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Username Post: Starter to block bracket?? Need help here.....        (Topic#303731)
Pauls56BelAir 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1115
Pauls56BelAir
Loc: Eastern TN
Reg: 05-30-04
10-16-13 01:18 PM - Post#2391468    

I've been having starter issues with my Bel Air. It's a '74 350 block. The flywheel is a 14" 168 tooth, 10.4" clutch. I've had issues with two different mini-PMGR starters that cross-reference to a mid 90's half ton pickup. The starter starts sometimes, makes the horrible grind noise other times. Two years ago this issue yielded a broken starter housing and bent bolts. I added shims to the new starter, which worked for a little while, but the problem is back. I have the correct bolts with knurled shank.

Where's the root of this problem? The flywheel possibly? I did some searching in the performance forum and found mention of a bracket that somehow connects the front of the starter to the block, but I have no idea what that looks like, my setup doesn't have it. Is the lack of this bracket causing the starter to rotate lenghtwise away from the flywheel?

Any help here is greatly appreciated!

Paul Wallace
56 Bel Air 2dr Sedan 350/TKO 600
'54 3100 "Phred"

9/11/2001 Never Forget.
Anything is possible when you don't know what you're talking about.


 


Bowtie Jim 
Contributor
Posts: 501
Bowtie Jim
Loc: OK
Reg: 05-07-03
10-16-13 01:54 PM - Post#2391479    
    In response to Pauls56BelAir

I have had a lot of problems with mini starters. That said do you have the correct bolts in the starter? Correct bolts have a shoulder on them and knurled to keep the starter tight. Yes the bracket is an important part of it to. But don't remember if it will work with the mini starter. The good old Delco starter is damn near bulletproof but maybe you have a clearance issue??

Get in sit down shut up hold on



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4326

Reg: 12-29-02
10-16-13 01:59 PM - Post#2391481    
    In response to Pauls56BelAir

The bracket might help in that situation. This should give you a start towards finding one. Click "Web" if you want to get some links to places like Summit selling them.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=gm+starter+su pport+...

You'll probably need new bolts again if the starter has shifted and is acting up. Heck, the starter may even be damaged now.

Did you check the shimming of the new starter for proper engagement? Typically, you can use a 1/8" drill bit and see if the shank will go between the flywheel teeth and the starter shaft. Another way to test is to engage the gear and see if a paperclip will go between the teeth.




 
motorman 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5189
motorman
Loc: south western pa.
Reg: 01-25-00
10-16-13 02:06 PM - Post#2391482    
    In response to Pauls56BelAir

too much initial timing and the engine "kicking back" will cause this problem

retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector. new corvettes owned 1959,1962,1963,1964,1965, 1966,1997,1999,2002,2005, 2008 plus 30+ other chevy cars and trucks along the way. 2008 corvette sold and waiting on a C-7.


 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-16-13 02:33 PM - Post#2391491    
    In response to motorman

I don't think there is a bracket compatible with the mini starter, and I'm throwing out a guess here but I don't think they would need it either. They're considerably lighter and I imagine they don't need any extra support at the front like the old style full size starter.

Last time I saw a mini that was grinding, I discovered one of the bolt holes in the guy's block had a crack around it. This was on an engine that previously they had installed the mini with the longer bolts from a full size starter, and had used washers to take up the slack. The mini walked and broke the nosecone, which was the obvious damage, but I guess the hacks working on it didn't notice (or ignored) the crack around the bolt hole, too.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
Posts: 17403
grumpyvette
Age: 71
Loc: FLORIDA USA
Reg: 03-16-01
10-16-13 03:07 PM - Post#2391502    
    In response to someotherguy

BTW on some starters you have the option of installing a BRACKET to make it far more rigid, if you have that option its smart to instal the brace/bracket



IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-16-13 03:26 PM - Post#2391508    
    In response to grumpyvette

I've never seen that kind of bracket on an OEM permanent magnet gear reduction starter. And they are shorter than an old school starter, so there may be nothing to attach the bracket to the block.

My guess is that the grinding problems would be solved with a proper shimming between the starter and the block.

