GM Blazer/Jimmy/Typhoon/Bravada 1983-1993 Repair Guide

Starter

Print

The engine starter is usually located on the lower right-side (gasoline engines) or on the lower left-side (diesel engine). The diesel engine starter is a gear reduction type.

DIAGNOSIS



Before removing the starter for repair or replacement, check the condition of all circuit wiring for damage. Inspect all connections to the starter motor, solenoid, ignition switch, and battery, including all ground connections. Clean and tighten all connections as required.

Check all switches to determine their condition. Vehicles equipped with a manual transmission have a clutch safety switch attached to the clutch pedal bracket which closes when the clutch is depressed. Vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions have a manual interlock in the steering column which does not allow the ignition switch to turn to the start position unless the transmission is in the Park or Neutral position.

Check the battery to ensure that it is fully charged. For more information on battery service, please refer to General Information & Maintenance of this guide.

Check the battery cables for excessive resistance as follows:


CAUTION
To prevent possible injury from a moving vehicle or operating engine, engage the parking brakes, block the drive wheels, place the manual transmission in Neutral or the automatic transmission in Park, and disconnect the battery feed at the distributor before performing these tests.

  1. Check the voltage drop between the negative battery terminal and the vehicle frame by placing one lead of a voltmeter on the grounded battery post (not the cable clamp) and the other lead on the frame. Turn the ignition key to the START position and note the voltage drop.
  2.  
  3. Check the voltage drop between the positive battery terminal (not the cable clamp) and the starter terminal stud. Turn the ignition key to the START position and note the voltage drop.
  4.  
  5. Check the voltage drop between the starter housing and the frame. Turn the ignition key to the START position and note the voltage drop.
  6.  
  7. If the voltage drop in any of the above is more than 1.0 volts, there is excessive resistance in the circuit. Clean and retest all cables not within specification. Replace as necessary.
  8.  

No Load Test

See Figure 1



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Proper connections for the starter no-load test

Make the test connections as shown in the illustration. Close the switch and compare the rpm, current and voltage readings with the specification found on the chart located in this section.

  1. Current draw and no load speed within specifications indicates normal condition of the starter motor.
  2.  
  3. Low free speed and high current draw indicates worn bearings, a bent armature shaft, a shorted armature or grounded armature fields
  4.  
  5. Failure to operate with high current draw indicates a direct ground in the terminal or fields, or frozen bearings.
  6.  
  7. Failure to operate with no current draw indicates an open field circuit, open armature coils, broken brush springs, worn brushes or other causes which would prevent good contact between the commutator and the brushes.
  8.  
  9. A low no load speed and low current draw indicates high internal resistance due to poor connections, defective leads or a dirty commutator.
  10.  
  11. High free speed and high current draw usually indicate shorted fields or a shorted armature.
  12.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Rear Wheel Drive Trucks

See Figures 2, 3 and 4

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  

When necessary for access from underneath the truck, raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.

  1. On 2.5L engines, remove the brush end mounting bracket from the starter motor.
  2.  
  3. Tag and disconnect the solenoid wiring.
  4.  

If the wiring is difficult to access with the starter installed, remove the bolts and partially lower the starter for access to the wiring. If this is done, be careful not to stretch or damage the wiring.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Common starter mounting for early gasoline 4-cylinder engines

  1. Remove 1 of the starter mounting bolts, then support the starter and remove the other bolt.
  2.  
  3. Lower and remove the starter from the vehicle. Be careful, as the starter is heavier than it appears.
  4.  
  5. Note the position of any shims, if used, for installation purposes.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle (along with any shims which were removed) and support while threading the starter mounting bolts.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Starter mounting on the 2.2L diesel engine



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Common starter mounting on later model 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines

  1. Tighten the starter mounting bolts to 30-33 ft. lbs. (40-45 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Engage the starter solenoid wiring as noted during removal.
  4.  
  5. On 2.5L engines, install the brush end mounting bracket.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

FOUR WHEEL DRIVE TRUCKS

See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

When necessary for access from underneath the truck, raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  

On some vehicles access to the wiring may be easier from above. Before raising and supporting the vehicle, check to see if the solenoid wiring is accessible. If so, tag and disconnect it at this time.

  1. On 2.5L engines, remove the brush end mounting bracket from the starter motor.
  2.  
  3. Tag and disconnect the solenoid wiring.
  4.  

