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Old 04-18-2005, 10:00 AM
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starter problems

i just put a 385 sbc in my 77 nova. the nove had a 305, and i am reusing the starter. i bought the car with a dead motor with 120,xxx on the clock. i bought the 385 already built, but it is almost brand new.

here is the problem:
i bolted the starter up, and it worked ok, for a couple hours while sorting out some ignition problems. then it started gring real bad.

i got a stack of 3 shims from o'reilly's (all three the same thickness), and shimmed the starter using 2 of them and it worked alright for a couple starts. now when i try to start it the gear pops out and gets stuck on the flywheel. i tried to re shim it using 1, 2 and all 3 shims, and the same thing happens.

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Old 04-18-2005, 10:40 AM
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it looks like the solenoid is bad . check the relay and grounds.
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:46 AM
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the funny thing is, everytime i took it off, when i put it back on it would turn the motor over a couple times, and then bind up.
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:01 AM
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From what I learned after my car ate 8 starters, I can pass this on. Make sure your using the correct bolts with no washers on them, the bolts should have a shank on them that fits into the machined grooves of the starter, this assures the starter doesn`t move or bind when you go to start it, after making sure the bolts are correct, reinstall and tighten the he** out of them with a 1/2 drive ratchet. A starter brace also helps to assure it doesn`t move. also make sure you have ample grounds, while this won`t cause binding, it will cause the car to be hard to start. Did the 305 come with a straight pattern starter or staggard pattern?
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:06 AM
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staggered. i am reusing the bolts from the 305.
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:24 AM
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maybe i missunderstood. this is a old starter from a dead motor. the gear pops out and stays out. if the starter tests fine or is a known good part its a clearance issue, and youll have to work at it

Last edited by spinn; 04-18-2005 at 11:29 AM. Reason: can you try a know good part?
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:31 AM
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the gear pops out and stays out, but i think it may be a cleaance issue, because when i push down on it with a screwdriver, it pops right back in.
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:24 PM
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I wouldn't crank down on the nose of the starter any harder than needed. I've cracked a few noses this way before. Look for a cracked starter nose that might allow the bendix drive to bind. Look for missing or damaged teeth on the flywheel. Don't forgot the advice about using the proper bolts.
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Old 04-19-2005, 03:21 AM
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battery

Quote:
worked ok, for a couple hours while sorting out some ignition problems. then it started gring real bad.
Sounds like your battery was dying and the starter started dragging. The bendix will get stuck in the ring gear when the battery is dead. Have you tried charging it?
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Last edited by bracketeer; 04-19-2005 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:31 AM
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wel it was on a charger all day. the alternator is not hooked up yet, but it sat on a charger all night last night, so i will try it when i get home tonight.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:05 AM
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charged battery all night. cranked it when i got homa yesterday, same problem. should i just try a new starter, or does it sound like an alignment issue?

i don't want to buy a new starter right now if i don't have too.

also, my headers are a couple inches away from the starter, what do you guys recommend for protection from heat.

fyi, the starter has never been on this motor before, so the headers are not part of the starting problem.
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