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350 starter grinding issue

 
impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/26/08 08:17 PM

hi everyone this is my first post.

i am fairly knowledgable about cars, no meachanic but pretty mechanically inclinded, and my dad owns a 66 impala that he had a 350 crate motor installed to replace the warn out 327, hes a chevy guy, im a ford guy, so my knowledge is mainly ford based (sorry guys)

i do all the maintance and upgrades to his car and what not, i didnt install the engine but i have installed several engines, his buddy whos a mechanic did, he got a 350 crate motor from napa, nothing special voretc heads, 415hp, a 650 holley carb and has what appears to be the stock th350 (the old vaccum line oneSmile  ) the motor came with a flywheel and balancer, i dont know specifically what teeth it is but i do know it is correct for the bellhousing/trans (i had to check because i know ford has different ones and was curious if the balancer and flywheel where used from the old 327 and wasnt sure if the 327 and 350 had the same balance) i dont know what year the block is but can find out if that info is needed (if so tell me where chevy puts there block id's please)

(from what my dad has told me) the starter from the 327 wouldnt work on the 350, my dad say that he need an "offset" starter i know that looking up the part (for exchange) at autozone it is listed as a 2000 350 but again i dont know if thats the year of the block.

the issue just started this year, last year no issues it was driven about 2K last year, this year it has been driven maybe 500, and the issue started at the beggening of the year.

this is the issue:

the issue is speradic at best, with it happening more then not about 75% of time, it acts like i can best describe as a heat soak issue when the starter doesnt engage all the way and it grinds, i replace the starter the first time thinking it was a heat soak issue and my dad opt not to get a heat shield, so the started seemed to be fine for a few weeks and then it started again, still thinking it was a heat soak issue i replaced the started and he opted for a heat shield this time. i put the starter in today and nothing changed the same issue, it was suggested to put a washer between the started and the block as it might have been the starter  gear wasnt making good contact with the flywheel, i checked the depth of the starter gear on the flywheel and its about 3.4 of the way deep in the teeth, this did not change the issue at all, so i added another washer and the starter gear wouldnt retract as it was too tight.

the flywheel and starter gears seem to have the teeth matched up fine as i though maybe the teeth sapcing was differnt between them.

i checked the power wire from the battery and starter thinking maybe that the wire is old and might not be flowing enough juice, it looks ok so im going to repalce that anyway, the next thing i can think of is the battery not giving enough amps to fully engagte the starter, ill swap it out with a different battery tomorrow.

anyone got any ideas or suggestions on this one? its driving me nuts Frown


thanks and sorry for the long reading, if you need and more info let me know, i just want to get this fixed, a starter issue shouldnt be that difficult

thanks again  

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impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/26/08 08:40 PM

I just did a google search on "chevy 350 starter grind" and i read that if oil gets on the bendix that it can casue the starter gear to not engage and/or disengage all the way, when i replaced the starter i did notice that the dipstick (i looked and its coming from there) had a very slight leak and there is a little oil splatter around where the starter is since the dipstick is right above the starter.  could a small amount of oil gotten on the gear and caused this?

im grasping at straws at this point  

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canted
I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 499
Joined: 02/08
Posted: 09/27/08 07:05 AM

I've never heard of the oil issue but aparently someone has. For the most part there are two different diameter ring gears. You need the correct size starter to match the ring gear size. What your father calls a "offset starter" refers to the mounting bolts. If memory serves me, that starter is for the larger ring gear. Many times the starter comes with a small rod that is a guage to check the clearance between the gears. Shims are then used to set the proper clearance. With the starter off, have you turned the crankshaft and examined the teeth on the ring gear?  Could have a bad spot that you land on at times. You used the Autozone name so I assume these are reman starters. It would not suprise me to get several that were junk. To identify the engine, there is a casting number cast into the bellhousing flange at the top left part of the flange. The casting number can narrow it down. If the block was not decked there is a stamped number on a pad in front of the right cylinder head. This number will have a two or three letter suffix that will ID the engine.  
Jim
70 El Camino
461 solid, m20,
pics in readers rides
thanks for over 3000 views

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impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/27/08 07:47 AM

the tag on the front says vn or pm (theres a cover in the way) 568

the flywheel is in good condition

the starter didnt come with a rod to check pinion gear depth.

