starter keeps dying!! I need some help guys

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by geoff3432, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. geoff3432

    geoff3432 Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    So I keep having to replace my starter, engine is a 454... I take it in and its proven to be a bad starter. What can cause a starter to go bad? I got it from autozone(those guys sure do know alot about cars ;) ) and its a remade one, but I'm going on my 3rd starter tomorrow thanks to the warranty I'm not paying too much. But the first time I put it in and it failed on me, 2nd I had a mechanic drop it in lasted about 2wks and since sunday I have to wack it with a hammer to get it going but it still grins and hurts my ears... Any suggestions when I drop my 3rd one in tomorrow? thanks for the time reading this hope u can help me out.
  2. hucks 70

    hucks 70 Veteran Member

    Jun 4, 2004
    millstadt ill USA
    i have had the same problem .5th starter .putting in tomorrow morning. my problem is ,the battery gets a little low and i tried to start it and it kicks back if it does not start right away.once it kicks back thats it .i have to replace the starter .it makes a high pitch sound like it needs shims after that . does this sound the same .make sure your battery is fully charged and put a good starter on it .just because its lifetime waranty does not make it worth the price if you have to keep replacing it .
  3. Bikefixr

    Bikefixr Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    starter problems

    If you are tearing through starters like gotta wonder what is causing the starters to do die? What makes more sense...that you got ALL the crummy starters, or that you have another problem causing the failures. I'll wager your starter is getting mashed by a slightly out-of-round flexplate. I've seen th ese out by 1/8 inch regulary. So you slap the starter in, it turns fine untill the high point meshes with the bendix gear...and something is gonna give. Usually the starter. it'll jam, bind, groan, fracture. Get the GM starter shims and shim the starter down a little to increase the clearance. install it, craank and watch the flexplate spin to make sure there are no tight spots. Move starter up and down to get the clearance you need. I use a bent up paper clip to gauge the gear depth. It should fit between the starter gear teeth and the bottom of the flexplate teeth. Also use the starter brace on the back of the starter to hold it to the block so it doesn't twist and bust up the cheapo aluminum nose castings.
  4. Eric

    Eric Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Determine what is crapping out. Does the solenoid stop operating? Is there an interference problem (if there is you will have chewed up teeth on the bendix or a crack in the casing somewhere). With this info you could be better advised what to look for on your car.

    And, it may just be the starters you've been getting are crap. Autozone is one of those place where the "lowest bidder" gets the work- as in the company quoting the lowest price for rebuilt units gets the business from Autozone.

    As I'm sure we all know- once business becomes nothing more than a "lowest bidder" game- quality of the product, support and service suffer more and more. While this degradation of support and service may not be apparent to you with a "lifetime" warranty at the Autozone parts counter- it may mean something to the Autozone head office people. More and more, companies are "bought out" of covering warranties by discounting the volume price (i.e. Autozone buys 10,000 rebuilt starters and in order for the rebuilder to not have to honor any warranties, Autozone gets a further 5% reduction in price as part of the contract)- and once Autozone unloads all those alternators and decides maybe that rebuilder had too many quality issues- they go out and deal with another "lowest bid" competitor- repeating the same pile of BS again and again until someone at head office gets their head outta their a$$ and decides that the lowest cost model isn't necessarily the most profitable one.
  5. Wouldabin

    Wouldabin Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    get a high torque starter and measure the clearances, shim if needed.
  6. YenkoJoe

    YenkoJoe Veteran Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    i have never had ANYTHING test GOOD at autozone. period no mattr wht, so i would get it tested elsewhere, and yah autozone isnt always quality products, ive gotten many bad parts from there, but the guys there are knowledgable.
  7. geoff3432

    geoff3432 Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Thanks for all the advice I dropped the starter in last night but I'm not a pro mechanic I went from 3 shims to none and still it wouldnt catch and turn over just the sound of the starter spinning and sometimes grinding I had the engine turn over and start twice but then it failed when I restarted it. Today I just had to put the wrench down and take it to a mechanic I need a car real bad for school this fall before I store it away for the winter, so I guess sadly I had to have someone esle do it:( hopefully this will be the end of it and no more problems I'll cross my fingers, you guys offer some good advice thank u all for giving your time and helping me troubleshoot! Couldn't ask for a better fourm to ask for help on.
  8. green81

    green81 Veteran Member

    Jun 1, 2005
    Vernon Center, MN
    I had problems with 2 Autozone starters, finally got smart and bought an AC Delco. No problems after that....
  9. 1979rs/z28

    1979rs/z28 Veteran Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    I had the same prob. try using half a shim on the outside bolt on the starter to get it closer to the flexplate..
  10. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Rustburg, Va
    If all else fails.......Check your starter bolts to make sure they are straight, if they are bent(even slightly), you can shim it up so it sounds pretty good and then the starter will move and you go back to scraping noises or a free spinning starter. I chased a starter problem through several starters and shimming each one and checking clearances and never noticed one of the bolts was bent and letting the starter move away from the flywheel.

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