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Technical is there ford flathead starter mounting upgrade

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by johnny bondo, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    i did a search and couldnt find anything on this, i need to figure something out for my roadster that i have for sale. ive been trying to get it to drive but it keeps eating up starter bolts before i can get it running good enough to drive it/break it in. i dont know if its the high compression or what but it does not like that motor. ive went through about 3 sets of good starter bolts, they will work fine for a while and then eventually it gets loose. ive even resorted to welding them up lathing them down and rethreading them a few times. ive done a lot of flatheads and ive never had an issue before. i just came inside from the last time i tried to start it and test drive it, and it ate the starter bolts up again(engine isnt broken in/dialed in yet to run perfect) it even snapped the little starter strap i made up for it(like the stock one that bolts to the pan) in half...... at this point im getting real frustrated and annoyed with it. i was thinking of maybe drilling the holes out and making some bigger bolts for it? or does someone know of another way? maybe the pan is the issue maybe i need to redrill the holes and retap them? but its such a stupid design that id rather do something more substantial, esp since i got high comp heads and pop up pistons.
     
  2. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    Nope you have something else wrong what engine bell housing combo is this, more info is needed you may have the wrong starter, what bolts are breaking. These things are real simple and if you are having an issue you need to explain all the parts you used.
     
  3. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    its a 59 series flathead, i put the old style starter on it and flywheel. it has the integral style mount. the bolts arent breaking but they are stripping out. it seems to mesh fine, sounds just fine when i first am cranking it. the only thing that i can think of when sometimes it almost starts it kicks the starter gear off and then is slams back into the flywheel when it doesnt run.
     
  4. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

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  5. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 657

    choppedtudor
    Member

    without changing things up abit you're pretty much stuck with the old style starter. sounds to me that you may have some binding issues with the starter drive. Have that starter rebuilt by someone that can check it for wear and tear.
    I went the oddball route with mine and mounted a GM AOD behind the flatty...funny thing is the Wilcap adapter used a custom flywheel and called for a "mini" mopar starter...the strangest arrangment ever, but it looks like it belongs there...works for me.
     
  6. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    i think my plan before i get too crazy with it is get some fresh bolts, get a new strap, and drill some holes next to the existing holes and tap them. ill keep yall posted.
     
  7. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    i was also thinking maybe machine some slugs that would go into the bellhousing(drilled out bigger and tapped) then drill out the aluminum starter face, and then tighten the starter bolts(now shorter) into those. so basically the slugs would screw into the bellhousing and then the bolts would screw into the slugs. ill try the original stuff first with some new holes tho.
     
  8. Fortyfordguy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 644

    Fortyfordguy
    Member

    Exactly which flywheel did you install?
     
  9. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,504

    Andy
    Member

    The starter is centered by fitting in the hole in the pan. The bolts just hold it in. I would suspect the ring gear being damaged or wrong flywheel or the pan warped or damaged. The starter shaft could be bent but since the gear is so close to the housing, it is unlikely to cause the trouble.
     
  10. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,971

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Did you 'static time' the engine before initial startup attempts? By that I mean, using a test light to determine when the points are opening to fire #1 while noting the crankshaft position in relation to top dead center.

    The starter bolts failing in this manner suggests a violent action going on and I can't help but wonder if you are getting ignition too far in advance of TDC and the crank is is kicked back against the starter rotation, causing this issue.

    Over the years when I have been chasing an "usual" problem, without much success, it generally turned out to be something simple that I overlooked, not an equally unusual cause. Einstein said, " insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". :D
     
  11. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    A post-1948 flywheel would be an instant suspicion here.
    Next thought would be pan damage, which can occur with an engine being loose in a truck, rolled around, in a pile of stuff...one good bump on front of starter with a heavy weight could bend starter mount area of pan and so put everything in the drive out of parallel with the flywheel then pushing against it hard. This MIGHT be checkable by sighting at edge of pan flange past the starter to see if it is visually parallel. Find an angle where you are looking at a straight part right next to another straight the same way you could look along two fenceposts to see if they are at same angle...
    Last would be a drive problem.
    I would think that after a few rounds of this there would be some bright spots or gouges in the drive showing areas of heavy partial contact, hard impacts, etc.

    (A post script here...there is nothing wrong with stock mounting and I have never heard of a failure with that...something is seriously out of line or out of place and whatever is going on is putting a LOT of misdirected force back into the starter. If you somehow massively increased the strength of the mounting, something else will have to fail.)


    This stuff should be pretty much trouble free unless something is out of line, at wrong depth (wrong year wheel would do this) or fubar in the drive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  12. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    ok ill try to answer the best i can, the flywheel is an 11 inch flywheel out of what i thought was the same 1935 truck that i got the replacement 221 engine from. do i need the flywheel with the giant cast in weight on it that the clutch sits inside of? if it was the later flywheel would it even work at all? like i said it seems fine at first till the bolts start to loosen up. i guess the teeth are worn a little bit but nothing that would seem suspect. ill have to check the flange where the starter mounts, it does seem to be able to wobble a little side to side when the bolts are tight but im talking like feeler gauge type wobble. i am running 12 volts into a 6 volt starter. it runs great when its running, ill see if this video works.
     
