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Under pressure!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Alright here is the deal. Every since I put the new motor in my chevelle I have had nothing but hell with the starting system. I have gone through 5 starters and 2 flexplates trying to get this bullshit fixed and I am still having trouble. When you go to crank it, it sounds like the battery is low, even if you have the jumper cables hooked up to a running car, and the starter sounds like shit, real loud starter sound (Sounds like it needs shims) I have gone no shims, 3 shims, 2 shims, Still does it. I once put in one shim, it sounded just like a chevy should, and then I had to take off the starter to get to something and put it back like I took it off and it went back to sounding like shit even with that exact shim! I was thinking it is a ground problem?? I have 2 grounds off of the negative side of the battery, one smaller gauge going to the core support, and the other main ground going to the alternator bracket. If any one has any suggestions other than put a ford or any other motor in it I would appreciate it! :mad:
 

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IA2
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If the motor is grounded to the frame, hows the + battery cable to the starter look? The OEM ones tend to be pretty lame, especially if it's the original and is old.

I suppose you changed the soleniods along with the starter? If not, try a new solenoid. There is a brass contact in there that burns up over time.

Are you using the correct starter bolts? They should have a knurled section towards the bolt head; helps to locate the starter. You might also find or fab a starter brace for the back side of the starter to the block to keep the starter from squirming on the block.

Are you using the big or little GM starters? The little ones are gutless.
 

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Under pressure!!
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Discussion Starter #4
mikeb said:
If the motor is grounded to the frame, hows the + battery cable to the starter look? The OEM ones tend to be pretty lame, especially if it's the original and is old.

I suppose you changed the soleniods along with the starter? If not, try a new solenoid. There is a brass contact in there that burns up over time.

Are you using the correct starter bolts? They should have a knurled section towards the bolt head; helps to locate the starter. You might also find or fab a starter brace for the back side of the starter to the block to keep the starter from squirming on the block.

Are you using the big or little GM starters? The little ones are gutless.

I am using the regular GM th-350 starter....I am assuming you are supposed to measure the gap between the starter and the flywheel between the spacer at the end of the shaft on the starter and the teeth? if thats the case the little dowel rod that I got with the shim pack won't even fit. I have a brand new + wire and - wire....the starter is brand new, optima battery, brand new starter bolts. I Don't see a wire from the motor to the frame but I am pretty sure I remember putting one on there with the new motor!
 

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IA2
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The way to quickly measure is to remove the starter solenoid and then bolt the starter up. With your hand pull the plunger that goes into the solenoid backward; this will engage the starter gear with the flywheel. Unfold a paper clip and use it as a feeler gauge. You want to be able to get the paper clip into the area between the peak of a starter tooth and the valley between the flywheel teeth, kind of like this: -o>, where - is the peak of the starter gear tooth, "o" is the paper clip, and > is the valley between teeth on the flywheel. Adjust shims until the paper clip just fits.

GM made two basic kinds of old school starters, the "big" one and the "small" one. The big one is a heavy mofo; the frame and armature are bigger and it has more windings in it. Later GM starters were the "small" starters, they were physcially a bit smaller and had less windings (and less torque). I found this out on my firebird when the OEM 1979 "small" starter that came with the car would not turn over the new 11:1cr 455 that I put in it. The old parts guy knew about the starters and went and pulled the "big" one for me and it helped a lot. I presume that chevy starters are the same. Get the parts guy to pull several starters from various earlier years and compare, or go get a gear reduction ministarter and fix the problem altogether.

The brace at the back end of the starter to the block actually does help a lot too.
 

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Under pressure!!
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Discussion Starter #6
I was reading in this automotive electrical system book my dad gave me, and it said you can use a flathead screw driver insert it into a little slot on the starter and engage the teeth. I will try this here in a min and see how far off that starter really is. As far as the starter itself, it is was autozone computers said fits a 71 chevy truck with a 350 :confused: guess that is the "Big" one? I know the PG starter is "Bigger" I dunno if that is what you are talking about though...and it requires a different flywheel
 

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IA2
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If you manually engage the teeth be sure to disconnect the battery first.

The bigger vs. smaller starter has to do with the length and diameter of the black metal housing and the armature inside (ie: the motor itself); the aluminum starter cones interchange (at least on the pontiac/olds starters). Maybe the chevy stuff is different(?)
 

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Thats against the law Man
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This may sound simple... but I had this exact issue in my Chevelle. How much compression in that small block?

I had a 468 in mine, with just 11:1 compression....but when I first got it running it always acted like the battery was weak, starter dragging, and was very loud...after 2 (O'Reilly Special) stock style starters, I switched to a high-torque mini starter, and never looked back again. It sounded like a friggin jap car when it turned over, but always spun over fast with no issues.....I got the starter from a place called Alterstart Systems, they are over in Grand Prairie, off of Davis street. It was $90 with a warranty, and well worth every penny! Also would clock into about 8 different positions....so I was able to get it away from my headers....had some 2" primaries, so that was helpful too.

I've since unloaded the big block, and have that starter on a shelf....you are welcome to come borrow it, if you want to try it out before having to buy one. What size flex-plate (number of teeth)?
 

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Under pressure!!
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Discussion Starter #9
Rreemo said:
This may sound simple... but I had this exact issue in my Chevelle. How much compression in that small block?

