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dasyhard 10-17-2012 07:45 AM

Starter Problems
2 Attachment(s)
Hey guys, I need some advice on assesing a problem with my starter on my BBC motor. For some time now when starting my motor, my hitachi starter makes screeching sounds, then it would make popping sounds with smoke coming from the starter, not sure where. The car starts but this noise is annoying. I jacked up the car to view the starter and it looks secured but when I checked the flywheel the teeth is worn on the half way mark. And one tooth is completely chipped off. I took some pics and I hope its clear to diagnose what can cause this or is this normal.

alittle1 10-17-2012 09:05 AM

Incorrect meshing of the starter gear and flywheel teeth.

Pull the spark plugs, remove the coil wire and take off the inspection cover on the flywheel. While using a remote starter switch, go underneath and check for proper gear meshing between the starter and the flywheel. BBC have a 168 tooth flywheel.

Why would you have a Hitachi starter on a GM?

dasyhard 10-17-2012 03:54 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Since the starter is old and the flywheel is damaged, I've decided to replace both parts and ensure I have the correct bolts and shimmed properly so it's engaged correctly. I ordered the MSD 5095 to replace the hitachi starter. I had a great deal on the hitachi so this is why I installed it. Thanks again.

LTorree 10-20-2012 03:48 PM

I have a similar problem. Changed the starter and still have the meshing noise. Took off the cover plate and disconeted the coil wire and used a jumper starter button to engage the starter to check on the tooth meshing of the starter onto the gear plate. I found out that the outer bolt of the offset starter bolt seemed loose and caused the starter to move when engaging. I tried to tighten but still moved while engaging. Found out that the hole has a crack to which allowed movement of the bolt a little while the starter engaged. Now, my question to the experts would be how do I fix the crack on the block? I hate to change the entire short block. Is it possible to apply a bracket at the end of the starter motor to the block like how some older model chevys use to have? Or is there some sort of epoxy that would fix the crack? Can I use a tap and try and creat a deeper thread and use a longer bolt? Appreciate any help and advice. It is a 96 GMC yukon 5.7 automatic 2 wheel type.

dasyhard 10-20-2012 04:09 PM

Sorry to hear that you have a major problem but I'm afraid I can't give you any solutions. Hopefully, someone on this site can.

My situation stems from misalignment of the starter to the flexplate due to incorrect shimming or no shimming at all. I don't think it's the bolts because they seem to be tight. The gears on both starter and flexplate are damaged and one tooth on each gear (both starter and flexplate) are missing. Thanks for the info and I hope you find a less costly remedy.

F-BIRD'88 10-20-2012 05:12 PM

All GM starters came wih a factory brace bracket to support the front of the starter motor.
This bracket keeps the starter from twisting when cranking.
When you leave this required brace off, the starter motor twists on teh two starter bolts and cracks the
outer starter bolt hole boss on the block.

The fox once the outer bolt hole is cracked is to run a old style 55 chev starter motor that mounts to the trans bell housing instead of the engine block. There is a shee4t metal spacer plate that allows you to adapt this old style starter motor to a later V8. The spacer plate adapter plate goes between the engine and transmission bell housing. You still need a brace on the end of the starter motor to the block at the other end to take up the twisting force.
The small body mini starter should have this end brace too. Two bolts are not enough alone to suport the starter when its cranking/twisting on the bolts.
This adapter plate that allows using the old style starter motor can be bought over the internet.
have to search for the site.
The other alternative is to remove the engine and casti iron weld repair the cracked outer sterter bolt hole and redrill and tap. AND USE THE FRIGGIN $10 end brace on your starter motor.
Thats probily in your tool box somewhere.

If the OEM brace does not fit your mini stater fabricate as required using it as a start.
ALL trhe starters require 3 sopport points or the nose of the starter and or the starter bolt hole will be damaged.

F-BIRD'88 10-20-2012 05:23 PM

Chevy Engine Starter Plate Kit, Small Block Engine To Turbo Hydra-Matic Transmission, 1955-1957 - Eckler's Classic Chevy Parts

This should fit an work on BBC too. Don't forget the end brace.

F-BIRD'88 10-20-2012 05:33 PM

If you choose to weld repair the cracked/broken starter motor bolt hole boss on the block there is a special alloy welding rod for this. Find a local shop that repairs and welds cast iron.
You will probabily need to remove the engine and bring it to them for repair.

Next time install the support brace.

dasyhard 10-21-2012 02:59 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Thank you for this valuable information F-Bird, but if you take a look at my attached photos, there is a bracket that sits tight against my starter after I removed the starter. Please view it and let me know if this brace serves its purpose. If not, than I will take your advice and go with the Eckler's starter plate.

cobalt327 10-21-2012 04:04 AM


Originally Posted by dasyhard (Post 1601382)
Thank you for this valuable information F-Bird, but if you take a look at my attached photos, there is a bracket that sits tight against my starter after I removed the starter. Please view it and let me know if this brace serves its purpose. If not, than I will take your advice and go with the Eckler's starter plate.

Danchuck also sells the adapter plate, check to see who has the better deal on them. More info on the adapter plate and starters in general here.

If the cracked hole has good metal, drill/tap it and use a stud, not another bolt. That will put less stress on the hole and might last a long time.

The starter brace is shown below; it bolts to the back of the starter (the end towards the front of the vehicle, in other words) and connects it to the engine block. It's made for a stock type starter. Aftermarket mini starters generally won't work w/the stock brace.

One other option for a starter is a factory permanent magnet-type starter. Smaller, but still w/good power. Being lighter, it puts less stress on the mounting area. IIRC, someone wrote that ordering a starter for a 2000 4.3L S-10 will get you one that fits a SBC w/a 153T flexplate/flywheel.

F-BIRD'88 10-21-2012 10:21 AM

Resize your pictures before posting . The file size and resolution is way too big. Takes too long to load. 640x480 is plenty.
A free download for resizing and managing pictures.

might last a long time.

They need a brace too. The twisting force is what kills them. Fab your own.
All the starters need 3 support points.

cobalt327 10-21-2012 11:39 AM

How much zoom you got cranked into yours, anyway?? Might be time for an eye Dr. appt. LOL

The image is 488 x 206, click on image to see source.

Below is how it appears on my Firefox browser:

Just about right IMO for enough detail to show if someone wanted to fab their own.

Re the brace: The starter brace is a given- that's why I showed a photo of it and partly why I linked to the page on starters.

dasyhard 10-21-2012 04:16 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I don't know if you were referring to my photos but I decreased the size. Is the plate shown here an actual support of the starter?

cobalt327 10-21-2012 06:28 PM


Originally Posted by dasyhard (Post 1601566)
I don't know if you were referring to my photos but I decreased the size.

Must be your photos. But w/o any reference its hard to know what's being referred to.

Anyway, what type of vehicle is this? It look like an engine mid mount plate. It wouldn't help the starter, the brace that would help is attached to the other end by one of the through bolts that hold the starter together. The through bolt would have a stud attached to the end, as shown in the image below:

The other end of the brace bolts to a threaded hole in the block:

dasyhard 10-21-2012 07:04 PM

Thanks for the info....the vehicle is a prostreet 56 chevy with a 540 Dart block, turbo 400 and Gear Vendors Overdrive. The replacement starter is a MSD 5095 mini starter and the flexplate will be a J.W. Performance Transmissions 93005 168 Tooth Flywheel for Chevy which is what the tech at Summit Racing recommended. You mentioned that aftermarket starters won't match up with your suggested plate, correct? If so, than I'll have to look into what Firebird suggested.

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