Help Starter Cracked!!!
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Help Starter Cracked!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member koyota93's Avatar
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    Default Help Starter Cracked!!!

    So I am getting the boat ready for Big River for Memorial. Its a Howard with a 454 BBC. Just rebuilt the carb and installed new fuel lines, fuel filter, and Bassett's. I go to start the boat and the thing cranks for a good 30 seconds or so on off. I know its not gonna start immediately because the fuel needs to prime. I am cranking and spraying WD-40 in the carb ( no starter fluid can't find it), and then it sound like it was about to start then it sounded kinda like a backfire too a little pop sound. Now all I hear is grinding from the starter. Took the starter out to find the nose cone cracked. Its probably the 3rd starter that has cracked in 3 years. I have had 2 that took a sh*t but didn't crack. The last one that cracked was also after a long period of cranking. I just don't know what the problem is. They seem to work well for a while. I have a feeling the little backfire thing caused it to crack but it doesn't really make sense. I have never used any shims because it always seemed to work properly. Oh the thing was hot too when I took it out. Its a reman one from Napa. I just traded it in for one from AutoZone. I don't want to buy an expensive one until I've identified the problem.

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member H20MOFO's Avatar
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    I'd check the clearance on the new one to see if you need the shims. They should supply you with a round rod that is I think is like 90 thousanths
    Another Hot Boat refugee

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    Cantard 71hallett's Avatar
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    Paper clip between the gears is what your after.
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    It would be a balmy 85* in Steel's shop if he would move a little faster

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    Senior Member HBjet's Avatar
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    Autozone starter is what I ran years ago before I had my motor built. Get the lifetime warranty one, then you will never have to pay for it again, and just turn in your old one each year.

    Good think about Autozone is you can be at any location for the exchange without the receipt.

  7. #5
    Hit it where you fit it
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBjet View Post
    Autozone starter is what I ran years ago before I had my motor built. Get the lifetime warranty one, then you will never have to pay for it again, and just turn in your old one each year.

    Good think about Autozone is you can be at any location for the exchange without the receipt.

    Exact reason for my change over to a "cs130" 105 amp gm alternator. The 140 amp chrome one lasted about 2/3 a season. The "generic GM model can be found in anytown for $60 ish , or free with a receipt

  8. #6
    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBjet View Post
    Autozone starter is what I ran years ago before I had my motor built. Get the lifetime warranty one, then you will never have to pay for it again, and just turn in your old one each year.

    Good think about Autozone is you can be at any location for the exchange without the receipt.
    Have to agree here. Not only is it lifetime replacement, available just about anywhere, but they're a pretty good start to boot. I've been running the same one on mine for years.

    Incidently if your boat has been sitting for a long period of time, get a plastic bottle (I use an empty gear lube bottle) and fill it with gas. Remove one of the top bowl screws on your carb. Fill the bowl with gas from the plastic bottle, replace the bowl screw, clean up any spilled fuel and hit the accelerator pump a couple times. You should feel some resistance (pumping fuel). She'll fire right up (unless you have other problems). Long periods of cranking without starting can cause some damage, but I guess you already know that.
    Last edited by Squirtcha?; 05-22-2008 at 02:45 PM.

  9. #7
    Super Moderator HammerDown's Avatar
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    Along with the above...I think you can also fill them through the carbs vent tubes., Holley that is.
    <img src=http://www.performanceboats.com/gallery/data/500/medium/06-30-11_1234.jpg border=0 alt= />

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    Jackwagon Patrolman Rexone's Avatar
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    Make sure you are using the stock starter bolts or aftermarket intended for Chevy starter and NOT regular bolts. Chevy starter bolts have a special sized shoulder to position the starter. Standard bolts allow the starter to move. Move = break.

    On stock starter you should also have the brace on the other end that bolts to the block. Again stabilizes the starter. This is a GM item.

    Starter should not break with all of the above.

    Also I've found the iron snout units to be much stronger than the alum.

  11. #9
    Senior Member HBjet's Avatar
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    Dude, just push start it...

  12. #10
    Senior Member koyota93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone View Post
    Make sure you are using the stock stater bolts or aftermarket intended for Chevy starter and NOT regular bolts. Chevy starter bolts have a special sized shoulder to position the starter. Standard bolts allow the starter to move. Move = break.

    On stock starter you should also have the brace on the other end that bolts to the block. Again stabilizes the starter. This is a GM item.

    Starter should not break with all of the above.

    Also I've found the iron snout units to be much stronger than the alum.
    I think I am using the stock bolts. They are knurled on the ends. I do not have the brace. Anyone know where I can get one? How do you get one with an iron snout?
    Do you think the starter broke because I cranked the piss out of it? Or because it is not shimmed properly?

  13. #11
    Just Me snoc653's Avatar
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    Having previously worked at AZ, a cracked nose cone is not covered by waranty. Those are caused by improper shimming or the engine backfiring while cranking. But if you only had a small pop, I would suspect that shimming is the major cause of your problem. Make sure you shim the starter and it should last a long long time. And buy the lifetime starter as the quality differences are really worth the cost difference.

  14. #12
    Senior Member koyota93's Avatar
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    So my lifetime starter came with a shim kit and a little rod to do it, but is it possible to use that rod with my fly wheel cover? I am no genius but it seems like I can't use it because the cover is in the way. The little manual that comes with the starter says to listen for shimming problems. I don't think I'll be able to hear sh*t with open headers. Anyone have a pic of the bracket that goes on the back?
    Also do you think the starter broke because it backfired while cranking or is shimmed incorrectly or both are very possible?


  15. #13
    Just Me snoc653's Avatar
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    You won't be able to shim it with the cover in place. So if you want to make absolutly sure it is right, take the cover off or at least loose so you can get the gauge between the flywheel and starter. Since this wasn't the first nose cone you broke, I'm betting more on the shimming is off as opposed to the motor backfiring. Unless your motor backfires while starting all the time, then it is very possible it is a backfire issue. In either case if you take the time to shim it right, you'll know if it happens again. And AutoZone used to sell the rear bracket in the HELP parts. Not sure if it is still listed there or not. You can make one without too much difficulty. It is basicly just a steel brace to hold the back of the starter from bouncing. Run the brace from any block bolt (header bolt) down to the back of the starter. If you're good at fabricating, make it, have it chromed or powder coated and sell some.

  16. #14
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    The problem is that you are not using the rear brace as stated above, with the aluminum nose the starter flexes to the side causing the nose cone to break. GM still sells the bracket, if you build one make it a stout piece there is a lot of tourque applied to that little nose cone on a big block especially if its a higher compression engine. I've seen this prob start to arise after they got rid of the iron nose and went to the aluminum.

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