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SBC flywheels: 153 & 168 tooth: which starter?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Slide, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,032

    Slide
    Member

    So I'm swapping out my TH350 to put in a Muncie M20. When I bought the M20, I got the whole enchilada... flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, bellhousing, etc. Thing is, the manual flywheel is the smaller diameter (153t), and the flex plate I was using was the bigger 168t. So now I need a different starter. My block is from a 74 Chevy p/u, and it has the staggered starter bolt mounting pattern. So what do I need to ask for when I go to the parts counter? Or do I need one of them hi-torque mini-starters that mount either way?
     
  2. most blocks have both patterns, for the small flywheel you need a straight across starter.
     
  3. Missing Link
    Joined: Sep 9, 2002
    Posts: 865

    Missing Link
    Member

    Personally, I would go with the hi-torque mini-starter. Yea, I know, it's not "trad" or "ol skool" but they are drilled for either application. They are light, easy to handle and, hence, easier to install. Just don't buy one from Speedway. That's only my opinion on the question, though.

    You may be able to find a stock starter if you measure your flywheel diameter and try to match that up with a later model car. For example if your flywheel is 14" in diameter, possible a '70 Monte Carlo starter will work. If the flywheel is 12-3/4" in diameter, well then maybe a '76 Nova sarter will work. Those are only examples and not meant to be true. Catch my drift? You will need confirm what will and what won't work for you. Check out the Napa website. It will answer a lot of questions for you.

    I still say go with the mini-starter. Chances are it will be easier to install and wire anyway. Good luck, dude!
     
  4. Ayers Garage
    Joined: Nov 28, 2002
    Posts: 1,384

    Ayers Garage
    Member

    Like the fellow above said, your block will have all three holes for either starter fitment. Staggered bolt holes =168 tooth flywheel, straight across bolt holes= 153 tooth flywheel. No need to fess up the big bucks for an aftermarket mini starter unless you just want to, just buy the right starter at the parts store.

    BTW, the nosecone will interchange freely between them, so you can swap as needed if you come across an old junky starter with the right nosecone.
     
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  5. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,032

    Slide
    Member

    Thanks for the replies! But my block only has the two mounting holes, and they are staggered. I just double-checked. Does this mean I need to change flywheels... or do they make a starter that handles small flywheels and staggered mounting???
     
  6. It's rare, but not unheard of, to only have one starter bolt pattern on the block, I know a guy who's "into" 400 chevs, it's common on them. That doesn't help you though, as far as I know, it's one or the the other, staggered or straight, and the flywheel MUST match the starter.
     
  7. Mass Butcher
    Joined: Sep 3, 2003
    Posts: 361

    Mass Butcher
    Member

    I agree with using the mini-starter. The box should come with shims to shim the starter assy forward(towards the radiator).KEEP them! I have installed 2 and needed all the shims I could scrounge. The starter gear tends to sit right up against the flywheel, so with the engine running it tends to rub. Just my experience though. Good luck.
     
  8. Hey Butcher.....Who did you get your starter from and who made it??
     
  9. Mass Butcher
    Joined: Sep 3, 2003
    Posts: 361

    Mass Butcher
    Member

    I have used a proform and a powermaster starter. Both had the same issue. I own a shop so I bought them from myself.(boy, did I get screwed[​IMG])
     
  10. Thirdyfivepickup
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 6,085

    Thirdyfivepickup
    Member

    HMMMM.. I had to edit my first reply... I don't know enough about the manual trans applications...

    My first thought was to put a larger flywheel on the engine... BUT, will that work with the disc/pressure plate combination? Don't know if the larger flywheel will work with the smaller disc and pressure plate.

    What I do know is that all of the books I have at work do not show a starter to fit a 153 tooth flywheel on a block with a staggered pattern.

    ...where is Squirrel when you need him?? :)
     
  11. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,032

    Slide
    Member

    I thought that, too, but checking Summit's site, I'm not finding any 168t flywheels that will use a 10" clutch/pressure plate. Nor can I find any applications of a staggered mount starter for a 153t flywheel. I really don't have the budget to buy a new flywheel/clutch/pressure plate, but if that's the only way to make it happen...

    How bad would it be to drill & tap the block for an inline starter mount?

    Oh, and I am a believer on those mini starters too. Especially since the wiring is so much easier to get to! :cool: And it's not like it would ruin the traditionalism of my car... I have plenty of "non-HAMB" items on my car: radials, alternator....
     
  12. GomezGarage
    Joined: Jun 28, 2004
    Posts: 326

    GomezGarage
    Member

    Just buy the ministarter. I had the same problem with a 283 Nova project. All the different nose cones where my problem. Several trips to the parts store and still no luck. Ministarter was in and on the road in under an hour.
     
  13. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,900

    Dirty2
    Member

    Slide !!!! Did you forget what I do for a living ???? Rusty has a mini starter.
     
  14. Rio Grande Valley Deuce
    Joined: Jul 10, 2005
    Posts: 530

    Rio Grande Valley Deuce
    Member

    Thought I'd throw my ideas into the hat.

    I'm a conservative spender and very practical. I'd buy the regular starter for your application. Seems it is the one for the larger tooth flywheel.

    Since most of my friends and I drive to events, I prefer to purchase something that can be replaced at a local and common parts house. They normally keep these parts in stock.

    Secondly, I really like specialty parts like the hi torque starters, HOWEVER, these wear out too. Unless you purchase a very good brand that is sometimes very pricey, the starter might be a throw away once it wears out. They will have to be replaced after a period of time and they come with a premium price.

    I've learned this after participating in the car hobby all of my life and through my experience at the local roundy round dirt tracks.

    Some of your comments kept a budget in mind, so I thought I'd mention these ideas to you.

    Food for thought. Hope it helps some. - RGV:)
     
  15. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,900

    Dirty2
    Member

    Slide, We had the same prob, with Dirty31's I drilled and taped the extra hole in the block.Then you use the correct starter. I can take the starter you have and freshen it up and change the DE housing ..
     
  16. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,312

    Phil1934
    Member

    There is no starter for the staggered holes and small flywheel. You need to mount a small flywheel starter and then drill and tap the second hole. I've had both 400 and 350 truck blocks that only had the staggered pattern.
     
  17. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,032

    Slide
    Member

    Aw, man, I totally forgot about your shop! (Guess I was thinking you drive a hot rod for a living!!!) I'll get in touch with you tomorrow. I'll prolly drill the block after church today... I already picked up a mini starter yesterday, but I haven't unwrapped it. Hopefully they'll take it back.
     
  18. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,032

    Slide
    Member

    Good thoughts RGVD. I agree that I totally prefer to keep parts more available... that's a lot of the reason I have an SBC and disc brakes on my car. (Believe me, I believe in driving my car.) I didn't go get the mini starter until after the parts counter couldn't find a regular one in-stock that would fit the smaller flywheel.
     

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