Shimming a starter on a 1.9?
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Thread: Shimming a starter on a 1.9?

  1. #1
    GT Owner, Ascona Mechanic My location lkyrog's Avatar
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    Shimming a starter on a 1.9?

    Tried searching for this to no avail so....
    I am currently restoring a 1974 Ascona for my wife and things are going well (sending it out for paint soon).
    I purchased a new ogts permanent magnet starter because I thought the old one was intermittant (I was getting a clicking sound everytime the key was turned but it only engaged intermitantly (I also bought a new battery, ground wire and hot wire, by the way).
    The install went smoothly (Only needing two bolts to mount, because of the smaller size) but I have the same issue.
    A guy in the garage I was working in helped me troubleshoot it and he said that the solenoid is not meshing with the gears and after a few try's it eventually lines up (note: sometimes it works right away).
    He said on most cars he was used to working on, when this happened, you could insert shims on the outer side of the starter mount and it would allow the gears to mesh.
    Can this be done with the 1.9 engine or is there another more expensive problem I am faced with?
    Thanks for any suggestion in advance.
    Roger
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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    When I had starter problems on my way to the nationals last year, Allen Gage let me borrow his new OGTS starter when I got to his house. We were getting ready to leave the following morning and I noticed a noise that was not there before. We quickly determined that it was the starter. Not wanting to damage it, I left the wagon there. When We got back, I "shimmed" the starter with washers and the noise went away.

    I could be wrong but the OGTS starters look to be knockoffs of the Bosch starters. They do not have any Bosch markings on them like the factory one in my 3.0 has. So it is possible that the tolerances are not as tight or consistent as the originals.
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    UFOpel Investigator Site Supporter My location Aardvaark (R.I.P.)'s Avatar
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    Back in the day my parents 1972 4dr 1900 automatic sedan had the same intermittent not engagement issue. I removed the starter and replaced the bendix starter drive with a new one. It became somewhat better but would still occasionally still not engage. I inspected the flex plate ring gear and it looked okay from what I could see so I decided the the ring gear had a bad area on it that allowed the starter not to engage every time. It was still doing it after three or four years and never got any worse or left the car stranded. Perhaps shimming would have cured it. Dunno.
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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder's Avatar
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    I also had a new OGTS starter that did great for a while and then wouldn't engage. I had another one in stock and grabbed it and swapped them out. I noticed I could rotate the engine and it would catch until I tried to crank it again. I'm not sure which way you would shim it though. I also had a bad ground causing some of my starter issues
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    GT Owner, Ascona Mechanic My location lkyrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aardvaark View Post
    Back in the day my parents 1972 4dr 1900 automatic sedan had the same intermittent not engagement issue. I removed the starter and replaced the bendix starter drive with a new one. It became somewhat better but would still occasionally still not engage. I inspected the flex plate ring gear and it looked okay from what I could see so I decided the the ring gear had a bad area on it that allowed the starter not to engage every time. It was still doing it after three or four years and never got any worse or left the car stranded. Perhaps shimming would have cured it. Dunno.
    Yeah...it is definitely an alignment issue (since it didn't matter which starter was installed) . It seems that if it isn't aligned (which seems to be a 50/50 proposition) each time the starter is engaged it must rotate the bendix a little each time until it finally does line up...I might have to teach my wife to just get used to it if there is no adjustment (or shim fix)
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Hmmm.....I wonder if there's a chance I might have a problem. I have one of those starters from the original factory 2.4 engine that I recently sold to PJ, but I reused it on the freshened up factory 2.4 I recently got from OGTS. I presume that it is an original Bosch one, since the engine it came from was from a European salvage yard that a member personally found and shipped back to the U.S. himself.

    Buuuut, the engine is bolted to a 70's era TH180 Opel automatic tranny.

    Does anyone think I might have an issue with it?

    I plan on turning the key to start the engine for the first time within the next week or so.


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    GT Owner, Ascona Mechanic My location lkyrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    When I had starter problems on my way to the nationals last year, Allen Gage let me borrow his new OGTS starter when I got to his house. We were getting ready to leave the following morning and I noticed a noise that was not there before. We quickly determined that it was the starter. Not wanting to damage it, I left the wagon there. When We got back, I "shimmed" the starter with washers and the noise went away.

