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Replaced a burned out starter in my 78 camaro...shimmed it(using 3 shims), but still isn't catching. How many shims should i use? The old starter didn't have any shims. 350 big block.

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In the kit of bits and bobs you got with the starter, there should have been a small, round feeler gauge rod just for this purpose. Add/remove shims as needed so that the rod barely slips between the teeth of throw-out gear and starter ring where they mesh together. This can be checked with starter in place, the throw-out gear in the starter nose housing pushed forward and into the ring gear manually. This will require you to leave the trans bell housing cover off to check.

If all goes well, the starter should sound sharp and engage with no whine or grind.

Posted on May 10, 2010


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3 Answers

I changed the starter and went to try it, now the truck starts but the starter doesnt disengage. i kill the engine and the starter wants to keep it going for a few seconds. i tried again and same thing....

You may need to add shims to increase pinion gear to ring gear clearance !
Inspect the flywheel ring gear for damage or unusual wear.

Shim the starter if applicable.

In order to add pinion to ring gear clearance a full size shim must be used. Do not shim only 1 starter mounting bolt. There are 3 shims available in different shapes (for clearance). All are 1 mm (0.039 in) thick.

When you took off the old starter did you see any thin strips of metal ?

Mar 21, 2015 | 2002 Chevrolet Blazer

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Smoking starter

when mounting a chevy starter you must shim it down so it wont lock up when the bendix hits the flywheel..if it binds up it will burn up..there are different thicknesses of shims that fit between the block and the starter nose cone..use one or a combination of these to shim down enough that it wont drag..shim too far and it will spin out..I have owned chevys for years and have yet to see one that did not need shimmed down..these shims fit over the mounting bolts on the starter..

Dec 27, 2013 | 2004 Chevrolet Malibu

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Starter good but bendix not catching flywhhel

You may need to use shims. Is the starter new? Was it replaced recently? Did it start grinding suddenly or did the problem develop gradually?
The bendix gear needs to be a set distance from the flywheel before it will engage properly. You can usually adjust the gap by using shims.

Dec 23, 2013 | 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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Starter for 1998 silverado

what size motor? 4.3? V8? The starter 4.3 is located on the passengers side on the bottom side of the motor. First disconnect the battery. , Look at the new starter and locate old one. Undo the nuts on the old starter. There should be 2-3 small wires all together on one terminal. Take them off. Take the larger nut off and take power cable off. Unbolt the 2 bolts holding the starter onto the block, pull old starter out. At this point have a look to make sure that the old starter doesn't have shims inbetween the starter and block. Some starters need a shim so that it lines up to the fly wheel. You may or may not need to replace these. My rule of thumb is that if they are there , use them again. Rebolt starter the opposite of removal. When you start the engine up, if you hear a loud grinding, or a winding noise and motor doesn't turn over, then you may have to put shims in. Good luck let me know how you make out. Cheers from Nova Scotia!!

Jan 14, 2013 | 1998 Chevrolet Chevrolet silverado

1 Answer

Starter was replaced sounds like teeth are not meshing right is there a shim that goes with the starter

They do sell shims, usually they come with the starter, but you can buy them separately.

Aug 30, 2017 | 1999 Hyundai Accent

1 Answer

Starter on a 1987 Chevrolet camaro irocz

What about it???
Bolted to the bottom rear of the block on the passenger side.
How to remove?
Some starters are larger than others. You may have to unbolt the exhaust Y pipe (down pipes from the exhuast manifolds)
Disconnect the battery,
Jack the car up and support it on stands,
disconnect the battery cable from the starter. There may also be at least on or two smaller wires on that same starter lug.
Dosconnect the small wire from the "S" terminal of the starter,
Remove the two bolts that go straight up from the bottom of the starter. The starter is heavy and gravity aint helping!

If the replacement starter makes a screeching sound when used, you may need to install shims between the starter and the engine block where it bolts up. Most the time the new starter will come with a few shims.

Oct 09, 2011 | 1987 Chevrolet Camaro

1 Answer


Sometimes the starter needs a shim installed to help this problem. If there was not a grinding noise with old starter you should be able to install a shim,these shims you can get at your auto parts store. they come in several thicknesses, most times you get 2 or 3 different thicknesses in a pack. Start with the thinner one and loosen the two starter bolts 3 to 4 turns then remove bolt furthest from engine , shim will slide in and slot at end should stradle bolt, align hole at other end and install other bolt and retighten bolts. test starter for noise,if noise is gone your done, if not try next thicker shim till noise is gone sometimes damage to the teeth on the flywheel can cause this noise but try the shims first. Good Luck!

Dec 04, 2010 | 1992 Chevrolet C1500

1 Answer

Starter installation on 1995 z 28 camaro auto

This is the old square body style car correct. Not hard to do, disconnect the positive battery cable from the battery. Pull the car on ramps and set the emergency brake or put on stands. Crawl under the car on the passenger side and disconnect the wires from the starter one should be a 9/16 and the other is probably a 3/8. Remove the rear support bracket if it has it should go from the rear of the starter to the engine. Then remove the two starter bolts possibly a 9/16 also careful to pay attention to any shims that might come out of it then pull the starter out of the bell housing and replace with new one and reconnect everything.

Sep 27, 2009 | 1995 Chevrolet Camaro

2 Answers

Installed a rebuilt starter in a Camaro.

Shims, are to space the starter drive gear away from the flywheel. The shim is inserted between the engine block, and the starter. The thicker the shim, the more the starter drive gear is further away from the flywheel.

Starter housings are machined from the factory, where they were made. No two housings come out the same, for the machined pad, where the starter bolts to the engine block.
The difference is minimal, granted, but thousandths of an inch count in this area.

It's generally a trial an error situation. This is why there are shim packs. Packs of shims with varying thicknesses.
Rule of Thumb, is generally that the starter drive gear, is 3/32nd's of an inch away from the flywheel.
If you hear a metallic grinding kind of sound, the starter is too close. A thicker shim is needed.

I suspect your problem is the starter drive itself. Definitely sounds like it from your description.
Granted, when bench testing the starter drive kicks out, but the roller clutch inside the Bendix drive is no good. (Starter drive)
Suggest you take the starter back, and get an exchange.

This rebuilt starter has a bad Bendix drive.

Apr 19, 2009 | BMW 330 Cars & Trucks

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