1995 Chevy S-10 S-10 2.2L 4cyl manual trans starter

  • 1995 CHEVROLET S-10
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 150,000 MILES
I recently bought an S-10 that I will eventually use as a daily driver because it was a good deal, and i'm tired of putting miles on my project car. Three questions:
1. The engine makes an odd, low-pitched "whining" sound. Is this normal for this engine, or is this cause for concern? Any idea what may cause this?
2. I realize that it is a small engine, but the truck generally has no guts. Besides a comprehensive tune-up (which I will do soon, before making it my daily), what cost-efficient adjustments can I make to give me just a little more power?
3. And most importantly. When I bought it, the seller said the starter was going and would need to be replaced soon. I looked around the net just to find any problems I may have replacing it and came across this:

"ABOUT S10 Starters.
* 1st check to make sure you even have the starter heat shield. If your starter was replaced chances are the stupid mechanic threw it away. If yours is gone, hurry up and find one, because they are out of production.
*2nd. Even if you do have the heat shield YOU must have shims. Without shims it will work, even sound o.K. To untrained ear. But as the bendix engages the flywheel it has tapered Bull nose teeth. This is so it can find its way into the teeth of the flywheel. Problem is without shims, it is a too tight fit, eventually making the bendix pivot arm loose and worn in a matter of weeks or months. Now a loose bendix shaft arm will let the solenoid piston jam in the coil socket cockeyed, and not recess all the way back. Now that it is recessed part way back into the coil socket and cockeyed, and not all the way back, As the engine is running and you are driving to your destination it warms the bendix piston expanding and tightening it into the socket even more. The solenoid piston is made of aluminum and expands faster and more than the surrounding steel. Now you will have to wait for the engine to fully cool and free the solenoid piston so it can be free. If you turn the start key while the piston is cockeyed (say twisted to the left), the solenoid will try to force the piston forward instantly jamming the front of it into the side wall. Now remember it is not all the way forward. It needs to be all the way forward to make the electrical contacts engage for the starter motor power. SO, even the starter motor wont turn, and the solenoid wont click because it is jammed. This is why you get nothing when you turn the key, not even a click till it cools. The piston is stuck and not all the way back. Sometimes hitting it frees it and it will recess. If you have to hit a starter, it is a sign the bendix pivot arm is totally worn allowing the piston to enter the solenoid coil socket cockeyed.
* 3rd. The S10 starter is a piss poor design. Far too close to the exhaust manifold, and the stock heat shield sucks. The setup requires everything to be perfect (i.E. Shield, shims, and solenoid mechanisms). Take your snap on heat shield off, and bond a piece of thermal cloth (silver stuff at autozone) to the entire face of it.
* 4th Starters today do NOT properly lubricate the solenoid with dielectric grease. Most if not all come new with dry cylinders. If you get a new one, open it up and grease the piston well, it will last a lot longer.
* 5th. Do not let someone wrap your starter with a starter blanket. It will keep heat in that is conducted to the starter thru the engine block.
* 6th. So shim, shield, and grease. That's it. Lastly, if you never want a heat problem again, foot the bill for a racing starter that has NO solenoid on it, the solenoid mounts to fire wall. Like ford does."

now this scares me. Sounds like a very common problem with this truck, and if let go for too long, could mean a nasty repair bill. I also saw mentioned that sometimes the lack of shims on a starter will lead to a whining sound. I also realize that this is someone's opinion on the internet and to never fully trust what is read on the net. As of yet, it has been too cold and snowy for me to get under the truck to check for a heat shield or shims on the starter. My question is: is this blurp I found on the net valid? If this happens to be the case with my truck, what would be my wisest course of repair? A shop or is it something I can handle? I have better than basic auto repair skills and experience and a decent collection of tools, but have never encountered a problem like this.
Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, February 22nd, 2010 AT 11:15 PM

1 Reply

The whirring noise may be a bad bearing on an accessory, remove the drive belt and start it to see if the noise goes away. As far as power goes, you are barking up the wrong tree. Lol you could do some exhaust work, but that engine is only going to make so much power. Do not bother with a throttle body spacer, they are a joke and dont help with this style of injection. Now, as far as chicken little and his starter rant. If you install a quality starter, you may not need shims, they are required when the body of the starter is machined when it is rebuilt.I have had good luck with A/C Delco starters. The heat shield is a given, it should always be reinstalled, but if im not mistaken, the starter on teh 2.2 is on the opposite side of the exhaust. Be wary of what you read on the web.
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 AT 8:12 AM

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