Powermaster Shows How To Shim a GM Starter

We love “How-To” tech videos and our friends at Powermaster Performance sent us over a video on one of the least covered, but extremely important tech tips, that will help preserve the life of a starter and flywheel on your SBC engines.

Powermaster’s Brady Basner walks through the steps of installation from selecting the proper starter for the horsepower range to the final bolt tightening at the end of the installation.

According to Basner, start by making sure that you have, and are using the knurled bolt that comes with the starter kit. Not just any bolt will do! The knurled shank on the bolt keeps the bolt from spinning loose and falling out somewhere along the freeway. When that bolt comes out and the starter pivots on the one remaining bolt, teeth on the flywheel and starter take a beating.

Basner shows the measurements required to properly shim the starter for optimal starter operation. Seeing the backlash measured between the starter gear and flywheel teeth on video is worth a thousand words. The visual of the gears meshing explains how wear can be accelerated by not properly shimming the starter motor.

The second measurement Basner shows is the depth of the starter gear engagement. Another critical area where the proper clearance can lengthen the life of your flywheel and starter.

What we really enjoyed about this video is that Basner not only showed how to correct measure the backlash and depth of the gear meshing, he also showed how to install both the inner starter shim and the starter block shim to correct any gear meshing issues.

Kudos to Powermaster for this week’s tech tip. We’ll keep our eye out for additional videos from Powermaster Performance.

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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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