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Old 02-28-2017, 12:45 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 67
Year: 2000
Coachwork: blue bird
Engine: international 3800 t444e 7.3L
Question do i shim starter or return it?

i put in a new flexplate and a new starter. the starter is a brand new to me wilson mt37 unit from napa. i returned the old delco unit as core.
upon the first few times of trying to crank her up, she sounded good; at least i could tell the starter was working and it was turning the new flexplate. i was relieved about that. but because of a nostart issue ive been working on she didnt start up.
i had my friend try to crank one time so i could crawl under and watch the new flexplate and starter in action from the opening in the bottom of the bellhousing. but it just clicked once and threw a spark. i told my friend to try again. this time there was just a click. i looked closer up into the flexplate to see that the bendix gear was stuck in the flexplate. i attempted to loosen it with a long screwdriver but wasnt able to get it to pop out and back in the starter. i tried banging on the outside of the starter to see if that would jar it loose but that had no effect. i had to loosen all 3 mounting bolts on the starter and wiggle it before the bendix gear clicked and retracted back into the starter.
upon researching the web, i found a video saying that sometimes you have to shim a starter. but i specifically asked a mechanic who works on large diesels for a living if i would need to shim a new starter. he told me no, that all the buses like mine were simply 3 bolts to put a new starter in.
so im wondering what you all know about this? should i try to return the starter to napa? or do i need to buy some shims from somewhere and put them on the mounting bolts to try to back the starter out a hair? is this common for mounting starters to use shims?
thank you
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:33 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 10,315
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
ive never heard of Not shimming a starter unless you get lucky and everything is pure perfection.. someone else may be able to chime in about diesels specifically as ive not had to change a starter.. but ive put together a lot of regular cars and 90% of the time had to use at least 1 or 2 shims on the starter...
-Christopher
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:32 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
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I have shimmed one starter in all my life. Last two rebuilt starters I installed had issues so I returned them and never had a problem.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:25 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Chassis: GMC
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Back the bolts off and then tighten with a torque wrench. Doesn't take much to cause a bind if not done right.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:04 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lebanon, IN
Posts: 169
Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 66
Sometimes there is a gasket listed for between the starter and bellhousing. Without the gasket the starter binds. That is in effect the shim. I have had to add an extra gasket to shim them too.

Bill
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:11 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 67
Year: 2000
Coachwork: blue bird
Engine: international 3800 t444e 7.3L
from the wear marks on the flexplate from the few crank attempts that i first made, it looks like the bendix gear could stand to back out maybe a millimeter or so to line up better with the ring gear teeth. upon searching ebay and flaps i see there are two kinds of starter shims. i assume i need the circular one with the two bolt holes for my bottom two bolts. can i just pick them up at flaps? should i expect them to be able to tell me what size shims would fit my bellhousing if we have to order them?
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:28 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 67
Year: 2000
Coachwork: blue bird
Engine: international 3800 t444e 7.3L
well i went to flaps and purchased two shims designed for ford starters. upon trying to exam them at the bus for fitting i see that they are too small and wouldnt fit.
i thought back to what the guys at international told me, that they never shim their starters. so i figured i should get the starter that they use, especially since i got the flexplate from them. called them up and they told me they had a remanufactured delco remy in stock; i dont know why i didnt check with them first. if i wouldve known they offered the original model that came out of it as a replacement, i wouldve got it from them in the beginning.
i returned the wilson starter and got the delco remy mt37 from international. asked about getting the 41mt as an upgrade but they said it wasnt an option for my t444e engine. because i lost my core in the starter return to napa, and because internationals core charge was about $50 more, i ended up spending about that much more.
i put the new delco in and immediately notice that the armature shaft that the bendix gear slides out on rests about a half inch less deep inside the bellhousing. the alignment with the new flexplate is perfect!
im still working on a no start issue but thats another thread. the new starter is working well, turning the new flexplate like a champ. several times now the starter has worked well and no sign of misalignment or of a stuck bendix.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:06 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 10,315
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
i wonder if the starter is another one of those minor anomolies on the 444E, that is ever so close to the ford 7.3 but not quite the same, many parts stores try to list alot of the parts as the same when they arent quite.. so NAPA may have given you a ford 7.3 starter, and IHC gives you a true 444E starter..

I know the fuel pressure regulator setup is another very similar but yet slightly different setup that often gets mixed up between the 2.. the serpentine be,lt tensioner is another... NAPA listed it fora 444E and what I got was a bit different and was really for a ford 7.3, when I went to rush truck parts i got the correct assembly...

-Christopher
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:31 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 67
Year: 2000
Coachwork: blue bird
Engine: international 3800 t444e 7.3L
the wilson i originally got from napa was the same one that oreilley had to sell for the t444e. makes me wonder how many starters have been sold that didnt really fit right but people ended up using homemade shims or something to jimmyrig it.
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