The other thing is that the 90s starters use similar knurled bolts to the ones for traditional starters, but they are a different length. If you don't have the right knurled bolts, that's a problem too.



 
someotherguy 
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someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-16-13 03:36 PM - Post#2391514    
    In response to Rick_L

I've seen a lot of the minis with the wrong bolts, because it seemed like for a while you couldn't find them in the aftermarket. They're out there now though. Used to see crap like this all the time, which is murder on the starter and the block.



Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3680

Reg: 04-15-05
10-16-13 05:43 PM - Post#2391555    
    In response to grumpyvette

grumpy, it almost looks like that bracket pictured ON the engine (2nd pic), was/is designed for both large diameter, and mini starters, as it has two starter holes on the low end. Is that an OEM GM bracket, or, one you ended up making?

I have always advocated using the correct bolts, AND an end support, and, setting the gear lash between starter pinion and ring gear, by removing the solenoid and spring, mounting the starter in place, and physically pulling the Bendix into engagement, checking the lash with a paper clip as a gauge, shimming to get correct lash.



 
Bowtie Jim 
Contributor
Posts: 501
Bowtie Jim
Loc: OK
Reg: 05-07-03
10-16-13 10:20 PM - Post#2391629    
    In response to someotherguy

Mmmm I thought tthey were 3/8 bolts

Get in sit down shut up hold on



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-17-13 12:08 AM - Post#2391631    
    In response to Bowtie Jim

  • Bowtie Jim Said:
Mmmm I thought tthey were 3/8 bolts


Yes, 3/8" bolt, but the length being one of the important factors - the GM mini takes a 4-5/16" long bolt. The full size and "mid size" (those weird starters from the 90's that are similar to a full size just a little shorter) take a longer bolt.

I make the point because I've seen the wrong bolts used with a mini more times than I can count, and the results are often catastrophic. That mini has a lot of power and letting it walk around on the block is a disaster waiting to happen.

As an afterthought, and this is probably a long shot, but if the correct bolts are being used and it's still walking around - could be due to worn bolts that have gotten too "skinny" at the knurl, or a worn nosecone on a rebuild or old starter that has walked around previously and egged out the holes so the bolts aren't a tight fit. Possible, but dunno how probable. Worth checking that the bolts fit tightly into the starter though.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4326

Reg: 12-29-02
10-17-13 08:47 AM - Post#2391721    
    In response to someotherguy

Isn't the back bolt in your picture just a standard bolt? That's even a worse thing to do then using washers. At least with the longer bolt the knurled shank is still in the correct location to help locate the starter. The washers reduce the ability of the bolt to clamp the starter in position.





 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-17-13 08:57 AM - Post#2391725    
    In response to 65_Impala

I'm not sure what the point of your line of questioning - neither of the bolts in the picture are correct.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
models916 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4785

Age: 68
Loc: Addison, IL
Reg: 05-28-10
10-17-13 09:04 AM - Post#2391731    
    In response to someotherguy

Remove the bolts and roll them on the ground to be sure they are not bent. If the engine kicks back and you have grade 8 bolts you could bust the rear ear on the block or break the nose of the mini starter. Better to bend the bolt. I think the HELP type of bolt package contains 3 grade 5 knurled bolts for Chevrolet v8. Some of the metric motors with the mini starter used a plain bolt and a split sleeve to space the starter nose.



Edited by models916 on 10-17-13 09:06 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Pauls56BelAir 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1115
Pauls56BelAir
Loc: Eastern TN
Reg: 05-30-04
10-21-13 07:45 PM - Post#2392974    
    In response to models916

Thanks for the suggestions and help as always!

I have the correct bolts for this starter, I had to source them from a local Chevy dealer as FLAPS didn't have the right ones. They have the shoulders and knurling with no added washers or any silliness like that. I'll pull the bolts out this weekend and see if they're still true.

Motorman- That's a great suggestion, I'm definitely gonna try that one first! In light of how this problem has shown up, it may be the root cause the more I think about it.

