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Starter motor, which type?

I need a starter motor for my 1999 suburban but how do i know what type to get? are they interchangeable?
i looked at the local auto parts store website and they have different starters listed for my vehicle.

direct drive
permanent magnet gear reduction
offset gear reduction

I don`t know what type the one that is in there now is, can i use any of those 3 are they interchangeable?

It has a direct drive starter.

This isn’t rocket science.

Go to the parts store, and tell them the year/make/model of your vehicle, and you’ll get the correct starter.


you would think so wouldn`t you, but often they sell me the wrong parts and I have to make the 1 1/2 hour round trip back to the store to get the right part.

Here’s an idea?

Before you make that 1 1/2 hour round trip to the parts store, take the old part with you so you can compare it with the new part.

We did this when we lived out in the boonies in northern Minnesota.



im going to take it with me but im also looking on the internet to see if i can find one for less than the store charges.

it`s not a direct drive starter because all the direct drive starters at the store have only 9 teeth and mine has 11 teeth.

Tooth count does not indicate direct drive vs gear reduction. A parts store will sell you a rebuilt duplicate of your original starter. High performance retailers offer all manner of choices for starters that differ significantly from original to satisfy those who modify their engines. What parts store is 1 1/2 hours away that you will be visiting? Most parts retailers have websites that allow you to look up the correct part needed to verify that it is stock and indicate the price.

This is the AC Delco rebuilt replacement starter listed for a 1999 Suburban with a 5.7L engine.

the description I believe describes it as “standard,” i.e., like the one installed at the factory.

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Ask for a “direct fit OEM replacement”. That’ll tell the guy at the counter in no uncertain terms that you want a starter assembly that replaces the original exactly.

I personally recommend that if you have a parts store that supplies the local garages, you try them. I’ve had very poor luck with AutoZone in particular. They carry a lot of genuine junk. I’ve gotten parts that don’t fit properly from there, and a friend just got a functionally bad “knockoff” MAF sensor from there. They provided a refund, but getting junk there has happened to me one too many times.

yep, i looked at the autozone website and all their starters are no name brand really inexpensive, i don`t want anything like that.

I found one at pepboys called a prostart platinum made by delco, it has the same amount teeth as mine and its a permanent magnet gear reduction starter for a 1999 suburban 5.7 L it sounds like it should work so im going to get it.

Best of luck with this.
I generally recommend against trying to buy a starter motor assembly based on its technical specs rather than simply getting an “OEM replacement”, but it’s your decision. I wish you only the best.

its made by delco thats GM right? and it says it`s for this vehicle with this engine.
I miss the old days when you could just tell them you needed a starter for chevy 350 and they had only one type of starter for a chevy 350 and it always fit and worked.

none of the direct drive starters that would fit a 1999 suburban,that i saw, had 11 teeth so that tells me that my particular 1999 suburban doesnt have a direct drive starter. if it does have a direct drive starter im screwed because none of the big box parts stores sell an 11 tooth direct drive starter for a 1999 suburban.

Just went to napa to get a starter for my trailblazer, $200 or so I must be missing something.,1999,k1500+suburban,5.7l+v8,1353327,electrical,starter+motor,4152

the very first one in the list, $56.89, has 11 teeth if my eyes do not lie

Another thing you could try, at the Rock Auto website I think they allow you to enter the vin number to identify the vehicle. Try searching for which starter you need that way, as it may removes some of the ambiguity. From what I can tell the oem part numbers are …

10465167 for 5.7 vin R engine
10465054 for 6.5 vin L engine

they actually list 5.7 / 6.5 as two separate options, so the list I posted is for 5.7 model

I am curious as to why the retailers of auto parts are confusing their potential customers with a selection of parts that are not duplicates of the original part. Permanent magnet starters, gear reduction starters, offset drive starters, etc., are offered for modified engines with increased compression ratios, headers that interfere with starter placement, etc. The original starter seemed to have been quite reliable for many years and a duplicate of it is available at a reasonable price from many sources. If one of the specialty starters is installed and fails soon after the warranty is out the core may not be acceptable to return to the OE model. And I am somewhat suspicious of “new” supposedly “high end” performance parts that are sold at prices equal to and below the price of rebuilt OE parts. I have been disappointed more than once with the NEW CV axles, water pumps and AC compressors at dirt cheap prices and totally ignore them these days.

I expect the OP already understands a brand new oem starter motor sourced by a dealership parts dept is an option. The first time my Corolla needed a replacement starter, that’s what I did. Worked great for quite a few years. The next time it broke – and after an unfortunate experience w/an aftermarket version — I had an auto-electric shop fix the oem starter, still in the car & cranking away.