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Thread: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

  1. #1
    morty9614 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Cool 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    I am new here so I will start with a question that someone hopefully can answer. My Cadillac rattles when turning right ONLY. Not that nasty grinding noise you usually get when you have dry wheel bearings or bad ones. Sounds like a small pebble inside an empty soda can ! Not pebbles plural...but singly. Ok...this id just plain weird what I am about to ask. Considering laws of gravity and motion, I am being told it's my starter bendix . Like it touches my flywheel as my " boat " ebbs toward the right as I turn. Like a ball on my dash, it will roll to the left as the car turns right. This is FUNNY to me ! Like the bendix is not retracting enough. I have had the front end checked too. No problems with rack & pinions, knuckles, axles etc. Somewhere oin the Internet ( I forgot the URL ) the mechanic says while rare, this can indeed happen ! Uhh...its a major job playing " let's hope this is it ma " to replace the starter on a Northstar. I can do it myself, but its still a pain. ( good vid on You Tube for starter replace on a Northstar too ). Any input will be appreciated ! Thanks....Terry ( morty9614 ) Yes...I am a mortician ! ( we LOVE our black Caddys ) !!


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  3. #2
    rodnok01's Avatar
    rodnok01 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    Not sure where you sound is coming from but there has been a couple with starter contacting flexplate when turning. Rare for sure.

  4. #3
    morty9614 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    Thanks for responding. I have not pinpointed the exact source but....I need to find those sites where others have had this issue. My " ball-on-the -dash " analogy is wrong. When the boat tilts right, the ball will roll the same way. Car starts just fine, its just that annoying noise. The flex plate....will that be solved with an all-new starter ? I already bought one. If I have to pull the intake manifold to adjust a flex plate, I may as well replace the thing. Knock sensor too while I am at it. I will keep you posted as to my progress on this matter. Thank You.

  5. #4
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    The flex plate isn't something that gets adjusted. It's a large, circular steel plate bolted to the output shaft of the engine. There are teeth around the perimeter that the gear on the starter pinion gear engage with. The starter has a spring in it that keeps the pinion gear retracted until you turn the key, and retracts it when you release the key from the start position. If the spring breaks, the pinion gear will chatter against the flex plate teeth.

    .....Yes, a new starter would be the fix, IF that's the problem.

  6. #5
    rodnok01's Avatar
    rodnok01 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    Knock sensors rarely if ever go bad on N* engines.

  7. #6
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    Quote Originally Posted by morty9614 View Post
    I am being told it's my starter bendix . Like it touches my flywheel as my " boat " ebbs toward the right as I turn. Like a ball on my dash, it will roll to the left as the car turns right. This is FUNNY to me ! Like the bendix is not retracting enough.
    I would almost put money on it. It's not that it's not retracting enough. It has a broken return spring and, like MC said, the starter pinion is reacting to centrifugal force and is free to slide back and forth. You could replace the starter or just the spring.

  8. #7
    morty9614 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    I Finally got the courage to explore my 1999 DeVille noise issue. Ranger...you are awesome ! Sure enough, when I pulled the starter out, the little ratchet gear thing slid up and down on the shaft for the bendix. There were no flex plate as I saw but I was not looking for one. Probably was inside. Taking off the intake was pretty cool considering I am a Shadetree with a Budweiser mechanic ! Just common sense, tagging hoses, drawing sketches where certain screws/clips attach etc and it went fine. Never in a million years would I have suspected THIS ( starter bendix ) as the source of my noise. Thanks to wonderful forum members for your input !

  9. #8
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    Now take it to an alternator/starter rebuilder and get it repaired for about $20.

  10. #9
    morty9614 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1999 Deville rattles when turning right

    Cool idea ! That way I have a spare. Now I have heater issues which I will post a thread about sometime today.


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