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In the first pic below you will see that I am using a GM starter with offset bolt pattern. Just to the right of the top bolt you will see another bolt hole in the block. Is there any advantage or disadvantage in an aftermarket starter that uses this position for the top bolt as opposed to the offset pattern? In the second pic you will see that there is a long bolt that holds the starter body together. This bolt runs down the bottom of the starter and is a bit too close to my headers. I am looking at some other starters for better clearance. The “clip” that secures the bolt at the 12 o’clock position in the pic is the area that is a bit too close for me.




 

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The starter nose bolt pattern is determined by the flywheel.
Fourteen inch diameter, 168-tooth, get the staggered bolt starter, as shown.
Twelve inch diameter, 153-tooth, get the inline bolt starter.

I have the dimensions off, but the idea is staggered bolts, bigger flywheel; smaller flywheel, inline bolts.
 

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I have a CVR mini-starter sitting on my shelf that looks like it can be used for either 153 or 168 tooth flywheels. It has two sets of bolt holes, all inline, at the front for the long bolts. It also has the capability of rotating the motor housing relative to the mounting block for better clearance. It is 7 1/4" long, not counting the drive gear. You might look into something like that.

http://www.cvrproducts.com/protorque_starters.html

Looks like they also make one strictly for the 168 tooth and a staggered pattern only.

http://www.cvrproducts.com/protorque_maximum_starters.html

I'm not aware that one bolt pattern has an advantage over the other.
 

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As said, stock style starter for a 168T flywheel will have offset bolts like that.

You can get a Delco mini from DB Electrical for $55 that will give you some clearance but will still use the staggered pattern. They also have Hitachi minis that use the straight bolt pattern.
http://www.db-starter-alternator.com/Items/sdr0031 -with 2 long bolts?&caSKU=sdr0031 -with 2 long bolts&caTitle=NEW Chevy 305 350 454 Mini Racing PMGR Starter HT PM300 SDR0031


Yours kinda looks like it is a smaller Delco but I can't tell.

This is one of the Delco PMGR's on a small block:

 
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