GM Camaro/Firebird 1993-1998 Repair Guide

Starter

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TESTING



No-Load Test

See Figure 1

  1. With the carbon pile "OFF", make connections as shown in the accompanying figure. Close the switch, adjust the carbon pile to get 10 volts, and compare with the following RPM, current and voltage readings
  2.  



3.4L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-45-75 amps, RPM at drive pinion-6,000-11,000 rpm
 
3.8L engine: No load test @ 11.5 volts-60-125 amps, RPM at drive pinion-2,900-3,400 rpm
 
5.7L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-65-95 amps, RPM at drive pinion-2,750-3,250 rpm
 
5.7L engine: No load test @ 11.5 volts-60-125 amps, RPM at drive pinion-2,900-3,400 rpm
 

  1. Rated current draw and no load speed indicates normal condition of the starter motor.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Starter motor no-load test connections

  1. Low free speed and high current draw indicates:

    Too much friction. Tight, dirty, or worn bushings, bent armature shaft allowing armature to drag.
     
    Shorted armature. This can be further checked on a growler after disassembly.
     
    Grounded armature or fields. Check further after assembly.
     

  2.  
  3. Failure to operate with high current draw indicates:

    A direct ground in the terminal or fields.
     
    "Frozen'' bearings.
     

  4.  
  5. Failure to operate with low or no current draw indicates:

    Open solenoid windings.
     
    Open field circuit. This can be checked after disassembly by inspecting internal connections and tracing the circuit with a test lamp.
     
    Open armature coils. Inspect the commutator for badly burned bar after disassembly.
     
    Broken brush springs, worn brushes, high insulation between the commutator bars of other causes which would prevent good contact between the brushes and commutator.
     

  6.  
  7. Low no-load speed and low current draw indicates:

    High internal resistance due to poor connections, defective leads, dirty commutator and causes listed under Step 6.
     

  8.  
  9. High free speed and high current drain usually indicate shorted fields. If shorted fields are suspected, replace the field and frame assembly. Also check for shorted armature using a growler.
  10.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 2 and 3

3.4L and 1993-95 5.7L Engines
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. If necessary for access to the starter, disconnect the exhaust crossover pipe from the manifolds.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the two starter mounting bolts/screws and carefully lower the starter motor.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Use a ratchet and socket extension to loosen ...



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Fig. Fig. 3: ... then remove the starter mounting bolts

  1. Making sure the note their positions, detach the electrical leads from the starter motor.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Loosen the retainers, then remove the wiring from the starter

  1. Remove the starter motor from the vehicle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Carefully lower the starter motor from the vehicle

To install:

Before attaching the electrical connectors, tighten the inner nuts on the solenoid terminals. If the nuts are not tight, the solenoid cap could be damaged during installation of the leads. Tighten the inner nut of the "BAT" terminal to 80 inch lbs. (9 Nm).

  1. Fasten the electrical leads to the starter motor assembly. Tighten the solenoid switch "BAT" terminal outer nut to 80 inch lbs. (9 Nm) and the "S" terminal nut to 22 inch lbs. (2.5 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Position the starter motor to the engine and install the retaining bolts/screws. Tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Measure the starter pinion-to-flywheel clearance and add shims, if necessary.
  6.  
  7. If removed, connect the exhaust crossover pipe to the manifolds.
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle, then connect the negative battery cable. Tighten the cable to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  10.  

3.8L & 1996-98 5.7L Engines
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the catalytic converter.
  6.  
  7. For the 3.8L engine, remove the starter shield by unfastening the shield bolts/screws and nut attaching the shield to the engine.
  8.  
  9. Unfasten the starter motor bolt/screw and stud from the starter and support the starter while you tag and detach or unscrew the wiring from the starter.
  10.  
  11. Lower the starter motor from the engine.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Starter motor mounting-3.8L and 5.7L engines shown, 3.4L similar to 3.8L engine



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Checking the starter pinion-to-flywheel clearance

To install:
  1. Position the starter and attach the electrical connections, as tagged during removal. Tighten the starter solenoid "BAT" terminal nut to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm) and the "S" terminal nut to 18 inch lbs. (2 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the starter motor bolt/screw and stud attaching the starter motor to the engine. Tighten the starter motor bolt/screw to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) and the stud to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  4.  


CAUTION
If shims were removed, they must be replaced to ensure proper pinion-to-flywheel engagement.

  1. Check the starter pinion-to-flywheel clearance and add shims, if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Install the catalytic converter.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with the 3.8L engine, install the starter shield and secure with the retaining nuts. Tighten the top bolt/screw to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm), the bottom bolt/screw to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm) and the starter shield nut to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable. Tighten the cable nut to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  10.  

 
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