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Ok i'm just a highschool kid with a 74 4 door nova. Its not in great shape or anything but she gets me where i'm going. Its got a 350 and an automatic transmission. I've taken two years of high school auto but i'm not in it anymore so i don't have the option of asking my teacher so I came here looking for help. I was driving myself home a few days ago and when i was almost home it started making this terrible scraping sound. I didn't know what to do but i was so close to home i just got myself there. But as I was driving with it like this it would make the sound sometimes and stop others. It seemed like it would make the sound when i slowed down or turned in some way. Well i got myself home, put it in park and it wasn't making the noise so i got out and poped the hood and took a look, and i couldn't see anything out of the normal. So puzzled i decided to wait for the next day to investigate further. My first theory was that it was my ac belt because it was looser than it should have been. I never really thought that was it because it sounded like metal on metal, not belt on metal. But whatever it needed tightening anyway so i did. Then i tried driving it and i had gotten no farther than the end of my neighborhood when it did it again. So i took it back home and started thinking again. With no ideas i gave up for the day, the next day i noticed i had somehow gotten a flat tire, which bummed me out. And then it was raining and i'm not gonna switch to my spare in the rain so i waited another day. So today after i switched to my spare i decided to start her up and see how she was. when i started her without giving it any gas it just started idleing like normal. But later when i started it while giving it gas it did the horrible noise again so i shut it off immediatley. I looked yet again over the engine for a sign of what could be causing this noise, i found nothing. Desperate i climbed under to try to see anything i could with the started and flywheel. I found plastic piece that was nearly falling off that i think was just part of a guard around the starter, i took it off thinking maybe it was just scraping the starter or something like that, but no luck it still made the noise when i gave it some gas as i started it. So i don't know where to go from here, I still suspect it has to do with the starter or flywheel or that general side of the engine. But what to do now i don't know, any suggestions? Anything anyone might think would be so much help, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read all this.
 

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"sounds" ta me like it could be yer power steering belt... ;)

take a look see, check the fluid level too :D

with engine off... grab yer fan/fan clutch and give it a wobble so to speak and see if the water pump bearing, fan clutch is excessively loose... could be a sign of the pump getting ready ta fail... a fan clutch will have "some" movement, but not water pump bearing...
 

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Like the Flyer suggests see if you got something up front loose. I might remove the belts to check the water pump for slop. Check the fan and the alternator too. You could start the engine with the belts off and run it for a second to see if the noise goes away too, just don't run it over a minute or you'll over heat it with no water circulating. If that doesn't locate the sound and you think it's the starter put the car on stands and see where the noise is coming from when it's running. Could this plastic you found be part of the solonoid on the starter? Good luck, RM
 

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Another thing to look at is the condition of the belt, just because it is tight doesnt mean that it couldnt be missing some teeth. I think your on the right track looking at the belts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanx

hey guys thanx for the help, and i'll be sure to give those belts in the front a good looking over. I still have suspicions about the starter though. My theory is that something is messed up with the solenoid, like maybe the spring that is supposed to hold back the pinion gear is worn out? I just think that if it was a belt up front it would be making the noise all the time, right? But it only makes it when i'm moving or right when i try to start if i try to start it while giving it some gas. It starts normal when i just crank it without giving it any gas, maybe because the rpm isn't as high the gear is able to unmesh in time, but when its faster it doesn't have time. It doesn't have to do with how fast the engines going once its started though, cause i've had it in park and reved it up and it didn't do it. So maybe when i'm driving around if i hit a spot in the road or something it makes the gear slid out and scrap the flywheel. So I dunno, it seems like my theory makes sense. But i don't know how i could test it, I don't wanna replace anything until I'm sure i have to. Any more advise i could get would be great, thanx.
 

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I doubt it is your solenoid if it stays out even for a few seconds above an idle the starter would be junk.I had a very scary sound come from mine right after the new engine was in. It came from the flywheel cover at bottom rubbing the flywheel.
 

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NAQ, you could have a bad starter or an electrical problem in the wiring or starter switch that is trying to engage it when it is running.
 

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Just a thought but you said you found only a piece of a shroud for the flexplate could a piece of it be stuck up in the bellhousing area? That would make some noise I bet. Just thinkng outside the box, I would check the motor mounts and the tranny mount since sagging or broken mounts will let stuff move around and rub in strange places.

Miles:D
 

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I know this sounds too simple, but, look for something out of place... like shiny. Shiny means rubbing, worn, or recently broken off. Look for scuffs in the fan shroud, on the dust cover for the flex-plate, ect.

I like the "remove the belts" theory. This doesnt cost anything but time.

This is a process of elimination. Start at one place, like the front of the motor, and exhaust all possible problems in that area, then move to the next. AND, don't change too many things all at the same time, or you won't know what it was that worked when the noise dissappears.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
starter was trying to start while i was driving

well i got under it today and took off the flywheel dust cover, and the side of the the teeth was nice and shiny. I was right, the noise was the starter. And as i was poking around i brushed against the wire that goes to the starter directly from the battery, and the starter started. So i tightened the bolt holding that wire to the started, and then it started up and as i drove it around the neigborhood it didn't do it again. So is it this simple, was it just a lose wire trying to engage the starter as i was driving down the street? And will just tightening it down really keep this from happening anymore?
 

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Nova same as rest of life, Grasshopper, things usually more simple than we first think.

Unless we are counting on things to be simple, then they become most difficult.

One nut may disturb the shop, like a pebble disturbs the pond.
 

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NAQ said:
well i got under it today and took off the flywheel dust cover, and the side of the the teeth was nice and shiny. I was right, the noise was the starter. And as i was poking around i brushed against the wire that goes to the starter directly from the battery, and the starter started. So i tightened the bolt holding that wire to the started, and then it started up and as i drove it around the neigborhood it didn't do it again. So is it this simple, was it just a lose wire trying to engage the starter as i was driving down the street? And will just tightening it down really keep this from happening anymore?
NAQ

that could've been dangerous! You're lucky your fingers weren't near the fan when you brushed that starter cable. the only way to "bump" start the starter is if the thick wire coming from your battery touches the smaller wire, or the stud where the smaller wire mounts to your starter.

The way the starter works is the small wire comes from your ignition switch on your steering column, when you turn your key, electricity flows through the small wire to your starter, and engages the pinion which also closes the circuit to allow SERIOUS amperage to go to the actual starter motor directly from the battery.

If you accidentally touch the big wire from the battery to the little wire connection, it will do the same thing as turning the key, allow electricity to go through the little wire clsoing the circuit to your starter motor.

Good job finding the problem, if the big wire was loose when you pressed on the gas, the engine lifting, or going over a bump, could have shifted the big wire enough to touch the little wire stud on the starter.

But lesson learned about safety, you never know when things in your engine compartment might "come to life", next time I would suggest disconnecting your battery before crawling under your car!! If you need to jiggle wires to test stuff do it carefully!
 
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