I'll post pics of anything I find. Keeping fingers crossed that the block isn't cracked.



Paul Wallace
56 Bel Air 2dr Sedan 350/TKO 600
'54 3100 "Phred"

9/11/2001 Never Forget.
Anything is possible when you don't know what you're talking about.


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3680

Reg: 04-15-05
10-22-13 04:39 PM - Post#2393223    
    In response to Pauls56BelAir

Paul, just make sure the bolts fit tightly into the holes in the starter nose, so they will hold the starter aligned firmly. Then, use, make, what ever the end support, that should help with it.



 
Pauls56BelAir 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1115
Pauls56BelAir
Loc: Eastern TN
Reg: 05-30-04
10-23-13 10:07 AM - Post#2393372    
    In response to IgnitionMan

Thanks again everyone.....Here's my latest update:

Pulled the starter out this morning and here's what I found.....





The bolts bent ever so slightly and the nose of the starter body has cracked down the middle. The bendix appears to have not been engaging the flywheel enough, but I can't tell if that's from after the bolts bent or not. The flywheel ring is showing about half-depth lengthwise wear, indicating either the bendix isn't extending far enough out or the flywheel is too far away, as if the flywheel is shimmed away from the crank (it's not). Thankfully, the block does not appear to be cracked. Dodged a bullet there....

I had a .020 shim in it which worked for a while, but eventually the grinding started happening. As little as I drive the car, this problem would have started happening within a week or two on a daily driver.

So far, the first thing I'll try is the timing. Where can I source one of those brackets? I've got to get this thing to quit eating starters.

Paul Wallace
56 Bel Air 2dr Sedan 350/TKO 600
'54 3100 "Phred"

9/11/2001 Never Forget.
Anything is possible when you don't know what you're talking about.


 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-23-13 11:51 AM - Post#2393403    
    In response to Pauls56BelAir

I'll say it again, I don't think the minis ever utilized a support bracket in the front. That's a fullsize starter thing (as pictured by grumpy.) I'm sure you could fab one but it shouldn't be necessary.

That's some pretty dramatic damage, but far better to break a starter that can be replaced for $55 than to damage the block or PITA-to-replace flexplate/flywheel.

Just out of curiosity, I see it's a NAPA rebuilt. If you get a new set of starter bolts (which apparently you will need) and try dropping them in the broken starter, are they tight in those holes or loose?

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
sz0k30 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 443
sz0k30
Loc: Oakland Co., Michigan
Reg: 10-12-08
10-23-13 12:05 PM - Post#2393407    
    In response to Pauls56BelAir

Mini starters don't need front braces. I have 3 big block and 1 small block cars with mini starters, no front braces and have never had any problems with any of them.



Edited by sz0k30 on 10-23-13 12:07 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3680

Reg: 04-15-05
10-23-13 04:15 PM - Post#2393481    
    In response to sz0k30

I disagree on mini starters NOT needing the front stay, what you get from NOT using one, is pictured above.

Also, correct backlash is essential for proper long life of the starter. I do this to check mine. Regular paper clip, not a giant sized one. Remove the solenoid and spring, so you can engage the starter pinion gear into the ring gear, and pull it in. Use the paper clip to adjust the backlash to allow the paper clip to just easily come between the pinion and ring gear teeth. Shim to get this distance. Done, put it back together and drive it.



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-23-13 04:40 PM - Post#2393494    
    In response to IgnitionMan

Hi Dave, do you have a part # for a support bracket for a mini, or a picture of an OEM application with one?

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-23-13 04:55 PM - Post#2393499    
    In response to IgnitionMan

  • Quote:
I disagree on mini starters NOT needing the front stay, what you get from NOT using one, is pictured above.



I can't argue that it's not a possible help with absolutely no downside except one.

Show me an installation with one, with a source for the parts. I've never seen one.



 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3680

Reg: 04-15-05
10-23-13 06:05 PM - Post#2393537    
    In response to Rick_L

I have seen them on trucks, don't know any GM p/n.

