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Old 02-29-2004, 06:14 PM   #1
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Sometimes my starter grinds???

Once in a while ill go to start my car and the starter will grind as soon as i try to start the car.Then ill try again and it will be ok.This happens every so often.Does anyone have any idea why???...Thanks...Al in NJ
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:43 PM   #2
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Could be you have a bad spot on your flywheel where the teeth are chewed up.
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:51 PM   #3
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Agreed...
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:55 PM   #4
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So if this was the case how could i solve the problem?Would i have to replace the flywheel?
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:09 PM   #5
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Pretty much, yeah. It's not like a brake rotor....can't really remachine em.
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:16 PM   #6
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And could it cause a problem if i dont replace the flywheel?
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:22 PM   #7
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Well it'll keep grinding the starter...I imagine the damage gets a little worse every time. Worst I can see happening is a tooth breaking off and going flying..... It shouldnt throw the flywheel out of balance from just a few ground teeth.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:35 AM   #8
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actually if you live with this problem for years (5) then it will become unbalanced. I am replacing my flexplate right now after 5 years of grinding every once in awhile like you.

I replaced the starter once and it helped imensely but its only a temp fix.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:00 AM   #9
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It rarely damages the flex plate.

More often, the sprag inside the starter drive is the culprit; so it makes what sounds like a grinding noise, but it's not the teeth themselves that are grinding. Replacing the starter fixes it completely in most cases. Not all of course, but most.

I'd sure try just putting a new starter on it like everybody else does and go from there.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:02 AM   #10
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I think borderline low voltage to the starter solenoid will also cause a similar problem. The solenoid doesn't pull all of the way in. If the voltage drop gets worse, you get the "click." The problem is that the wire for the starter solenoid goes from the battery connection on the starter through the firewall to the steering column key switch and back to the starter. In the process it goes through a bunch of electrical connections and each one has the potential to drop the voltage slightly. With the cumulative (spelling?) potential voltage drops, you may start with 12 volts at the starter battery connection and only have 6 when you get to the starter connection. If you pick up a relay, and wire one side of the normally open contact set to the starter battery connection, the other side of the n.o. contact set to the starter solenoid connection, put the starter solenoid wire to the relay coil, and the other side of the relay coil to a ground, you may eliminate the problem. You will still get low voltage on the wire from the key switch, but the relay doesn't require as much voltage to pull in as the starter solenoid. If you get a relay with a small mounting bracket, there is a stud on the end of the starter to mount it to.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:53 PM   #11
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my starter sounds like it grinds once in a while also. it started when i put the brand new billet flywheel along with a new ac delco starter in. i drove it 5k miles like this. i had the car tore down this winter and checked the flywheel and starter over extremly well. then i also had a few friends check it over. and nobody found any ground teeth or defects at all. i put the car back together, and its done it once so far.

for the time being, i am going to live with the problem, as it seems it is not doing any damage to anything. i am only dropping .5 volts in the starter circut so i doubt that is the problem either.

maybe there is no solution to the problem
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:55 PM   #12
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Sounds like your starter is bad.

Just being new doesn't guarantee that it's not bad.

But since it's new, you could just replace the drive, which would cost alot less than a whole starter.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:16 PM   #13
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Solenoid connection

When you hit the voltage to the solenoid, it energizes a magnetic piston that pulls the starter gear out onto the flywheel. If you get a grinder without flywheel tooth damage, you have either weak voltage, which usually shows up first in a starter that turns over slowly, or you have a lame solenoid magnet that doesnt always do the job. Yes, there are connections in the solenoid itself that arc and get funky. I would suggest replacing the solenoid and seeing if that solves your problems.

Good luck

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Old 03-06-2004, 07:42 PM   #14
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OK thanks guys,i think ill replace the starter when i get a chance and take it from there.Thanks, Al in NJ
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86 Trans AM TPI 305
Bored 30 over,Blower Cam,Forged Blower Pistons,Ported upper intake,Bosch Platinum +4 plugs,Accel 300+ Race Wires,Hypertech Coil,cap and rotor set up,3 inch Flowmaster Exhaust....Best 1/4 mile time so far was a 12.5 w/ a Paxton Supercharger.

Performance Resource Chip coming soon with many more upgrades....

