It needs to be shimmed. You can buy shims at your local parts house. Place the shim between the starter body and the engine block on the inboard bolt only. That will move the starter on it's axis AWAY from the block. It is sticking because it is engaging too deeply into the teeth on the starter ring of the flywheel. Try a few different sizes (thicknesses) of shims until the sound and sticking go away. also it could be the starter itself,there are two types of starters for the Chevy 350. one is metric with a shorter nose on the starter and the other standard with a longer nose .AnswerI would check this problem out ASAP since it is fairly easy o damage the teeth on the flywheel. I had a Buick Electra 225 that had bad teeth on the flywheel due to a misaligned starter. The starter would spin, but would not turn the engine since the starter teeth just spun where the tteth they were suppose to engage to on the flywheel were damaged. I had to crawl under the car with my tire iron and wedge it against the flywheel teeth and move the flywheel ahead just enough to get it to grab. I eventually replaced the flywheel and that is a huge job.
If you have recently replaced the starter and it just started having these symptoms, it can probably be attributed to the problems mentioned on the above post as these are by far the most common. If this is the original starter it could be due to a weak bendix spring in the starter are just the starter bearing going south.
VBDAnswerstarter mounting bracket is missing AnswerI have a 1989 Chevy. I did some upgrades such as cams, carburetor work transmissions, just trying to start to make it into a quarter mile truck. I don't really know what I'm doing but I've been having these same starter problems. I talked to different mechanics and they all seem to say the same thing. They said that the motor is just so compressed. Whatever that means but they suggested a heavy duty starter with the shims. So if anyone is trying to make a hot rod and your having starter problems. This could be your breakthruogh. Answeryep, if ya have too much ommpression like a 11 to 1 ratio, it will cause starting problems with a stock starter. if this is the case, buy a starter meant for starting hp engine and the problem will be gone. oh....if ya add headers, put a heat shield on for the starter....the new found heat will cause more problems for the starter in the-future. AnswerAnother possible problem is that the starter is old and is starting to get worn out, or possibly it is dirty, these are common problems in older trucks and can easily be fixed by going to your local parts store and purchasing a new starter for around $100. AnswerThe bendix pulls the starter gear into place when you engage the starter. If the bendix or starter gear are oil fouled, dirty or worn, the starter gear may not pull into place properly or release properly. Replace the starter and check the gear on the flywheel/flex plate. If the gear is worn through at any place around the circumference, you'll need to replace it. Unfortunately, that means pulling the transmission and/or engine.
I have been a Chevy tech and came across this many times all the above answeres are excellant, however don't discard the fact that someone may have been trying to start the car while it was running, forcing the bendix gear into the teeth on the flywheel, if the flywheel teeth are worn replace the flywheel at the same time as the starter, some times just replacing the starter will only cause more money to flow from your wallet.....you must check the teeth on the flywheel.....all of them....if they are nasty you will never take care of the grind by only shimming and or replacing the starter, and will only add to many years of replacing starters continously.
Also don't forget to check the ignition switch to be sure it is not sticking and causing the starter to engage the flywheel for too laong after the engine starts, this as well will cause damage to the strter and flywheel.... a cracked distributor cap or incorrect valve timing etc will cause a backfire while cranking the starter and can cause the stater bendix drive gear to malfunction,even crack the starter nose and cause havoc to the flywheel teeth.
This is a rare occasion but, if these repairs don't fix your problem i have ran in to this problem also: Check the thrust run-out on the crankshaft if it gets excessive (IE. old motor or poor rebuild etc..) this can allow the flywheel and converter/flex-plate ass.. to move forward & back to much causing interference. It is rare but happens. Always make sure on new installs that the marriage between the engine and trans are not bound or tweaked Check for a broken or cracking out flex-plate on auto's.
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