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Check your starter bolts!

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:48 PM
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Check your starter bolts!

I know by now everybody checks to make sure the bolts have not backed out any but this is a little different.I've been having trouble with my top bolt backing out some for awhile now like many others.So,I had the starter off while changing the dipstick flange oring and decided to investigate the bolt and inner threads.I cleaned the female threads with brake cleaner and started the bolt in the threads.Everything felt fine until I got about halfway in and I could still move the bolt up and down conciderably.I took the original bottom bolt to the parts store and bought two just like it.Screwed one of the new bolts in the top threads and it fit like a glove and tightened up good.Pulled it back out and installed the starter with the top/bottom bolts.I was able to really get the top bolt tight this time(bottom has always tightened up good).Long story....my truck is second hand and I guess someone just grabbed a bolt out of a tool box and put in that top starter bolt.The starter even sounds different now because it is bolted up tight.Maybe this will help others
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:01 PM
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Good find Barry. That may be the problem with all the bolts backing out.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:07 PM
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I don't know but it was my problem.I could tell a difference in the two bolts when I had them out and took the time to compare.I would try to tighten that top bolt someone had in there and it would get spongy on me before it would get real tight.So,I would stop.....I was just about to drill,tap and install a helicoil when I found this out.
Sorry I did not ask the exact specs on the bolts I bought at the store,I just bought two that matched the original bottom bolt and ran home.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:04 AM
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The bolts are Metric. They are 10mm - 1.50 - 40.
In English: 10mm theads, 1.50 thread pitch, 40mm thread length
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:37 AM
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I have had the same problem too - had to tighten it when I change oil.

Seems the bottom bolt was replaced with a 1 1/4 long 3/8 - 16 thread. To make a long story short, I'm out for a burger and I hit the starter to leave and hear a loud pop, then the starter motor is just spinning. I look under the truck and see the starter hanging by the cables getting the negative ground path through the stabilizer bar. The bottom bolt was laying there and the top ear of the starter was broken off. I removed the top bolt, put the starter back on and replaced the top bolt and broken piece and held the starter in place while someone started the truck for me. Drove it home ready to helicoil the bottom hole when I noticed the difference in the bolts. Cost me a new starter and a couple of longer correct bolts but I didn't have to helicoil it.

If it feels loose, check to see if it is the right bolt. Most if not all metrics have numbers on the heads of the bolts.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:58 PM
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Ever since putting my new High Torque DB starter in last spring, I've checked and rechecked my bolts and can't find any looseness at all... roughly 15,000 miles and no issues yet, but I'll keep an eye on them all the same.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for the heads up Barry. Even though this subject has been mentioned before, its always worth it to hear the problem again with a fix, good deal..
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:17 PM
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I had a similar situation, like many of you, with the top bolt working itself out. What I found was that the threading at the beginning of the housing (female threads) was stripped, and the factory bolt was not long enough to "catch" the threads. I changed the top bolt with a 50mm length (original is 40mm) and it worked great. In addition, I used the blue locktite when re-installing the bolts.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:25 AM
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are these bolts threaded into the mount or just threaded to hold the nut on the back? Mine are stripped so it looks like I need to grind the bolts off....any suggestions?
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:46 PM
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? Not sure what you mean. The transmission case is threaded, no nuts used, if that is what you're asking. You are not able to get starter bolts out???
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:19 PM
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i have threaded bolts and nuts holding the starter on....not sure if this is original but its what i have to work with. If need be I will grind them off....i was just wondering if they are factory or not
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:53 PM
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Doesn't sound like it. They are metric bolts that can easily be mistaken for 3/8 bolts. I couldn't thardly tell the difference. Could be there is enough good threads left in case to allow a bolt to work if you can get the old ones out. Keep us posted.
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