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Old 04-05-2013, 02:12 PM
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Starter teeth not fully engaging

I'm just putting the jewelry on a new 350 HO, Vortec crate engine. I'm finding the 2 starters I've tried (2 different models from Jegs) are failing to fully engage the teeth on the ring gear. The solenoid is not pushing the pinion gear far enough to fully mesh. At rest, there is a 1/4" gap (Should be 0.10), and the gears engage only about half their width when extended.

One guy at Jegs says he's heard of this but there's nothing to worry about, the other says he's never heard of this and any starter for the 350 crate with in-line bolt holes should work fine, never had a problem.

This can't be right. Anyone else run into this? What to do?

Possible the tapped holes in the block are 'off'?????

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Old 04-06-2013, 04:55 AM
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More likely a flywheel issue. Got pictures?
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:20 AM
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The 153 tooth flywheel uses the starter with the bolts straight across from each other.

The 168 tooth flywheel uses the starter that uses a diagonal bolt pattern.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Richiehd View Post
More likely a flywheel issue. Got pictures?
I turned the plate, it's the same all the way around. Pics at rest and extended. Both starters look the same. I've got a starter from Chevrolet Performance (Bowtie on the side) coming, but I really don't think it'll be any different.

The teeth engage about 1/2 the gear width as you can see. The mesh backlash is perfect.

The info sheet with each starter shows that the gap at rest should be .10 (.060 to .140). The gap measures +- .30. The ring gear won't last long like this.

If the mounting holes in the block are in the wrong place, I'll have to have a new mounting plate machined.

Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454C10 View Post
The 153 tooth flywheel uses the starter with the bolts straight across from each other.

The 168 tooth flywheel uses the starter that uses a diagonal bolt pattern.
I've got 12.75"/153. The teeth mesh fine. See my 8:32 reply.

Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:18 AM
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By turning the plate, do you mean rotating it or flipping it over? Could it be installed backwards? The ring gear looks to be quite a distance from the block, but the pictures don't show the bellhousing/trans flange area.

You said the tooth mesh is fine, do you have the correct clearance with the starter is engaged? Not binding?
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68NovaSS View Post
By turning the plate, do you mean rotating it or flipping it over? Could it be installed backwards? The ring gear looks to be quite a distance from the block, but the pictures don't show the bellhousing/trans flange area.

You said the tooth mesh is fine, do you have the correct clearance with the starter is engaged? Not binding?
Rotating. It's a crate engine, so backwards (flipped) isn't likely. 'Sides, the bosses at the torque converter bolt holes are impressed outward, towards the TC as they need to be.

Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:01 PM
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Is there a shim in the body of the starter? Some of those mini starters you could shim the motor part forward or back...Just an idea. That thing needs to 1/4 inch or so
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:03 PM
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Im looking at the flywheel again are you sure its on right? it looks awefull far out,
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Richiehd View Post
Im looking at the flywheel again are you sure its on right? it looks awefull far out,
It's right. If I flipped it, the TC would have to bolt up to concave areas.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richiehd View Post
Is there a shim in the body of the starter? Some of those mini starters you could shim the motor part forward or back...Just an idea. That thing needs to 1/4 inch or so
No shims, 'cept the ones loose in the box.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:44 PM
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Besides the number of gear teeth and overall diameter, there are two types of flex plates. One flex plate has a "flat" crank flange bolt circle with a spacer between the crank flange and the flex plate, and it uses longer bolts. The other has a "dished" crank flange bolt circle. Just something to think about because I have see this happen before.

Spacer, GM 12563532 (1 spacer)
Bolts, GM 11569956 (pack of 10 bolts) *

*Some dealers will break up a package of parts and some won't.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseFink View Post
Besides the number of gear teeth and overall diameter, there are two types of flex plates. One flex plate has a "flat" crank flange bolt circle with a spacer between the crank flange and the flex plate, and it uses longer bolts. The other has a "dished" crank flange bolt circle. Just something to think about because I have see this happen before.

Spacer, GM 12563532 (1 spacer)
Bolts, GM 11569956 (pack of 10 bolts) *

*Some dealers will break up a package of parts and some won't.
Dished here. Flipping it over would move the ring gear further away from the starter. I'd love to see a coupla shims twixt the crank and plate.... none to be found though. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:47 PM
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Vortec flywheel different than earlier flywheel? I think it has weights on it. Just asking, I dont know
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richiehd View Post
Vortec flywheel different than earlier flywheel? I think it has weights on it. Just asking, I dont know
Yep, it's got a weight on it.
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