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Hot Rods Starter problem bbc Please Help!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Udluz, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    Ok guys here we go...I have a bbc 402, and I've got a issue with the starter. The factory style starter was in it but super tight with the large headers, so I was going to throw in a mini starter. I bought one and when I mounted it and went to Shim it it would not fully go into the flexplate it would only go in about one quarter of the way and that was with me manually extending the Bendix. It was fully extended but it was like the flexplate was too far away from the starter. Then I realized that the factory starter only engaged the flexplate about one half of the way in, and a factory style starter should go almost 100% of the way into the flexplate. So then I bought a power master Xs mini starter, and I had the exact same problem the Bendix fully extended only engages the flexplate about one quarter of the thickness of the flexplate. The flexplate has been installed correctly, I can tell because the mounting pads for the toque converter are facing the torque converter. The torque converter is also flush up against the back of the crank. So then I went and bought a late-model starter for a small block Chevy, because they are factory style but smaller in size it also engaged the flexplate about one half of the way like my original starter did. The flexplate is a 168 tooth and my block is drilled for both staggered and in line patterns. I am at a loss here and need some assistance I have never ran into this problem nor do I know what could cause it, it's almost as if the crank is too far aft, and is making The flexplate too far away from the starter? I called and talked to power master and they said they could probably custom build a starter which would involve shaving the clutch is inside but they said this is not a common problem and seems like something else is the culprit. Both high torque starters I've tried to use I had removed the shams behind the mounting block and starter to push the starter as close to the flexplate as possible and it's still only engages one quarter of the way into the flexplate my tooth clearances are at about .032-.040. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! The motor has had some work done, but not sure what, I bought this car pulled it off the trailer and into the garage for resto. But i wasn't going to pull the Trans or motor. The motor pounds the ground and sounds mean! But I need a mini starter so it won't die from the headers being too close, and will engage the flex plate enough to not eat it apart, HELP!!!
    Ps, I forgot I had also tried a summit brand mini starter, so that makes 3 different ones.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,822

    squirrel
    Member

    just to clarify...the direction in which it is not engaging all the way is front to back, right? not side to side?

    Is the ring gear in the correct place on the flexplate?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  4. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    image.jpeg That is correct not engaging front to back far enough, here is a pic of the summit starter it was the worst.
     

  5. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    I've checked the shimming, and yes some starters come preshimmed, to move the starter more forward (away from flex plate) and I removed the shim to push it back towards the flexplate. This is driving me nuts!

     
  6. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    Front to back is correct, how can the ring gear move? It's welded to the flexplate? The mounting pads for the torque converter are facing the torque converter (recess is forward, hump is towards rear)
     
  7. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    image.jpeg Here's a pic of the crank where the flexplate bolts up..
     
  8. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    I've checked out his starters, in fact one of the ones I tried was one of his red ones, he is only like an hour from me, DB electrical also sells mini hi torque starters, In the same town he's in, Kingsport tn, but DB electrical's have the nose cone.
     
  9. Maybe the ring gear was bad and a new one was installed improperly.
     
  10. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    Dunno looks to be original, doesn't seem like it's out of place, but I can look again.
     
  11. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 720

    JC Sparks
    Member
    from Ohio

    So you have to old starter that worked but was to close to the headers correct? And you now have a mini starter. You should be able to lay both of them on the bench and measure them and see what / where the difference is. JC
     
  12. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    Mini starters do not extend as far as oe starters, per powermaster tech rep. He said Oe should go about 100% of the way in and mini starters should go about 50-75% of the way into the flexplate. Which makes sense since the Oe starter only engaged 50% on mine, which he said was a red flag, and the mini only goes in about 25%.....I'm stumped, and was hoping someone has seen this before
     
  13. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    image.jpeg image.jpeg here is the ring gear if you can see it
     
  14. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 720

    JC Sparks
    Member
    from Ohio

    Someone said in a earlier post "is it possible the ring gear was installed wrong", Maybe... I guess if it was me I'd pull the trans and cut the ring gear off and reweld it to give you max engagement, do you think there is meat enough to do that? JC
     
  15. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    I gues that could prob be done, but why would that avenue have to be taken? There has to be something going on, since there are plenty of bbc out there without this problem. Who would weld something like that? Machine shop? I've never had one welded, I've always just bought a new flexplate, if the motor is out and flexplate is in my hand, it just always seemed easier to buy a new one, since they are fairly inexpensive
     
  16. I have a small block with similar problem. I put a GM flexplate on it and the ring gear seams to be too far from the back of the block.
    I've made it work with a mini starter with the depth shims removed. The GM starter I have will not engage the ring gear.
    I suspect the ring gear was not properly installed on the flex plate.
    Anyone else have a problem with a GM flexplate?

