How to Change the Starter on a Chevy 1500 Truckby Russell Wood
The starter on a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is what gets the engine moving. Turning the ignition triggers the starter motor---which draws power from the battery---to engage, turning the flywheel and kicking the motor into action. When the starter on your Chevy goes out, the truck won't start and you're left stranded. This repair should take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Jack up the front of the Silverado and secure it on jack stands. Make sure the truck is solidly on the stands before you crawl underneath it.
Disconnect the positive post on the battery using an open-end wrench. This ensures you won't get shocked when disconnecting the starter from the power wire. As a backup, also disconnect the negative terminal.
Crawl beneath the truck and unbolt the heat shield, if the truck is equipped with one, using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set.
Unbolt all wiring from the starter using either the open-end wrench or the 3/8-inch ratchet and sockets, depending on accessibility. Make sure to keep all your bolts in a safe place; you will be using them when you reassemble the starter.
Pull out one of the two bolts that hold the starter to the block. Support the starter with one hand, and with your other hand slowly pull the second bolt. The starter is surprisingly heavy, although manageable, so don't unbolt it without first supporting the starter properly. Remove the starter from the truck.
Bolt the replacement starter onto your Chevy using the 3/8-inch ratchet, making sure that any shims that were previously on the block or starter are still there.
Reconnect all wiring, then reattach the heat shield and battery terminals.
Try to start your Chevy. If it starts normally, then the job is complete. If you hear the starter motor grinding, repeat the process and add shims between the starter motor and the engine. This may take a few attempts.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Open-end wrench set
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Replacement starter
- Starter shim kit
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.