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Discussion in 'Audio + Electronics' started by Tim W, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Tim W

    Tim W I'm Awesome

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    whats a good starter that doesnt need shims? Mine on my 94 is about to take a dump. I just want to bolt and go. Thanks fellas
     
  2. thinger2

    thinger2 I'm Awesome

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    Any Chevy aftermarket starter might need shims.
    Even a new Delco might need shims.
    Especially now that they are also made in China
    Its because of the design and how they mount.
    If your old starter fits without shims keep it. Dont turn it in for the core charge.
    The nose cone on the starter makes it fit right.
    Look your nose cone over for cracks and look at the throwout arm for the bendix for cracks.
    You also need to make sure the arm/fork for the bendix is in the right way. The fork has reliefs cut into it on the open side of the U shape that keep the solenoid from hitting it when it bottoms. Aftermarket and remans often have the fork in backwards and ive just seen it backwards on a brand new Delco.
    If its good, swap it onto the new starter.
    You need to replace the nose bushing on it.
    3 bucks at Oreillys.
    Buy the starter from a store that can test it before you buy it.
    Sometimes they are junk right out of the box.
    If you have the factory Delco, take the end plate off of it and see if the commutator is all chewed up.
    If not, rebuild it
    The kit is about 25 bucks from NAPA
    Its really easy to do. Lots of youtube vids about how to.
    Or, look for a starter/alternater rebuild place.
    If its saveable, they will do it for less then a cheapo new starter.
    Just make sure they give you back your starter. Not something off the shelf.
    And then you have a spare.
    Swap the nose cone, skip the whole shim pain and keep your factory Chevy parts while getting a spare starter out of the deal.
    Ive been doing it for decades so if you have any questions ask away
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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  3. arrg

    arrg I'm Awesome

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  4. Tim W

    Tim W I'm Awesome

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    Thanks man. Ill go that rout if my starter is a delco. It was on the truck when I bought so im not really sure what brand it is. I hope its a delco
     
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  5. thinger2

    thinger2 I'm Awesome

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    Even if it isnt. If it fits without shims, keep the nose and swap it over. Shimming starters just sucks.
     
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  6. arrg

    arrg I'm Awesome

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    Do the gear reduction starter from the later models. You'll be shocked at the starting power compared to the big old starter that came on the TBI engines. The AC Delco starter and the bolts together cost right at $100. It's worth it.
     
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  7. alpinecrick

    alpinecrick I'm Awesome

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    Everything thinger said, but.......

    Gear reduction mini starters do draw less amps--I've tested my gear reduction on my 96 vs the factory starter on my 97 (which I'm pretty sure is the factory original ACD starter that is NOT a gear reduction starter) with a clamp meter.
     
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  8. evilunclegrimace

    evilunclegrimace Does not always play well with others

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    Yes it does but, it is a necessary evil even brand new factory starters some times need shimmed. It is due to stacked tolerances, every part that is machined has a plus or minus in it's spec. GM addresses this in their training seminars and it is part of the normal diagnostic process.

    It is possible to run across a vehicle that happens to be assembled with parts that fall into the extreme ends of the tolerances on both extremes. The trainers at the Dedham training center talked about several vehicles that had run through dealerships and came under scrutiny for warranty claims due to stacked tolerances. It is fairly rare but it is kind of like winning the lottery only on the losing end.
     
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  9. thinger2

    thinger2 I'm Awesome

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    The gear starter definitly has some big advantages.
    The major one is that they weigh a lot less.
    They also draw less amperage and dont seem to heat soak as bad.
    And the boneyards have plenty of them.
    But, you may still end up shimming them.
    Especially if its a reman.
    I havent done it because I have aquired a bunch of old starters over the years.
    But if you go that route, get the factory correct bolts for it.
    Your old bolts are not the same and, on any GM starter you cannot just go get some bolts from home despot.
    Starter bolts are very different and using the wrong bolts can chew up the ring gear.
    You can check the clearence by painting the bendix gear with some cheap little kid art paint from the dollar store.
    Bolt the starter in, pull your coil wire and unplug both injectors (so you dont flood it and get a backfire)
    Crank it over a few times, pull the starter and look at the wear pattern on the teeth.
     
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  10. thinger2

    thinger2 I'm Awesome

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    Yep! you nailed it. I started my career as a CNC punch press operator and moved into the QC department when I figured out they had air conditioning.
    Stack up becomes an issue because the starter mounts to the block instead of the bellhousing.
    But the important relationship is the bendix to ring gear
    But you get allowable slack from the nose cone, the block, the bellhousing, and the ring gear.
    So, if everybody gets even +/- .010,
    You can get a .040 to .080 bust and still sell it to QC.
    But its probably more like +/- .020 or .030. base tolerence.
    So you end up with parts that still get bought off, but have to be shimmed in order to compensate for the stack. Or parts that get chewed up because everybody got a little tight that day
    That is exactly why you keep the old nose cone and swap it if it fits without shims.
    If its bolted to the same block and torqued correctly and you havent changed the ring gear or the bellhousing,
    And you spent the 6 bucks to replace the nose bushing and the end plate bushing
    The only variable you are introducing is the new bendix.
    Which will usually be machined to a much tighter tolerence.
    Typically +.003 - .000 if a monkey does it.
    Save yer nose cones kids!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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