396 Starter - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 15, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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396 Starter

Will the higher torque 396 or 427 starter be a direct bolt in on a 350(300 HP) in a 69 Camaro? Are the starter teeth the same. Engine turns over slow when hot. Replaced standard starter, battery, cables, and checked timing. Running out of things to try, car was restored about 10 years ago and was fine until about 2 years ago.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 15, 10:10 PM
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Smile Re: 396 Starter

I think big blocks were the staggered bolt pattern and small blocks were the inline bolt pattern, except for 400's.

Is your ring gear ok ? I would get a mini high torque starter.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 25th, 15, 12:32 AM
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Wink Re: 396 Starter

The starters are interchangeable between SBC and BBC as long as the flywheel/flexplate are the same size and ring gear tooth count.

There are two (2) basic types;
* the 153 tooth ring gear - used with the smaller flywheel/flexplate size
* the 168 tooth ring gear - used with the larger flywheel/flexplate size

The 153 tooth was common on older and many HP applications that used the smaller 10 & 10.5" clutches.
The stock 153 starters use a straight across bolt mount pattern

The 168 tooth was common on the SS's and some other 1st Gens that used the 11" clutch.
The stock 168 starters use a staggered bolt mount pattern.
This is also a common size for automatic equiped 1st Gens. and most later model GM vehicles using SBC or BBC engine.

There are aftermarket starters that will mount on either bolt pattern - some are good and others have shortcomings that may not fit your needs.

As always - there are always exceptions and it's impossible to account for what someone has installed in the past when rebuilding or servicing the driveline.

Try using a more modern 'High Torque' type starter - like the one used on late 90's Tahoes and Suburbans - before experimenting with aftermarket and geared units, they are strong enough to crank anything I've built yet and compact enough to give good header clearance.
I just ordered a couple more Proform #66268's from Summit on Friday.
Here is link to these - http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pro-66268/overview/

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 25th, 15, 07:47 AM
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Re: 396 Starter

Check out this GM hi torque mini starter at Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Torque-Racing-Reduction-Starter-Flywheel/dp/B006YB66ES The price isn't bad either.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 25th, 15, 08:02 AM
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Re: 396 Starter

The Tahoe-Suburban-Silverado mini starter is the way to go though I would go thru Advance Auto, AutoZone, or any of the other chain stores. $125 for a rebuilt GM mini-starter with lifetime warranty. Means you're out driving anywhere in the USA, your starter goes out you and get a replacement that day and be on the road again. These starters are fantastic. As said before, they'll crank anything.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 25th, 15, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 396 Starter

The engine in question is a stock 350, 300 HP with an in line bolt mounting pattern on the starter. I guess you have answered the question that the stock big block starter will not work on the small block engine because the bolt pattern is different. Ring gear is fine on the engine. Engine is original to car, SS/RS car, 55,000 miles on car, engine never removed from the car, but runs fine. Bugs me why after all these years(I have owned the car 15 years) the engine suddenly turns over slow when hot.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 25th, 15, 10:10 PM
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Re: 396 Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfahey View Post
I guess you have answered the question that the stock big block starter will not work on the small block engine because the bolt pattern is different.
Your block will probably take either starter. And it doesn't matter which flywheel you have.
Look at the block to see if there is another bolt hole; I bet there is. And get the hi-torque mini-starter for a Suburban like others suggested.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 28th, 15, 02:15 PM
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Re: 396 Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfahey View Post
The engine in question is a stock 350, 300 HP with an in line bolt mounting pattern on the starter. I guess you have answered the question that the stock big block starter will not work on the small block engine because the bolt pattern is different. Ring gear is fine on the engine. Engine is original to car, SS/RS car, 55,000 miles on car, engine never removed from the car, but runs fine. Bugs me why after all these years(I have owned the car 15 years) the engine suddenly turns over slow when hot.
Good advice here except for one thing. You probably don't need a high torque starter. Something has changed in your system. First place to check is the battery and then work to the starter, then to timing, etc. Good luck, except you won't need it, you have us.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 29th, 15, 11:21 AM
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Question Re: 396 Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Ficarra View Post
Good advice here except for one thing....
... Good luck, except you won't need it, you have us.
Well ... he had stated in his first post that he;
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfahey View Post
... Replaced standard starter, battery, cables, and checked timing. ...
... was fine until about 2 years ago.
So I didn't feel it was worth going over again with him.
Maybe an 'assume' mess up on my end.

