Author Topic: Starter not Engaging  (Read 265 times)

Offline Spool

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Starter not Engaging
« on: June 26, 2019, 12:10:16 PM »
Hi Guys.
73' C20 Here.

I went to turn the truck on and my starter sounded like a dentist drill.
Battery is getting 12.8 volts.
Starter passed the Bench Test, but was under warranty so I swapped it out anyway.

Replaced the new starter and the truck started.
Turned the truck off and went to turn it back on just to test and the dentist drill sound came back.
I tried shimming; half shim on the outer side to push the gear closer to the flywheel, but had the same result: She started once, but not again.

Note: I've only had one bolt (inner bolt) holding the starter in place for the four years that I've owned the truck.
Last year, I found that the outer bolt had been snapped off and it needs to be tapped out.

Any ideas why it's now not engaging for some reason?

Thanks in advance.

Online bd

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 04:47:40 PM »
Inspect the condition of the teeth on the flexplate/flywheel ring gear.  They may be ground off.  And, replace that broken starter bolt.  You are lucky it lasted this long.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know, until you know it....
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 06:40:54 PM »
Starter bolts are not like regular ones, they have a wider shank that us just under the ID of the mounting holes in the starter housing.

As such it' positions the starter in alignment with the flywheel.

If you only have one bolt (LOL lucky dog!) that is your problem, misalignment.

Offline Spool

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 05:48:35 PM »
Thanks guys.
Yeah, I had one bolt since I bought the truck in Dec of 2014.
(I had no idea until it died and needed replacing in August of last year... Amazing it's worked this long.)

I'm attaching photos of what I'm dealing with, and the tools I plan to use as I've never tapped a bolt before and want to ensure I don't make a mistake.

1. The snapped bolt is a clean snap. The surface is flat, and is about 1/2'' deep into the block.
2. I'll punch the center with a nail.
3. Drill a small pilot hole with a 1/8'' metal bit.
4. Use a tap that's designed for 5/16'' - 3/8''
5. And hopefully be on my way.

Also, my service manual shows there is a 3rd bolt with a bracket that should be in place... I've never had this bracket. Any personal recommends on a vendor to purchase one?

Any suggestions or words of caution/confidence would be greatly appreciated.

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 03:38:09 PM »
You're on the right track. 

Have you tried to spin it out with a sharp object?

Sometimes a light tapping on the rem will loosen it and you can coax it out if you find a point of contact.

If that not productive, go slow on the pilot.

Just saying but if you had that bracket (which I've never seen in 40 years of wrenching) you could forgo the second bolt.

Can say where you might find one...

Offline fitz

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 07:14:12 PM »
That bolt in the picture doesn't look like a GM starter bolt.

Online bd

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 08:49:46 PM »
I'm attaching photos of what I'm dealing with, and the tools I plan to use as I've never tapped a bolt before and want to ensure I don't make a mistake.

1. The snapped bolt is a clean snap. The surface is flat, and is about 1/2'' deep into the block.
2. I'll punch the center with a nail.
3. Drill a small pilot hole with a 1/8'' metal bit.
4. Use a tap that's designed for 5/16'' - 3/8''
5. And hopefully be on my way.

Also, my service manual shows there is a 3rd bolt with a bracket that should be in place... I've never had this bracket. Any personal recommends on a vendor to purchase one?

I agree with fitz and JohnnyPopper.  Starter bolts are generally flange head Grade 8 with knurled shafts for starter alignment (image).  That said, a nail may be too soft to make a centering dimple for drilling the end of the bolt.  You will probably need an actual center punch, or better yet, a transfer punch (second image) that will automatically center itself in the hole - fairly inexpensive from Harbor Freight and handy for various fabrication projects.  You will probably need a 7/32" drill bit for that 3/8" starter bolt, but follow the recommendation of the extractor tool manufacturer.  If you use an appropriately sized left-hand drill bit and reversible drill motor the bolt stub may readily back out while you are drilling the pilot hole.  Rinse the bolt hole with some aerosol carb/brake cleaner or starter fluid then saturate it with some good penetrating oil the night before you plan to drill it out.  Watch out for sharp edges and clean the flange of the block, verifying a flat mounting surface before installing the starter.  Inspect the aluminum nose of the starter and the bolt hole bosses for cracks.

Wear safety goggles to keep solvent, metal shavings, greasy debris, dropped tools and elbows out of your eyes!

Regarding the missing starter end support, you may find one at a local wrecking yard but they are easily fabricated from some 3/4" angle using a hack saw, drill and welder.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know, until you know it....
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2019, 02:08:08 PM »
MAN...I have transfer punch envy now! Got to get me some of those! Thx, BD.

Offline Spool

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 03:23:56 PM »
Man, those Transfer Punches would have been perfect! Beautiful tool.

I was successful in tapping out the bolt, and installing the starter again.
A little tricky getting my tool in there, so I had to remove a metal cover that was just under the flywheel.

I ended up using no shims. (I've always had one shim in place since I've owned it.)
The truck starts perfect, no delay, and no noises from the starter.

Thank you guys.
I've attached a picture of the little guy that was hiding in the block all these years.

Now, the news I don't want to admit...
I revved my engine in celebration afterwards and currently have a horrific clanking noise like a woodpecker coming from my block.
I've made a new post here for it
http://forum.73-87chevytrucks.com/smforum/index.php?topic=37561.0

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Starter not Engaging
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 04:56:57 PM »
Nice job, grab a beer!