CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2003 Trailblazer Starter Motor issue

So my starter motor was failing, and today, I had a stop at the farmers market, went to start it and the starter motor cut out before the engine started. Second try it barely started after starter motor cut out. So I went to napa got a new starter motor. First install the starter was really binding and sounding bad. The directions talked about, the following, read before install 1, but figured plug and play. NAPA directions.

  1. Mount motor on Engine without shim.
  2. Insert screwdriver in small hole in bottom of starter motor drive and housing. Move starter drive assembly out toward fly wheel ring gear teeth.
  3. Starter drive assembly pinion gear teeth must be in mesh with flywheel ring gear teeth.
  4. Insert wire guage (.260-,060) between tip of pinion gear tooth and root of flywheel teeth. Measuring clearance on side of pinion tooth is not accurate (check at three different locations on the ring gear)
    5.If the excessive distance (over .060) install shim(shims) between outboard (side away from gear) starter motor drive end housing pad and engine block. Clearance should be between .020-.060) See fig 4
  5. If insufficient clearance (less .020) install shim (s) between both starter motor drive and housing mounting pads and engine block. Clearance should be between .0200-.0600.

I could not figure out step 2 so pulled the motor back out, still was not sure what they were talking about and reinstalled motor to video start problem for possible motor return. Reinstall motor was fine except for a little zing after starter motor disengages.

Any advice is appreciated.