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Technical SBC starters and ring gears Help!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dickj42, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Dickj42
    Joined: Jan 19, 2014
    Posts: 13

    from East Texas

    Help! I've finally got my motor and tranny buttoned up in my '40 Plymouth. I tried to "bump" the motor over to seat the distributor and ran into a problem. The starter drive gear is hitting the ring gear about 3/8" inside the teeth.

    Here's what I've got. Motor = 1982 Corvette block; Starter = out of a 1984 Olds (Looks like a high torque SBC starter with offset bolt holes; Flex plate = out of a BBC with TH-350, but I have no idea of year of motor.

    Does a corvette block use a special starter, or are the mounting holes different from a "normal" SBC block? Is the Olds starter different than a SBC?

    This is a very traditional (the way I built them in '58) hot rod, and I don't want to just go out and buy a new starter. Everything on this car has come out of local farm fields and boneyards, and that's the way I hope it can stay.

  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,592


    olds and chevy used different starters, didn't they? unless it's an Olds with a Chevy engine, you never know.

    I'd start by buying a new starter. And I'd double check that flexplate, make sure it does NOT have a weight on it. 454 engines used a weight, and the 82 350 does not want one. Although chevy never put a TH350 behind a big block that I know of, so who knows what you have...

    Also you probably didn't check the starter gear to ring gear fit, which is kind of necessary ...the new starter will have instructions, and shims
  3. 40Vert
    Joined: Jun 10, 2006
    Posts: 614


    On a SB Chevy (not early blocks) a staggered bolt hole starter usually denotes a 168 tooth flywheel, and a straight across bolt hole starter usually denotes a 153 tooth flywheel. You may be trying to mesh a 168 tooth starter with a 153 tooth flywheel.

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  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,826


    If your starter came off an Olds most likely it came off a 77/79 with the vin code L 350 that was the Chevy 350 that GM caught all hell for putting in Oldsmobiles and had to give a 200.00 rebate to the original buyers on. O'Reily's cheat sheet shows that it should have a 168 tooth flexplate if it is indeed that starter Reilly
    The O'Reilly's version of the starter that goes with that flexplate is this one
    That's not a suggestion to use their products but for me their website is easy to figure out what pieces are compatible and give me a starting price to work off when hunting a deal.
    Almost all other rear wheel drive Olds starters bolt to the left side of the engine rather than the right like the Chevy starters do.
    I'm thinking you might have a starter that while looking right for the rest of the pieces doesn't match up with the rest of the combination you have.

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,592


    that's what I was thinking.... and wondering how he got it to fit
  6. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    That flex plate should have a large weight on it. If you can get the weight off you can leave it in. If not you need a different flex plate without a weight.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,592


    depends what big block chevy it's off of. The older 396, 402 and 427, use the same flexplate as an older 350
  8. One other thing is the proper bolts for mounting the starter. Be sure you use the correct bolts with the knurled shaft and not a bolt from the hardware store.. You can get at NAPA and also the shim if you need it. then the fun begins measuring the tooth depth. You will need a screw driver to lever the drive gear into the flex gear and use a 1/8 allen to check for clearence between tooth vally on flex and tooth on starter. Don't over torque the stater bolts as you may crush the aluminum. Ask me how I know.

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