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Thread: starter help!

  1. #1

    Default starter help!

    Hey guys. I am working with my buddy on his 68 jeep, it has a small block 400 in it. Its got starter issues.he's not to able so I've been helping him. So to start it off he asked if I could put a starter in a while back and I did. Not to long after that it chewed the teeth off the starter, so put another one in and same thing. So the nect one I shimmed it and work for a bit but then was acting like it wasn't coming in contact with the flywheel. So had that one checked, it came back as a bad starter,so im doing it again and got it shimmed and it sounds like its grinding. Ill push the starter button it spins sounds horrible, then let off the button, and push it again and it just clicks and push a time or two more and it starts to spin again. So I don't know what to do. Im freking lost.

  2. #2

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    Start by checking the fly wheel:
    You should be able to remove the bottom inspection plate and see if the flywheels chewed up and if its secure, you'll really need to yank on it to make sure none of the bolts have come loose and are allowing it to slip under pressure.
    Next check the bolt mounting flats on the engine, make sure they arent walloed out allowing movement and theres no cracks in the casting, not uncommon on old Chevy engines.
    Finally check the engine casting numbers and verify with a parts supplier that your getting the correct starter for that engine. The 400 block was used in passenger vehicles, light duty trucks, and heavy duty trucks, but all three were different, different compressions and sometimes even though they were 400's they had different bore and stroke to get to 400, truck engines made more grunt and needed a different starter to get them turned over verses a sedan engine that ran more on the top end.

  3. #3
    Sr. Apprentice DanPruski's Avatar
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    agreeing with tbplus10, definately need to check the flywheel. The last two starters may have eaten teeth from it making the starter miss it, or just not line up giving that horrible sound.

  4. #4

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    I checked the flywheel, no missing teeth. I did have a couple nicked teeth, very minor though.I checked my block numbers. Actually a 350, but I also went back to check part numbers and they all matched. Would a cracked bell houing bea problem. Been welded though,but cracked pretty bad.

  5. #5
    Sr. Apprentice DanPruski's Avatar
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    so flywheel was good and tight, the starter was the right part number for the 350 you have in it?
    and a cracked bell housing shouldnt cause much of s difference if it was welded back up.

  6. #6

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    Okay. So I don't really know what to do now.

  7. #7
    Sr. Apprentice DanPruski's Avatar
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    Okay, so when you shimmed it it worked for a little then started to make noise again? Maybe try a little less shimmin on it. It might be kicking the bendix past the fly wheel so it only hits the back edge.

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  8. #8

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    It can't kick it past the flywheel the starter nose cone has a little roller at the end and its just barely past the back edge of the. Flywheel.

  9. #9

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    A couple possibilites I'm thinking of here:
    The bell housing may have more cracks your not seeing and allowing it to flex when under pressure when the starter torqs.
    The repair may not be as strong as advertised and allowing flexing.
    Was the bellhousing squared and true when it was repaired? If not this could cause gear engagement issues, especially if things are flexing when pressure is applied.
    Is the bellhousing itself secure, no loose bolts?
    This sounds like an alignment issue and somethings off, knowing the bellhousing was repaired makes me think the issue is tied to that, I've never been a fan of repaired high stress areas. Why did it crack in the first place? A repair is gonna be more stable than solid metal?
    Aluminium is very hard to get a good clean weld on, I dont understand why they would repair it instead of replace it unless they didnt remove it to repair in which case if it was welded in place I'd suspect a contaminated weld since it's very hard to get all the grease and grime out of that area. The other possibility is it's an integrated bellhousing with an automatic trans and the weight of the engine or trans T case combo is causing some mis alignment due to loose or bad engine/trans/T case mounts and a bellhousing flexing under stress.
    You might want to look at pullin the T case and Trans and replacing the bellhousing.
    At the very least take a look at the drivetrain mounts.

  10. #10
    Sr. Apprentice DanPruski's Avatar
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    i was just saying that because i have seen starters kick the bendix past the flywheel before if it isnt the proper one and what not. I agree with tbplus10 though, replacing the bellhousing will save less headaches later down the road even if it doesnt fix this problem currently.

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