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1988 K2500 350 4x4 starter replacment

10-30-2010, 05:17 AM

I have just replaced the starter in my 1988 K2500, and am curious to know how i can tell if i need to insert spacers between the mounting bracket on the engine block, and the mounting bracket of the starter.

With my old starter, i herd an obvious sound of the starter running for a second or 2 before the truck started. With the new starter, i turn the key, all the lights go off on my dash, and if i hold the key in the starting position for a few seconds, the truck starts right up. So with the new starter, i turn over they key to turn on the low volt eletrical, and all the dash lights turn on just fine. When i turn the key to the ignition position, the lights in the dash turn off, and if i hold the key on the starting position, the truck starts.

I have no idea what to make of this. It is like the new starter does exactly what the old starter did, minus the sound. Note that i replaced the starter because of a bad solenoid, not a mad starter motor itself.

My gut is telling me that the gears on the fly wheel, and the starter, are to tight together, and do not want to turn smoothly. Hence my idea of inserting spacers to give the gears a little space to move smoothly. From the reading that came with the new starter, it is insinuation that adding spacers is to tighten the gap of the gears, and installing the starter with no spacers moves the gears further apart. I have the starter installed with no spacers, and i think that the gears are to close together.

Am I moving the gears closer, or further apart by inserting the spacer(s)?

Am I even assuming correctly on what my issue is?


Thank you for your time. =)

10-30-2010, 06:07 AM
Installing shims moves the starter gear away from flywheel.
If starter is to tight or to lose you will get extra starter noise.
If it starts good with no extra noise it is good like it is.
Did old starter have shims?

Did the new starter come with instructions on shims AND CHECKING CLEARANCE?

There is a way to check clearance but it is a pain to do.
You have to remove splash shield and inset the special rod/pin tool that comes with most shim kits and and check with starter drive engaged.

10-30-2010, 02:26 PM
The old starter had no shims in place.

The new starter came with instructions, and it does say that if the gap is to tight that you can insert shims.

The shim kit did come with a pin to measure the distance between the gears.

The new starter makes no noise while i start the truck for the first few seconds, then the truck fires right up. I would only have to apply shims if the starter was making more noise than it should? I am going to assume that the starter is fine for now...

Thanks again.

10-30-2010, 03:09 PM
If no noise you are good with no shims.
Good Luck

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