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Old 06-23-2012, 01:50 PM
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Chevy 350 starter issues

I found an old beat up chevy out in a field and got it to run, but I'm stumped with the starter. I have went through 3 starters now, they all do the same thing, they work fine for a few days and then start grinding and popping, then one day they'll crack their housings, rendering them useless. I have tried 3 different starters. Two of the starters had the straight bolt pattern, but they were slightly different in pinion gear locations....one out further than the other. And I tried the staggered bolt patterns but, as I know now from reading on here, those starters only work on the bigger flywheels(mine has the smaller one). I've tried shimming them but I was shimming them on both sides with the shims that reach all the way from bolt to bolt. I checked the engine I.D.'s and I'm sure the engine is a 1975 350. If someone has had this problem PLEASE help me! I don't have any money for anymore starters or to pay a mechanic and I'm a newbie to old chevys, but trying to learn. Please share your knowledge with me.

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Old 06-23-2012, 02:46 PM
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One possibility . . . Starter bolts are unique. The shanks are knurled to create a doweled effect. So, let's start there. Do you have the knurled bolts for holding the starter to the block?

PatM
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:16 PM
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Pat,
Not sure what you mean by knurled. Please explain and I can look at them and tell you, another buddy of mine said the same thing, that bolts can be critical. I would appreciate any help.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:44 PM
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Could be a clearance problem or a support problem. I ALWAYS set up a starter in the following manner. With NEW bolts I bolt up the unit with no shims. I use a .040" torch tip cleaner for a gauge, pull the pinion gear out to mesh with the ring gear and measure the clearance between the teeth. If it's much too large I will half shims to the OUTBOARD bolt only to bring the teeth in closer. Shoot for an 0.040" clearance. If it's too tight use FULL shims to braing the starter away from the ring gear. I've found that .040" clearance in the teeth works PERFECTLY.
Could be a support issue. Some blocks utilize a starter support bracket on the end of the starter that bolts to the block to keep it from tweaking.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:56 PM
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If the bolts have a totally smooth shank, they're wrong. The shank should be "bloomed" (I'm struggling to explain) and show "pin marks" on it. Trial fit into the starter holes. If the shank clears by .020 or more, it's the wrong bolt. Bolts from the hardware store won't work. Bolts from the graveyard probably will.

PatM
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:01 PM
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They look like these.
http://pitstopusa.com/i-5064949-arp-...-pt-heads.html
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBackroader
Pat,
Not sure what you mean by knurled. Please explain and I can look at them and tell you, another buddy of mine said the same thing, that bolts can be critical. I would appreciate any help.
Here is a page w/some info.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:08 PM
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The above link should have been here.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:15 PM
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:55 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. I purchased 2 new bolts. I'm also going to check the clearance, although its difficult because of that shroud around the pinion gear...Any tips on the easiest way to get in there and gauge it?
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBackroader
Thank you all for your replies. I purchased 2 new bolts. I'm also going to check the clearance, although its difficult because of that shroud around the pinion gear...Any tips on the easiest way to get in there and gauge it?
The front brace is every bit as important as having the right bolts. Maybe more so.

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Old 06-24-2012, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBackroader
Thank you all for your replies. I purchased 2 new bolts. I'm also going to check the clearance, although its difficult because of that shroud around the pinion gear...Any tips on the easiest way to get in there and gauge it?
Take the dirt shield off and use a torch tip cleaner.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:55 AM
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Front brace? Mine doesn't have one. Cab they be purchased at a local parts store?
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