Chevrolet Full Size Cars 1979-1989

Starter

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 If necessary disconnect the exhaust pipe(s) from the manifold(s) for access to the starter assembly



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Fig. Fig. 2 Once disconnected, the pipes should be suspended out of the way using wire or an old coat hanger



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Fig. Fig. 3 Although usually not necessary, the torque converter cover may be removed for additional access



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Fig. Fig. 4 Once the bolts are removed, the cover may be lowered from the transmission



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Fig. Fig. 5 The starter solenoid wiring should be tagged and disconnected



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Fig. Fig. 6 Various sized deep sockets will make disconnecting the wiring much easier



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Fig. Fig. 7 Loosen the start mounting bolts



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Fig. Fig. 8 Support the start and withdraw the bolts



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Fig. Fig. 9 Carefully tilt and lower the starter assembly from the vehicle

The starters on some engines require the addition of shims to provide proper clearance between the starter pinion gear and the flywheel. These shims are available in 0.015 in. sizes from Chevrolet dealers. Flat washers can be used if shims are unavailable.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  4.  
  5. If necessary for access, disconnect the exhaust front or crossover pipe from the manifold(s) and suspend out of the way using wire.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect all wiring from the starter solenoid. Replace each nut as the connector is removed, as thread sizes differ from connector to connector. Note or tag the wiring positions for installation purposes.
  8.  

If access to the wiring is difficult, the starter may be partially lowered before disconnecting it, but be careful not to stretch or damage the wiring.

  1. If equipped, remove the front bracket from the starter. On engines with a solenoid heat shield, remove the front bracket upper bolt and detach the bracket from the starter.
  2.  
  3. Remove the starter mounting bolts. If a starter shim tab can be seen protruding out from between the mating surfaces of the starter and the block, remove the outer bolt first, then loosen the inner bolt. With the outer bolt removed and the inner loosened, most shims may be grasped and pulled from the top of the starter at this point. Once the bolts are removed, lower the starter front end first, and remove the unit from the car.
  4.  

If no shim tab could be seen, yet shims or flat washers fall from the starter as it is withdrawn, stop and attempt to determine their locations. If possible, gather the shims for reuse during assembly. Shims without tabs must be positioned on the starter prior to installation, but the bolts may be held through the starter assembly in order to hold the shims in position.

To install:

  1. If flat washers or shims without tabs were found on removal, position them on top of the starter using the mounting bolts to hold them in position.
  2.  
  3. Position the starter to the engine block and loosely install the mounting bolts. If tabbed shims were withdrawn during removal, position them before the outer mounting bolt is threaded.
  4.  
  5. Once the starter and shims are properly positioned, tighten the two mounting bolts to 25-35 ft. lbs. (34-47 Nm).
  6.  
  7. If equipped, install the front bracket and/or heat shield to the starter assembly.
  8.  
  9. Attach the starter wiring to the solenoid, as noted during removal.
  10.  
  11. If disconnected, remove the wire support and fasten the exhaust pipe to the manifold(s).
  12.  
  13. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  

SHIMMING THE STARTER





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Fig. Fig. 10 Check the gap between the starter pinion and flywheel



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Fig. Fig. 11 Starter motor mounting V6 (left) engine and diesel (right) engine



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Fig. Fig. 12 Starter motor mounting inline six cylinder (top) and V8 engine with solenoid heat shield

Starter noise during cranking and after the engine fires is often a result of too much or tool little distance between the starter pinion gear and the flywheel. A high pitched whine during cranking (before the engine fires) can be caused by the pinion and flywheel being too far apart. Likewise, a whine after the engine starts (as the key is released) is often a result of the pinion-flywheel relationship being too close. In both cases flywheel damage can occur. Shims are available in 0.015 in. sizes to properly adjust the starter on its mount. In order to check and adjust the shims, you will also need a flywheel turning tool, available at most auto parts stores or from any auto tool store or salesperson.

If your car's starter emits the above noises, follow the shimming procedure below:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the torque converter cover on the bottom of the bell housing.
  6.  
  7. Using the flywheel turning tool, turn the flywheel and examine the flywheel teeth. If damage is evident, the flywheel should be replaced.
  8.  
  9. Insert a screwdriver into the small hole in the bottom of the starter, then move the starter pinion and clutch assembly so the pinion and flywheel teeth mesh. If necessary, rotate the flywheel so that a pinion tooth is directly in the center of the two flywheel teeth and on the centerline of the two gears, as shown in the accompanying illustration.
  10.  
  11. Check the pinion-to-flywheel clearance by using a 0.020 in. wire gauge (a spark plug wire gauge may work here, or you can make your own). Make sure you center the pinion tooth between the flywheel teeth and the gauge NOT in the corners, as you may get a false reading. If the clearance is under this minimum, shim the starter away from the flywheel by adding shim(s) one at a time to the starter mount. Check clearance after adding each shim.
  12.  
  13. If the clearance is a good deal over 0.020 in. (in the vicinity of a 0.050 in. plug), shim the starter towards the flywheel. Broken or severely mangled flywheel teeth are also a good indicator that the clearance here is too great. Shimming the starter towards the flywheel is done by adding shims to the outboard starter mounting pad only. Check the clearance after each shim is added. A shim of 0.015 in. at this location will decrease the clearance about 0.010 in.
  14.  



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Fig. Fig. 13 no caption



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Fig. Fig. 14 no caption

 
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