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350 Starter Motor


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I have a 1971 with the 350 motor. I recently replaced the starter, using the old starter as a guide. Only now the new starter grinds on the ring gear like crazy. I have tryed various combinations of shims and placement of the shims, yet the grinding noise still persists. My ring gear is supposed to be a 12 3/4 in diameter with 153 teeth. How many teeth are supposed to be on the starter. The starter on this car is a real B---- to remove and install.


RQB 1600

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Did you (or can you) compare the new starter to the old one? I think Chevy starters are pretty much the same; there are a few different starter nose designs that have been used. If the starter bolts to the engine and the nose of the starter snugs to the space available at the opening of the flywheel (ring gear), then chances are the issue is one of shimming the starter mount...

Here is a link to some information on Chevy starters:


Here is some info I saw somewhere and squirreled away:

Re: Starter shims

Take the lower sheetmetal shield(s) off the flywheel, so you can see the flywheel teeth from the rear of the flywheel (in the area where the starter gear contacts it).

Take the starter off and REMOVE the solenoid (for the moment), the battery terminal wires, and 2 sets smaller wires, plus 3 small bolts to get the rest loose.

Remount the starter SANS solenoid.

MANUALLY pull the little thing that sits inside the solenoid to the BACK of the starter, this pulls the starter gear into the flywheel.

Proper clearance requires BOTH of the following:

the bendix teeth should stick through the flywheel teeth, AND, between the TOP of the bendix tooth and the valley of the flywheel tooth, there should be a space NO BIGGER than a straightened out paper clip wire. If there is NO space (the starter gear cannot be extended enough to fully engage the flywheel/ring gear), you need to add a shim or two and retry the paper clip test.

If there is a LOT of space (much more than the paper clip wire) and there are no shims currently in place that you can remove, you need a new starter NOSE.

Edited by WayneC
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