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Old 07-16-2005, 06:29 PM   #15
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Sometimes Grinds,back again, now not starting!!!

Well here i am again, a year later. Last summer i replaced my starter and it was fine for the longest time. A few months ago id go to start the car and nothing at all would happen, id wait anywhere from 10 mins to 45 mins and try again and the car would start like nothing was ever wrong....Or id go to start and id hear a loud grind noise sometimes. So now last month, out of the blue i went to start the car and it wasnt starting, and you hear the starting kind of grinding, but it almost sounded like my battery was dead and i was trying to start the car. So i got a jump start and still had no luck. So then i decided let me just buy a new battery and see if that might do the trick, and i have the same thing.

So now my car is just sitting here in my parking lot,i had to have someone push me home and my bumber is all scratched up now. But most importantly the car still dont start. You turn the key and only hear the starter grinding loud and clicking.

Anyone can help??? Im thinking replacing the starter again,and maybe flywheel too.

Last edited by TPI86TA; 07-16-2005 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 07-16-2005, 07:07 PM   #16
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You may have two separate problems. The clicking, a loud rapid clicking, is usually caused by low voltage at the starter. That is the sound of the solenoid pulling in and quickly releasing. The release happens because as the starter motor is engaged the voltage drops off. This causes the solenoid to release. Once released the voltage rises again enough to pull the solenoid back in, which in turn engages the starter motor, and the cycle continues.

If the battery is good and is charged, then I'd look at the cable and cable connections.

As for the grinding I've usually found it to be eaten teeth on the flexplate/flywheel.

Al.
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:41 PM   #17
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I was afraid the flexplate/flywheel was a culprit in this. Is that hard to fix, and can anyone recomend a good flywheel/flexplate?

Also from what ive been reading on thirgen, i think my solenoid gets too hot sometimes and thats why it used to take me anywhere from 5 mins to 45 mins for my car to start again.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:30 AM   #18
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If this is the '88 with the auto it will be a flexplate. Before buying another one remove the inspection cover from the bottom front of the trans. The flexplate will be easy to see. Check the teeth on it. Rotate it to check it all the way around.

If that is the problem the tranny needs to come out to replace the flexplate. As for another one, I'd be tempted to find a good used GM plate. For a new one, auto supply store, Jegs, Summit, all carry aftermarket pieces.

Al.
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Old 07-17-2005, 03:25 PM   #19
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I don't mean to hack into someone elses post, but my car just did the same thing yesterday morning. I went to go start it and I just got a single click. I got the multimeter out and theres 13 v in the battery so thats not the problem. My car has never had any problems before. Does this sound like a starter problem also?
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:31 PM   #20
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wow, ok... check this out....I pulled the starter and right away i noticed a crack running down the starter case. As i examined it i noticed both sides of the starter case had cracks running down them. I figured that the starter was just cheap. I became a little concerned because someone told me the reason why that happened is because my engine is seized up. I never had any sign of my engine going, and i always tune up the car. The car never smokes.

I pulled out the #1 plug and took off the belt, and tried turning the crank by hand. It turns but is very hard,i can probally rotate the crank shaft completely. As it turns i hit an easy spot, from having the 1 plug out, then it gets hard to turn again.

What do you guys think??? Thanks....Al in NJ
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Old 07-27-2005, 05:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by TPI86TA
wow, ok... check this out....I pulled the starter and right away i noticed a crack running down the starter case. As i examined it i noticed both sides of the starter case had cracks running down them. I figured that the starter was just cheap. I became a little concerned because someone told me the reason why that happened is because my engine is seized up. I never had any sign of my engine going, and i always tune up the car. The car never smokes.

I pulled out the #1 plug and took off the belt, and tried turning the crank by hand. It turns but is very hard,i can probally rotate the crank shaft completely. As it turns i hit an easy spot, from having the 1 plug out, then it gets hard to turn again.

What do you guys think??? Thanks....Al in NJ
The turnover sounds normal....compression is making it hard to turn. If it was easy to turn I'd be worried.

As far as the starter....couldn't tell ya what might crack one...never seen it actually happen! Was it installed right, meshed good? Any shims needed?
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Old 07-27-2005, 05:46 PM
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