98 Suburban- how many teeth your gear sprocket?? Mine 9 some 11

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by phoebeisis, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Does anyone know which when Chevy GM went to the smaller starter with the 11 tooth pinion starter?
    My 1998 suburban 2wd 1/2 ton has the bigger starter with a 9 tooth gear.
    I have manage to end up with 2 wrong starters with 11 tooth gears.
    They are smaller in diameter-and obviously have the wrong # of teeth.I have looked them up online
    These sources claim my 1998-and many other 5.7 7.4's take this 11 tooth starter
    One number associated with the wrong ones is 4996 I think

    So any idea what takes these wrong starters which I'm going to have to sell?
    One is a genuine OEM REMY- NEW tag- with extremely low use on it-looks new- nice starter
    The other is a typical cheapo $59 new starter- probably chinese who knows.

    Another aside-can you even get replacement brushes for starters?? Can't find them mentioned at Auto Zones web site
    Buddy tells me I probably just need new brushes- might just have mine rebuilt if I can find a local rebuilder
    Hate to lose my pretty good starter and get an Iffy AZ one(had problems with AZ rebuilds)
  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Have you checked to see if the 9 tooth gear can be put on the OEM Delco Remy starter? If that works I'd go that way.
    For brushes I'd look for an automotive electrical shop, probably even let them rebuild the starter, been a while since I had one rebuilt but they were cheaper than a replacement starter.
    The Shop I use locally made a set of new brushes for my Tacoma a few years ago, didnt take him long, 1/2 hour, and even though under normal circumstances I could buy an OEM Toyota starter rebuild kit for $25 it was a Saturday night and I wasnt getting OEM parts until Monday morning.
  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thanks for the reply. I know it must be annoying to watch my mis-steps on this-
    But when you are broke-in debt- you keep trying to chase every nickel-and you make some mistakes trying to cheapout.

    No it won't fit.The seller of the OEM REMY one is a nice guy.He told me it was 11 teeth- but that it came off a 1998 Suburban-
    and he assured me he would give me all my $$ back and refund both shipping if it wasn't useable.
    I don't have it in me to screw him like that since I should have know better- but we both figured 98 Suburban 5.7-should match up??!!
    1)Maybe the 3/4 ton got different starters-
    2)or maybe later in the model year they switched to the smaller starter(mine was built in 1997)-
    3)or maybe it was actually a 98 van he got it off-
    4)or maybe the ones made in Mexico(like mine) got the different starter later than the made in USA ones???
    I just don't know-buddy of mine says GM went to the high torque MINI starter about 1998 or so???
    These smaller starters are tiny- just 7 lbs(weighed it)- mine is probably 11 lbs or so(didn't weight it- but much heavier-bigger)

    I was kinda planing to do just what you suggest-take the drive 9 tooth drive off mine and put it on the like new 11 tooth one.
    But the 11 tooth one is waaaay different- waaaay smaller and the flange where it goes "into the engine" is too small-won't match up at all-hopeless.
    Now it will bolt up to it, but it wouldn't be supported on the flywheel side.

    I'll hunt up a rebuild kit-and see if this local shop can rebuild it-don't really trust most shops to not screw me, so my first plan is to get a look at the brushes-buddy says it is probably them and it will be easy to see if they are worn out-and easy to replace
    I did have some recent luck today- just sold a Model 38 S&W $310 at a local gun show- not a great price-like new- but need the $$ so happy to get it

    PS Would love to find out when GM actually switched to the tiny starters-they are smaller in all dimensions but distinctly smaller in diameter.
    I will eventually be able to sell both these wrong starters-heck I aspire to eventually buy a 2004 Suburban-love to keep this really nice starter for it if it fit the 5.3.
    The wrong REMY should be a relatively easy Craigs list sale- lotta folks prefer lightly used OEM to cheapo new Chinese-heck the OEM might be made in China- but it will have had better QC anyway
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Finally figured out the WHY of the 9 tooth 11 eooth
    The tiny 11 tooth starters have a REDUCTION gear set inside.
    My bigger heavier 9 tooth is direct drive.
    Now I don't know if the 11 tooth will mesh with my flywheel-I'll have to carefully eyeball and measure the tooth spacing
    So I don't know if they interchange
    We'll see

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