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View Full Version : Worn out starter or chipped flywheel: now what?


greg75vette
07-14-2009, 01:47 PM
'75 L-48

Hey guys. I had an interesting problem Friday evening when I was leaving work. My car wouldn't start, however, I could hear the starter spinning. My initial thought was my solenoid was stuck, so I immediately pulled out my tool kit and took my 3/4 wrench (no hammer in kit, working on that) and began to bag on the solenoid and cast iron mounting the solenoid to the starter gear. Never got it to work.

On one of these attempts to turn the engine over, I thought I heard the solenoid clicking, then starter gear turning.
I knew I had two nasty starts within the past month or so where I turned the starter before engine completely stopped resulting in a nice grind.

So I thought maybe flywheel stopped to where some missing teeth were at the starter. Now I needed to turn the engine just enough to get some fresh teeth. The parking spot I was in had a slight slope to the rear of the car. I put the car in reverse, held the clutch with my right foot, had the key on lock so the engine wouldn't start, then let the car roll back while I helped push with my left leg. I had a decent roll so I dumped the clutch and the car came to an abrupt stop. I then gave a little gas to the engine, pushed in the clutch with the proper foot and turned the key. She started like nothing ever happened.

I've started her about 5 to 6 times since then and have had no problems.

So the first question is, was my guess right? Am I missing teeth in my flywheel?

Second, what do I do now? Should I replace my flywheel or chance it? I'm really not looking forward into putting anymore money into this engine/tranny because I plan on swapping both out. I also realize that it is no small task getting the transmission out.

What are your opinions guys?

lars
07-14-2009, 02:14 PM
Why don't you just pull the dust cover off (you have to pull the starter to pull the cover on a 4-spd car) and inspect the ring gear? The ring gear is easily replacable on flywheels (unlike flexplates). If the teeth are good, you have either a starter or a starter shimming issue. If the teeth are missing you know what you have to do...

mrvette
07-14-2009, 03:00 PM
Why don't you just pull the dust cover off (you have to pull the starter to pull the cover on a 4-spd car) and inspect the ring gear? The ring gear is easily replacable on flywheels (unlike flexplates). If the teeth are good, you have either a starter or a starter shimming issue. If the teeth are missing you know what you have to do...

Yeh, i'ts a tittie twister alright.....just did it on my car, almost 2 years ago........

:gurney:

greg75vette
07-14-2009, 03:19 PM
I wasn't sure how to inpect the flywheel/ring gear. That was supposed to be in the OP. Can you see the whole flywheel, or more importantly the ring gear, from the inpection plate? I'm thinking that's a no so what is the best way to turn the engine over? I've never had to do that before.

I'm glad to hear that I can replace the ring gear only. I thought the ring gear and flywheel were one piece. I would still have to pull the transmission to change the ring gear, right?

mrvette
07-14-2009, 03:26 PM
Ring gear is actually a hardened separate piece, ~14?" diameter, welded onto the fly itself, or flex plate then sold as a one piece unit for replacement....so no, you don't just change the ring gear alone....means you have to pull the bellhousing off, tranny back, and remove pressure plate, clutch disc falls out then and you see the crank bolts holding that heavy muvva flywheel on there....

and i'ts hard to turn a 350 engine, do not try it with the crank balancer bolt in front.....I learned that the hard way....350 chebby's are wimpy there.....

I try to pull plugs for this, to make engine easy to flip.....but that's a lot of work, if you can use a large screwdriver against the block, you maybe able to flip it from the fly/flex end.....

then see the missing teeth, that if it was ME, will be on the top of the engine where I/You can't SEE them.....

;):clobbered::crap:

kwplot34
07-14-2009, 08:03 PM
Sorry D_B The ring gear is not welded onto to the flywheel,with a little heat you can tap the ring gear off and install a new one the same way.

mrvette
07-15-2009, 12:47 PM
Sorry D_B The ring gear is not welded onto to the flywheel,with a little heat you can tap the ring gear off and install a new one the same way.

U rite!!, sorry OP, but new flys are sold with teeth on them....I never knew/seen ring teeth available separately....:amazed:

greg75vette
07-16-2009, 12:04 AM
Well it looks like I'm in the same boat regardless. If the ring gear is chipped, I get a new flywheel.

I need to whore myself on a corner so I can skip this part and go to the engine/tranny swap. That's my solution and I'm sticking to it. :lol:

TimAT
07-17-2009, 10:04 PM
Once you get that tin cover off, you can see a little less than 1/2 of the ring gear, then turn the engine with a bar to see the rest of it. And you can also see the pinion on the starter. Get creative, and you can pull the solenoid and manually push the pinion to engage it and see exactly how much contact you have between the teeth. You should have room between the top of the pinion tooth and the bottom of a ring gear tooth to stick a leg of a paperclip. Then you can shim the starter as needed.
Check the bushing in the nose of the starter too- if it's dead, the torque will push the starter shaft AWAY from the gear and eat your gear teeth.

greg75vette
07-20-2009, 03:01 PM
Ok, I think I can do that. Not sure when I can get to it next. However, I did take her out yesterday to check for a leak (only seems to happen after I run her). And she started up just fine. Harldy ever have an issue for that matter. But the next time I get a chance, I'll be pullin the starter for the inspection.

So what's the best way to turn over these engines?

Kid Vette
07-20-2009, 04:47 PM
Ok, I think I can do that. Not sure when I can get to it next. However, I did take her out yesterday to check for a leak (only seems to happen after I run her). And she started up just fine. Harldy ever have an issue for that matter. But the next time I get a chance, I'll be pullin the starter for the inspection.

So what's the best way to turn over these engines?
I would pull the coil wire and bump the starter. Or you can buy one of these FLYWHEEL TURNER