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Starter Issues 400 small block

 
Txhorsmn
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/06/07 01:28 AM

I have a 1979 vette. I have changed out the 350 for a 400 mouse, bored 30 and new everything, comp cam, keith black pistons, world product heads, etc... I bought a cast sfi flywheel, did all this over the last two years. Only drive it in the summer. each year I have to put a kit in the carb- it dries out. Justt changed to a holley 750 this year, but encountered a new problem. The flywheel keeps eating the gear on the starter. I do not know if I bought a 153 or 168 tooth flywheel. I believe this block requires external balance. I just upgraded to a high torque starter and it has eaten the gears off it in a few days. Where should I look for the problem? Have I got a different gear ratio on the starter vs. the fly wheel? Is it simply a compression issue, thought my calcs. had me at 12 : 1, but am not that scientific. Any thoughts about why my starter gear keeps getting chewed up? The motor runs when it does catch and start and sounds good. It only has about 700 miles on it, so it is still tight. I have also pulled the TH-350 and installed a 700R4, with a new torque converter, and a corvette shift kit. Could this have something to do with my starter issue? It drives and shifts fine when running, I just never know when it might not start, at first I thought it was an alignment issue and did the whole old time shim thing, but that has not worked. Any advice/ suggestions?
Thanks- Steve  

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55Guy
Big Block power for the win
Posts: 895
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 11/07/07 07:09 AM

Ok. Yes, the 400 is externally balanced, so make sure you have the correct 400 flexplate installed.

Part of the problem could be your high compression, but I'm not so sure. If it were a mismatch of teeth, I'd think you'd hear some horrible grinding when you hit the starter every time you start the car.

Is the fleplate you have a stock piece or aftermarket?  

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takit2dbank
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/08/07 12:53 AM

Steve,

First off make sure the flexpalte is installed correctly not backwards or your starter won't engage the gear teeth deep enough. Make sure the flexplate is running true and not moving when it goes around. I recommend a 173 tooth flexpate over a 153
with your higher compression engine. A good starter helps Powermaster, Tilton, Csr. Stay away from the e-bay cheapies. One trick that I found helped on my 14.25/1 compression 408 was to use three hole mounting. I use the PowerMaster 9526 starter. I had to drill and tap out a third hole in the block (most 400's have 2 either straight or offset pattern)I spent time getting the shimms just right so that it looked good and sounded smooth visually inspecting it as a friend cranked the starter. Did you check shift linkage to make sure its not moving you starter wires around? Are all starter terminals wire tight?
Hope this helps,
Michael  

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Txhorsmn
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/08/07 09:27 PM

Icon Quotephill:
Ok. Yes, the 400 is externally balanced, so make sure you have the correct 400 flexplate installed.

Part of the problem could be your high compression, but I'm not so sure. If it were a mismatch of teeth, I'd think you'd hear some horrible grinding when you hit the starter every time you start the car.

Is the fleplate you have a stock piece or aftermarket?


Phil- thanks for the input- I have an aftermarket flexplate- since I changed torque converters and put a stall adjustment in. However it is welded, not a cast billet. It either starts or it doesn't I looked at it and I believe/ am convinced I have it in the right direction. When the car engages, it starts, just sometimes it doesn't engage, then eventually, 15 to 30 starts- the starter gear is bad, eat up.  

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Txhorsmn
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/08/07 10:58 PM

Icon Quotetakit2dbank:
Steve,

First off make sure the flexpalte is installed correctly not backwards or your starter won't engage the gear teeth deep enough. Make sure the flexplate is running true and not moving when it goes around. I recommend a 173 tooth flexpate over a 153
with your higher compression engine. A good starter helps Powermaster, Tilton, Csr. Stay away from the e-bay cheapies. One trick that I found helped on my 14.25/1 compression 408 was to use three hole mounting. I use the PowerMaster 9526 starter. I had to drill and tap out a third hole in the block (most 400's have 2 either straight or offset pattern)I spent time getting the shimms just right so that it looked good and sounded smooth visually inspecting it as a friend cranked the starter. Did you check shift linkage to make sure its not moving you starter wires around? Are all starter terminals wire tight?
Hope this helps,
Michael


