Ring Ding Zing
I got a great deal on an '87 Chevy C10 shortbed pickup, because it was having a nasty starter problem. It's hard to start and often impossible to start. The seller said he had installed a couple new starters and thought the problem was in how the starter engaged the ring gear. The ring gear is missing a couple teeth. So, in order to start the truck, I often have to crawl under the front bumper and put a socket and flex bar on the crank pulley bolt and rotate the engine to a spot where the ring gear isn't damaged.

I know the right way to fix the problem is to install a new flexplate, but it is a lot of work I'd just as soon not do. A friend suggested that I could make the old flexplate work, if I just rotated it one bolt hole. I just have to get enough access to remove the bolts. Will this work?
Bob Napoli
via e-mail

Rotating the flexplate/ring gear sure sounds easier than pulling the whole flexplate, at least it did when we encountered a similar situation on a Chevy van with the same running gear. The problem is that the flexplate has an indexing hole that only fits one way on the back of the crankshaft.

In our case, a couple teeth were chipped off and the rest of the teeth were damaged on the side facing the starter. We initially thought there might be a starter/ring gear alignment problem, but when we removed the damaged flexplate, the cause was very evident. The flexplate was stamped "This Side Toward Engine," but that side was facing the torque converter.

Even though GM flexplates seem flat, there is a difference. The correct mounting places the gear teeth closer to the engine and closer to the starter for proper engagement. Even if you get a new flexplate that isn't marked, be sure the ring gear teeth are closer to the engine.

Cameo Appearance
I found a very rare '57 Chevy Cameo pickup with a small back window. The seller claims the small window models are much more rare than the big window cabs. Do you know how many small window Cameos were made?
Dwayne Eherberhardt
via e-mail

Unless the seller has some great factory documentation, we'd say the truck is one of none. All '55-'58 Cameo pickups were deluxe models with the full width rear window. We've seen a couple small window versions, too, but they've all been regular pickups, with the fiberglass Cameo bed pieces, taillights, and rear bumper added.

Wheel Covers
I bought an S-10 Blazer that was 'bagged by the previous owner. The truck sits great and looks even better. The problem is, in order to make room for the 18-inch wheels and tires, the guy chucked the inner fenderwells. As a result, my engine compartment is filthy and I think the truck looks unfinished. Does someone make larger inner fenderwells for slammed trucks? Thanks.
Hector Morales
via e-mail

We don't know of anyone who makes oversized inner fenderwells, but it seems like a great business opportunity. They could be made out of lightweight rugged plastic.

If you want that finished appearance and cleaner engine, you'll need to make your own. How much your tires intrude on the engine compartment when the truck is laid out will determine how much wider the inner fenders need to be. It may help to raise them.

The technique is very similar to tubbing rear wheelwells. The inner fender should be split and widened with a couple inches of similar gauge metal. Many builders get an extra set of inner fenders and cut out a center band to weld into the original fenders. You can either metal-finish the welds or take the easy way out and cover them with thick undercoating.