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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Chronically-grinding Starter

I know there is a current thread with a similar issue, but didn't want to hijack. And bear with me, this could get long.

Chronic problem, and having spent a few more hours on it today, I'm nearing wits-end.

73 Camaro, was a 383/700R. Was fine for the most part, started to have starter (small mid-late 90s GM type) issues shortly before it was rebuilt due to vibration issues. After the rebuild (which included a batt move to the trunk), it was okay for a short time with the same small starter, but began grinding/clanging. Put a new OE type starter on it. Fine for a while, but began the same problem again.

Well, less than a year later "Bertha" (that's for you Jim ) completely came apart. So out with the mix-matched parts of a 383 and in with a straight (punched out) 350 roller/Richmond 6spd. And again, the same story. Big OE or late-model mini (have tried several of each), they will be okay at times, but very rarely doesn't it sound right. Not just "not right", but downright ugly grinding (hasn't clanged with the new setup). It'll make you cringe. It's like just as soon as you tweak anything regarding it, you think it's good, but tells you NO! before long.

168 tooth flywheel (new w/the conversion), staggered bolt pattern starter(s). Starter snout is not interfering with the Lakewood BH, so not misaligned there. Nothing fancy, should be a pretty straight forward setup now.

Have shimmed it from zero to many, and every combination in between. Doesnt seem to matter even though it surely sounds like it should be that. Checked the elec today, since I've seen that mentioned as a possible cause to similar problems. Cables are good and tight, added star washers at all connections today as well as moving the batt ground to a sure location. That made no difference, dropped in a new, out-of-the-box GMPP HEI. Didnt matter. Does not respond to eliminating the power to the dist, so my most-current theory of a voltage issue is ruled out (I think?)

There is just one wire down to the solenoid, but being a factory harness there would/should be two. This was done years ago when changed over to the small starter (I would think) and don't know the status of the second wire. Maybe issue there? Would any issue there even cause this?

I'm running out of ideas here. Haven't encountered anything like this chronic starter grind/clash. The only thing that hasn't been changed is the car itself. After bearing through the god-awful sound for a couple seconds, it fires right up and runs great. But it's still not right.

What's really frustrating is that after having fooled with it for so long, it has to be something simple. How it usually goes, right?

Driving a #s-matching Z in the rain..... and lovin' it....
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 09:06 PM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

A couple of thoughts:

* If you're not using the correct "knurled" starter bolts, the starter will walk on you.

* Have you inspected the entire ring gear for damage?

* Are you sure the grinding isn't coming from inside the bellhousing,..perhaps a broken bolt or something?

Let us know.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

-The starter bolts are the knurled type.

-I have seen no damage to the ring gear (figured there might be), or on the gear on the starter. Did the same with the auto flywheel before, and there was no damage.

-Again, it did the same with the 700R. Hardware is all new, no vibrations in the driveline.

It was making the ugly sounds before (though it didn't live very long), but has gotten worse after the swap. As well as it has worked well after the swap (intermittently).

Appreciate the suggestions as I'm all-ears at this point

Driving a #s-matching Z in the rain..... and lovin' it....
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 09:27 PM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

are you using the same flywheel/starter combo?

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiskeesour View Post
are you using the same flywheel/starter combo?
All new parts/hardware were used in the changeover from Auto-6spd, and have tried several starters all of which do the same thing.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 09:44 PM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

The small starter bolts are different than the large starter, there are different diameters of bolts in the knurl area, - and lengths can be different causing the bolt to tighten but the starter remains loose enough to move. Make sure your bolts are correct for your current starter. I've done a few swaps from the small starter to the older style and got caught with mis-matched bolts.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpozzi View Post
The small starter bolts are different than the large starter, there are different diameters of bolts in the knurl area, - and lengths can be different causing the bolt to tighten but the starter remains loose enough to move. Make sure your bolts are correct for your current starter. I've done a few swaps from the small starter to the older style and got caught with mis-matched bolts.
David
Interesting, David. Could be a possibility?

The starter bolts are something that have been swapped several times, from repo parts vendor knurled, to grade 8s, to Help section knurled (and I'm sure there's another set that we've tried). Has always been a 168, so it's not a long-short bolt setup. The OE type knurled bolts didnt make a difference with the OE starter and have been used with the small starter also, but I can't say that we've used "small starter bolts" (any source or p/n?) with the small starter. It does tighten to the block, not moving around.

It's just aggravating, since it should be simple. Taking out the small starter from the scenario, an OE starter with OE bolts on a straight SB shouldn't give any issue.

Driving a #s-matching Z in the rain..... and lovin' it....
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 10:56 PM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Ok, Grinding coming from new 355 in friends P/U turned out to be the small bolts in the large starter. Starter was tight but that optima batt sure makes it wiggle under load.
Is it shimmed properly? Not insluting your in-tel-uh-gents,...of course.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiskeesour View Post
Ok, Grinding coming from new 355 in friends P/U turned out to be the small bolts in the large starter. Starter was tight but that optima batt sure makes it wiggle under load.
Is it shimmed properly? Not insluting your in-tel-uh-gents,...of course.
It currently has an Optima battery, but it did the same with a "regular" battery (yeah, have tried that too). There may be a starter "wiggle" though I don't think so, but something else to check.

Have tried all configurations of starters, shims, and bolts that I can think of.

Everything mechanically has been changed, including eng/trans setup.

Considering shimming the H out of it and then working back. Already has 3 or 4 in it, though.

Driving a #s-matching Z in the rain..... and lovin' it....
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 08, 11:45 PM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

hmm...Ill do some more playin and readin Dave...

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 08, 12:36 AM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Try disconnecting the battery and prying the bendix into engagement with the flywheel, it may not be engaging the flywheel teeth enough. They never go all the way though. There is a small drain hole on the bottom of the starter, you can drill it out a bit to allow a thin screwdriver to be used to pry on the bendix.

I have an old small starter, I'll compare it to a large body model and see which is larger. I may have some extra bolts to compare too. If the starter can't move, it probably isn't the bolts but it would be great if that was it!
David

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 08, 12:50 AM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

here are some starter parts listings. http://www.sallee-chevrolet.com/Star...arts/index.cfm
Adding a starter brace might help, see them listed just below the bolts.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 08, 05:45 AM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

dave,
we ran into simialar problems on other chevy trucks /cars..
we ended up switching to a 153 tooth flywheel..and mini starter ..new bolts as well..have not had any other problems..hope this helps..
kevin
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 08, 08:37 AM
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Have you checked the flywheel to starter gear clearance gap? I am talking about the distance the end of the gear is from the flywheel not gear mesh. When I installed my GM Mini starter on my GM flywheel I had to put a shim in the snout of the starter to get it within spec. It was way to close. If the gear doesn't have enough room to mesh it will grind. I believe it needs atleast .035 clearance. I can probably find the specs if you need them. Let me know.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 08, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chronically-grinding Starter

Think I made some ground on this sucker today. It's pretty good right now, but have been here before only to have it go south again before too long.

If anyone knows: pn 09000852 (new) 10465167 (reman) listed here:

http://www.sallee-chevrolet.com/Star...arts/index.cfm

Would it be the same physical dimensions as NAPA 4N-5110, which I believe is for 1998 Chevy truck application? The picture looks the same as the NAPA in it now, but can't go by that for sure. Listed for 502/502, but could also be used on SBC, right?

I know it's a tough question, but the starter is good and just looking to find out if the bolts and brace for the GM would be a direct fit.

Driving a #s-matching Z in the rain..... and lovin' it....
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