Mini Starter Woes - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Mini Starter Woes

OK, a few folks here know the issues I've had with starters on my 70 as of late, particularly mini starters. I've been through 4 of them int he last 2 years. The last one that went with at the track during CB 10, I took apart tonight just to see what the issue is. Apparently they use a plastic planetary gear and 3 small steel gears to engage the drive. The plastic planetary gear was shredded by the 3 steel gears. The million dollar question...

Why is this happening? Is this a clearance issue between the drive gear and flexplate, a heat issue, or something else?

I need some kind of idea here. I'm getting tired of blowing out $75 starters all the time.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 1:40 AM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Not sure if I can help.But wonderin if when you say mini starter do you mean the small gear reduction starter?75$ seems kinda cheep to me.Got mine from summit 10 years ago.The chrome summit special for $200.Never had any problems.Dont think it has any plastic gears though.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 1:43 AM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Tom:
On my wagon/ 468 it has a rebuilt Delco/R $165.00. It is for a 88-91 Chevy V-6. You could try a later 454 GM Mini.
This all started at the Red Roof 2-3 years ago??
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 1:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
Tom:
On my wagon/ 468 it has a rebuilt Delco/R $165.00. It is for a 88-91 Chevy V-6. You could try a later 454 GM Mini.
This all started at the Red Roof 2-3 years ago??
Good Luck Bob
I did some research on this. They're all the same no matter where you get it from be it Autozone, Advance Auto, NAPA, DB Electrical or wherever else. I've compared them all, they're all the same. It started before the Red Roof too Bob, the year before that at the show on Grand Island....2007
I've never had an issue with a stock starter but blew 4 mini starters?? Something isn't right here. I'd really like to know why in the hell they have a plastic planetary gear on the drive....that's what broke on them all.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 2:46 AM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSS454 View Post
I did some research on this. They're all the same no matter where you get it from be it Autozone, Advance Auto, NAPA, DB Electrical or wherever else. I've compared them all, they're all the same. It started before the Red Roof too Bob, the year before that at the show on Grand Island....2007
I've never had an issue with a stock starter but blew 4 mini starters?? Something isn't right here. I'd really like to know why in the hell they have a plastic planetary gear on the drive....that's what broke on them all.
Just curious how many teeth are on the starter gear itself??

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 8:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

11

Tom Rightler, MCC VP & Newsletter Editor
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 9:31 AM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Tom ,,,tilton and mezier uses hardened gears they told me once,,,thats why they so pricey,,i know some of GM astro vans uses the same starter that we can use cause i borrowed one at the the track when i too broke a starter,,,,,, if you find out 3 sure let us know

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 10:21 AM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Check flexplate run out...

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 4:21 PM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

sounds like the starter is staying engaged too long. How do you have the starter wired in? A few things could cause the starter drive gear to stay engaged. Solenoid, ign switch, Starter pinion gear not properly spaced to the flexplate. There are different quality starters that look the same. The parts stores can't buy a quality one for $75 much less sell it for $75 so you aren't getting a quality unit. Buy a delco unit not an after market brand, but check to see if it is staying engaged to long or you will blow it out too.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 7:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

I don't think it's that. The engine never made 1 crank revolution nor did it fire when it happened. It's wired as it should be with a factory harness. I called DB Electrical today and discussed it with them. I mentioned that it happened when the engine kickbacked...which it did. I seem to think that is the issue here and reason being is I have had a stock starter break the nose on a kickback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post
sounds like the starter is staying engaged too long. How do you have the starter wired in? A few things could cause the starter drive gear to stay engaged. Solenoid, ign switch, Starter pinion gear not properly spaced to the flexplate. There are different quality starters that look the same. The parts stores can't buy a quality one for $75 much less sell it for $75 so you aren't getting a quality unit. Buy a delco unit not an after market brand, but check to see if it is staying engaged to long or you will blow it out too.

Tom Rightler, MCC VP & Newsletter Editor
1970 SS Best ET: 12.31@108 MPH
1969 Malibu
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1970 Chevelle Convertible
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 8:13 PM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

sorry I didn't see a mention of kickback. Sounds like you found the problem. Maybe you have the timing to far advanced looking for more speed.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 8:18 PM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSS454 View Post
I don't think it's that. The engine never made 1 crank revolution nor did it fire when it happened. It's wired as it should be with a factory harness. I called DB Electrical today and discussed it with them. I mentioned that it happened when the engine kickbacked...which it did. I seem to think that is the issue here and reason being is I have had a stock starter break the nose on a kickback.
I broke the nose off a starter with kickback also.2 teeth broke off the flexplate at the same time.I got lucky because it started.Drove to work and changed the starter.Changed the flexplate at later date.I was young so the shop forman checked and ajusted my timing and said buy a timing light.Never happened again.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 10, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

I'm going to back the timing down 2 degrees tomorrow and readjust the carb. Hopefully that will cure it. In the meantime, I'm going to send the broken starter back to DB Electrical so they can fix it.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 10, 5:28 AM
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Re: Mini Starter Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSS454 View Post
I'm going to back the timing down 2 degrees tomorrow and readjust the carb. Hopefully that will cure it. In the meantime, I'm going to send the broken starter back to DB Electrical so they can fix it.
Are you running either a locked out timing setting, or a relatively high amount of initial advance, with a start retard? Some other members here were mentioning recently in another thread how that they've decided not to use the start retard feature on their race type ignitions, because when they did use it, it caused the kickbacks that you've just made mention of in a previous post. They said that as soon as the got away from using the start retard feature, they no longer had the kickbacks. So you might want to consider that if you're also using a start retard and you've been getting the kickback if it's possible that this is causing your starters to fail. I hope this helps.

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