    I could be wrong but the OGTS starters look to be knockoffs of the Bosch starters. They do not have any Bosch markings on them like the factory one in my 3.0 has. So it is possible that the tolerances are not as tight or consistent as the originals.
    Did you put washers on both sides Gary? What size and how many did you use?
    When it does engage it works fine, so I was thinking there maybe an alignment issue that could be adjusted by shimming one side to help it mesh when engaged, or am I wrong with that theory?
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    GT Owner, Ascona Mechanic My location lkyrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Hmmm.....I wonder if there's a chance I might have a problem. I have one of those starters from the original factory 2.4 engine that I recently sold to PJ, but I reused it on the freshened up factory 2.4 I recently got from OGTS. I presume that it is an original Bosch one, since the engine it came from was from a European salvage yard that a member personally found and shipped back to the U.S. himself.

    Buuuut, the engine is bolted to a 70's era TH180 Opel automatic tranny.

    Does anyone think I might have an issue with it?

    I plan on turning the key to start the engine for the first time within the next week or so.

    This Ascona is an automatic...never thought that that may make a difference...does it?
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    UFOpel Investigator Site Supporter My location Aardvaark (R.I.P.)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkyrog View Post
    This Ascona is an automatic...never thought that that may make a difference...does it?
    Not likely.
    My parents 1972 auto was the only Opel I ever had the problem with. So I doubt it being an automatic is involved in the equation. You might inspect the ring gear on the flex plate for damaged teeth. Remove spark plugs and turn engine over by wrench at the crank pulley looking through the starter hole with a flash light.
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    GT Owner, Ascona Mechanic My location lkyrog's Avatar
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    solved by shimming

    ok...just back from working on this the past few hours.
    After trying to shim just one side with no difference being made I decided to take it out and look things over a bit. I still have the old starter and when compared to that one there was a significant difference in the distance from the engaging gear to the case. So to make up the difference I added washers (the same size as the ones on the mounting bolts). I taped them in place and also used some 1/4" thick rubber insulation around the case that when mounted sealed up the gap made by the washers and also should help stabilize the installed starter and....wa la, it worked!
    I did leave out the many other experiments I tried getting to this fix.
    So, I would highly suggest that when getting a new starter that you compare it with the one you take off to see if any shimming may be needed or not when you install it.
    Thanks for all the help and suggestions....now on to the next thing on my list...
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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkyrog View Post
    Did you put washers on both sides Gary? What size and how many did you use?
    When it does engage it works fine, so I was thinking there maybe an alignment issue that could be adjusted by shimming one side to help it mesh when engaged, or am I wrong with that theory?
    A little late but I used the two washers from the starter bolts. Just put them between the starter and bellhousing and the noise went away. I didn't compare it when I swapped it out and sent it back to Ohio.

    BTW, I have one in my GT. It did not need any shimming.
    Last edited by Gary; 04-12-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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    Moderator Site Supporter neuropel's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I installed one of the new starters yesterday on our GT and it worked flawlessly. Spins the 2.4 over like a champ (it sounds a lot better too). I must say, I was skeptical when I compared the two starters, but the new ones really seem to do the trick. And not having to use the rear bracket is nice as well. It'll be interesting to see if I experience the same issue you describe.
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    GT Owner, Ascona Mechanic My location lkyrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuropel View Post
    Interesting thread. I installed one of the new starters yesterday on our GT and it worked flawlessly. Spins the 2.4 over like a champ (it sounds a lot better too). I must say, I was skeptical when I compared the two starters, but the new ones really seem to do the trick. And not having to use the rear bracket is nice as well. It'll be interesting to see if I experience the same issue you describe.
    I do love how easy it is to install, how it looks, and the modern operating sound. Just seemed to have the ring and starter gears too close on my ascona when installed and needed a little more room to allow the beveled edges to find their way into the ring gear when engaging. I did notice a difference in the beveling on the starter gear, the ogts one had a small area which was flat, while the original one was pointy. Just happy to be able to find a fairly easy way to fix it. .....especially only having to remove 2 bolts to change.
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