Before I give all the details, let me say that I've read as many threads as I could possibly find, even not related to chevys. I've tried lot's of mentioned suggestions with no fix.
This has been an ongoing issue for me for 2 years, and now I'm at the point where I need outside help because I feel as though I have done/tried everything that I can by myself.
So lets start from the beginning... A general timeline...
About 3 years ago, when there was a Powerglide connected to my GM Goodwrench 350 crate engine, I installing a Powermaster 9100 mini starter after my original style starter failed. It worked great with my flexplate.
A year later I converted to a 4-speed, which means I had to install a flywheel. The flywheel I ordered is a RAM 1511 which is 153 tooth and compatible with my Powermaster 9100 starter.
As soon as the car was back on the road after the conversion, the start would grind very occasionally. Under any circumstance
. Cold, hot, nothing changed it. I tried to numerous times re-shim and align it, new battery cable, but it didn't help.
Let me be clear that the grinding that's happening is the front face of the starter drive grinding against the back of the flywheel, never being able to mesh.
As time went on you can imagine it grew worse and worse, as the flywheel teeth became more and more damaged. I just ignored it for a while because the ring gear was already damaged, so I thought whatever...dangerous word...
Well another year goes by and I try to tackle the problem again. At this point over 50% of my starting attempts are grinds. Absolutely embarrassing! I tried new mini starters, different brands, excessive shimming, knurled bolts, nothing helped. I abandoned it again and made plans for a new ring gear.
Fast forward to today, I just did a bunch of work on the car, which included a new ring gear on my flywheel, and a VERY VERY meticulous flywheel & starter installation. SO meticulous... Set depth of engagement, gap, etc to Powermasters 9100 instruction sheet.
Before I piled the rest of the drivetrain back in the car, I started it with just the flywheel installed about 20 times. Sounded perfect. Meshed perfect.
When I installed the transmission, the 10th start was a grind....
Now I'm back to square one where very occasionally it'll grind. GREAT. We all know where that road leads!
So here I am...
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Anything at all would be very appreciated!
-I made sure the new ring gear was fully seated when installing it on the flywheel.
-During assembly of the flywheel and starter I made sure any mating surfaces were stoned flat and clean!
-I torque everything to spec.
-I now have long tube headers installed so OG starter isn't an option.