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Technical 460 Ford Starter Issues

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vafan, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. vafan
    Joined: Oct 12, 2009
    Posts: 26

    vafan
    Member
    from Virginia

    Having starter/ring gear issues with a new build on a 1973 460 Ford. The bell housing, clutch, p.p. and flywheel were on the previous 460 that went terminal. I purchased the car (69 Fairlane) with the engine already installed (supposedly less than 1k miles and the clutch looks new). The person I purchased from did not do the install and doesn’t know the origin of the parts. The flywheel has 184 teeth (427?). The starter is a Summit Racing® Protorque Starter SUM-820048. The clutch and p.p. are Luk. The engine started several times on the test stand and about 5 or 6 times after getting it in the car. Then it began to grind and just spin. I had failed to check the flywheel closely before installing it on the new build so it’s my bad: Found the starter teeth only engage about an eighth inch into the ring and only about a third of the way across the teeth and both the gear and the ring are damaged. When the starter is off the engine it kicks the gear out plenty far enough to fully engage but it appears either the tooth count and/or pitch are wrong. It appears the problem existed on the previous motor because the block plate has been cut off to allow the starter to bolt directly against the block (another indicator I was too dumb to see when I put it together). I guess I’m looking at the results of someone converting an automatic to a 4 speed and not getting it right but don’t know enough to correct it. I’ve read several posts about starter issues on 460s but I didn’t get a clear idea on what to do. Any help would be appreciated.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,071

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    They probably cut the block plate to try to get more engagement depth. I would ditch the Summit starter and get PMGR from a 1997 F250. Small, strong and they work.
     
    deucemac likes this.
  3. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,117

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    184 tooth is an FE flywheel. The engagement isn't quite right with the 460 starter. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't. I've been looking into this issue as I'm planning to do this myself. I've read that using an FE bendix drive on the 460 starter may help with engagement depth. To do this, you would have to use the old, original style of starter, not the late mini style. You can get a special flywheel for this swap for about $400.

    For those wondering why one would want to put an FE flywheel on a 460;
    The only early, internal-balance 429/460's with a manual transmissions were '69-71 muscle cars. Not cheap or easy to find flywheels and bell housings. In '83, Ford started putting manual transmissions behind 460's in trucks, but those are external balance, and the bellhousing is longer than the early version. The workaround for an early engine and transmission is FE flywheel and 351M/400 bell housing. However, there may be starter issues.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    egads likes this.
  4. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,151

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Since the 351M/400 has the same bellhousing pattern as the 429/460, wouldn't it be a better fit to use the 351M/400 flywheel? Perhaps they are balanced differently?
     
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  5. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,170

    RmK57
    Member

    All 429's and 460's up mid-79 are internal balance. The block plate is what keeps the starter aligned for proper engagement. You need that for sure and it sounds like you need the proper starter also.
    Not positive but the stick shift use a different starter from auto's. Check for part# differences on them. I'm using one of the Chinese PMGR starters from ebay for $50. It's been perfect for 5 years on my 10.5:1 514.
     
  6. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,699

    mgtstumpy
    Member

  7. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 858

    6sally6
    Member

    Small block Fords use a different starter for an automatic tranny vs a manual tranny(except a 5.0 roller motor they used the same starter for either tranny) Gotta love dem Fords.
    Don't know about the FE or 351M stuff. Stands to reason a 351M/400M wheel and starter would work on your set up. Should be able to special order unbalanced/balanced flywheels if that is the issue.
    6sally6
     
  8. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,117

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    351M/400 use the same flywheel bolt pattern as Windsor and Cleveland small blocks. FE and 460 is a different bolt pattern, as well as balance.
     
    Beanscoot likes this.
  9. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,151

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Summit shows five (!) flywheels for the 460 for less than $150, and ten more expensive ones.

    Just looking at the low price ones, the details are not complete for most of them, but I see anywhere from 29 to 45 pounds, neutral or counterweighted and different clutch size compatibility.

    So if the FE flywheel is not quite right, a proper 460 flywheel is most likely obtainable and pretty reasonably priced.

    It seems they even have free shipping on these - they've got to be losing money on this one!
     
  10. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,117

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    The 400 bellhousing and 184 tooth FE flywheel is the 80's junkyard solution from when aftermarket parts were scarce. Fairly compact, designed for an 11" clutch, but 12" diaphragm style have been used successfully. 12" Long style typically won't fit.

    If you don't mind spending money, there are more options today.

    The '69-'71 Mustang/Fairlane 429 setup was 176 tooth. Mcleod and Hays make flywheels, and QuickTime makes a scattershield that works with a toploader or T-10. This will run about $1200, and is SFI rated for the dragstrip.

    The '80's-90's truck flywheels are 180 tooth, external balance (internal versions available) and thicker than the early stuff to allow room for the counterweight. The bellhousings are longer, 6.75" vs 6.3" to accommodate, along with a different pilot bushing. The bell is aluminum and uses a hydraulic clutch fork. They are designed for a 12" clutch disk. Fairlane floorpan fit could be an issue.
     
    vafan likes this.
  11. vafan
    Joined: Oct 12, 2009
    Posts: 26

    vafan
    Member
    from Virginia

    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
    The 400 bell and 184 flywheel combined with Summit's ProTorque starter doesn't work for me. If I replace the ring on the flywheel and go back to a stock starter am I likely to have better results? I worry about the stock starter since the engine is 11-1 and the battery is in the trunk.
    Or is the QuickTime/Hayes with a hi-torque starter the best bet for success?
     
  12. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,071

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    The F250 starter I mentioned will easily handle 11:1
     

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