: 78 fwb breaking starters

05-23-05, 08:41 AM
hey everyone

ive been having alot of problems with starters in my 78fwb. 4 in 3 weeks to be exact.

Every time i replace the starter, i use a different number of shims, according to the sheet its too close to the flywheel by the sound, but i doubt it. the aluminum nose cone is cracking down both sides...

Could this be from a worn timing set or something else? anyone else have a problem like this?

05-23-05, 10:35 AM
Is your ignition timing correct? If it's fighting against the starter, that could cause problems.

05-23-05, 02:08 PM
Is the "metal rod" (wd) that's sits at the end of the starter and bolts to the engine block attatched as it should? If not, that is a good way to ruin starters.


The Ape Man
05-23-05, 02:39 PM
Unless the starter reman includes shaving off some material the starter does not need a shim on the older Cadillac engines. See archive for thread on starter to block bracket which must be used. Time to also check the distributor's mechanical advance to see it it is hanging up. Good idea to check base timing also. In severe cases look for fuel lines leaning on something hot. Boiled gasoline can casue vapor lock and make your starter drop a nut.

05-23-05, 07:57 PM
yes, the metal bar that bolts to the motor is intact. i just recently set initial timing, this couldnt be caused by a timing set could it?

05-24-05, 12:02 AM
Timing can do it, the flywheel kicking back is hard on them.

What engine? 425 or 368?

Can you use the 500 or 472 starter? Can you make sure you get the 1970 high torque (10MT isn't it?) version. The 5MT started showing up in the later 70's to be a ligher weight starter at the expense of power.

The Ape Man
05-24-05, 03:37 PM
Pop the dist. cap off and check the mechanical advance. It can get stuck and make your initial timing vary quite a bit. This info is in the archives here.
The starter nose will hold up fine when everything else is in good condition including the starter motor to block bracket.