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Starter Problem

 
bandamnits
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/14/07 02:11 PM

Hey everyone, i have a 1976 400 ci small block that i had rebuilt by a machine shop here in Vegas.  When i got my motor back and it started and ran fine . about a month later the starter started grinding and it would not start.  I found out that the outside starter bolt broke off in the block.  I took it to the machine shop and they drilled it out and put a heli coil in it.  I got it home and noticed there was a small crack on the side of the starter bolt hole.  I took it back to the machine shop and they welded the crack up and i  put it back in the truck hit the start button and all it did was grind (same noise as before).  It seems like the starter is moving around.

this is what I have tried to fix it:
4 starters (3mini 1 full size)
shims
ground top of starter off to get the teeth closer to the flywheel
new bolts
made an adjustable bracket from block to starter to hold it steady

the flex plate is new but I am going to try another one just to be sure.  if anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this I would be happy to here them.  sorry if I did not explain it that good, if you need more info just let know.

i ordered a new TCI flywheel and at the beginning of the month i am going to order a billet starter as well.  I'm hoping the billet mounting point will stop it from flexing.  if that don't fix it i don't know what to try next.

Thanks in advance to your help.  

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hotoil
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/14/07 09:56 PM

if you have the starter shimmed and tight it has to be a flywheel.low voltage?  

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55Guy
Administrator
Posts: 1153
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 09/17/07 05:57 AM

Gotta be a flywheel/flexplate problem. Make sure you've got the right flywheel/flexplate for a 400. 400's were externally balanced (all others were internally balanced) so it has its own unique flexplate/flywheel.  

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400_th350_3.42
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 19
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/07/08 01:36 AM

I HAVE A 400 WITH THE SAME PROBLEM...BUT MY RECORD IS 3 CRACKED MINI STARTERS, COUNTLESS CRACKED OEM STARTERS, STARTER BRACKET...USELESS...FILE DOWN THE STARTER...WORKED A LIL, BUT 4,OR 5 TRYS LATER...SAMETHING!!! MY BOLT BROKE OFF IN THE BLOCK BUT LUCKY ME IT WAS NOT THAT TIGHT. CHIPPED THE OUTSIDE BOLT HOLE...ITS GIVING ME HELL. I'VE WENT THROUGH 3 FLYWHEELS...1 HEAVY DUTY(THE GOLD ONE). IT SEEMS LIKE THE ONLY THING THAT WORK IS TAPPING A WOODEN BLOCK BETWEEN THE BLOCK AND STARTER IT STILL SKIPS BUT STARTS. SOMEONE  AT OUR LOCAL SPEEDSHOP TOLD ME IF I GET A BIGGER BOLT, DRILL THE HOLE OPEN WHERE THE CHIP IS MISSING TAP IT INSERT A BIGGER BOLT,WELD THE OUTSIDE CRACK,CUT THE BOLT,GRIND IT DOWN WHERE ITS FLAT AND EVEN,DRILL INSIDE THE OVERSIZE BOLT,THEN TAP THE HOLD TO THE RITE DEPTH AND PROBLEM SOLVED. THATS WHAT GETTING DONE TO MY BLOCK RIGHT NOW. I'LL FILL YOU IN ON THE RESULTS ASAP.  

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400_th350_3.42
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 19
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/07/08 01:40 AM

I FOUND SOMEONE WHO HAD THE SAME PROBLEM. HE HAD A THIRD BOLT HOLE DRILLED AND TAPPED WITH AN STARTER WITH 3BOLT HOLES.  

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JW454
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 81
Joined: 08/08
Posted: 09/07/08 05:47 AM

Base ign. timing that is to far advanced will make the engine kick back when trying to start and put a hell of a shock on the starter. Make shure your starter is for a 168 tooth flywheel and not a 153.  

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dief_master
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 5
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/07/08 07:01 AM

I restored my 68 Chevelle 3 years ago.  I pulled out the tired 327 and had purchased what I thought was a rebuilt 350 small block from a buddy of a buddy.  Needless to say got everything together and I was having the same issue with the starter "grinding" and would take 2 or 3 tries to engage the flywheel.  My 1st thought was a bad tooth on the flywheel.  I wanted to drive this thing to SUPER SUMMIT in Tallmadge, OH...was kind of my deadline date for completion...so I limped it up there with no problems than when I go to start the car to drive back home I find the same problem.  I brought my tools and climbed under the car the tighten down the loose starter bolt and next thing I hear is "tink, tink tink - plop".  The 1 corner of the block had a harline crack tyhat I hadn't noticed before and the whol corner had broken off rendering it impossible to tighten down the starter.  Luckliy I only live 5 mins away and a towtruck buddy flat bedded me home.  Hope you don't have the same problem!!  

Hey "400" - if I have this 350 tapped for a 3rd bolt what kind fo starter would I run anyhow?  

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400_th350_3.42
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 19
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/07/08 11:34 AM

WELL WE HAVE AN LOCAL HEMMITS ELECTRIC SPEEDSHOP BUT CHECK WITH SUMMIT. CAUSE SOME 350s COME STANDARD WITH 3 STARTER BOLT HOLES BECAUSE OF THAT PROBLEM.  

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waynep712
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Posts: 358
Joined: 12/07
Posted: 09/07/08 07:56 PM

to properly test the clearance of the starter pinion  vs ring gear... you have to pull the solenoid and spring off... install the starter with the converter dust cover off...

you can then see into the gap and measure it with a proper size of wire...

i have filed the tops on starters for years to get a perfect fit..   i usually try to find a new after market replacement starter nose cone and install it..( transpo-usa.com ).  some of the replacements are stronger...

there is also a brace that goes from the top stud on the motor case to the side of the block...    without this 5 buck part... the starters will not stay put..... it also has to be tight... with washers... not just a loose nut...

one last thing..   there are 2 different starter bolt threads...  3/8" -16   and  metric 10mm X 1.5 pitch...   if you put a metric bolt into a inch threaded block... it will break off the bolt and may crack the block... the starter holes in the housing are also different...    a inch type is part number 3510,, the metric is 3510M....

putting a metric starter on an early block will let the starter move around a *** and will grind and mess up almost every time...    the starter bolts may also need to be replaces... the knurl near the threads needs to fit tight in the starter housing to center the starter...   if a regular bolt is used.. or the knurl is flattened...  

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oldchev
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 10/08
Posted: 10/20/08 03:26 PM

Also try reading this superchev related article on this site:
Chevy Starter Tuning - Proper Engagement
Think Before You Start
writer: Mike Petralia.

Most of my experience with starter woes like the one described in this forum are related to flywheel/starter mismatch or out of round ring gear.  

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