Starter problem??

airbrushguy

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Almost ready to start 500 Cadillac, TDC with new sign wires, new High Torque Mini Starter wired up. Try to crank engine with bump starter but only get a couple of crank movements and stops like dead battery. Switch to my truck's battery that I know is good and same result. Go under, remove starter, bench start with jumpers and works fine. Put back in engine and check solenoid gear, it extends to 2/3 of flywheel and does not need shims for spacing. Starter has 10 teeth, made for 153, 168 Chevy ......Any ideas?
 

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5one9

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The same starter screamed like a banshee on my engine. My regular hi torq starter has 9 teeth and is much better.
 

airbrushguy

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"The same starter screamed like a banshee on my engine. My regular hi tore starter has 9 teeth and is much better."

Except, I'm not even getting to hear it scream....won't continue to spin.

BTW, where did you get the 9 teeth version?
 

5one9

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So what I saw happening was that the tooth pitch of the 10 tooth starter matched the flywheel very closely. It came extremely close to hitting peak to peak on the flywheel. I shimmed it to the point that it wouldn't engage any more and that was that. The 9 tooth is smaller in diameter and a little tighter on pitch so that it can always 'lead' the flywheel by a tiny bit.

You might try a 0.030" shim to see if it improves to the point that it doesn't lock up.
 

Darius

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Starters draw more current than anything else when engaged. That means they require good grounds between themselves and the battery. I'd check the ground straps from the battery to the block as well as grounding straps from the battery to the frame. It could just be poor grounds.

bro. d
 

Caddylackn

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Ditto what Darius said, make sure your block is grounded to either the frame or the battery.
 

airbrushguy

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Grounds are good, but I reinforced them by cleaning any dirt, paint etc and adding star washers to woven strap from engine to frame.
Next step, I will add shim even though it appears not to need one.
Thanks for your thoughts.
 

airbrushguy

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5one9

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I would start with the thinnest shim I could find and see if it quits locking up. I think 0.015” was the thinnest I had.
 

cadillac512

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Interesting....I disconnected all the plug wires and the starter spun fast and turned engine. Was then assuming I needed a shim.
Is it possible that it is too tight under load for the 10 tooth starter?
Thanks
Whoa...if that sucker cranks with plug wires off (as in no spark but plugs still in) then the timing is advanced to the point the engine is firing as the pistons rise and the starter can't overcome it. Double check (make damned sure) #1 wire is located correctly in the cap when #1 is ready to fire, and that the firing order is correct and progresses clockwise 'round the cap.
Then...if all is ok as above....retard the timing by rotating the distributor clockwise. Maybe 1/2" of rotation as measured at the outer edge of the cap.
Crank again with wires hooked up and see what happens.
This problem is not a shim.

Terry
 

Darius

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Ditto what Terry said!!

bro. d
 

airbrushguy

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Sorry for the confusion....the spark plugs were pulled out when wires were removed. There are no plugs in the holes
 

cadillac512

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Sorry for the confusion....the spark plugs were pulled out when wires were removed. There are no plugs in the holes
Ok, but it still isn't a shim problem...that would manifest itself as a noisy,gear grinding/clashing sound. If the engine turns with plugs out and the starter sounds ok then,it's either a bad starter or a battery/battery cable/connection problem. Any chance you can put a volt meter on the positive cable right where it hooks to the starter and see what it reads while trying to crank with plugs in? If it's low there, do the test again and check voltage at the battery posts while cranking. That would sure help diagnose the problem.

Terry
 

Caddylackn

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I am thinking small chamber heads on flat top pistons at this point. You might have 13:1 compression.
What heads are you running? What does the casting number say under the valve cover?
 

Darius

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I am thinking small chamber heads on flat top pistons at this point. You might have 13:1 compression.
What heads are you running? What does the casting number say under the valve cover?
I have small chamber head with what Marty said were forged, .050 overs, that He "specked out to 10:1 compression but yielded cranking compression readings of 210 PSI taken at 4540 ft. altitude. And with all of that my engine turns over nicely with 18 degrees of initial dialed in.

Wish I had cc'd my heads.

bro. d
 
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5one9

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airbrushguy

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Absolutely, welded a nut to the frame for ground strap attachment and used the actual battery cable screwed to battery rather than jumper cables.
Thanks for all of your help and concern.
 

5one9

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You were using jumper cables instead of battery cables. That would have been good info to put in the first post.
 
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