Flywheel – Starter Grinding Noise

I have an 81 GMC Jimmy with a 350 auto transmission. I purchased it and about two weeks after I bought it the starter gave out. During removal of starter noticed flyweel had some damage to the the teeth.

It appeared to be minimal so I didn’t replace it. Replaced the starter and shimmed it. About three weeks later I went to start it and heard a high pitch noise coming from starter. Crawled under neath and discovered the flywheel teeth pretty worn.

Now I have replaced the flywheel and tightened everything up but upon trying to start the engine it cranked fine the first try but didn’t fire up. Upon second attempt to start heard horrible grinding noise. Tried shim adjustments and no luck. Noticing wear already on flywheel.
What should I do?

Hi there,

A few things come to mind here.

1. Is the replacement flywheel exactly the same as the old one, with the same number of teeth? Did you place it on top of old wheel and make sure it was identical?

2. Starter still not shimmed correctly

3. Starter motor itself is faulty and causing the problem, or wrong starter motor for vehicle

4. Flywheel not installed flush, a star pattern was not used to tighten flywheel and wheel is in a bind

Trying a new starter would be the easiest and fastest thing to rule out

Hope that helps

Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • Austin Davis

    Thank you very much Joel, glad it was helpful to you.

  • Joel Smith

    Same thing happened to me, and after reading this post I found out that in fact the starter was not shimmed correctly and that was giving me that noise. After taking care of it, it all worked smoothly. I think this information can help many others with grinding noises on their cars.