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Thread: Rebuilding a Chevy starter?

  1. #1
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    Rebuilding a Chevy starter?

    Has anyone here ever rebuilt a Chevy / AC Delco starter? I think the starter in the Cruiser is bad (SBC). It turns over real slow. I thought it was the battery, but I swapped it with another vehicle and the same results, other vehicle starts fine, FJ turns over real slow.

    I can get a rebuilt one at Kragen for $50, or a rebuild kit for $9 + shipping. I would have to wait on delivery of the kit.

    How hard is it and is it worth the time?
    Brizz

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  2. #2
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    the rebuild could go wrong though if your starters armature isn't tested and has a dead spot in it. Then you would need a new one. I'm not real big on the kragen or napa rebuilt stuff i've had better luck with acdelco rebuilt parts or new parts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge_Fan_86 View Post
    not sure if ill be there. just bought 100 dollars of captain morgan. So ill probably be passed out in a ditch by then, or being arrested for pissing on a cop car. never can tell. Hope i wake up ontop of the fallon courthouse this time. thatd be cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by 89jeepcpl View Post
    A happy ending in a strip club, is leaving with some cash still in your pocket
    "The dog don't like you planting stuff there. It's his backyard. If you're the only one who craps in something, you own it. Remember that."
    -I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Casci
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  3. #3
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    I'd check the cables at the starter and ground first. I'm not sure a new or rebuilt starter will fix your problem. Hey, but it's your money. Anything could happen right? At least you would have a new starter.

  4. #4
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    If you put the questionable starter in another vehicle and it did the same thing then that rules out the cables. (unless you also swapped the cables)

    The only starter problems that I would attempt a rebuild myself for are Brushes, Bendix and Solenoid. If there are problems in the windings you're sunk. The only one of those things that would apply to your situation is the brushes. Perhaps a good cleaning with some electrical contact cleaner would help.
    And the watchman told... and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
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  5. #5
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    I think he swapped the battery not the starter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FallonJeeper View Post
    I think he swapped the battery not the starter.
    Thanks Fallon. In that case, my first suspicion would be the cables.
    And the watchman told... and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
    . 2 Kings 9:20

    I don't worry about my ego, so long as my camera is bigger than my head.

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  7. #7
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    Well, I was bored last night, so I took the starter apart, looked at everything and put it back together. (It would be an easy rebuild if I had the parts) The bushings are shot, but everything else looks like it should work fine. I took the starter to Kragen and had it tested. It passes their test, but they don't test under load. It sounded horrible during the test. That's probably from the bad bushings.

    Before any of this I wire brushed the ends of both battery cables, the ground point on engine, the point where the engine and starter contact, and the positive connection on the starter. There wasn't any corrosion to start with, but I made it all shiny. And yes, it's the battery that I swapped already.

    I probably should have gotten a rebuilt starter at Kragen, but I didn't want to spent $65 on a maybe. (There's a $15 core and I never turn in the old parts until I have the problem completely solved. That's a lesson I've learned the hard way.)

    I'm going to get my multimeter and check for any other loads on the system.
    Brizz

    Be careful infringing on peoples 2nd amendment rights with your 1st amendment rights, because you probably wouldn't like it the other way around.

    XJ on 33's, open/open. FJ-40 on 37's, locked/posi.

    Looking for 68-74 FJ-40 doors and hardtop.

  8. #8
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    Oh, forgot to mention, the starters armature had a lot of shellacking chipped off around the outside. It didn't look shorted, but it certainly didn't look new.
    Brizz

    Be careful infringing on peoples 2nd amendment rights with your 1st amendment rights, because you probably wouldn't like it the other way around.

    XJ on 33's, open/open. FJ-40 on 37's, locked/posi.

    Looking for 68-74 FJ-40 doors and hardtop.

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    I agree with Cash. I threw probably 15 rebuilt starters at my old chevy in about a 4 year time period before I got smart and bought a new one from AC Delco. Never had a problem after that, which was well worth the money. Rebuilt starters are kinda like retread tires, some are better than others, but even the best ones will are not as good as the real deal.

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    And... it may not be just one thing or another. It may actually be a couple things. My experience with starters is either they worked or didn't. But I'm not beyond believing that the starter is worn out. If that's the case, I'd spend the money for a new starter and make sure when it's connected that the cable connections are clean. Beyond that there's not much else but the battery.

