'95 Olds 88 'Royale'

I have installed a new starter and battery, but the car still won’t start. It

makes a ‘ka-lunk’ sound and the belt moves about half an inch. Solenoid is new also. What’s wrong?

Check and see if you can rotate the engine by putting a socket/breaker bar on the crank bolt. If you can’t turn the engine by hand, something inside the engine broke.


Did you reset the shims? The shims are there to locate the pinion gear to mesh properly with the flywheel. Without the shims, the starter will jam in the teeth of the flywheel. The replacement starter should have come with instructions on setting the shims. Check here for more information: http://www.autozone.com/shopping/repairGuide.htm?pageId=0900c152800b1b18

Thanks for the reply, Tester. Where is this crank bolt located, which direction do I turn it and does the shift lever have to be in neutral? Also, this engine is sideways(front wheel drive).

If you’re looking at the “front” of the engine (being the side of the engine that isn’t attached to the transmission) you’ll see the serpentine belt, which runs over a bunch of pulleys. The lowermost and largest pulley will be the harmonic balancer, which is attached to the crankshaft. The nut you need to turn is in the center of it. You’ll need the correct sized socket and a breaker bar or large ratchet. Generally, you should turn the engine the direction it usually turns, but if you don’t have a service manual to find out which way that is you won’t do any damage turning it the wrong way. Oh, and the transmission should be in Park or Neutral.

Thanks for the response GreasyJack. I’m guessing that it will take quite a bit of muscle to turn the motor, that I only need to move it a few inches, and if it won’t move at all(in either direction)there is a serious(and very expensive)problem…is this correct?

Thanks for the reply, BustedKnuckles. There were no shims for the old starter and the new one fit just fine, including the flywheel cavity guards which fit around it.

I’ll bet they were stuck to the old starter. This starter design requires shims to be used, and the pinion to be properly fitted.

It shouldn’t take too much-- it might be a bit tough and awkward with a smaller ratchet, but with a longer tool such as a breaker bar it should turn easily, assuming there isn’t anything wrong with it internally.

This is merely a diagnostic step, though. If the engine’s siezed, you’re not going to be able to break it loose with a breaker bar. I would rotate it two complete rotations to put the engine through one full cycle to make sure everything is turning freely.

Thanks, GreasyJack. If the motor turns but it still won’t crank, any suggestions?