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Old 03-25-2011, 09:31 PM
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Mini-starter problems

Hello all,

Ok so i bought a summit mini starter almost 2 years ago, part number SUM-829000. It ticked me off so i threw the stock starter back in. Well now im finally messing with it again.
Reason being the pinion gear on the starter kept hitting my flexplate while driving... Car started fine, but whenever i'd give it decent throttle i could hear the 2 hitting each other. If it was in park and being reved, didn't do it. Only when in gear and driving. Just seems to be working its way out when the motor torques. The starter wasnt shimmed right at first install and got grinded against the flexplate for a few seconds until i shut the car off. Put the correct shims in right after. So im thinkin maybe that messed something up? So hopefully id like to salvage this $150 paper weight.

Could it be the pinion gear?? I took the starter apart but dont even know how to take the pinion gear out of the main non-electrical piece of the starter. I wanna at least inspect it. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-26-2011, 05:56 AM
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What exactly are you working on ? So you are saying that it don't make the sound with the stock starter correct ? why didn't you send it back and get the correct starter in the first place. are you absolutely sure it's the starter hitting ?
Could be other things also making the sound. JMO


Cole
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:26 AM
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This is another problem with the cheap offshore mini starters. The one that ticked me off was the bendix was slow to disengage after the engine started. I replaced the offshore mini starter with a Powermaster Ultra Torque, problem solved.

Vince
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:51 AM
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i too bought the powermaster high torque mini starter, it did the same thing.
typical of most of my parts it was 3 yrs out of warranty by the time i used it.
new gm crate motor and flexplate. nothing we did to the starter helped.
i took the starter drive apart and ground a spacer that allowed the drive to move back a hair.
not the easiest way, maybe not the right way, but it saved a $150 paperweight.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:10 PM
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there should be a return spring that holds the bendex back when not in use.

i had a broken spring in a ford starter that did the same thing.

maybe the factory forgot to install it.

here is a good pic you can see springs on both sides of the engagement fork so the gear does not flop around on accel and braki
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:33 PM
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I went through 3 or 4 of those cheapo starters. Finally bought an MSD starter. Best thing I ever did. It cranks real nice and sounds great
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:44 PM
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Its a sbc 350 in an 85 cutlass Cole. And it is most definitely the starter. I waited too long to try to send it back so its far out of warranty.

Do you guys know how to pull that pinion gear out?? I imagine i need a gear puller..
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:04 PM
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After you take the motor and shaft out of the housing the gear will just slide off the shaft. You have to basically completely disassemble the starter. There may be a circlip retaining clip on the shaft that you need to also remove, but you won't need a gear puller.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:21 PM
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Its disassembled. Took everything apart i possibly could but to no avail. Still just pulls out as far as it normally would.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:28 PM
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I think there is a c clip that retains it
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therob
Its disassembled. Took everything apart i possibly could but to no avail. Still just pulls out as far as it normally would.
You might try shimming the spring inside the solenoid or replacing it w/one from an OE solenoid to give it a more positive return (top arrow on mud bros' photo). Also be sure the linkage is w/o friction and is free to pivot w/o any binding.

Another thing worth looking at is to see if the spacer behind the bendix (towards the armature, bottom arrow) can be shortened to allow the gear to retract a little further from the ring gear when disengaged.


Last edited by cobalt327; 03-28-2011 at 06:39 AM. Reason: Add image.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:39 PM
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Funny thing about that is.... there isn't any springs haha. Only thing goin into the solenoid is what looks like a lil cylinder shaped piece that im thinkin might be magnetic. Cause that piece attaches to the arm that pushes the pinion gear out. So i might be wrong but the solenoid pulls the magnetic piece through the inside of the solenoid, which levers that arm its attached to, thus pushing the gear out to the flexplate. Idk if its possible but if its a bum solenoid maybe its gettin juice when its not supposed to be and pullin that piece into the solenoid slightly and is cause the pinion gear to scrape?
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:15 PM
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Sounds like the tolerances between the flexplate and bendix were tight enough to allow it to hit when the crank walked forward under load.
How new is the motor? Could the thrust bearing be shot?
I had a 302 that walked so bad it would hit the convertor bolts on the back of the motor.
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