  11. #11
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    Take your multi meter and see if you have power coming from the starter as its turing over (put it on the big positive lug not the control wire) and see how many volts you got while its cranking...well does it even crank at all or is it just slow?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge_Fan_86 View Post
    not sure if ill be there. just bought 100 dollars of captain morgan. So ill probably be passed out in a ditch by then, or being arrested for pissing on a cop car. never can tell. Hope i wake up ontop of the fallon courthouse this time. thatd be cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by 89jeepcpl View Post
    A happy ending in a strip club, is leaving with some cash still in your pocket
    "The dog don't like you planting stuff there. It's his backyard. If you're the only one who craps in something, you own it. Remember that."
    -I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Casci
    I piss excellence.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CashMoney View Post
    Take your multi meter and see if you have power coming from the starter as its turing over (put it on the big positive lug not the control wire) and see how many volts you got while its cranking...well does it even crank at all or is it just slow?
    I'll do that and resistance test between the positive and negative with the battery disconnected. I don't think there's a drain, because it sat for a long time and wasn't dead, but who knows? The wiring is a mess, luckily there isn't a lot of it.

    It cranks slow. It's just at the speed that will sometimes start, but not usually. That's why I thought it was the battery at first.
    Brizz

    Be careful infringing on peoples 2nd amendment rights with your 1st amendment rights, because you probably wouldn't like it the other way around.

    XJ on 33's, open/open. FJ-40 on 37's, locked/posi.

    Looking for 68-74 FJ-40 doors and hardtop.

  13. #13
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    if your wires test out good you probably have a dead spot or two in the armature
    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge_Fan_86 View Post
    not sure if ill be there. just bought 100 dollars of captain morgan. So ill probably be passed out in a ditch by then, or being arrested for pissing on a cop car. never can tell. Hope i wake up ontop of the fallon courthouse this time. thatd be cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by 89jeepcpl View Post
    A happy ending in a strip club, is leaving with some cash still in your pocket
    "The dog don't like you planting stuff there. It's his backyard. If you're the only one who craps in something, you own it. Remember that."
    -I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Casci
    I piss excellence.

  14. #14
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    Test the armature with a multimeter set on ohms. Every little space should be the same. Clean the brushes and the armature where they ride real good. Scotchbrite works good if it's not too burnt. I've used files in the past on some that were so worn out.

    grease up the bushings, clean out the crap and go from there.

    For my money nowadays, if it's worn more than 1/2 on the brushes, I just go buy a new one from Kragen or someone else. I have had good luck so far.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CashMoney View Post
    the rebuild could go wrong though if your starters armature isn't tested and has a dead spot in it. Then you would need a new one. I'm not real big on the kragen or napa rebuilt stuff i've had better luck with acdelco rebuilt parts or new parts.
    x1000 on the ac delco stuff. MUCH MUCH better.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brizzman View Post
    ...Before any of this I wire brushed the ends of both battery cables, the ground point on engine, the point where the engine and starter contact, and the positive connection on the starter. There wasn't any corrosion to start with, but I made it all shiny. And yes, it's the battery that I swapped already...
    I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the cables as the culprit. Just because the connections are clean doesn't mean that the cables are good. It's not uncommon for the cable ends to be corroded inside. I've been known to cut an inch off and solder a new end on and find that it fixes "starter problems". An ohm meter won't necessarily find the problem. The continuity could be quite different under a load.
    And the watchman told... and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
    . 2 Kings 9:20

    I don't worry about my ego, so long as my camera is bigger than my head.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/17555839@N03/

    My website:
    http://www.jonathanblakephotography.com

  17. #17
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    Talking

    I got a rebuilt starter from NAPA. I figured that even if it wasn't the problem, it needed to be replaced. I had an identity problem at first. The starter on this thing is for a 62-67 GMC 283 V8 with a manual trans, so I had to figure that out first and then find somewhere that had them in stock. NAPA was the winner. Hopefully it will be better than what some of you guys have had problems with. At least there's a three year warranty.

    It seems to have fixed the problem. I went out today and it started just fine. I tried it several times. I was a bit worried, because yesterday when I put it in, it wouldn't start. I jumped it and it started, but it would usually work that way before. Then later on yesterday it wouldn't start again, but I had been running the winch a lot and ran it some without the engine running.

    Next step is dual isolated batteries.
    Brizz

    Be careful infringing on peoples 2nd amendment rights with your 1st amendment rights, because you probably wouldn't like it the other way around.

    XJ on 33's, open/open. FJ-40 on 37's, locked/posi.

    Looking for 68-74 FJ-40 doors and hardtop.

  18. #18
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    I'd say watch it for a couple days under normal use. If it continues to act up, you may have another issue.

  19. #19
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    Well, it's worked fine every time since the day after I replaced it. It turns over fast and strong. I think the battery was just drained the first day from trying to start it with the bad starter and then from using the winch with the engine off.

    Thanks for all the input.
    Brizz

    Be careful infringing on peoples 2nd amendment rights with your 1st amendment rights, because you probably wouldn't like it the other way around.

    XJ on 33's, open/open. FJ-40 on 37's, locked/posi.

    Looking for 68-74 FJ-40 doors and hardtop.

  20. #20
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    Glad you got your rig running regular.

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