He has me quite with this reply though ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfahey View Post
The engine in question is a stock 350, 300 HP with an in line bolt mounting pattern on the starter. ...
A "stock" RPO-L48 350/300 'SHOULD' have a 168 tooth ring gear - for either the manual 11" clutch or the auto options ...
I guess someone could have installed a dual pattern aftermarket starter, or something in the drivetrain has been changed since the vehicle was built by GM.
I guess my question at this point would be - what is suffix of engine and what exactly is the trans & clutch/flywheel installed?
There must be a reason 153 tooth components (as indicated by a non-staggered starter pattern) rest there now ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfahey View Post
I guess you have answered the question that the stock big block starter will not work on the small block engine because the bolt pattern is different. ...
... Bugs me why after all these years(I have owned the car 15 years) the engine suddenly turns over slow when hot.
NO ... I, nor the others, have answered that - we stated that it WILL work, as long as the ring gear tooth count is the same for that given set-up.
I routinely use starters on both SBC's and BBC's that are meant for another application as I build the drivetrain and match the components to my needs. GM did the same thing
While one would 'assume' that all the HP factory offerings all used the larger 11" clutch, with the 168 tooth ring gear, many didn't ... they instead used a HD version of the smaller 10.4" clutch and the smaller 153 tooth ring gear flywheel.

BTW - the L48 came standard from the factory with a 'high-torque' designated starter, as did most of the GM offerings with 'Higher Compression' engine offerings.
No telling when you're getting a replacement if it was rebuilt to the GM spec.s or not.
That's why I now replace them with an newer design GM "high-torque" spec. starter that is listed above. I use the same starter for most higher compression/performance/marine applications, they have yet to let me down after many years.

The one last item I would be checking is the engine grounding system at this point.
Is the negative cable from the battery mounted to the stud at the alternator bracket at the thermostat housing, as original, and is it making good contact? This an area of high corrosion and the contact integrity can be compromised as the system is serviced over the years.
Make sure you have a very good path from the battery Neg. to the engine block as well as correctly sized Pos. feed cables.
I often find these pieces changed on these older vehicles to sub-standard parts ...

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 31st, 15, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 396 Starter

Engine pad is T1113HB 19N547018 and transmission is a THM350. I have looked at the starter and it doesn't appear there are staggered bolt patterns on the block. I ordered the replacement starter(to see if that was the problem) from Auto Zone, only giving them 350, 300HP, auto transmission and it came with in line mounting holes. Replacement starter is a #1107399. Unit pulled was a 1108361.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old May 31st, 15, 10:45 PM
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Thumbs up Re: 396 Starter

Okay, some of this is beginning to make sense to me now ...
For some reason I was under the impression you had a 69 SS350/manual, not a TH350 auto.
For reasons that will probably always remain known only to GM ... the TH350's (at least all early production units) received the smaller 153 tooth flexplates - while the Powerglides and manuals received the larger 168 tooth ring gear system.
So at this point the straight/non-staggered starter nose pattern makes sense as yours is a pre-Dec./Jan. or ??? (can't remember the service advisory that outlined this information and changes, but I know I have a copy in files)assembly.

One thing I did think odd was the 1108361 starter you said you removed
Normally the small ring gear RPO-L48 used the 1108420 'high-torque' vs. the 1108361 more commonly found on the RPO-LM1's - but previous service and/or changes to the vehicle may be responsible for that.

But the fact remains that either starter would still fit a BBC with the small ring gear also

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 15, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 396 Starter

So the 1108420 starter has in-line mounting holes and would work on my 153 tooth ring gear. Where does one find a 1108420 starter?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 15, 11:55 PM
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Wink Re: 396 Starter

When looking for 'Numbers' components, one finds them wherever you can

Do an 'inter-web' search for the number and "starter" + stuff like GM/Chevrolet/Camaro/... to give you some links and narrow your search.
You should get the common eBain come-on links and then others like restoration houses and private sellers.
Any of these could lead to a number unit and even one that is the correct date-code if you're patient and/or lucky ...

This starter is very popular with the Corvette guys also, so they will be the ones driving the market and pricing.

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