I also do know that in a long conversation with jack Isom, of IMI Manufacturing, a high volume mini starter manufacturer some years ago, at his shop in Whittier, California, we both agreed, mini starters, of which, even the ones he manufacture, definitely needed the end brace.

I don't know if Jack's place manufactured an end support bracket, either.

I am a very big fabricate it for myself kind of person, and I have always just made one if I needed one, because, even with a regular starter, more people than not toss them away.

Just because a starter motor has a smaller outer diameter, and may well weight somewhat less, doesn't mean that it doesn't need the end support.



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-23-13 09:05 PM - Post#2393584    
    In response to IgnitionMan

If the need was there then the product would exist - and almost surely exist in OEM form. Of every single mini equipped vehicle I've owned or worked on, none have had an end support bracket. If they do exist I'd love to see one and be able to direct people as to where to purchase this bracket. There's a practically uncountable number of vehicles out there without one; that I can guarantee.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3680

Reg: 04-15-05
10-24-13 08:49 AM - Post#2393701    
    In response to someotherguy

Not to cause any issues, but, I wonder just how many of them have had, do now have starter physical mount/body issues, and, replacements installed from physical mounting failures.

I remember Isom being extremely strong in the end support addition, and, I still agree with him, which is why I still make my own for every one I do.

If there is an error factor in all this, I'd opt, as I do now, to build one for every unit installed, if a factory, or aftermarket support weren't available. I make end supports for every starter I do, including non-GM ones.

I just call it "enhanced insurance".



 
busterrm 
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busterrm
Loc: Wichita Falls, Tx
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10-24-13 03:22 PM - Post#2393793    
    In response to IgnitionMan

  • IgnitionMan Said:
I disagree on mini starters NOT needing the front stay, what you get from NOT using one, is pictured above.

Also, correct backlash is essential for proper long life of the starter. I do this to check mine. Regular paper clip, not a giant sized one. Remove the solenoid and spring, so you can engage the starter pinion gear into the ring gear, and pull it in. Use the paper clip to adjust the backlash to allow the paper clip to just easily come between the pinion and ring gear teeth. Shim to get this distance. Done, put it back together and drive it.

I agree with Iman on this, I have had that problem once, but not again, and a few guys in the Nova club have also. The front stay is a must for mini starters. Again, I agree with Iman on the ring and pinion adjustment, shim it until you have a paperclip sliding between them, with the bendix engaged, and it will do fine. I do use a rear bracket also, that I had to fab myself. But, if your engine is out of the car on a stand its rather easy to do. If not, do you have a friend with an engine on a stand and do the measuring and fabbing on that one. Also, I know its a PITA, but if your flexplate has unusual wear I would replace it. Flexplates are know to eat starters also.


==== BOB ====
If I can't smoke the tires I want more!

1976 Chevy Nova
2007 Chevy 1500 1/2 ton
2017 Harley Davidson XL1200 Sportster
2018 Nissan Versa Note


 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4326

Reg: 12-29-02
10-24-13 03:36 PM - Post#2393800    
    In response to IgnitionMan

I've seen pictures of mini-starters with a stud similar to the big starters. Could that be suggesting the manufacturer thinks a brace is a good idea? A brace would be easy to fabricate and it could help in this application that has already been having starter issues.

Here are a couple of starters whose pictures show studs that could be used for a brace.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Powermaster-9200- SB-BB-Che...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-CHEVY-305-350 -454-HIGH...






 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-24-13 04:06 PM - Post#2393816    
    In response to 65_Impala

Yes but what do you connect the other end of the brace to? If you connect it where the old school starter's brace went, the brace is going to have to make a horizontal run as well as the usual vertical run. And that alone makes it less stiff.

If this is such a big deal, there must be an example somewhere.



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4326

Reg: 12-29-02
10-24-13 04:18 PM - Post#2393819    
    In response to Rick_L

You run it on a bit of an angle. Why would that be so hard?



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 29019
someotherguy
Age: 49
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-24-13 05:20 PM - Post#2393830    
    In response to 65_Impala

The stud is for the heat shield. Not saying you couldn't use it for a bracket, but the shield is why the stud is there.



Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 


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