Different Starters ? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 03, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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In converting my '69 camaro from an automatic to a 4 speed, I needed to replace my starter. When I went to Pep Boys, they showed two different starters. One for automatic, one for 4 speed. But the "4 speed" starter had the wrong bolt pattern to be mounted so I got the automatic version.

Now when I started it for the first time with the M-21 installed, it sounded like the starter engaged but didn't release. We hurried and shut off the engine after it did it a second time in a row.

Do I have the wrong starter or is something else going on in my conversion? Also, the clutch pedal doesn't return on its own, we wondered if that would rectify itself once the new clutch and pressure seated but perhaps that's another issue in itself.

Any ideas ? ? ?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 03, 03:47 AM
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I have not experience in this area except that most small blocks I've seen have three bolt holes in the starter area. I presume these are to acomidate 2 diffent bolt patterns. Are you sure it won't work?


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 03, 04:39 AM
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I have some knowledge of these things (other guys on this site have more I'm sure). There are two starters available on SBCs. It depends on how many teeth are on the flywheel. There is a 168 tooth(11 inch cluthch)and a 153 tooth(10 1/2 inch clutch). You should know which one you have. I believe the bigger fly wheel uses the "offset" bolt pattern starter . Look at other posts on this site for specifics. I think the starter being stuck on could be either a bad bendix spring or wiring. The bendix spring causes the starter gear to go back in the starter (disengage) once the engine speed is faster than the starter speed--or-- the power to the starter somehow isn't being shut off when the key is released. This can be checked by making sure the two small wires to the solenoid (small "can" on top of starter) are correct. One wire comes from the key to make the starter work and the other goes to the ignition to keep it firing during cranking. I'm not sure what would happen if they were reversed. You can troubleshoot them with an ohmmeter and call a parts place to find out which is which. One test you could do is to disconnect the high tension wire-center of distributor and crank the engine. If the starter stops after release of the key, your problem is the starter gear release mechanism. If the starter keeps going, it's the wiring.
The clutch issue I'm not too sure of. I would think the clutch linkage spring would return the pedal not too mention the pressure plate pressure. You should make sure all the clutch parts are installed and working properly. I think the throwout bearing can be installed wrong and the clutch arm and pivot balls can be different or in different locations for different applications. The pedal should be "hard" near the top of the pedal travel because there is a lot of pressure required to disengage the pressure plate. With a conversion there are a lot of possibilities for "mis-applications" as there are so many variables in Chevy applications. So, make sure all the parts are lined up and functioning properly. I know that's a generalization, but this web site should have all the info. It could even be as simple as the linkage adjustment not being correct.
Hope this helps some.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 03, 07:06 PM
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The staggered bolt hole starters are used on large diameter flywheels. All automatics have the large flywheel and some manual flywheels do too. If your clutch is a 11" diameter, it uses the large flywheel and needs the staggered bolt starter.

It sounds like you need to shim the starter away from the block. Some starters have too small a clearance to the flywheel teeth and the starter gear get's stuck engaged.
Make sure you have the correct knurled starter bolts which keep the starter straight.

You can buy starter shims at the parts house and stert out with a couple of shims. The starter usually comes with an instruction sheet explaining about clearance issues, read it. If there is none, get one from your parts guy.

Sound like something is wrong with the clutch install. As Rookobird stated, there are at least two different length throw out bearings, and two clutch pivot balls. Also there are a couple of different clutch forks.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 1st, 03, 03:03 AM
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Use the straight across large head starter on all SB automatics with 153 flexplate. Use the same starter on the 153 tooth 10.5 in. clutch flywheel. Use the staggered hole small nose starter on all 168 tooth 11 in. clutch flywheel/flexplates. There is also a staggered hole LARGE nose starter, but I don't know the applications.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 1st, 03, 03:24 AM
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As rookingbood & davidp suggested, there are two choices to pick from on fork pivots, t/o bearings, and clutch forks. V8 t/o bearings are shorter in thickness(?) than 6-cyl, hence, pivot ball height for clutch fork corresponds to same.

The clutch pedal not returning could be due to over-centering of pressure plate. An un-good thing to happen. This may be the result of the first paragraph. There should be a return spring and linkage going from the drvr side engine mount to the clutch fork.

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