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Discussion Starter #1
just got my engine back. was a 350 (3970010), but now is a 383... has an eagle stroker kit. the problem is when i try to start it, the starter does not mesh close enough to the flexplate, it grinds and crunches, will start the engine about 3 times, then goes to only grinding, and no engine movement. the flywheel is from a 400. they tell me it is a standard 400 flywheel..... does that mean 153 or 168 teeth..... its about 10.5:1 compression, but not broken in yet, i have ran it an hour in the driveway, and drove it 20 miles(under 3000RPM). it is hard to turn the flywheel by hand. not sure if that is cuz the compression, new rings seating.... runs great, its not locked up, but is very hard to turn.... the starter is from the 350 that was in it before. its the one with the offset holes, not the straight across holes... the first time it started 3 times, and solenoid went bad. so i bought a new one. then it started 3 times, and chipped the ends of the teeth on the starter.... took the starter had it rebuilt, new gear.. works great. 3 times, then starts making the same noise. grinds and will not start the engine. so then i bought a new starter, take a guess... starts 3 times, then starts making the same noise. i have tried all kinds of shim configurations... with no shims is the best so far, and still not close enough. if i shim the outside hole, it kind of 'twists' the starter, possibly a fraction closer, started 1 time, then same thing again... i have been to auto parts stores everywhere... i have called summit racing... have asked many many ppl and nobody knows how to fix this. some say get a high torque starter (shop that built the engine says it shouldnt need one) some say could be the wrong flywheel. what gets me is... if it meshes good enough to start 3 times, then it should start every time. am i tearing the starter apart from the high compression???? the flywheel is in good condition, was looking for worn teeth. only 2 teeth (due to my trying to start when it wasnt lined up right) the starter teeth are in good shape now ( on the new one) but still will not turn the engine. if i take either starter out and test it, they work perfectly, bendix comes out, spins good and fast. possibly the gear mechenism in the starter gear is internally damaged...the one way bearing in there????? i dont want to go spend 300 on a high torque starter, and have it destroyed in one day. what can i do, its driving me krazy. almost tempted to take to the chevy dealer down the street. and i usually dont let people work on my car. prefer to do it myself. just stumped this time. somebody please help. i know im missing somthing simple probably.
 

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first is your motor internally balanced or externally? second you need to know if its a 158 or 168 tooth flexplate. Your starter was probably a 158 tooth starter. you can get an sfi flexplate for an LT1 and use that if you want.

sry if i missed if you answered my question. you typed alot. if you motor is internally balanced you can just get the sfi flexplate and grind of the weights. Having it zero balanced isnt a bad idea but i didnt have mine done. I never did find a zero balance 158 tooth flexplate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
first is your motor internally balanced or externally?

externally.

second you need to know if its a 158 or 168 tooth flexplate.

it is supposed to have a 168 tooth, but since the teeth are far from close enough it looks like they put the 153 tooth on there.

i have called jegs, summit, several garages, all my friends..... everyone now is saying that since the starter has offset holes, it will only work with the bigger flexplate.

they say i have 2 options, either change the flexplate, or drill the block for the (straight across hole) starter. they sell universal starters that will work with either flexplate .......only if you have the right block.

i guess that some small blocks have all 3 holes, so you can bolt up either starter. mine does not. being a 3970010 (high nickle content), it is one of the more common small blocks, i would assume it would be more universal like that... but i guess not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i fixed this a while back. forgot this post was here. what was happenning was the starter was flexing on the knurled part of the starter bolts. so i have 2 good flexplates, and a new starter out of the deal... but it was the 7bucks worth of hardware that solved the problem

main point:

USE NEW STARTER BOLTS EVERY TIME!

i never had this problem before and i have reused many many starter bolts. but i sure did spend alot of extra time and money on this one. so if you ever have this issue check your bolts
 

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LOL

When I saw this thread bumped to the top I was thinking WTF...he's still having problems. Good point. How many projects end up screwed because of a cost/time saving step, such a bolt?
 

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wow thank god for this tread, i had the exact same problem and i was about to try a new flex plate i hope the new bolts work!
 

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hey man jegs sbc block chevy mini starter... I ran into the same problem jegs or summit is your best bet
 
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