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5.7 suburban
New battery
Worked perfectly fine till a few months ago. Seemed battery was going out. If lights were left on more than 10 minutes would needed to ve Jumped.
So i was just careful. Then one day wouldn't start. And stopped cranking normally.
I couldn't jump it. It sat few weeks then I was able to jump it again.
Intermittently this always happens now. Got a new battery and its still doing it.

It cranks when I turn the key for a few good seconds of crank. Then it stops cranking and then sounds like only my starter is spinning.
I got my starter tested at orilleys and they said it was fine. I found a bench test on YouTube and it seemes to preform properly according to it.
Can it just not work properly under load?
My security light isn't staying on.
I tested down at my starter both from battery and the small "s" termInal. Both have good power.
Then I tried putting on a remote starter switch and it does the same thing. Still only cranks shortly then I only hear the starter spinning.
Watched another video about load test. Positive I think it was .17 neg .24
My ground by the battery is clean. Did clean other ground passenger side under block.
All my fuses and relays seem fine.
Fuel at the rail.
It just weird cause everyone in a while before I got ths new battery today it would work intermittently a day here and there.
Is it just the starter?
What am I missing?

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Location: Oregon
sounds like a starter to me. if you hear the starter spin but it doesn't turn the engine over that would mean the the contact in the solenoid made contact for the starter to spin but the starter gear did not stay out and engage the ring gear/flex plate. That should be a bad starter. Unless of course, you have a bad flex plate or ring gear. And it does happen but the starter going out is much more common. When you bench test a starter it may shoot the gear out and spin but unless you have some thing that can push the gear back you don't know if that's the way it will be in the vehicle.

If the starter IS spinning and the engine is not turning over I would try a new or reman starter.

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Thats whats weird about it. it does turn the engine over. Every time i turn the key it has one good crank. after about two seconds it stops and i only hear the starter. (maybe the starter is disengaging but still spinning? when someone else turns it over and im under the vehicle i can hear the starter still spinning after that good first crank.) the gears on my flex plate looked fine / same with the starter.
Can my flexplate be loose or something to where it just spins after the initial good crank?
When i engaged the starter with the remote starter switch it does the same thing. I know it could be acting differently under load. but with the bench test on the starter everything seemed fine. so if im bypassing the cable to the "s" terminal and directly making the starter come out and spin whats stopping the cranking? just seems if the starter was faulty why would it only crank good for that first few seconds?
Could the spacing of the starter be off? or flexplate be bent? it doesnt seem possible, but could the gear on the starter be going past the flexplate and is only engaging as it passes by?
I dont want to buy a new starter and it not be the problem.

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contributions: 2244
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Location: Oregon
without being there to see what's happening I can only go by what you tell me. If the starter engages the teeth of the flexplate and starts to turn the over but then lets go and just spins with no grinding it sounds like the starter gear comes out to engage the flexplate teeth but then retracts back away from the flexplate or the bendix releases and then continues to spin . It sounds like a bad starter drive gear

does your model of trans have a torque conveter cover that can be removed? One that will let you see what the starter is doing when try to start it up? If you do try to see what it is doing be sure to wear safety glasses because metal particles may be coming off the starter or the flexplate.

if you bench test the starter with no load you can see the starter spin, but you already knew that because you said you could hear it spinning. The bench test will show you that the solenoid kicks out the starter gear to engage the flexplate, but you knew that because the engine will crank for a couple of seconds. What your bench test will not show you is what happens when you put a big load on the starter gear. The starter gear had a type of clutch in it. one that lets it lock up on cranking but spin free when the engine starts up and runs much faster than the starter. If that clutch is damaged it could let go under load. Starter spin but no engine crank.

there are not a lot of options here. Replacing the starter may just a first step in diagnosing a bigger problem. But you said that the starter teeth and the flexplate teeth looked good. You can tell if the flexplate is bent by rotating the crank bolt in front. Make sure the key is off.

I don't want you to replace a starter if you don't need to but what else do you think it could be? (No, the starter gear cannot pass the flexplate and only crank as it passing the gear)

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