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kalamykid
kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4448
Experience:  I HAVE OWNED MY OWN SHOP FOR OVER THREE YEARS. I HAVE THE TOOLS AND SOFTWARE TO ANSWERE ALMOST ANY Q
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Have a 350 chev small block, bought a new mini starter. I

Customer Question

Have a 350 chev small block, bought a new mini starter. I did the shimming and doing the shims inside the starter. measured all clearances. the starter gear hits the flex plate gear and will not "MESH". It is only off by a hair. after moving the flex plate making the two gears "MESH" the car tarts however after shuting car off it goes right back to not "MESHING "
JA: How old is the transmission? Have you checked the brake switch?
Customer: Chevy crate motor and trans in a 34 Plymouth coupe with 2500 miles on it. car and motor,trans have 2500 miles on it. She chevy original starter worked great. don't think there is a break switch. Do you mean a nuteral safty switch?
JA: What year is your MINI?
Customer: two weeks old.
JA: Are you fixing your MINI yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: The mini starter is as stated 2 weeks old. shimmed the starter measured all clearances. The bendix gear comes out very strong however wont " MESH". The key word here is Mesh.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no one has ever heard of this or come up with a solution.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Hi, I am Mike, welcome. I'm reviewing your question.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Ignore that robot, just more evidence that computers will not replace humans.

If the original starter works ok, then I would assume it is a problem with that mini starter.

Where did you purchase this mini starter from and what brand name and/or model number is *****?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

I do remember something about the difference between a starter with an automatic transmission that uses a flex plate and a manual which has a flywheel and I believe it has something to do with the length of the nose cone and that affected how far the drive gear would travel and making it a problem of gear meshing if the wrong starter was installed.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

I may not have all the info on that though cause summit racing is saying this mini works on both auto and manual, http://Mini High-Torque Starters SUM-829406

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

That does not look like a chevy starter though. Damn google.

Let me look that up then,.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

I suppose the only other question to ask is how many gear teeth? I thought though the big block had one count and the small block the other. Let me see if I can find that article I read years ago when I was having problems with my chevy small block starter making a noise.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

The 168 tooth is for big block as well as small block. I suppose it depends on the actual amount of teeth, so maybe you should count them and see if maybe you do have the wrong starter.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That is correct I also did the summit web site. A Mimi starter does not have a nose come ,works with both ring gear tooth configuration an works with a stick or auto. As stated before the be doc gear is coming out very strong. So the starter is fine. The new starter turned the motor just fine when I manually rotated the ring gear. Then ran the motor for a while, shut it off the starter be fix gear went Bach to not "MESHING".
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Here is that article I saved after reading up on the subject.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

I was just making a pint as to the nose cone to mention the length of it.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

What brand name and model #?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Are you also using starter bolts? They have shoulders I think they are called.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I bought the starter from KMJ, 3 hp new not rebuild. 153 and 168 tooth. Part # JM7001C , manufacturing # PE220C.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

If you are using just normal bolts, maybe that is the problem and the starter isn't secure enough and is moving after one try

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Correct knurled starter bolts that came with the starter.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Ok, then I am just abut out of ideas. Let me think about this, if you can think of anything to add, please do.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

And the flexplate is in good shape, bolts tight and the welded on ring gear not busted loose, or flexplate cracked, warped?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

If infact it is welded on an not just a heated up slip on thing.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Can't be the flex plate. It's a new Chevrolet and to add to that the last starter worked perfectly.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Try real hard to move the starter and feel if it is tight.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 months ago.

Other than that I don't know what else to say, can you install a normal starter on that or is there not enough room?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Retired for the new mini starter. Last original starter solinoid rested against the header pipe. Get to hot.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

Do you have a rear support brace mounted to the block and the back side of the starter motor? many times the starter will KICK and the nose of the starter will move to close to the flex plate.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Starter doesn't have a nose on the starter.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

I know that the nose cone is not there, but the bendix still comes out of the "nose" of the starter.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have installed tons of starters in SBC both stock GM and mini starters and non have or had a brace on the block. The bendix gear doesn't come out of a nose. It comes out of the mounting block. No nose.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

Ok let me say it like this, your starer will have a nose, housing and end cap. The bendix , armature and brushes are in the center. No matter what starter you have the front where the bendix is, is called the nose of the starter. Do the starter bolts run straight across or are they staggered where the starter bolts to the block?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Straight across. The manufacturing company calls it a mounting block. Just calling it what the manufacturing company calls it.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

That is ok. Not many of gm v8 cars had a support brace, but it is common on all the later models with high torque starters. With the bolts straight across the starter can pivot when the starter is energized. This will cause the starter to be to close to the flex plate and the bendix will not hit the flex plate gear correctly. I know what you are thinking right about now, " The Nose is to bulky to pivot" but trust me it is not. You can use just about anything to make a support bracket to hold the starter in place.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The mini starters That I have never needed a bracket, however I am willing to try it. I was hoping someone would suggest or ask how many shims did the original starter have, how many shims do you have in the mini starter, have you tried removing or adding a shim at a time. Is any part of the starter hitting the block or anything else. Have you put a grounding from block to starter. Are you sure you have the shims you put in behind ( Nose) block in correctly. Have you tried bubbling a shim over and putting it in one side or the other? Was hoping one of you would have asked me at least one of these questions to help me try that first, saving me a lot of time. I'm have NEVER been a machanic, just a hotroder for 50 years.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

In your opening statement, you said you had already done all of that, so I did not see a reason to doubt you and have you do it again.

Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

Now once you have the brace in, you may have to reshim the starter.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks for your help. It's worth a try. No machanic (many) or hotroder friends or the manufacturing company I bought the starter from has ever heard of such a thing. Just hoping.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

If the brace does not help, then the front bearing in the starter may not be to spec and is letting the bendix move up and down more then it should.