REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Fig. 1: If necessary disconnect the exhaust pipe(s) from the manifold(s) for access to the starter assembly
Fig. 2: Once disconnected, the pipes should be suspended out of the way using wire or an old coat hanger
Fig. 3: Although usually not necessary, the torque converter cover may be removed for additional access
Fig. 4: Once the bolts are removed, the cover may be lowered from the transmission
Fig. 5: The starter solenoid wiring should be tagged and disconnected
Fig. 6: Various sized deep sockets will make disconnecting the wiring much easier
Fig. 7: Loosen the start mounting bolts
Fig. 8: Support the start and withdraw the bolts
Fig. 9: Carefully tilt and lower the starter assembly from the vehicle
Fig. 1: Check the gap between the starter pinion and flywheel
Fig. 2: Starter motor mounting — V6 (left) engine and diesel (right) engine
Fig. 3: Starter motor mounting — inline six cylinder (top) and V8 engine with solenoid heat shield
Starter noise during cranking and after the engine fires is often a result of too much or tool little distance between the starter pinion gear and the flywheel. A high pitched whine during cranking (before the engine fires) can be caused by the pinion and flywheel being too far apart. Likewise, a whine after the engine starts (as the key is released) is often a result of the pinion-flywheel relationship being too close. In both cases flywheel damage can occur. Shims are available in 0.015 in. sizes to properly adjust the starter on its mount. In order to check and adjust the shims, you will also need a flywheel turning tool, available at most auto parts stores or from any auto tool store or salesperson.
If your car's starter emits the above noises, follow the shimming procedure below:
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.
- Remove the torque converter cover on the bottom of the bell housing.
- Using the flywheel turning tool, turn the flywheel and examine the flywheel teeth. If damage is evident, the flywheel should be replaced.
- Insert a screwdriver into the small hole in the bottom of the starter, then move the starter pinion and clutch assembly so the pinion and flywheel teeth mesh. If necessary, rotate the flywheel so that a pinion tooth is directly in the center of the two flywheel teeth and on the centerline of the two gears, as shown in the accompanying illustration.
- Check the pinion-to-flywheel clearance by using a 0.020 in. wire gauge (a spark plug wire gauge may work here, or you can make your own). Make sure you center the pinion tooth between the flywheel teeth and the gauge — NOT in the corners, as you may get a false reading. If the clearance is under this minimum, shim the starter away from the flywheel by adding shim(s) one at a time to the starter mount. Check clearance after adding each shim.
- If the clearance is a good deal over 0.020 in. (in the vicinity of a 0.050 in. plug), shim the starter towards the flywheel. Broken or severely mangled flywheel teeth are also a good indicator that the clearance here is too great. Shimming the starter towards the flywheel is done by adding shims to the outboard starter mounting pad only. Check the clearance after each shim is added. A shim of 0.015 in. at this location will decrease the clearance about 0.010 in.
Battery and Starter Specifications Chart
Battery and Starter Specifications Chart (Cont...)