1978 Chevy Camaro New starter eats teeth, wont start engine

Tiny
TUSCALOOSAPOLICEMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1978 CHEVROLET CAMARO
Engine Mechanical problem
1978 Chevy Camaro V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic ? miles

The starter began acting up a few months back...only working half the time. Eventually it wouldn't crank the car...it would make a god awful noise (wheeeeeee) but not turn the flywheel. I took the starter off and had it tested. It would run...but the sprocket thing wouldn't move up to engage. Bought a new starter. Once on it cranked. Took it off the jacks and drove around, then parked for the night. Next morning...wouldn't crank. Heard the "wheeeeee" noise again. Figured it worked itself loose and needed to be shimmed. Tried that...it cranked. Drove around then parked it. Next morning..."wheeeeee" noise again. wouldn't crank. Tried to re-shim. Now its shaving parts of the teeth off the fly wheel. no matter how I shim it...it won't turn the flywheel more than 1/8 a turn. The big cog in the starter only covers about half the width of the flywheel. I really don't know what to do. I've shimmed the thing 20 different ways to Sunday. No shims, half shims, one, two, three....six shims. nada. I cannot physically make the flywheel turn. Should it? I don't understand what the deal is. I'm new to working on cars...but it doesn't look like this should be as difficult as it currently is. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Jason


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/526460_starter2_1.gif

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 7:21 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Could be the teeth on the flexplate (Flywheel) are too damaged for the starter to remain engaged. Once they are ground down a few times, they will get a bad spot in the flexplate, then when you go to start it the starter turns until it hits the bad spot, then it kicks out of the teeth.
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
LEOMNR2008
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Have you tryed to rotate the engine at the harmonic balencer you should be able to do this with a socket on the center bolt and turn it counter clock wise if the engine turns then your good if it dont then you probly have a spun main baring and this will require a compleat engin rebuild.

You should be able to turn the engin compleaty over 360 degrees from start if it dont take it to a certified mechanic for futher diagnosies.
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 1:00 AM
Tiny
JACK42
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If the plugs are in it, be careful not to strip the threads out of the crank bolt. Best to turn the engine by the flexpalte.
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 8:08 AM
Tiny
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95% of the teeth are fine. i'll include a pic of the starter in place. in the pic you can see that all the teeth shown appears fine. there are just a few here and there i can see with damage...maybe 5-6 total. i bent a screwdriver trying to turn the torque converter/flexplate. wouldn't move.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/526460_starter1_1.jpg

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
JACK42
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Pull the plugs and try to turn it. Just in case it may be hydrostaic-locked. If wont turn with plugs out, the bottom end is needing some attention
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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 9:28 PM
Tiny
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Well, I pulled the plugs and couldn't get the motor to turn more than an inch or two. Looks like I have bigger problems than just a starter issue.
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Friday, May 14th, 2010 AT 8:13 AM
Tiny
JACK42
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Time to pull it. Sorry to hear that
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Friday, May 14th, 2010 AT 8:17 AM
Tiny
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When I pull it. What should I be looking for? I'm new to working on cars. But this seems like a good way to learn.
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Monday, May 17th, 2010 AT 12:54 PM
Tiny
JACK42
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Your best bet will be to get a manual and follow it. Whats going to make this a messy job is that the engine wont turn over, so you wont be able to unbolt the torque converter which means it will come out with the engine. The converter will drain a lot of trans fluid out when it is pulled out of the trans, so have a big drain pan ready. Once the engine is out, pull the oil pan off and look to see if any of the rod or main caps are darker than the others, this usually indicates a spun bearing (overheated bearing journal). A good manual will give you step by step instructions on tearing down the engine and how to keep the parts in order
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Monday, May 17th, 2010 AT 11:22 PM

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