Correct Starter Engagement Problems

Correct Starter Engagement Problems1. Wear safety glasses. Check security of jack stands and wheel chucks. Disable ignition system if possible or remove key from ignition. Make sure neg. battery cable is off.

2. Mark location of flywheel with paint stick or chalk.

3. Observe flywheel for wear, notice : where flywheel is worn, you can feel burrs with your fingertips that would disrupt the bendix gear as it travels straight in and out of the flywheel. The trick is to file all those burrs off, so the gear can move straight in and out latteraly). In other words, take a little bit of the outside diameter of the flywheel off, so the gear has more room to travel back and forth.

4. Use a flat triangle file, and file straight in and straight out untill the burrs in that area are smoothed over.

5. Move flywheel with the proper tool (on crank pully) or use a large pry bar on the teeth using the bell housing as leverage.

6. You will usually find the completion of this task to be easier than it sounds, because the teeth will not be worn everywhere. Normally there will be only 3 groups of 7 or 8 teeth that need attention. This is because the engine favors several places to stop, due to compression and timing.

7. With a little patience, file each worn area till you can feel no more burr on the outside diameter of the flywheel or ring gear teeth. File an area, then move the flywheel, till you come back to the mark again, then you know you’re done.

8. If GM, if possible, add a 1/32″ shim.

SPECIAL NOTE : This is a proceedure to correct a “hanging up” bendix or a bendix that makes a funny noise as it exits the flywheel. If your flywheel is completely trashed by being cracked, warped, or teeth completely gone (over 1/2 inch missing) it’s probably going to be a waste of time. The only thing you can do is replace the flywheel.

However this proceedure IS invaluable if only minimal damage has been incurred. Various technicians have been extremely successful by keeping a bad situation from becoming worse.

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