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Old 09-21-2010, 05:33 PM
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starter issues

I have a 77 corvette with a 377 small block.My question is this:why does my starter (tilton brand stater) want to pull away from the flexplate (tci flexplate) after a few times turning the engine over? This is my 2nd starter and 2nd flywheel and I am running out of options and patience.The engine used to start but won't now after all this staeter/flywheel crap, Somebody help!!!!!

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Old 09-21-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetteracer77
I have a 77 corvette with a 377 small block.My question is this:why does my starter (tilton brand stater) want to pull away from the flexplate (tci flexplate) after a few times turning the engine over? This is my 2nd starter and 2nd flywheel and I am running out of options and patience.The engine used to start but won't now after all this staeter/flywheel crap, Somebody help!!!!!
The GM style starter uses the solenoid mounted atop the motor to do two things when activated, it closes a heavy current switch to connect the battery to the starter and it pushes the starter pinion gear into engagement with the ring gear.

If it comes out of that engagement that would show that there could be a couple electrical problems and or a mechanical problem or two as this is not the old fashion Bendix that uses centrifugal force against a return spring to engage the starter's pinion gear, rather the pinion is forced to engagement and held there securely by the solenoid.

- Electrical
1) Insufficient current in the starting system to both run the motor and keep the solenoid engaged. This would both stop the starter and release the gear engagement but if you're holding the key "on" this would repeat making the electrical connections and recycle the starter without you doing anything with the key.

2) A faulty connection that craps out either from the current load or from vibrations of the starter rotating.


- Mechanical
1) The starter pinion gear is not properly engaging the ring gear and pops out of engagement when the load of turning the engine is placed on the gears. The Chevy needs to be checked for engagement both in depth of the meshed teeth and for reach into the thickness of the tooth width. Most common problem is mesh depth clearance, this is why the shims are used to set the vertical distance the starter is from the flywheel. Too close and the starter pinion will not grab into the ring or will only slightly to be forced out by the load of turning the engine, this usually accompanied with a lot of grinding noise. This is one path that leads to insufficient grab of the length of the teeth. This can be adjusted by using shims sufficient to allow a .050 inch gauge to pass between the peak to root clearance of engaged teeth. An easy gauge for this is a large diameter paper clip. Too far away is the next problem where the pinion and ring barely have any engagement depth. This is usually a machining problem with the starter and/or the ring gear and/or the flywheel or flexplate itself.

2) The starter motor insufficiently attached there is an A and B part to this:

2.A) The use of bolts not designed for the starter, the factory uses a bolt with a knurl on it that ordinary bolts don't have. The knurl makes a tight body fit between the bolt and the stater nose housing to keep the starter from moving ever so slightly away from loads put on it.

2.B) There is a bracket that attaches from the rear of the starter to the block, it is there to prevent the starter from twisting away from the cranking load, it needs to be there. While it looks inadequate therefore unimportant, it has the length of the starter's body as a lever arm, and therefore, can carry a lot more load that one might think, it is important for it to be there.

3. Cracks in the block's starter mounting horn. Hate to say it but cracks here are common, usually caused originally by a loosely mounted starter. This usually signals the end of the life for an otherwise perfectly good block, there just aren't any good ways to fix this that last.

Bogie
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