Chevrolet Full-size Cars 1968-1978 Repair Guide

Starter

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Fig. Fig. 1 no caption

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 2 Exploded view of the starter motor mounting on the (from top to bottom) inline six-cylinder, small block V8 and big block V8 engine with solenoid heat shield



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Fig. Fig. 3 If the support rod is in the way, use wrenches to unfasten ...



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Fig. Fig. 4 ... then remove the bolt(s) and the nut(s) from the frame



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Fig. Fig. 5 Once both ends of the support rod are free, remove the rod



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Fig. Fig. 6 Remove these exhaust support bracket bolts (if equipped)



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Fig. Fig. 7 Confirm that the battery cables are disconnected, then label and remove all wires at the starter



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Fig. Fig. 8 This starter support bracket, located at the front of the starter, must also be removed



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Fig. Fig. 9 Loosen the two starter-to-engine block attaching bolts and ...



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Fig. Fig. 10 ... remove them, along with any brackets that they may hold in place



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Fig. Fig. 11 Push the starter away from the transmission, then lower it through the space at the lower control arm

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" 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.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect all wiring from the starter. Replace each nut as the connector is removed, as thread sizes differ from connector to connector. Note or tag the wiring positions for installation.
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  7. Remove the front bracket from the starter and the two mounting bolts. On engines with a solenoid heat shield, remove the front bracket upper bolt and detach the bracket from the starter.
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  9. Remove the front bracket bolt or nut. Lower the starter front end first, and then remove the unit from the vehicle.
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  11. Reverse the removal procedures to install the starter. Torque the two mounting bolts to 25-35 ft. lbs.
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SHIMMING THE STARTER





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Fig. Fig. 12 Check the starter pinion-to-flywheel gap at this point if noise develops



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Fig. Fig. 13 Typical view of shimming the starter to increase or decrease starter pinion-to-flywheel gap

Starter noise during cranking and after the engine fires is often a result of too much or too 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. You will also need a flywheel turning tool, available at most auto parts stores or from any auto tool store or salesperson.

If your vehicles starter emits the above noises, follow the shimming procedure below:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the flywheel inspection cover on the bottom of the bellhousing.
  4.  
  5. Using the flywheel turning tool, turn the flywheel and examine the flywheel teeth. If damage is evident, the flywheel should be replaced.
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  7. Insert a suitable tool 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.
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  9. 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.
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  11. 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.
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