Originally Posted by twinksta
I recently took the motor out to freshen it up and change gaskets, fluids, etc. and noticed that there is a section of the block that is missing due to starter damage. Now this explains why the starter would only engage half of the time!!!
I have already replaced the flywheel because the teeth were virtually gone and purchased a new starter. I am hesitant about what I should do now though because the threads are stripped out and the normal starter bolt will just fall out when trying to bolt it on! So in light of this, what do I do? I can purchase an Ez-Lok thread insert and re-tap the mounting hole, but will this provide enough strength to keep the starter from moving around and chewing the flywheel to bits? I am also looking at buying one of the GM braces off of eBay to provide additional support.
I need some guidance from someone who has had this happen before and can point me in the right direction. Thanks!!!
This is common damage found on Chevy's that are not using the forward bracket on the starter. That bracket is often overlooked as it appears to be too small to react any substantial load from the starter, so many people omit it. In reality, it is a significant part of stiffening the stater mounting by providing a 3 point mount that triangulates the forces involved in cranking the engine. When that bracket is missing the stater wants to bend and twist on the forward mounting bolts. This places a lot of side load on the cast mounting boss, which it really isn't strong enough to support so the side blows out. This usually signals the end of the block's useful life as there isn't a sufficiently good and inexpensive way to repair this. Inserts can't replace the strength of the missing casting and welding cast iron is expensive and hardly ever successful even with full block heating which also leads into re-machining all surfaces.
However, this can be utilized with a Micky Mouse repair by running a suitable bolt all the way thru and putting a nut on the top. You need to drill out the remaining threads just enough to pass the bolt body. The upper surface is not flat and without pulling the engine there isn't any way to get it flat. However, the answer lies in a spherical washer see this url http://www.jwwinco.com/products/sect...-ni/index.html
This will adjust the surface you have to one that will allow a nut to greet the bolt at the proper angle and load the attaching surface without binding. Starters put out a lot of force, I'd use a grade 8 bolt and nut. The Chevy started uses a knurled bolt shank for a tight fit in the starter housing. You can duplicate this fit with some thin shim stock wrapped around the bolt to get a tight body fit in the starter. Lookie here for laminated steel shim stock a sheet of .002 ought to do ya. http://www.directindustry.com/prod/p...842-37960.html
Then just bolt it together. You'll have to fight with the shim stock, too tight will want to fight getting the bolt in, so a loose enough to pass the bolt body without it catching and bending, or pulling the stock will be necessary.
This isn't the end-all/ be-all fix; but it ought to get you going and last several years.