My Starter is grinding (loud)when cranking!!!--any ideas??

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by 75LTCAMARO350, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. 75LTCAMARO350

    75LTCAMARO350 Member

    75
    0
    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, TX
    How do I check the clearance? The area is all blocked correct? It is an automatic.
     
  2. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    25,260
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    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    Take the torque converter/flexplate cover off. (Four screws.)

    You will be able to see the gap between the starter shaft and the flywheel.
     
  3. 75LTCAMARO350

    75LTCAMARO350 Member

    75
    0
    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I checked the battery last night---It is a rather small Die Hard Weatherhandler with only 525 CCA. Is this enough power to crank the car correctly???

    Thx so much!!
     
  4. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    25,260
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    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    525 CCA is fine unless you've got a very high compression engine.
    If it's holding a charge and turning the engine over.... It's good.
     
  5. 75LTCAMARO350

    75LTCAMARO350 Member

    75
    0
    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, TX
    OK The clearance between the Flywheel and the starter's teeth is approx. 1/2 inch!!!

    How do I correct this?? The gap should be about 1/8 inch correct??
    Will shims correct this big of a gap??

    All I see are 2 bolts holding the starter on. (there are no washers or any thing on these bolts). Are there more bolts?

    Side note: Not urgent-- an exhault warm up baffle pipe that feeds warm air into the air cleaner housing neck is now partly broken off and is laying on the starters wires---how do I remove or fix this?

    Thanks!!
     
  6. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    25,260
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    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    The gap between the teeth is 1/2" when the starter gear is out to the flywheel? I'm not talking side-to-side gap...

    If you have an auto parts store near you.... Have them pull a starter off the shelf so you can see the directions for the proper gap. (There will be a sheet of paper with the instructions in the box. )
     
  7. 75LTCAMARO350

    75LTCAMARO350 Member

    75
    0
    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Ok---How do you check the gap when they are engaged? They engage only when your starting the car correct??

    or do you put a straight wire gauge (or 1/8 drill bit) across the side to side gap (non engaged)to get an approx. measure of the engaged gap??

    I did loosen up the 2 starter bolts(broke a socket trying) moved the starter around than retighted. Still the same grinding @ starting.

    Next step is shimming correct?
     
  8. angel71rs

    angel71rs Veteran Member

    1,343
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    Jul 28, 2002
    El Paso, TX
    In order to use the engaged method, you have to remove the starter solenoid, then pull on the iron core it covers so that the bendix moves out to engage the flywheel. Then you use a paper clip between the bendix teeth and the flywheel teeth. Too much of a hassle for me. So I use the 1/8 drill bit method. You put the 1/8 bit across the starter shaft (non engaged), should get 1/8 between the shaft and the tips of the flywheel teeth. There used to be an excellent website that showed this with drawings/pics, but I just tried to access it and got the dreaded 404. I was too lazy do a fancy AutoCAD drawing, so here is a Paint creation, no laughing!

    [​IMG]

    Couple of thoughts: I've seen starter bolts cause grinding. If you examine the bolts, you will see that a knurled portion of the bolt shank actually extends thru the starter nose casting. The holes in the block are not threaded for about the first 1/4". The knurled shanks of the starter bolts register into this 1/4" unthreaded portion serving kind of like dowel pins to positively locate the starter and prevent it from sliding around. Improper bolts will obviously defeat this dowel funtion.

    Correct starter bolts with bent tips can also cause grinding; the bent tip moves the starter out of position. Tips can get bent on a bad kcik back. Check the bolts by rolling the shanks on a straight surface and make sure the tips don't wobble.

    If you need bolts, they are carried in parts stores in the Help! section. There are 2 lenghts of bolts used in SBCs, corresponding to 2 types of starters. One type uses an offset bolt pattern. These will have one long bolt, one short bolt. The other type uses a straight bolt pattern, using 2 long bolts.

    Why 2 starter types? Cause there are 2 sizes of flywheels. Small with 153 teeth, large with 168 teeth. Small takes straight starter, large takes offset starter. I suppose someone could have mixed starters/flywheel size, but I'm not sure that can even happen without being immediately obvious.

    As far as shimming, you either have to install a whole shim under both holes, or a half shim under just one hole to get it to where the pin just slides in. It's been a long time since I've done it, so don't remember which action increses/reduced clearance. But when you get a starter from Autozone, it comes with instructions that tell you what effect shimming where has. They use the 1/8 method too, even comes with the 1/8 rod.
     
  9. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Nov 4, 2004
    Ringgold, GA
    Ok - got off my FLA and scanned in the instruction that came with my mini starter, should be the same. Note that you can use a small screw driver or such tool and work the starter gear out to the ring gear.

    View attachment StarterShim.pdf
     
  10. 75LTCAMARO350

    75LTCAMARO350 Member

    75
    0
    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Thx! Corky---The scan doc. is GREAT!!!
    If the shimming don't fix it---I will check the bolts.....wish me luck!!!
     

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