Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Chevy starter

I recently bought a 78 nova with a 383 stroker and turbo 350. the car was built to race but never driven. the starter makes a grinding noise. the bendix will stick in the flywheel. i can pull the starter off and shim it but it will only start a few times before it does it again. ive tried several starters and have shimmed it multiple ways. any suggestions? thanks.

It’s possible the flywheel is out of line or has damaged teeth (somehow).

You need a heavy duty high torgue starter

The starter and flywheel may not match. The simplest way to properly shim the starter is to disconnect the battery hot lead and connect a jumper from the battery hot post to the solenoid S pin with a push button switch in series. With the dust boot removed you can view the bendix jumping out and attempting to engage the flywheel without the starter turning. A few minutes of trying various shims and viewing the results might lead to a better understanding of the problem and the proper solution.

thanks for the suggestions but ive done everything except actually replace the flywheel. im wondering if the flywheel doesnt match the starter. i was thinking of trying a pontiac starter but im not sure if it will fit. there are 3 bolt holes for the starter. chevy bolt patter is offset whereas pontiac is straight across. i think ill try that and at least see if it fits.

The starter for a Pontiac will not fit, it mounts to the opposite side of the engine than a SBC.

The starter’s holes are what determines what size flywheel or flexplate the starter fits- the staggered holes are for the 14" diameter flexplate (the larger of the two), and has 168 teeth.

The straight across hole starter is for the 12-3/4" diameter, and has 153 teeth. Most Chevy blocks have both staggered and straight holes in the block. One hole is shared by both, so this means there will be a total of three starter bolt holes in the block if it is machined for either starter/flexplate or flywheel combination.

Along w/properly shimming the starter (only do this if necessary) by using the instructions provided w/the starter or from online, use a starter brace like sold by GM and Summit, etc…