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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it finally happened. I am pretty sure the starter is toast.

Haven't driven it since Sunday. Got in it this morning. Heard a chunk clunk. Then I turned off the ignition. let's try again...

Turn the key. All I get is a vrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Sounds like a motor spinning but the engine isn't moving. Ok let's try this again. I turned off the ignition and tried to start the car again. All I get again is whiining.

Is that the starter? I am assuming I need to replace it. What would be best for my engine (350) and would fit with those headmen headers.

It also seemed to have issues with hot start. i know that wether hot start exists is up for debate, so let's skip the debate and just assume it does.

What would be the best starter for me. one that will LAST.

Any input is appreciated. The car is in a spot that the people who own that spot would like it out of as quick as possible. So the quicker I get to this, the better.

Thanks
 

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Since your car is in someone else's spot...and you need it moved quick, let's not "re-invent the wheel." That is to say, don't worry about experimenting with the "perfect" starter for your application.

Get under the car, look at the teeth on the pinion and look at the teeth on the flex plate. If they are both chewed up, then it's a new starter and flex plate. Next, if it's only the starter, pull it and have it tested at your local auto parts store. That will confirm/rule out if you need a new starter, but it sounds like you do.

This is of course assuming that you are getting adequate power in proper proportions to the starter. It's also assuming that the starter bolts have not backed out and/or your starter is shimmed properly.

Once you get the car moved and to a good place to work on it..which I know is an issue in your situation, then start looking at upgrading to a smaller, high torque starter. I like the GM performance parts starters. Look at scoggin-dickey's website for more info.

Good Luck,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Try a gm gear reduction starter. I used one on my 406 that has Hooker super comp headers and fits great.

Here is a link from a fellow member's page.

http://www.geocities.com/diels12000/Starters.html
I assume these will turn over my engine sufficiently? I don't know anything about the starter I have in there now. I assume it is powerful since you can probably hear it turning the car over from 5 blocks away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Get under the car, look at the teeth on the pinion and look at the teeth on the flex plate. If they are both chewed up, then it's a new starter and flex plate. Next, if it's only the starter, pull it and have it tested at your local auto parts store. That will confirm/rule out if you need a new starter, but it sounds like you do.

This is of course assuming that you are getting adequate power in proper proportions to the starter. It's also assuming that the starter bolts have not backed out and/or your starter is shimmed properly.

Once you get the car moved and to a good place to work on it..which I know is an issue in your situation, then start looking at upgrading to a smaller, high torque starter. I like the GM performance parts starters. Look at scoggin-dickey's website for more info.

Good Luck,
Bill
Power is fine, needs to be shimmed correctly.

Ok bear with me here. i am going to make some assumptions here.

I need to jack the car up to get underneath it. I am just gonna assume that I will need to take the headers on the passender side off.

The pinion and flexplate... are those on the engine or the starter?

Then what.
 

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Jim,

Let me preface this with the fact that i've been where you are at, car wise and experience wise. I've read through your previous posts about your car issues so please take this constructively and as advice that I'd give a close friend.

These problems you are having are very basic to working on cars. Basic, but very tough to convey over an internet forum. The best advice I could give you is to buy a Chilton/Haynes engine manual and read it. Its the best $15 you could spend right now. Pictures and the written instructions contained in these books could be priceless for you right now.

To answer your immediate questions though, the flex plate is physically bolted to the rear of the engine crankshaft. It's basically a big 16" or so diameter wheel that has a gear tooth profile about it's perifery. This is what the "pinion" gear of the starter engages with when you turn the key. The Pinion gear is physically attached to the starter and is temporarily engaged with the flex plate when the starter motor is driving it. It retracts when the starter is de-energized.


Hope this helps,
Bill
 

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Pinion is on the starter, flexplate is on the engine.

You may or may not have to remove or loosen the pass side header. Depends on the room I guess. Each header manufacture is different.

