The hole at the end of my starter shaft is somewhat enlarged from a previously wobbling bolt. How close a fit should the hole be for the bolt end?
It's used to keep the drive head and spring from turning. As long as there's enough "hole" to capture the end of the bolt, you should be ok. When reinstalling, be sure to use the tabbed washers on both bolts. One tab bends down and the other up against the bolt head.
To be more specific, the woodruff key keeps the parts from turning. It should be a tight fit. The bolt is to keep the drive head from coming off the shaft. Sorry.
If the key is loose and worn, replace the key. If the keyway is wallowed out, it should be repaired.
Thanks, Ken. Someone installed the Bendix bolts with split washers. The outer bolt unscrewed and ran against the starter drive cover. A few more years, and it might have cut right through the cover.
I had my starter overhauled when, as it turned out, all I needed was a new battery. _That makes me the king of fixing starters when they don't need to be fixed. _That being said, with your having already gone to the effort of dismounting the thing and looking at the necessity of reinstalling, the extra $150 or so cost of rebuilding the starter balances out favorably against the possible breakage a damaged starter could inflict upon itself or your engine. _That sucker generates a lot of force.
P.J. in PA,
No lock washers should be used on the Bendix. Use the washers shown here https://www.modeltford.com/item/5023-4-5.aspx to retain the bolts.
Just reread your comment above. Sounds like you already knew about the special washers.