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I've read a lot on here about car's that don't want to start (hot?) and thought since I have a few minutes I'd share a 3 year bad starter experience.

Ragtop #1, 400 SBC, flat tops & 64cc heads, comp. in the stratosphere, 20 plus years ago, no mini straters and no money. 13.20' & 108, no traction at all.

This thing ate a starter every 2 weeks. It wouldn't crank when hot, destroyed bendix drives, even cracked nose housings.

What's in a starter?

The electric motor: shaft w/coils, housing w/field coils, brushes, end plate. There are 2. Standard and heavy duty. The heavy duty starter motor is longer, and you have to use a longer bolt and 1" or so brass extension to connect the power lead to the solenoid.

Nose: The part where the bolts go through. Noses for small flywheel cars have the bolt holes in a straght line, both the same length. Noses for big flywheels have the bolts staggered, one ahead of the other, and the outer bolt is shorter. Passenger cars noses are alluminum, truck noses are cast iron.

Bendix: one way clutch with gear, slides onto the motor shaft, secured by a clip. Moves rearward to engage the ring gear when you turn the key.

Solenoid: The little can that sits on top, where all the wires connect. This is basically a giant relay which switches battery power into the starter to energize it. It also moves a linkage to slide the bendix back and engage the ring gear on the flywheel.

Bolts and bolt holes: The starter bolts are knurled at the top of the threads, and should provide an interference fit in both the block and the starter. This interference is what keeps the starter in the proper place, tightening the bolts just holds it up. BUY NEW BOLTS.

What didn't work:
Auto parts store bendix drives and solenoids are pure junk, and this includes the stuff used on remanufactured starters.

Alluminum nose on a high compression motor.

Forgetting to put the front strap and heat shields back on.

Not buying new mounting bolts.

What worked:
Hand made starter, with iron truck nose, HD motor (no the truck starter probably does not come with a HD motor.) Genuine AC Delco solenoid and Bendix., NEW BOLTS. (the bolts are knurled where they go into the block, if not a tight fit, the starter will move around.) FRONT STRAP (bracket goes from front of starter to block) HEAT SHIELD (attaches to front bolt on starter, insulates motor from headers) WIRING HEAT SHIELD (often discarded metal tube that the wires pass through.) SHIM THE MOTOR FOR PROPER GEAR MESH (special shims can be bought at the Chevy dealer.)

Initial Timing: If you crank slow, even hot, you may have too much advance. I ended up setting initial very low (5 degrees) and had my distributor curved to start the mechanical advance coming in at 600 rpm. Had 12 degrees (with no vacuam) at idle, but only 5 when cranking.

By the time I went through all this, the holes in my block were so beat up the starter wasn't solid, so I got a long 3/16 bit, drilled 2 holes through the starter into the block, and put tool steel pins in.

Hopes this helps.... Jim
 
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