When you mess around with the starter, disconnect the positive lead to the battery. Otherwise it could ge ugly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have thought about a haynes or chilton, but nothing on this car is stock. I had assumed most info wouldn't apply.

As for electrical shock...
I always disengage the negative and leave the positive connected.

Ok, I'm off to go attempt to remove the starter.

Quick question, will the gasket on the header hold or will I need to replace it when I take the header off.
 

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Jim, You are correct in taking off the negative cable first. (the only one you need to disconnect in this situation) As for the header gasket, are you sure you need to remove your header to remove the starter? Try removeing it first. I also agree with the suggestion of buying a manual, it will help alot even if your car is not stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No I don't know for sure. i just wanted to be prepared since the car is a distance from any net connection and parts stores. I am heading there now. Wish me luck. the car couldn't be in a worse spot. Cars on both sides of me(close) and a wall directly in front of the car. Not much room to work with and I hate being under the car in a shall we say less than safe location.

Here goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What a nitemare that was. First off, I got all situated and realized my old sears 4 ton jack wouldn't get it high enough to put my 6 ton jack stands under it. So i had to go buy a $100 craftsman jack that goes up to 18". The car is so low, that thing wouldn't even fit under the cross support by the engine. So I jacked it up from the side.

Anyways, got the starter almost off and realized between the headers and the transmission cooler lines it wouldn't fit. The thing is mammoth. Probably around 50lbs and as big as a fat cat.

So i got to take the headers off. that was a lesson in frustration right there. Got the headers sort of off enough to where I could wiggle the starter out enough to take the leads off.

I could go into more detail of the rest of the fun I had today, but I will save you all.

Somethings I noticed. No back support bracket for the starter that I saw. Unless the bell of the transmission counts.

No shims at all.

Couldn't find the flexplate. Only the flywheel.

The nose cone as I have been calling it was busted off the starter. Maybe that is what was making those horrible noises from time to time on start up.
 

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The problem could be as little as a weak bendix spring in the starter. Take the plastic or metal cover off underneath between the engine and transmission. You'll see the ring gear with "teeth" about 3/8 or 1/2" wide. Look and see if they are chewed up on the edge closest to the engine. Check inside the above mentioned cover to see if there's an appreciable amount of ground up metal in there. Depending on how bad the chewing, or if there's no evident damage to the gear, you'd just need to take the starter to a rebuilder to change out the bendix spring inside the starter. Or replace it altogether. I'd rather find a good starter rebuilder to repair a starter than trust an auto parts store rebuilt unit. JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would rather just buy a nice new one that is smaller and will last forever.

I am a little hesitant to have a remanufactured napa starter rebuilt.

So I will check this gear out tommorow afternoon to make sure all is well. i am pretty sure there is no dust cover between the transmission and the engine. the flywheel and the torgue converter are exposed.
 

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Jim the flex plate and the fly wheel is the same thing. Really there not but in this case lets just say they are.
Get a new starter from Chevy. Do not f around with a rebuilt. If the flex plate / fly wheel looks even slightly questionable now is the time to do it. It will be a M Fer to do where the car is but if you dont then, "We all have time to do it right the 2nd time. They work together.
And you are incorrect about the manual. There is a sh%t load of useful info from suspension to wireing.
Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Ok so go inspect the flywheel for what? It looks ok from what I remember yesterday. Of course it'sa a little beat and all, its got some shiny gears. but from what I say, it looks all intact. But I would actually have to inspect it further today.

I guess I will have to rotate the engine by hand so I can inspect the whole thing?

On to the starter. Since I will definately need a new one, are we in agreement that thos GM reduction drives are the best bet? Better than buying one of the ones out of a summit catalouge.
 

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Jim, You will want to rotate the flywheel so you can inspect all the teeth on it. You need to inspect them to see if any are worn down or broken off from the starter drive grinding on them. If all are in good shape you are good to go, if any are worn down or broken you will need to change it. As for what starter to buy thats up to you. I just use the regular sized GM starter.
 
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