  13. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    heres a video you can hear the starter does it seem to be engaging right?

    <embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/TheGraves666CC/zacks hotrod/IMG_5068_zpsb2a25dea.mp4">
     
  14. walter
    Joined: Nov 4, 2007
    Posts: 603

    walter
    Member

    there is a small bracket that goes between the inner most starter bolt an one of the closest oil pan bolts. If that is not in place it will try to twist the starter. Just sayin
     
  15. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    i got this from the vanpelt site <table bgcolor="#FFFFFF" border="1" cellpadding="2" width="1090"><tbody><tr><td style="padding-left: 10" align="left" width="124"> B-6384</td> <td width="596">Ring Gear (112 teeth)</td> <td align="center" width="52">PIC</td> <td align="left" width="220"> 1932-48 car + 32-47 truck </td> <td style="padding-right: 20" align="right" width="92"> 32.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left: 10" align="left" width="124">8BA-6384</td> <td width="596">Ring Gear (112 teeth)</td> <td align="center" width="52">PIC</td> <td align="left" width="220"> 1949-53 car + 48-53 truck</td></tr></tbody></table>
     
  16. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    There is a different offset to the flywheels too....
     
  17. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    First is to determine what you have for a flywheel, Stater bolts loosen up due to vibration from not being tight, if your bolts are " stripping out" that means there is a thrust component applying pressure to the bolts and that shouldnt happen. There are 3 different flywheels, 9", 10", 11" clutch surface, in addition there are two designs early with a recess clutch plate and later flat surface flywheels Then there are flywheels that look similar but are for 8ba engines, they have a different offset. Since you are applying pressure to the starter bolts causing them to strip out to me that would indicate that something is placing a thrust on the starter.

    Next question is do you have the correct starter, for some reason I think there is a starter for a 51- 53 with auto trans that has a different thickness mount. What is the width of the aluminum flange on the starter that bolts to the pan?
     
  18. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Auto trans starter also has different tooth count from regular one, so would provide some interesting violence! It can be spotted by a protruding mount tab for an extra bolt where it meets engine.
    Other than that one, '32-53 starters and their drives for 221-239-255 will swap. There are starters with thin (maybe around 1/4"?) aluminum area showing and later ones with thick aluminum area, more than an inch. They use same armatures and fields so that probably means nothing but a manufacturing change.
     
  19. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,808

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    I'm with Walter. See if you can buy or fabricate the brace that goes to the oil pan.

    Plus, it seems from your video that you're running 12 volts which is going to stress everything more than 6 volts. I'm not suggesting that you go back to 6 volts, but maybe you can get (or convert to) a 12 volt starter.
     
  20. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,971

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL



    In the OP's first post he states he made a bracket like the original that attaches to an oil pan bolt.........just sayin'
     
  21. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,808

    Mike51Merc
    Member


    Yeah, that part got lost in the word soup, just sayin'
     
  22. flatjack
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 876

    flatjack
    Member

    There are many original starters operating on 12 volts these days (mine included) with no such problems. I would think it is something in the mesh of the starter to the ring gear.
     
  23. Model A Mark
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,264

    Model A Mark
    Member
    from dallas
    1. Holley 94 Group

    hey johnny, ford makes at least 2 different starter plates that i know of.
    one time i had the same problem your having, turned out, the starter plate i had put on, had a different angle on it where the starter mounted, thus leaning the starter back, causing the starter drive to engage at the wrong angle.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  24. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    its a 59 series engine it has the starter mount and flywheel cover all integrated into the oil pan.... which is why im hoping to god i dont have to change anything major because i really dont feel like tearing the entire front end of the car apart....
     
  25. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,732

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Borrow a good starter from a buddy. And while you are at it, measure how far his ring gear sits inside the hole on his oil pan.

    Before you bolt them up. make sure the threaded holes in your mounting ring on the pan are good.

    If all these things don't solve the problem, maybe you have a messed up spot on the ring gear that pushes the starter sideways on each revolution?
     
  26. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,908

    40FordGuy
    Member

    All those seemingly "unecessary" bits, such as support brackets and such, are there for good reason; Those factory folks found out during development, that something "extra" was needed.

    4TTRUK
     
  27. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,808

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    I agree, but he did make a comment about compression being higher than stock.
     
  28. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    But...I would not put in the support until underlying problem is found. The problem is quite likely in the basic geometry, and if that is the case bracing it where it is might not be so good. The support is no doubt an improvement in stability, but its lack isn't the problem here.
     
  29. flatjack
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 876

    flatjack
    Member

    I don't think they started using those support brackets until around 1937 or so.
     
  30. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    That's right. They were a good extra on a heavy and very cantilevered part, but here I think we have a fundamental geometric error.
     

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