the shims do they go between the starter and the block?

where can i get shims at and what can i use to check the correct depth?


thanks a ton  

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Pontiacman2
Moderator
Posts: 8956
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/27/08 11:14 AM

Yes the shims go between the starter and the block.
You should be able to get the shims from any parts store.
Are you sure that the flywheel is not slightly bent
Canted is right the offset or staggered bolt pattern starter is for the larger flywheel or flex plate most or all of the 350 chevys came with the large flex plate and the small flex plate is for 305 chevys.  
Pontiacman2
Pontiacman2

Professional Hi-performance engine builder

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JW454
I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 345
Joined: 07/08
Posted: 09/27/08 01:09 PM

If it's not grinding all the time, forget about having the wrong starter. It's probably ok on the clearance too if its an intermittent problem. I fully agree, if it's an Autozone starter(s) that you are probably dealing with junk. But if every starter is doing the same thing you can check out some other ideas. When it's grinding, is it engaged in the flywheel or is it grinding against it? Does it only grind when the engine is hot?  

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canted
I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 499
Joined: 02/08
Posted: 09/27/08 01:21 PM

Here is what the stamped number looks like, this one starts with a V, that indicates it was built at the Flint MI plant.
Stampbr9
Are the letters on yours at the end of the numbers? If so, PN or PM would be a 1965 283ci.
Here is what the casting number looks like.
Castingvl7  
Jim
70 El Camino
461 solid, m20,
pics in readers rides
thanks for over 3000 views

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impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/27/08 03:28 PM

if you read what i wrote before editting scratch that.

i just went and double checked, im reasonable certain its the wrong starter.

i went was able to get the starter gear closer to the flywheel gear but when it is in closer in the neighbor hood wher the gap should be at i put a screw driver in the side of the starter to pop the gear out and it wont go it, the starter gears are wider then the flywheel gears are, that has to be the reason for the wear on the old starter on just the tip of the gear as thats all it is able to catch.

so im assuming im using the strter for the bigger flywheel when i need a starter for the smaller flywheel.

anyone got any thoughts?

the block is a 2000 block and the build sheet says "old style flywheel"  doesnt specify what tooth it is, i think its a 153 and the starter is for a 168, im going to count the teeth right now Frown  

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impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/27/08 04:18 PM

yep i have a 153 tooth flywheel, the block is a 2000, and when my dad origianlly got the starter they used a 2000 chevy truck with a 350 to look up the starter, that truck has the correct off set bolt pattern but that truck has a 168 tooth flywheel

i searched the interweb and found no offset bolt starter for a 153 flywheel.

apon looking where the starter meets the block i have disconvered that the block is tapped for inline and offset bolt starts, the guy who my dad had put the motor in told him he needed an offset starter as the inline wouldnt fit, im guessing he was trying to use a 168 starter, as he sure as hell put a `68 tooth offset starter on it.

im going to get a 153 inline starter now  

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impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/27/08 06:18 PM

well i know why the guy who put the engine in said it wouldnt fit, the trans line runs between the header and starter, with the older type starter there bigger and rub against the lines, i was able to get it in there ok besides trying to hold a boat anchor with one hand and screw the bolt in, well i got it in, but of course it needs a shim or two as its too close.

the starter i got is a off set bolt one too, but this one is for a 153 tooth flywheel, not a 168 one,

anyone know where to get a smaller starter for a 153 flywheel? dont need a mini high torque one, but i have a feeling that is the only other option.

thanks, ill let you guys know when if it works or not  

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impala350ss
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 13
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/27/08 09:26 PM

starter works.

i did have to grind it down a bit to get it shimmed just right, but it is smooth fast starting, feels nice and tight when you start it, before it felt kinda "loose", didnt notice it before but i do now.

its a 100% difference, starts up even faster and quiter then before

i ended up using a starter from a 77 350 vette, it was just a tad bit smaller then the 70 nova one i looked at  

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canted
I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 499
Joined: 02/08
Posted: 09/29/08 05:27 PM

Glad you got it working. It is always a pain with mix and match parts.  
Jim
70 El Camino
461 solid, m20,
pics in readers rides
thanks for over 3000 views

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