305 SBC Starter Grinding

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78
Location
Rhode Island
Thread starter
Hello, I have a 95 GMC K1500 with the 305 SBC engine. Recently it has started occasionally grinding instead of cranking when I engage the starter. If I hear that it isn't catching I just key off and then crank again and it usually catches the second time. Some days it doesn't grind at all and just works normally. Is this a symptom of a failing starter? Thanks.
 
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7,814
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
2005 Ranger 4.0 SOHC My starter sounded like it was staying engaged for a second after starting. A little exercise seems to have freed it up. Do starters in mostly idle vehicles ever need to be lubed? I'm referring to the lever mechanism which throws the pinion into the ring gear.
 
Messages
1,776
Location
Kingston
If it just started out of nowhere it doesn't need a shim. Sometimes when you replace the starter you will need the shim. My 305s did not, but it's very common that they do. It could be your starter drive or solenoid not engaging. After the original starter failed in mine the Delco replacements kept failing. Solenoid and now starter drive (only fails to engage in cold weather), I bought the parts for cheap at the local rebuilder. Could also be missing a tooth if it's actually grinding and not just freewheeling.
 
Messages
7
Location
New Mexico
Yes. Get it done soon before it fails completely. I let the starter go for too long on my previous car ('02 Jetta) because it didn't squawk each time, so it failed at some point. Luckily, at home in the drive.
 
Messages
2,386
Location
Lakeside CA
Starter drive gear probably failing. Will strand you at some point. You can test/replace just the starter drive or the entire starter. With the starter out, the drive gear should only turn freely in one direction, the other direction will cause the motor to turn also. I use the term "turn freely" because it's does have some resistance but you can usually turn it by fingers in one direction. So try to rotate the gear one direction then the other, back and forth, determine which direction is the free direction, go back and forth, if it ever slips in the engage direction it's bad. Sometimes you cannot tell, but it is still bad. Not hard to replace but you have to pay attention to what you are doing. Don't buy a cheap part if you can help it. Good luck. BTW, if it wasn't grinding before, it's not a shim problem as suggested, but if you replace the entire unit and the new one grinds or binds, you will need shims for that new starter motor. If your current starter has shims, make sure you put them back in with the starter if you only replace the starter drive.
 
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