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Old 03-26-2018, 11:02 PM   #1
BGarza13x
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Mechanic questions

So, I tried to take my truck to a mechanic to do simple things, oil change, tune up, change master cylinder... things I just haven't had the time to do recently, but mainly to diagnose an issue with the steering that is too loose. I intended to pay like $300-400 for the little things and any other things they found.

They are now telling me I need a new starter and flywheel, and that I needed a new steering shaft and that one of my freeze plugs was leaking. Grand total $1600, not to include any of the other small things or anything else. I'm not fixing to pay that much (nor am I able to).

So, I am trying to buy parts to do the work myself. When I search, it lists 2 different flywheels, a 168 tooth and 153 tooth, how do I know which one, without having the truck back in my possession? Also, would I need a whole new steering column? They just told me that the shaft, going into the steering box, was worn out and needed replacement. On the invoice quote, it just says "steering shaft".

I have a 69 C20, 3/4 ton. I believe it is a TH400 transmission, 350 engine.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:59 PM   #2
'68OrangeSunshine
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Re: Mechanic questions

Get your truck outta that trap ASAP.
It probably only needs a replacement rag-joint. LMC lists Steering Couplers [p/n 34-0745] for 30 or 50 bucks. I think you can get the rubber/fiber piece in the Help section of the auto parts store for a lot less. Power Steering?
Why would you need a new flexplate? They last forever, usually thru a couple of engine changes. [Flywheels are use on trucks with manual transmissions.]
New starter, maybe? Could just be the solenoid, could just be bad connections. You'll have to count the teeth yourself, unless someone knows offhand that TH400s had a certain tooth # count.
Freeze plug: you can pull that yourself, then get an expansion plug from NAPA in the same diameter and tighten it by turning an integral nut.
Sounds like these guys think you're dumb and rich. Show them you're neither by pulling your rig out of there before they can run up a big tab.
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:52 AM   #3
BGarza13x
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Re: Mechanic questions

They said, initially, "the starter is grinding the flywheel" and said they were going to install a shim, to see if it would help. A few days later, they said that the shim didn't work and that both the flywheel and the starter's gears had been ground or worn out, so they both needed replacement.

I believe my truck used to be manual, I still have a clutch pedal, but it was converted by a PO, I suppose when the original transmission gave out and was replaced? I guess they would've replaced the steering column then, too?

Also, I was mistaken, the guy I bought it from said it was a 700r4. I confess, I do not know much about my truck or mechanics for the most part, but do research as I can for things I need. Sometimes, I feel like I am way over my head.
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:59 AM   #4
BGarza13x
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Re: Mechanic questions

I did find a DIY Mechanic shop nearby, though, that lets you rent bays that have lifts and all the tools you need for $25/hour. The owner said that he is able to help me out or do it himself, as well, but that his time is $100 an hour (cheaper than the mechanic shop) and charged in $15 increments. He did say that he has a K5 blazer and C10 Truck, both 67-72, and had been worked on at least a dozen different 67-72 trucks.

I'm gonna try to be his friend. Lol.
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:33 AM   #5
'68OrangeSunshine
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Re: Mechanic questions

Looks like you found the right spot. And the right guy. I remember when there was one of those shops in Tucson. Long time ago. The bays were $20 a day, and the guy got $25/hour. There was even a parts store next door, real handy.
You might be able to R&R the tooth ring on the flywheel/flexplate. It will be cheaper to get a starter with a lifetime guarantee from a national chain auto parts store, than to swap out gears with good teeth from another dead starter core. You're not on an island.
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Old 03-31-2018, 07:07 PM   #6
BGarza13x
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Re: Mechanic questions

So, I've been working on the flexplate/starter. When I took them off, the starter was not what it said for a 69, it was the one from a 76, mounts up into the block as opposed to near the gear. The flexplate was the same, 168 tooth. We had to change the starter to move it, then bring it home and then take it apart. We just got it back, now it's grinding on the new flexwheel. We tried to put shims, not much help. By 4, the gears barely touch. 2, the starter doesn't retract. 3, still grinds. Am I missing something? We put it all back exactly.
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:03 AM   #7
'68OrangeSunshine
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Re: Mechanic questions

Ya got me there. I've never had bad starter problems.
I just R&R'ed the fuel pump on my '71 Jimmy. Next it's the brakes.
The other day my buddy and I swapped out a good one, for a broken exhaust valve spring. Number Five, this time. On an L6 292 in a '68 C/10.
Go figure.

Since I know very little of V8 starter problems, if I had that gripe I'd start researching the backlog of saved posts on this site Just type in your subject in the black outlined box at the header of the page, Select ''67-72chevytrucks...'' [not 'web'] and just hit Google.
If that does not steer you right, put up a new post like "New Flexplate grinds Starter'' on the Electrical Forum of this site.
Your current title is a little too generic and now it's gotten old.
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Last edited by '68OrangeSunshine; 04-01-2018 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 04-02-2018, 03:37 PM   #8
Average Joe
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Re: Mechanic questions

Just my 2 cents here, I would seriously consider upgrading to a later model mini starter. They are a bolt in and require no shimming. I used one from a '96 iirc. This was after countless efforts to shim the original rebuilt style I got at a parts house for a 350 in my Nova. You dont want to eat up the teeth on a new flexplate.
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