I realize another person has almost exactly the same issue posted above, quite odd how we both have similar pictures. Mine would be as good as his except it's -40 right now.
Long story short, I have a small crack around my passenger side starter bolt hole. I believe it was due to the starter brace being removed for an unknown amount of time (previous owner)
So here is what the issue is, please read carefully, I will try to include as much information as possible.
I bought this truck about 2 months ago for $1,700. It is a 1982 GMC 4x4 Single Cab Sierra Classic 1/2 ton made in Canada. Out of the factory the truck had a 305eng with a 700r tranny. Now, a 350eng (exhaust headers, edelbrock intake, edelbrock manifold, and edelbrock carburetor) with either a 350 or 400 tranny.
This pic was taken before I cleaned up the plug wires a bit
So after buying the truck I figured the starter was just bad, so I bought the recommended starter at the local parts store (schucks). The first one was a large drive end opening refab autolite aluminum nose starter. I tried all kinds of different shims, full shims, half shims, no shims, and I could never get the starter to STAY sounding good, it would for a few starts then go SCREEEEEEEECH. I ended up busting the starter, it eventually cracked all the way down the mounting bracket. (Pictured below)
I returned to Schucks and they gave me another starter, this time a small drive end opening (supposedly for off-road, but I would like to know for sure), same brand, crap aluminum. With this 2nd refab starter my truck started good for a few weeks. I had 1 full shim until the SCREEEECH came back again one day, coincidentally in the Schucks parking lot. Thats when I knew for a fact that my exhaust headers where causing my starter to screw up (This is a secondary starter problem). It would start up nice cold then after driving around, SCREEEECH. The reason I was at Schucks the first place was because I was purchasing new starter bolts (looked exactly like the ones on my truck when I bought it, long and shouldered with lines on the tip).
A few days later I adjusted the autochoke, the idle, and the timing (by ear only, I dont have timing tabs on stupid chrome cover). She was starting like a queen! Sounded great with those straight pipes, she is super torquey. I drove it around that night and I was diggin in, I got home and after waiting a few minutes started the truck and drove it across the street. After 5 minutes I tried starting it again but all I heard was it spinning. After cussing at nobody, I crawled underneath the truck to see my nose cone hanging there. (Pictured Below)
Now at this point I am utterly confused, I have no idea why I keep breaking starters, no cracks in my flexplate ( as of yet, I still need to check some more) my teeth have obviously been worn, but they aren't pointed, they still have a decent edge on them, and I know I am not missing teeth, I counted all 168 of them. When the truck is running I dont see any noticeable wobble on the flexplate.
So a few days ago all the junk yards and part stores are closed so I head out to my friends house and we find 2 large drive end opening aluminum autolite starters. I just took them outside and tested them and they work fine. Before putting a starter on, I decide to check the mounting area. Thats when I had to spray it with WD and wipe it off to really see it. It is a small minuscule crack around my passenger side starter bolt hole.
One more thing. I believe this all came about because there is no bracket on the starter, and it is definitely a 4x4 truck. I now have a simple angled bracket maybe about 4in long, hopefully it will match up to my truck, if not I will drill a hole for it. I have also heard of a bracket that hooks around the nose cone, but mine is nothing like that. Do I have the wrong bracket? Or just part of the bracket? Is finding an old three hole starter my best bet? Should I use a dremel and jb weld that crack? Should I try welding or brazing? Or is it just a hunk of junk?
I appreciate you reading and replying!
(more pics tomorrow)