If the wiring is difficult to access with the starter installed, remove the bolts and partially lower the starter for access to the wiring. If this is done, be careful not to stretch or damage the wiring.

  1. If not done already, raise and support the front of the truck safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, loosen the retaining bolts and remove the skid plate.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retainers and the brackets holding the brake line to the crossmember located just behind the oil pan. Reposition the brake line slightly in order to clear the crossmember.
  6.  
  7. Remove the crossmember retaining bolts, there are usually 3 on each side, then carefully lower the crossmember and remove it from the vehicle for access.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Loosen the brake line bracket-to-crossmember retaining bolts



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Reposition the brake line away from the crossmember taking care not to damage the line

  1. As applicable and necessary, remove the bracket holding the transmission fluid cooler lines to the flywheel housing, brace rod to the flywheel housing and/or the lower flywheel housing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the starter-to-engine block bolts. When removing the last bolt, be sure to support the starter to keep it from falling and possibly injuring you.
  4.  

On some vehicles, even with the crossmember removed, clearance for starter removal is tight. As the starter is lowered, it may be necessary to rotate it upside down in order for the end to clear the motor mount, then lower the nose behind the bell housing and rotate it back so the solenoid is on top and the starter may be removed.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Loosen and remove the crossmember bolts



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Begin lowering the crossmember from the vehicle, being careful not to snag the brake line

  1. Carefully lower the starter and shims (if equipped) from the vehicle.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle (along with any shims which were removed) and support while threading the starter mounting bolts. Tighten the starter mounting bolts to 30-33 ft. lbs. (40-45 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If removed, install the lower flywheel housing.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, install the transmission cooler line bracket and/or the brace rod to the housing.
  6.  
  7. Install the crossmember to the frame and secure using the retaining bolts.
  8.  
  9. Carefully reposition the brake line and secure to the crossmember using the retaining brackets.
  10.  
  11. If equipped, install and secure the skid plate.
  12.  
  13. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the truck.
  14.  
  15. For the 2.5L engine, install the brush end mounting bracket.
  16.  
  17. Connect the solenoid wiring as noted during removal.
  18.  
  19. Connect the negative battery cable.
  20.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Once the crossmember is clear of the brake line, remove it from the vehicle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Loosen and remove starter retaining bolts



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Carefully lower the starter from the vehicle

SHIMMING THE STARTER



See Figure 12

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 various 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.

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



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Checking the gap between the starter pinion and flywheel

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the torque converter/flywheel cover from 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.  

Most starters are equipped with an access hole in which a small screwdriver or prybar may be inserted to push the starter pinion outward into contact with the flywheel.

  1. 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.
  2.  

Normal pinion-to-flywheel clearance is about 0.01-0.06 in. (0.5-1.5mm).

  1. Check the pinion-to-flywheel clearance by using a 0.020 in. (0.5mm) 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 0.04 in. (1mm) shims one at a time to the starter mount. Check clearance after adding each shim, but do not use more than 2 shims.
  2.  
  3. If the clearance is over 0.060 in. (1.5mm), 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. Add 0.013 in. (0.33mm) shims at this location, one at a time, but do NOT add a total of more than 4 shims.
  4.  

SOLENOID REPLACEMENT



See Figure 13

Most vehicles covered by this repair guide are equipped with replaceable solenoids. In all cases, the starter must first be removed from the vehicle for access.

Gasoline Engines
  1. Remove the starter and place it on a workbench.
  2.  
  3. Remove the screw and the washer from the motor connector strap terminal.
  4.  
  5. Remove the two solenoid retaining screws.
  6.  
  7. Twist the solenoid housing clockwise to remove the flange key from the keyway in the housing and remove.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Place the return spring on the plunger and place the solenoid body on the drive housing.
  2.  
  3. Turn solenoid counterclockwise to engage the flange key.
  4.  
  5. Install the two retaining screws, then install the screw and washer which secures the strap terminal.
  6.  
  7. Install the starter on the vehicle.
  8.  

Diesel Engine
  1. Remove the starter from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the two screws from the drive housing and separate the drive housing from the solenoid.
  4.  
  5. Remove the two pinion gears, then remove the overrunning clutch and retainer.
  6.  
  7. Remove the return spring from the solenoid.
  8.  
  9. Remove the steel ball from the overrunning clutch.
  10.  
  11. Installation is the reverse of removal.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Starter Specifications

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo