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Flywheel vs. Starter; which will die 1st?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by TRUP, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. TRUP

    TRUP Member
    Messages: 38

    My starter freewheels after the 1st second of trying to start my cold deisel. Eventualy, the motor will start like this after twenty-thirty turns of the key. When the engine block heater is used, the motor starts without a problem. I'm guessing that there could be a bad spot on the flywheel, or the gear on the starter has lost a tooth or two. Is this 50/50 kind of issue, or is one of the two aformentioned parts going to go bad before the other?

    NOTE: If I didn't live in an apartment complex, I would use the block heater all of the time.
    THANX.
     
  2. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,138

    You should have a inspection plate on the bottom of your tranny,usually just a couple bolts,pop that off and your looking right at the flywheel which will tell the tale!My past experience says it's the starter but lord knows i've been wrong before!You will hear some more info shortly i'm sure.
     
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Most likely just a bad starter assy.If you keep trying to start it like that (if it's grinding off the flywheel),then it will need a flywheel too.Not cheap or easy on a diesel.Do the starter before it does any more damage.
     
  4. TRUP

    TRUP Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks. Got a new starter. The truck will sit till I can put it on.
     
  5. raceman6135

    raceman6135 Member
    Messages: 61

    I was under the impression that the bendix (drive) on the starter is generally made of slightly softer material so that it should wear first.

    The theory behind this is that it is cheaper and easier to replace the starter compared to the flywheel/flexplate.

    DJS
     
  6. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The drive gear on the bendix will wear a lot more than a flywheel,but a bad starter\solenoid or bendix can,and will damage a flywheel pretty quick if not taken care of.
     
  7. TRUP

    TRUP Member
    Messages: 38

    The gear that's attached to the starter was worn, but not nearly as bad as the outer edge of the ring gear on the flywheel. Nonetheless, I still installed the new starter, and the freewheeling problem appears to have been solved. I have no doubt that the flywheel will need to be replaced.:(
     
  8. TRUP

    TRUP Member
    Messages: 38

    A question about the shims. If I backed the starter off (shim) the flywheel, will the gears mesh better? Until now, I didn't know starters required shims.
     
  9. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    If your having problems with engagement,slow cranking,or the starter is very noisy (whining),then a shim may be required.Most will work fine without.

    Also check the starter and make sure it is square to the flywheel.We have seen a lot of rebuilt starters coming with metric housings for the older non-metric vehicles.The holes in the nose cone are metric (10mm) and the bolts are SAE (3/8") so when you install the starter it moves around to much causing alignment problems.Just check to be sure.