Starter squeal How many shims? [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: Starter squeal How many shims?

Sep 9th, 06, 9:03 PM

Hope I'm posting to right group

70 Chevelle 396 Manual Trans - stock application

Put my starter on my 396 as I was getting ready to put the newly rebuild engine in. I noticed with the manual transmission, that is was impossible to see the starter gear and fly wheel alignment. I left things as is.

My GM mechanic neighbor didn't like the sqeal at the very end of the starting cycle. He told me to shim the starter. I put one very thin shim in and it did not do the trick..I now have two shims in and it still has the squeal just as the engine is getting ready to turn over.

What would you folks do? Put another shim or two in and see what happens?

Don't know how many of you have the same stock engine setup that I have, but taking out a starter is a pain...putting in a shim is easy. So what you all say? Go with another shim? Like I said, it is almost impossible to see the gear alignment even with the dust shield off.


Sep 9th, 06, 9:19 PM
If you look hard enough you can see where to shim it.

Go down to a auto parts store and tell them you need a check pin for your starter and the instruction sheet that goes with it. If you have a auto zone there they will give it to you for free, auto zone puts the instruction sheet and pin in the box with rebuilt and new starters. If any auto parts store can't furnish you with one then somethings wrong.

This pin is round and about four inches long .125 ( 1/8'' ) thick.

Now pull the inspection cover so you can see the starter drive and teeth on the flywheel, carefully take the pin and instruction sheet and see if the pin will slide between the armature shaft and a tooth of the ring gear. The instruction sheet will show you how to shim it and where (get a bunch of shims you'l need them) you can take back what you don't need.

This might take a few times unbolting and reshiming but be patient because if you shim it right it will be quieter and will last a long time, because if you don't you'l be replacing starter drives and sometimes the ring gear (flywheel) gear, been there on ring gears. If this don't get it give me your phone # or call me and I'll take my cell phone and take you through it step by step. Rob

This was an old post, maybe it will help

Sep 9th, 06, 9:56 PM

Could you explain this one a bit further?

"now pull the inspection cover so you can see the starter drive and teeth on the flywheel"

The stater is the cross bolt type. The application is manual trans with dust shield (which cannot be removed without removing starter). Starter has the stabilizing bolt that attaches to the engine at the back of the starter. This makes if very difficult to manuver the starter much less get it out as easy as, say, my 65' Chevelle with a 283.

Sep 9th, 06, 10:29 PM
Leave the inspection cover off until you get it shimmed right.
Heres a picture, take a look then let me know if you're okay.


Re: Starter doesn't always engage :(

Look at picture # 2 real close, the armature shaft and flywheel, thats the 1/8 pin there using

Sep 9th, 06, 10:43 PM
Ok, thanks, I'll have to take a closer look. I'm quite familiar with the shimming process...This is my first manual transmission and I just couldn't figure out how to actually see the gears (flywheel cover on or off).

Sep 9th, 06, 11:09 PM
It really sucks putting them on and taking them off several times until you get it right, you have to force yourself to do it, I know. If you have a air ratchet it's pretty quick, but hang in there, perseverance is the key.

Another thing that might help you out mentally, and I've been wanting to mention this at different times but never did.

I would be willing to bet that there are others that are learning by this also but are not saying anything, if you look at how many are on line and how many are on the site, I wonder what there doing if they aren't posting.

I know this, because I do it myself.

I'll keep checking back, I go between five different car forums all night long, maybe you'll get it this time, or somebody with a different or better idea helps out.


Sep 9th, 06, 11:52 PM
That drawing in no#2 makes no sense to me at all. Is the gear in the drawing supposed to be the flywheel?

Sep 10th, 06, 1:14 AM
Yes thats the flywheel.

On top is the teeth of the flywheel

Under that is the 1/8'' check pin

Under that is the armature.

If it was a true picture, you would see the teeth of the starter, just a little to the left of the 1/8 pin on the armature.

If you look real close in fine print it says what they are right on the picture itself.

Hope this helps.


Sep 10th, 06, 9:17 AM
I've always used an 1/8" drill bit for the pin

Sep 10th, 06, 9:54 AM
Iam putting mine in today lets see what PITA I run into?:clonk:

Sep 10th, 06, 7:57 PM
Problem solved :beers:.

In retrospect I would have to say that taking the starter out removing the dust shield, shimming and reversing the process in my 70' 396 Manual trans would have taken forever. You guys know what I'm talking about right? I'm not lazy at all; damn starter hits against the the frame and the dust shield gives you no manuverability. god forbid you want to take the electrical off.............ahhhh

I must confess that I simply took out the thin shims provided to me by the starter manufacturer and put in a 1/16th inch shim and the problem is about 95% cleared up. I'm going to give it a week or two before I decide to shim it any more, that's how confident in the repair.

Putting the shim in was not an easy task. It is more of a problem that the starter fits almost EXACTLY into the dust shield. After removing the one bolt (cross pattern starter) and lossening up the other (and the support bolt on the back of the start that attaches to the block) it was a little tricky getting that 1/16" shim in. A simple pry (lightly) with the back of a screw drive got the holes lined up.

Always appreciate the support here, there really are some good folks on this web site. (