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Old 12-28-2008, 11:13 PM
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Another Chevy Starter Issue (pic)

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!

Thanks!
(more pics tomorrow)

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Last edited by Bluecollarron; 12-29-2008 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:06 AM
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Read my reply to the other thread. It works! Good luck, nothing worse than starter problems.....CR
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:16 AM
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CR55
Quote:
The front brace never worked for me. I suffered through the starter grinding for years. Tried all kinds of different makes. The big delco remy worked the longest but still made the grinding noise and eventually broke. Put in a mini starter and it worked for a while, but it too made the grinding noise and also stated breaking teeth off of the flywheel. Finally took it to a local shop and the owner drilled a third hole in between the two staggered bolts. No more grinding noise and it's been that way for 3 years now.......CR
I agree, nothing worse then starter problems, I would not wish it upon the worst of my enemies.

Last edited by Bluecollarron; 12-29-2008 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:57 PM
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Hey guys, I went to the local been around forever junk yard and they said this is a very common problem for Chevys. People take the brackets off and never put them back on. I will try JB welding the crack after grinding, and if that does not work I will weld a stud in the hole. Any thoughts are surely welcomed, thanks a lot!
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:46 PM
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I don't mean to talk negative about a repair you want to do but I want to save you the hassle of repairing it again & again. I doubt JB Weld will work, if the housing broke, how will gluing it back together be stronger? If the JB is stronger than the housing (which I doubt) it will break directly beside the repair because that will be the weakest point. If JB is not stronger it will break in the same spot because if your starter broke, it did so for a reason.
If a stater is adjusted correctly, you have a good flexplate & your motor is running good, you won't have starter problems. My experience has been that the starter is either mis-adjusted, the ring gear is worn or there is another problem with the way the motor runs at startup.
Check the starter adjustment & the ring gear first. If those are perfect than check the timing then check the solenoid in the distributor. I've discovered a few over the years that cause a misfire at startup & caused starter troubles because they cause the motor to kick back periodically. It's not common but it's worth a try.
Best of luck
Happy New Year
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
and if that does not work I will weld a stud in the hole. Any thoughts are surely welcomed,
Ayuh,....

Just Curious,...

Just How in 'ell are you going to mount the starter if you weld a Stud into that broken Hole,..??..??..??
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LS-57
I don't mean to talk negative about a repair you want to do but I want to save you the hassle of repairing it again & again. I doubt JB Weld will work, if the housing broke, how will gluing it back together be stronger? If the JB is stronger than the housing (which I doubt) it will break directly beside the repair because that will be the weakest point. If JB is not stronger it will break in the same spot because if your starter broke, it did so for a reason.
If a stater is adjusted correctly, you have a good flexplate & your motor is running good, you won't have starter problems. My experience has been that the starter is either mis-adjusted, the ring gear is worn or there is another problem with the way the motor runs at startup.
Check the starter adjustment & the ring gear first. If those are perfect than check the timing then check the solenoid in the distributor. I've discovered a few over the years that cause a misfire at startup & caused starter troubles because they cause the motor to kick back periodically. It's not common but it's worth a try.
Best of luck
Happy New Year
Hey its cool man, I dont think you are "talking negative". If you look closely at my pictures, you will see that the outer ear hasnt broken off, it actually isnt even close to breaking off. That crack is very small. I am not for sure yet, but I dont think that crack even goes up the side of the bolt hole yet. Before my starter broke the last nose cone, it actually started up very nice and smooth, except when it got hot because of the exhaust pipe.

So if I put on a brace, and prevent that crack from growing, I should be okay. If not I will put a stud in that bolt hole like I said earlier.

By the way, I've checked just about everything you mentioned. The only thing I cant check is the timing. Previous owner put a chrome cover on without the timing marks. I once heard you could check the timing by hooking up a vaccum gauge, is that true? If so I would really like to know how to do it. Thanks bro, Happy New Years to you as well, thanks for all the insight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bondo
Ayuh,....

Just Curious,...

Just How in 'ell are you going to mount the starter if you weld a Stud into that broken Hole,..??..??..??
Hey thanks for reading this thread.
Thats what I thought at first when somebody recommended it to me. The stud needs to be a piece of high quality all-thread. You bottom out the all-thread in the hole, and tack weld it in place. Then you put the starter on the 1 good bolt hole, and put a nut on the all thread, PRESTO.

