Starter solonoid spins and doesnt engage

Old 04-23-03, 05:08 PM
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Starter solenoid spins and doesnt engage

I am in from my garage and will try the forum to see if you can help. I am changing the solenoid on my 1994 GMC Safari Van. The problem that I am having, is that the solonoid drive spins to its hearts content and doesnt engage the big gear. (flywheel?).
What step have i missed in installing solenoid.......or what am i doing wrong? Do i have to position the solonoid drive gear or something???.... The starter slides in to place real nice,
Old 04-23-03, 05:39 PM
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all gm starters that i have seen are 1 piece when you replace if it won't engage then it sounds faulty and you should have it tested where you purchased the starter. also another main thing to make sure of is when you removed the old starter did it have shims in it? if so those must go back in with new starter, because if it's not engagiung the shaft might be moving but not reaching the flywheel, also the casting on starter might be off.
Old 04-23-03, 05:47 PM
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On this starter, the solenoid is changeable. there were no shims. I have reinstalled the starter (with new solonoid) 3 times still no luck. Originally i thought an alignment problem but i was very carefull to make sure things went in smoothly. After 3 attempts i doubt itys an alignment problem?.
Old 04-23-03, 05:55 PM
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If the starter spins and does not engage the flywheel it's not a bad solonoid its a bad bendix. Time for a new starter.
Old 04-23-03, 06:42 PM
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I think you might be correct. But, what makes me a wonder, is that with the old solenoid installed, the engine willl occasionally start.

Thanks, i think i will replace the the whole thing.
Old 04-23-03, 07:00 PM
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The starter IS rebuildable but it takes good skill and knowledge to do it.

Original poster: Replace the unit with an AC Delco rebuilt. Yours sounds wasted.
Old 04-24-03, 12:07 AM
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Yep, sounds like a new starter is needed.

Short story.
Son's 89 Big Blazer (I mean BIG - lift kit with 35 inch tires). Dad almost needs a step ladder to get in the seat.
Anyway the dang thing was tempermental. Started 80% of the time. Put in new starter about a year ago. Then same problem last fall. Another (Advance Auto) starter in Sept. Then occasionally wouldn't start this winter. Had mechanic replace starter again. (Advance paid for this one.) Guess what - still not right.
Had a diff mech put in a Napa bought starter three weeks ago.
Five year guarantee with towing.
It has started twice a day, no problem, with the new starter.
I hate to knock specific products, but I'm not buying anything electrical at Advance again.

Old 04-24-03, 12:18 AM
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I agree with you Fred... Alternators and starters especially. Cheap remans are no good. Yeah, they put lifetime warranties on 'em, but what's it worth when you're 150 miles from home and your alternator overcharged and boiled your battery out and fried some fusible links? need a bendix, not a solenoid. The solenoid doesn't spin.

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