Question about 1998 Pontiac Sunfire

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I have a 98 Sunfire and it wont start?

My sunfire was running really good, then one day i shut it off and it wouldn't start again. The original starter was stolen from me, ( I don't exactly know which one it was and how many shims where there) so I got a brand new starter, at the auto store they said it was the right one based on my VIN. Now that it is in there we get a metal on metal grinding sound when we try to start it, and it wont start. We have tried more shims and less shims, nothing works. I have read on here that this can be from the fusible link, the anti theft feature or a faulty ignition switch. I was wondering has anybody else had this problem.

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Last year, on my 96 sunfire, I bought a reman starter from O'reilly auto parts. the starter was a little smaller than the OEM starter I replaced it with. The thing would cause a metal grinding sound. It's the starter gear teeth rubbing off the flywheel gear teeth which is bad!!! I took it off and returned it back O'reillys. I bought an OEM reman starter from a GM dealership, used no shims, and the starter fit perfectly. I haven't had a problem since. Sad to say, if you ran that starter for along time with the metal grinding noise, you could have messed up the flywheel teeth. then the starter doesn't have a flywheel to turn the crankshaft to start your engine. The only way to know for sure is to take the starter off. Stick a digital camera in there to take picture of the flywheel teeth. then turn the crankshaft by hand with a wrench. continue to take pictures to see if you have any missing flywheel teeth.
That's what I did.
See how my flywheel teeth got scuffed up by using a starter from the auto chains! This has happened to me on two different vehicles. Same reason, those lifetime starters at the auto chains are junk. See the flywheel teeth in the pic. I'm glad I caught it in time. if there are pieces of teeth missing from your flywheel, your going to have starter problems.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y191/cutehumor/flywheel10.jpg

Posted on Jun 09, 2009

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Sorry about the theft, I know the feeling. You may want to take the starter back out and bench test it, Find out if it was assembled correctly (meaning is the pinion gear throwing out far enough) take a measurement from the pinion gear to the flange and compare it to the distance from the flywheel to the case. It is possible the starter is wrong too. Take a look at the face of the pinion gear and flywheel and see if the gear might be the wrong size.

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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