I apologize for jabbering about the '3 bolt hole starter'. That specific model bolts to the bell housing not the block.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:28 PM
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I`ve seen many with small cracks like this and I have a few recommendations for you that worked for me and several others.
Make sure you are using the correct bolts with no washers, no shims. Make sure they are spotlessly clean. Check the milled flats when the bolts go on the starter and make sure they are also spotlessly clean. Install the starter, torque the bolts to 40 ft lbs. Next, going by the picture as a guide, by all means, add grounds. 1 ground going to the alternator bracket don`t cut it, especially if the engine has been out of the vehicle and likely the factory grounds were not reconnected elsewhere. Run the ground to the block and another ground from the block to the frame. This may not seem important, but when you factor in how less harder the starter has to work to turn the engine over it`s a big benefit. Here`s what I do to all vehicles I work on with starter issues ground wise. I make sure the ground from the firewall to the engine is still connected, I add a ground from the battery to the fender if it`s absent. Ground to the front of the block then to the frame. I remove the brake line holder, clean it spotless, then add the ground with the brake line holder, bolt it back up and go. In every case I`ve seen a difference, the charging system works alot more efficient, the head lights brighter, and best of all no starter trouble. Since chevy`s use the solenoid on top they get hot, so they need all the assistance they can get, reducing the resistance by adding grounds usually does the trick. My cutlass header was riding directly on the starter, after going through 8 starters and doing what I just said, no more starter trouble since.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
I`ve seen many with small cracks like this and I have a few recommendations for you that worked for me and several others.
Make sure you are using the correct bolts with no washers, no shims. Make sure they are spotlessly clean. Check the milled flats when the bolts go on the starter and make sure they are also spotlessly clean. Install the starter, torque the bolts to 40 ft lbs. Next, going by the picture as a guide, by all means, add grounds. 1 ground going to the alternator bracket don`t cut it, especially if the engine has been out of the vehicle and likely the factory grounds were not reconnected elsewhere. Run the ground to the block and another ground from the block to the frame. This may not seem important, but when you factor in how less harder the starter has to work to turn the engine over it`s a big benefit. Here`s what I do to all vehicles I work on with starter issues ground wise. I make sure the ground from the firewall to the engine is still connected, I add a ground from the battery to the fender if it`s absent. Ground to the front of the block then to the frame. I remove the brake line holder, clean it spotless, then add the ground with the brake line holder, bolt it back up and go. In every case I`ve seen a difference, the charging system works alot more efficient, the head lights brighter, and best of all no starter trouble. Since chevy`s use the solenoid on top they get hot, so they need all the assistance they can get, reducing the resistance by adding grounds usually does the trick. My cutlass header was riding directly on the starter, after going through 8 starters and doing what I just said, no more starter trouble since.
Wow thanks for that great info. You are dead on.
The guy before me rebuilt this 350 of mine(late 60s early 70s) and he did only what he had to do to ride this thing a while.
examples:

-my autochoke was zip tied to hold it open a bit, drove probably 75 gallons of gas like this until I figured it out.
-idle screw on carb was turned high.
-radiator is missing lower housing
-the linkage for my transmission is hooked up with a zip tie under the hood.

I could go on, but basically he did what he had to do to run this thing a bit, then sold it before winter because it has nothing to pass IM. So I am sure he didnt connect the grounds you mention. Thanks

Last edited by Bluecollarron; 12-30-2008 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:09 PM
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starter getting hot...

Hi,speedway and jegs sell a cover that goes over the starter solenoid to keep the heat off of it.try it.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:51 PM
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my starter is doin the same thing... took it to a guy and he wsore up and down that my main bearings went out is .... my motor runs beautiful I know its not true what do I do this has been replacing starters n flexplates for like a year
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:11 PM
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Better to start a new thread heavychevy!
Instead of digging up a 5 year old one.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:00 PM
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okay

so what do u suggest I do
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:35 AM
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Simple.
Start your own thread stating your problem, syptoms and what you've tried so far.
You'll get better responses.
Hijacking someone elses thread never works.
So, lets end this one.
Start a new one!
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:34 PM
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Wow totally forgot about this. I used to be quite the rookie, now im a mechanic full time. if your going through new starters and new flexplates, then is your blocked cracked? thats what mine ended up being and on a few other motors ive seen.
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