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Discussion Starter #1
Need some help....

I got one of those mini high-torque starters from Summit Racing and was test fitting it and I don't like what I saw. Sorry I couldn't get a good picture one handed as I tried to hold the pinion in place. I need to start doing this stuff when my kids are around to hold things.

On the flywheel there is the depth the ring gear teeth are cut and then the width or the actual ring gear itself which looks to be ~1/2" When I get the starter aligned so the depth of gear cut is correct I noticed the pinion is only engaging 1/4" or half the the width of the ring gear. This bothers me as with OE style starters I'm pretty sure it always engaged across the entire width of the ring gear. I took the starter apart and don't see any way to adjust the depth of pinion engagement unless I re-machine the aluminum mounting base the starter came with.

Details, Summit Starter 82900, 168 tooth flywheel, 621 bell housing, 89 block with both staggered and parallel starter holes. This starter uses the parallel holes.

What am I missing ? Is there a difference in pinion depth between a starter for a manual and automatic trans ?

Thanks,
 

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Re: starter pinion gear engagement ?

It's the starter. All starters are not created the same.
Both styles of OE starters have the same engagement characteristics.
 

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Re: starter pinion gear engagement ?

RJ,
That's the same starter I use on my 383, 168 tooth flywheel, & 621 bellhousing. I installed mine before the motor went in so it was easy for me to check engagement. The starter pinon completely engages the the flywheel. Are you sure the starter gear is engaging all the way?
 

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Re: starter pinion gear engagement ?

RJ, Your link shows it's for millions of GM engines. The instructions give a hint. (I hate the word 'instructions') Are any shims installed? I wouldn't run it with that little contact area.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, thanks for the sanity check. I was not happy with the partial "width" engagement as I can see this eating teeth on the pinion or worse my flywheel. There are shims (2) installed to get the pinion tooth engagement to the correct spot. With no shims the pinion teeth would bottom out with teh flywheel teeth and that wouldn't last long. I'll send this starter back and get on from DB Electric that another thread suggested as it is designed more like the OE Delco unit.

Thanks again,
 

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Not to knock Summit but I tried two of their mini starters and had problems with both, I ended up with a Powermaster mini that fit and worked perfect. I think they need to get a different starter vendor. Summit exchanged both starters with no problems, a good company to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After looking at the starter again I should add that it does not have any spacers between the actual Hitachi starter motor and the aluminum adapter plate. In other words the pinion extends as far as it can.

I picked up a similar starter from local NAPA on my way home and the pinion depth issue is the same. I'll take the NAPA starter back on Thursday when I have free time. I can't believe my engine, bell housing, flywheel combo is unique in any way so I'm going to order a PM300 from DB Electrical to see how it fits.

So much for driving to the Nor-Cal Camaro's Limited meeting on Friday. I've missed so many due to work and family stuff I'll bet they forgot I'm a member :-(
 

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Heads up, RJ....if you block isn't tapped straight through the bolts they send may be a little long. Might want to mark them for how deep they need to go and then run them into the block to make sure they'll make it. Then you can just cut a little off if you need to.


DB Electrical $50



Powermaster $187
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Steiner, very good point. I'll verify the thread depth in the block. I sent DB Electrical and email last night asking a few questions about that PM300 starter. Hopefully they respond today and I can get it ordered. I'll still have first mini-starter I bought so I may have the aluminum mount machined down the road just so I case it as a spare.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Starter pinion gear engagement ? (resolved )

Got my DB Electrical PM300 starter today and it works like a charm. The fit was perfect and I now get full engagement of the pinion teeth across the ring gear. Not sure who it was that recommended DB Electrical but I owe you a few beers. Sorry DJD and Z28Mark nice try but it wasn't you this time. I do owe you beers for past help though.

I'll have a brand new Hitachi style hi-torque starter for sale if anyone wants one just PM or email me.

:beers::beers::beers::beers::beers::beers::beers::beers:
 

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Been there done that with several of the cheapie mini starters except the DB starter but I ended up here on one of my cars, I know its not what you want to hear but it was put it on, shim it and have not done anything since.

http://www.jegs.com/i/Tilton/454/54-10001/10002/-1

BTW, GM has some universal mini permanent magnet starters that fit pretty much anything. Might look into this. They are not expensive.
 
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