Michael- this makes sense to me. I did check to make sure it is installed right, ie...not backwards- that could be the problem. But it looks like it is in the right way. I have been looking at starters on summit tonight.I am going to go with a 168 teeth Ram external balance billet steel flywheel and your rcommended Powermaster 9526 starter, because I can't find a starter which will handle compression over 12 that has adjustable mounting. I really wish I could find a mine starter, offset which had numerous mounting holes as it is very tight in the Vette with headers.The third hole is a good idea, bt seems it would be better to have a set of predrilled holes so one could adjust the radious on the starter. thanks for our help, it will be a few days before I purchase so if anyone else has any ideas- please reply. It also bothers me that they do not seem to have replacement gears for that starter as a seperate item. thanks again- any input is appreciated.  

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48olds
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 100
Joined: 11/07
Posted: 12/08/07 12:12 PM

Double check your starter/flexplate tooth count PLEASE.New parts are expensive and does not fix fitment issues.  

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bpauln
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 09/09
Posted: 09/01/09 05:36 PM

I' looking for pointers on the bolt pattern issue on the chevy 400. Have found nothing but inline pattern where as I am looking for slight offset. Have ordered for several different vehicles and they have all been the same. It is a 2 bolt pattern, but those of you who know what I'm talking about know what I am dealing with. Any help would be appreciated/  

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canted
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Posts: 499
Joined: 02/08
Posted: 09/01/09 06:23 PM

The larger ring gear uses the starter with the offset bolt pattern. The small ring gear uses the straight across starter.  
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zman123
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy
Posts: 537
Joined: 06/08
Posted: 09/02/09 07:59 AM

Have you checked the clearance between starter and ring gear? there are shim kits available to set depth and clearance ( I broke two starters before I figured it out)  

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SMOKESHOW
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1001
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/02/09 07:43 PM

Check into the shim kits.  What is the bolt pattern?  

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Ragenrat
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 08/11
Posted: 08/27/11 07:07 PM

I realize this post is old.  Grin  
A front starter support bracket that most of the time get's tossed and the correct knurled shoulder bolts will keep that starter in place. These small brackets will only line up with a standard sized stock starter because there is a 1/4" threaded boss on the block located right where the starter ends. I prefer the Hi-torque stock sized starters so I can use the front support bracket.
My hope is to help anyone reading this at a later date.
RagenRat
1 Starter Bracket1

1 Starter Bracket2

1 Starter Bracket2

1 Starter Bracket4  
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crowerjunky
V-6 Camaros rule!
Posts: 50
Joined: 05/11
Posted: 08/29/11 12:23 AM

to high of compression or starter/flex plate--flywheel dont match  

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waynep7122
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1130
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/29/11 06:17 PM

ahh....   starter brackets...

to keep this long dead post alive.. i will kick in....    much to the moderators dismay...

prior to 1982.. the starter mounting bolts are SAE...  

1982 and newer... they are METRIC...

the metric starters are numbered like this... 3510M...   non metric starters are 3510... but newer starter numbers could be metric without the M...

3/8 bolts are 0.375"
10 MM bolts are 0.3937"
but.. the holes in the block are also counter bored... the knurled section actually fits down in the block to center the starter ..

the starters have either 10MM holes or slightly smaller 3/8 holes.. so stick the bolts through in the proper direction.. and see how tight the bolts fit.....

Chevystarterboltfit

this is a proper fitting bolt...

additional info..,

the knurls wear down..  allowing the starter to shift around..

the wrong noses can be installed....

a HUGE warning....    IF you try to install a metric bolt into a block thats threaded and counter bored for sae threads.. you will usually break the outer ear of the block off.. or on the inner bolt.. snap off the bolt so tight its almost impossible to remove it..  

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waynep7122
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1130
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/29/11 06:25 PM

to really open the flood gates..

this is a non metric starter..

3510Starter


this is a metric starter with the same basic part number...

3510M Metricboltholes  

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skyeking
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2738
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/29/11 06:37 PM

Sounds familiar  
skyeking

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