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Technical SBC starter gear adjustment

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jawsmon, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. Jawsmon
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 30


    I have the opposite problem of most guys. I have a new SFI flex plate and a new starter. The teeth of the starter are too far away from the teeth on the flex plate. This is without any shims. If I put in any shims it would move the starter teeth further away from the flexplate teeth. Is there any way to move the starter closer to the flex plate? I thought of trying to oblong the mounting holes on the starter to move it closer but that's not nearly as simple as it sounds since the bolts pass right tight to the starter housing at the center of the bolt hole channel

    Is there anyone out that that successfully remedied this problem?
  2. triumph 1
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 583

    triumph 1

    How far away is it?

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    tractorguy likes this.
  3. 34Phil
    Joined: Sep 12, 2016
    Posts: 356


    shim the outside bolt only
    brando1956, squirrel and egads like this.
  4. osut362
    Joined: May 15, 2013
    Posts: 32

    from East Texas
    1. Upholstery

    yes there is. The shim that moves the starter toward the ring gear is short and goes under the outside bolt only. Thereby "rocking the starter" in the direction of the ring gear, won't move it much but maybe enough.
    brando1956 likes this.

    Joined: Oct 12, 2019
    Posts: 283


    I have had to take the end frame off the starter and mill some off it on a couple early Big blocks. You could probably do the same with a belt sander, just be careful and don't take off too much.
  6. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,397


    If it’s a new mini starter, you may have it installed upside down causing your problem. Depending on brand and clocking, it’s possible to mount it both ways, but only one works.
    Atwater Mike and tractorguy like this.
  7. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,479

    Tickety Boo
    from Wisconsin

    S.B.C. has two diffrent size flexplates a 153 tooth or 168 tooth, also if it bolts to the block from the bottom
    "not to the bellhousing" some blocks/starters have 2 sets of holes, or you have to use the right starter for the size flexplate.
    I would start by counting the teeth on the new flexplate v/s the original one
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,942


    Pictures are a big help.

    Also, the instructions that come with the starter might help, but you might not have them, or might have not found the info you need in them.

    With stock Chevy starters, half a shim at the outside hole will move it closer, a full shim will move it away. They require 1/8" clearance between shaft and gear teeth...but mini starters don't have a shaft, so you have to check gear engagement. How far off is it?
    tractorguy likes this.
  9. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,043

    from Dublin, OH

    Is the flex plate on backwards?
    Saw that a few times, starter won't engage flex plate!
  10. jivin jer
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 3,129

    jivin jer

    Thanks for the trip Jim, it was excellent.
  11. Jawsmon
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 30


    Thanks bunches for all the input. I have milled off the mounting surface of the starter. I really like the idea of shimming the outside bolt only as well.

    FYI... the 168 tooth flex plate was installed correctly. I'm using a starter with the offset bolt pattern. A starter with the straight bolt pattern won't even go in the hole because there's interference between the starter nose and the bell housing. I have a small milling machine in my shop so milling off the starter mounting surface was really easy to accomplish. I'm waiting for a new starter gear to arrive before I try reinstalling the starter. If I still have problems then I will shim the outside bolt.

    Thanks again for all the ideas.
    Tickety Boo likes this.
  12. 37gas
    Joined: May 25, 2013
    Posts: 104


    I'am in my mid 70 s never heard of starter shims until them dam Chinese got involved. What I do is find the right starter for my flywheel and have it rebuilt and it work just like factory, Your problem is off shore crap
    olscrounger and nunattax like this.
  13. 54vicky
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 1,599


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