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,387

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    Have you tried another flexplate? But it sounds like the starter is the problem, have you called tilton starters? Their stuff was always pretty good. If the oem starter is close but useable, throw a heat shield on it? Lippy
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  18. I've read through this 3 times.. What I understand is,,you have tried 3 starters .Including the stock GM one.None of them engaged the flex plate correctly. Does this not indicate that something is wrong about the flexplate?
     
  19. tjet
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 1,272

    tjet
    Member
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    On your new starter, are the mount bolts directly across from each other, or are the at an angle?
     
  20. 1930 A
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 131

    1930 A
    Member

    Are you sure the flexplate is flat. By looking at post #7 it almost looks like the flexplate is bent away from the engine which would put the ring gear too far from the starter drive.
     
  21. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 433

    Craig Owens
    Member

    I had a Hitachi mini starter on a 350 Chevy with a Hughes 168 tooth flex plate, and at first it worked fine, but after a couple of years, it would grind like hell once in awhile. Always when there was an audience present. I pulled the starter and examined it, only to determine that the Hitachi starters cannot have shims removed to engage deeper, because there are no shims to start with. I called Hitachi and they confirmed that in this case, I was shit out of luck. It was starting to damage the teeth on a section of the flex plate so I knew I had to take care of it, or I'd be replacing the flex plate. My fix was to install a stock Delco starter. I realize, this doesn't help in your case, but I noticed that my flexplate also has a pretty fair amount of runout...in other words, it isn't 100% true even though it was an expensive SFI- approved piece. You might check your flexplate for runout, and you might want to consider swapping to a different flexplate. It's a pain in the ass, but that might fix it, and apparently nothing else has yet.
     
  22. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,162

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    OEM starter and header relationship, heat being the worry, insulate the solenoid and forget it. Heat shield and some form of wrap you'll have lots of starts in it. I ran a stock starter for 2 seasons (!) on a 14:1 477. I switched to a Tilton only because I was after weight reduction in a big way, but only went through 1 solenoid on the stock after 2 years, and yes the headers were close. I always ran the little brace at the back too.
     
  23. SLEDRZ
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 27

    SLEDRZ
    Member

    I recently replaced the larger flex plate on my SBC and found that it was too close to the reduction starter and had to shim the starter pinion away. The old flex plate was fine so the replacements seem to be hit and miss with getting a good one.
     
  24. 34toddster
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,481

    34toddster
    Member
    from Missouri

    If you bench test your starter, take your choice of any, how far does the gear extend when energized, is that the same as when bolted up? I guess what I'm asking is the ring gear alignment stopping the starter drive before full engagement.
    I wonder if GM starter bolts would help or hurt you?
    Maybe you can remove the Aluminum block from the starter and machine it down to move the starter closer to the flexplate?
     
    Tim likes this.
  25. slack
    Joined: Aug 18, 2014
    Posts: 533

    slack
    Member

    The gurus have spoken but I feel this story is relevant in this case. Friend of mine had an OT pick-up with a 350, It had been around awhile (76 and this was about 94) and the whole time he owned it (couple years), he fought that starter, always shimming it this way and that. He replaced at least one flex plate that got chewed up. We figured we'd do our good deed and straighten it out for him (no good deed goes unpunished.) We killed a whole day on it then we called the local guru (small guy, wound waaay too tight but a good dude.) He was under there about fifteen minutes, slid out and said "It's a factory defect." The owner was fed up and sold it to him for $300.00 which in my estimation was just a little less than it was worth if it was right. The guru is a machinist/metallurgist and he took the mounting surface to work (don't know what he did to it) tweaked it slapped the starter in and to this day has had zero problem out of it. My takeaway was that the holes for the starter bolts were off and he machined the mounting plate to compensate.
     
  26. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    The flexplate looks to be good, I just hate to go through the trouble of putting a new one in and end up with the same problem but I may have to to scratch it off the trouble shooting list
     
  27. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    The Oe starter a slate model I tried were staggered, the minis were dual drilled inline, except powermaster inline and single drilled for 168 flexplate but shimming away from the gear mesh isn't the problem. But I know where going with it, inline-153 flexplate, staggered-168flexplate
     
  28. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    I've looked at it a lot and it seems true, I've rotated it and. The mesh is about the same ll the way around. And it doesn't look bent at all
     
  29. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    I'm considering it more and more, but hate to do it and be in the same situation. But might not have a choice
     
  30. Udluz
    Joined: Aug 15, 2013
    Posts: 23

    Udluz
    Member
    from Tn

    I may go this route, and if it chews the teeth off eventually, I'll replace the flexplate then. Just another day in the saga of hot rodding, I guess!
     

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