to have plenty of juice and spin ect just not close enough I guess to the Larger gear. I will need to jack it up high enough to get under it and look. I thought I could bolt it on and away I go.
Thanks for your input.
Da Harleydude
You also need to check the pinion gear is the same size as the original. There are two sizes I know of.

As others have pointed out, a classic problem with the Chevy starter is that unless the battery is healthy and the wiring is man enough to give the solenoid a good fast jolt of current, the pinion won't make it all the way to the ring gear because the solenoid hasn't the energy to overcome the friction and the return spring.

If you put a voltmeter across the battery, engine stopped for at least 30 mins, you should see close to 12V, getting down towards 11V be suspicious. The voltage with the starter engaged and cranking should be 10V or above, and the voltage at the starter terminal should be very close to the battery terminal voltage - more than 1/2V drop is too much.

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