1988 Buick Lesabre Starter Replacement

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 144,000 MILES
I replaced the starter on a 3.8 L "C" 8 months ago using the original GM shim on an after market starter from Auto Zone. That starter is now junk as the nose cone has broken off and A Z has replaced it under warranty but that begins my concern. A Z says that can be caused by improper shiming or the part was dropped. I know it was not dropped while in my pocession so I am thinking shimming could be an issue. The replacement starter comes with 3 shims which if you put them together are not as thick as the original GM shim I used. So if I would use the thinner ones the pinion gear would be closer (less clearance) to the flywheel than the thicker one which will drive the gear down away from the flywheel so would I not want to use the original shim? Also the instructions for the replacement says to check the clearance by removing the flywheel inspection cover but I am not sure (at least I do not see one) on this engine. Is there one and I am just not seeing it laying on the ground.
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 AT 10:52 AM

1 Reply

You pick the shim that will put the pinion gear to the correct clearance to the teeth on the flex plate.

and your dust cover may have already been missing.
Some people don't put them back on

I seldom use shims.
I put the starter on.
And before I put the car back on the ground, I pull the ECM fuse so the engine wont start. And hold the key to crank the engine over for 30 seconds or so.
If it sounds normal, I leave it alone.
Only if it sounds funny do I take the time to measure it.
Was this
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 AT 3:08 PM

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