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Old 10-27-2012, 07:01 PM
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SBC starter issues

When I first bought my truck a yr ago, I could tell the starter needed to be adjusted. It's an 88 Chevy stepside with a early model sbc, carbed. I told the guy to get the starter right before I pick it up. He did and it was fine for months. A little over a month ago it started to get noisy again. I shimmed it. Two weeks later it needed adjusted again. I shimmed. This went on until I had to replace the starter or at least I thought I had to.

I bought a new starter, shimmed it and was doing great. 3 wks later, it needed adjusted. Not good.

So I did some reading on here and started inspecting. I cleaned the mating surface and bolts good. When installing I noticed there was a little play in the starter where it looks like the mounting holes on the starter are a hair larger than the bolts. I read about this somewhere on here, but not sure what to do. There is not a mounting bracket on the starter and no heat shield (I do have headers). I also torqued the bolts to 40 instead of 30, which is what I have been doing. I had to use washers on the outside bolt (farthest from the flywheel) to shim equally about .25in worth of shims. WOW!

So will the gm metric starter bolts work? Will they take up the slack? Should I invest in the starter bracket and/or heat shield? Or ditch the stocker and get a mini-starter??

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:37 PM
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There has to be TONS of info on this site about this problem and you can spend all nite searching posts.
As I remember there are a particular type of bolt to use that is knurled for a proper fit to the starter. Do not overtighten. Even do not go as tite as specs. I squashed my housing that way . Just make it tite . But not balls to the walls tite.
Use the proper shim from NAPA not just some washers. Use a paper clip for a gauge. There is a good pic on here somewhere.You may need a heat shield if it hard starts when hot.
https://www.google.com/url?q=http://...DhiToybmyhpR7g

Chevy Starter Issues Q & A

Last edited by Cape Cod Bob; 10-27-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:04 PM
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I read for a few hrs when I realized my problem is still haunting me. Thanks for the link to the article. I read that one as well, when is the only reason I know to look at the bolts and mounting hole diameters.

So is my only option to get a different starter with the 3/8 in mounting holes?
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:29 PM
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As I'm sure you know that's waaaaay too much trouble for a stock starter to have. If the original bolts have the knurling worn down or off then thats the first parts to replace. You shouldn't have to adjust it every three weeks or so. Since it's a different year engine maybe someone drilled out the cyl. block starter holes a little not knowing the knurled bolts make a tight fit....good luck.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:21 AM
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I think I have the correct bolts. I have to make a trip to the junk yard tomorrow. I may look around for some bolts worthy of using before I may the leap for an aftermarket.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:11 AM
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A new set of starter bolts is around $8-$9
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:57 AM
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Bracket ?

There is also a Brace-bracket that goes from the starter to the block for more support. Our Farm forklift has a SBC engine, way too much power, someone used the wrong bolts and no brace, It broke the nose off the starter,
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:09 PM
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I have replaced the bolts, new. However I think the new starter accepts metric bolts. It's held up all day. LOL I'm going to look for the bracket this week. I think I'll go ahead and fab a heat shield while I'm focused on the starter.
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