I had a 468 in mine, with just 11:1 compression....but when I first got it running it always acted like the battery was weak, starter dragging, and was very loud...after 2 (O'Reilly Special) stock style starters, I switched to a high-torque mini starter, and never looked back again. It sounded like a friggin jap car when it turned over, but always spun over fast with no issues.....I got the starter from a place called Alterstart Systems, they are over in Grand Prairie, off of Davis street. It was $90 with a warranty, and well worth every penny! Also would clock into about 8 different positions....so I was able to get it away from my headers....had some 2" primaries, so that was helpful too.

I've since unloaded the big block, and have that starter on a shelf....you are welcome to come borrow it, if you want to try it out before having to buy one. What size flex-plate (number of teeth)?
the compression is anywhere from 10.5 to 11.1....would you be interested in selling that starter if it turns out that is what it is?? I have a friend that might have an extra mini starter I can borrow to see if it that is it or not.
 

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I did the same thing on my Chevelle, but used a stock starter from a new 1996 454. They came stock with the mini-high torque starters.

Autozone even took my old big honkin' starter for the core.
 

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A lot of advance will do this - you might try just putting a switch on the coil that doesn't let it spark. You hit the starter, it spins, you hit the switch, it starts. Buddy of mine ate several starters and plates, 2.95 at radio shack for a 15a single pole single throw later, it took care of it. Doubles as an anti-theft device if you hide the switch. For what it's worth - you could probably check this pretty quick by just disconnecting the coil and see if it will spin easier.
 

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Under pressure!!
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Discussion Starter #12
the advance has nothing to do with it, I bought a newer 454 gear reduction starter, I haven't installed it yet but I will today and post up what happens :(
 

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Thats against the law Man
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1BADCHEVELLE said:
the compression is anywhere from 10.5 to 11.1....would you be interested in selling that starter if it turns out that is what it is?? I have a friend that might have an extra mini starter I can borrow to see if it that is it or not.

Sorry for the delay...been out of town for spring break.

I suppose I'd sell that starter, I don't really have any use for it now...I'm planning to go LS1 in mine this next time around.
 

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UNFUCKWITHABLE
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Rreemo said:
Sorry for the delay...been out of town for spring break.

I suppose I'd sell that starter, I don't really have any use for it now...I'm planning to go LS1 in mine this next time around.


Have any pics of the chevelle? I'd like to see it :)


- Matt
 

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Under pressure!!
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Discussion Starter #15
here is a recent pic of mine
 

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Darkside
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I have heard horror stories about chevy's and starter alignment. But hell, I just bolt mine on with no shims, or problems. Keep up updated .......
 

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Call me crazy but have you check the timing. I have a 78 shortwide with a 454 and i was having that trouble and come to find out i had my timing to far advanced. I have mine around 14 degrees and broke about 4 starter shells, and 1 flywheel. I bought another starter (factory) and retarded my timin to about 10 or so and thats been 4 years ago and never had any trouble since. maybe that will work.
 

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Thats against the law Man
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Stroked71Bowtie said:
Have any pics of the chevelle? I'd like to see it :)


- Matt
I sold my orange hardtop late last year, minus the running gear...468 with a T56 behind it. Since then I parted out the BBC. Only reason I sold it was b/c I wanted a convertible in it's place. I found a really nice original 70 ragtop malibu a couple months later....after A LOT of looking, and had to go quite a ways out of state to get it, but was worth it....I'm working on it now. Here's a pic of it too....still getting jacked around on the 2 front wheels....they arrived damaged, and it has taken 5+ weeks to get another set! :(
 

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Arbeit Macht Frei
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Rreemo said:
I sold my orange hardtop late last year, minus the running gear...468 with a T56 behind it. Since then I parted out the BBC. Only reason I sold it was b/c I wanted a convertible in it's place. I found a really nice original 70 ragtop malibu a couple months later....after A LOT of looking, and had to go quite a ways out of state to get it, but was worth it....I'm working on it now. Here's a pic of it too....still getting jacked around on the 2 front wheels....they arrived damaged, and it has taken 5+ weeks to get another set! :(
Damn both of those are nice!

What wheels are on the rear of the vert? :cool:
 

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Thats against the law Man
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Thanks man. I worked on that hardtop for about 3 years before I got it where I wanted it...once it was done, I decided I'd like it better if it was a ragtop! I do miss it though....just wish I could have afforded to have them both.

The wheels I chose for the convertible are called Billet Vintiques, they are made by Wheel Vintiques....so far I'm pretty happy with the quality, they are 2-piece rotary forged. 18x9.5 on the rear with 295/35/18 tires, and 18x8 on the front with 255/40/18's.

http://www.newstalgiawheel.com/listproducts.asp?cat=10114

The bummer is that these wheels are made to order, so I had to wait 6 weeks for them to come in...then when they arrived, both fronts were heavily damaged...partly due to a very poor packaging job, and partly due to UPS being a bunch of destroyers.

Of course, I refused anything but 2 more brand new ones....I've been waiting another 5 weeks, and just yesterday 2 wheels arrived. However, once I unpacked them, I found that only one of them was another new one....the other one has been repaired, and you can see about a 5" long area where there is some very slight rash from some sort of tool used to fix it. Of course, I'm totally pissed after how much I paid for these....I've been dealing with the owner of Newstalgia Wheel, and he is telling me that I'll either have to wait another ~3 weeks for them to build another one, or he'll just refund me a couple hundred bucks if I'll keep this one.

Sucks man, I'm not sure what I'm going to do...the rash on it isn't bad, but it's still there....and I'm pretty picky about crap like that....especially at nearly $500 per wheel. However, I'm afraid if I take the chance, I may possibly end up waiting longer, and we're getting this car ready for Powertour...so I'm kind of on a deadline here.
 
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