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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:07 pm 
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I'm working on a 1996 Chevy Astro that we recently purchased. Starts and runs just fine but the starter seems to be making some noise. It cranks every time and turns over reasonably fast so it doesn't seem like the starter is "bad", but as it turns over it makes a distinct tick tick tick tick noise. No grinding or gnashing of gears just a loud clean *TICK*

I pulled the starter this weekend and cleaned all the contacts at the starter itself. The battery is fairly new and otherwise functions great. Contacts at the battery look clean. I figured next to check the grounds to the block and see if there was any issue there.

Anyone got any other ideas? Is this signs of impending starter death? Or worse, flex plate issue? I'm also curious about replacement, the cheap online price for a replacement OEM style starter is around $150. Are there other options, lighter/stronger/better? 4.3L shares a lot with small block V8s, so I was hoping for an alternative that was less $s.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:54 pm 
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With the starter out I would inspect the teeth on the flex plate. If a previous starter ground a tooth it will make that noise, well at least my LUV does.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:20 pm 
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I would say flex plate related. Maybe loose torque converter bolts, or loose flex plate to crankshaft bolts?


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:59 am 
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Would there be any other symptoms that would go along with any of the possible flex plate problems? This thing runs quiet and smooth, no other noises at all. Just a tick that sounds almost like the zap of a spark jumping a gap.

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95 Isuzu Trooper Daily Driver
86 Isuzu Trooper reliable backup
77 LUV 2wd stock beltway blaster (resting)
79 4x4 LUV project: 2.6L, 5spd, 31s (eventually)

MEPR: Man, my 4x4 makes all other LUVs look good :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Location: Fullerton Ca
Just a thought, if it sounds like an arc I would wait until dark and have someone start it up while you are looking around under the hood or near the starter. I found a bad plug wire this way a long time ago. sparking is easy to see in the dark.

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:05 pm 
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It only makes the noise while the starter is engaged, goes away as soon as you let the key off start. Plug wire arcing crossed my mind too. Certainly worth a look, but I doubt a wire would arc only while starting.

That was just the best description I could come up with for the sound.

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95 Isuzu Trooper Daily Driver
86 Isuzu Trooper reliable backup
77 LUV 2wd stock beltway blaster (resting)
79 4x4 LUV project: 2.6L, 5spd, 31s (eventually)

MEPR: Man, my 4x4 makes all other LUVs look good :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:30 pm 
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If its a tooth with a blemish then it would only make noise when the starter is engaged.

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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:58 am 
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A cracked flexplate would do it also.

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