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skiprec 12-07-2004 02:35 AM

Chevy 350 cracked starter mounting hole w pics
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This is a dynamite website and I've spent the whole weekend reading it. I am in the process of trying to figure out what seems to be a common problem with the Chevy 350. My car is a 1972 Impala. I am including pics which are linked to a website hopefully my links will work. I've had a starter shop put 4 starters in after I spent two days (using the tips from this board) shimming and shaving the starter that was in the car (rebuilt starter from parts store) . The starter shop put in a gear reduction starter, etc, but couldn't get rid of the grinding. They say it is the flexplate. Flexplate looks good to me, altough it is worn on some of the teeth. I figure before pulling the engine it's worth replacing the flexplate. Some of the questions I have are: I know of the highest tech welding shop around, they do aviation/aerospace stuff, and have welded cast iron for me before. Does anyone think this could be done with engine in the car? Has anyone out there done this, or how did they do it? Did the 72 Impala come with a starter brace, can I get a starter brace for it? I read a member on this board who fabricated a piece of steel to beef up the cracked hole, anyone else done this? The hole in question is the one furthest from the block, Hopefully you can see in my photos it appears that the crack stops where the threads start, or the crack is in the area of the shoulder of the starter bolt. The starter bolt will torque down, however it seems that I can move the stater slightly with a lot of pressure with my hand. Is this normal , or my imagination? Will the starter brace fix this? Does anyone know a shop in Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County) that could handle this. Thanks in advance for all and any help!
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poncho62 12-07-2004 03:47 AM

Definately put the front brace on there before it breaks off. You may get away with just that. Don't overtight the bolt going into that damaged hole.

I am suprised that the people that you had putting the 4 starters on didn't use the brace (Front bracket).

If you say the ring gear "looks" worn, replace it. It doesn't take much for the gears not to mess properly.

TurboS10 12-07-2004 06:46 AM

I guess I am not 100% clear on what happened. From what I get, you replaced multiple starters and they all ground when cranking. After inspection, you then found the crack and you are thinking this is the problem.

If I have to wonder if the starter cracked the block from binding or if the cracked block let the starter twist around. I have to wonder if the first starter cracked the block. Any thoughts?

I would give the welding a try or you might try to braze it. Welding will make the area brittle and prone to crack again. The brazing might just hold and it will not make the block brittle.


rifraf 12-07-2004 07:27 AM

Some things to consider,they make standard and metric bolts and starters,do you have the right ones to match your starter? Next,I couldn't tell by the photos,but do you have 3 bolt holes on the block? If so,I would use a 3 bolt nose,I think they came on the late 60s chev trucks,they were not aluminum,use two factory bolts in the good holes to insure proper line up,then use a high grade stud and bottom it out in the hole to get all the thread you can for the third,then put a lock nut on it,just an idea. After all that,get the brace.

TooMany2count 12-07-2004 11:56 AM

and to add to the above post make sure the bolts are long enuff to seat deep into the threaded hole, hopefully it isnt cracked all the way up & u'll be able to grab some good threads....joe

illegal regal 12-28-2008 01:56 PM

try a 80's model buick has a short bolt (inside) and a long bolt (outside) this starter and the 3 hole starter are the best way out :welcome:

heyjude076 12-29-2008 04:41 AM

Had the same grinding problem. Investigation revealed that I had neglected to install the front brace on the starter. Took care of my problem. Possibly will cure yours also.

cr55 12-29-2008 06:04 AM

The front brace never worked for me. I suffered through the starter grinding for years. Tried all kinds of different makes. The big delco remy worked the longest but still made the grinding noise and eventually broke. Put in a mini starter and it worked for a while, but it too made the grinding noise and also stated breaking teeth off of the flywheel. Finally took it to a local shop and the owner drilled a third hole in between the two staggered bolts. No more grinding noise and it's been that way for 3 years now.......CR :thumbup:

Double_v23 12-29-2008 09:19 AM

I don't think these guys realized that this thread was 4 years old! Sometimes custom work is the only solution.

Henry45 02-14-2010 12:51 AM

Cracked motor mount
Hey guy's!!
I stumbled on this site trying to figure out what kind of rods to use for welding a(cracks) on the starter mount,(outside dog ear mount).
I knew you could weld engine blocks,but i'm left confused on weather to use a low,or high nickle rod. The engine block is a 010 block,i think that's the higher nickle blocks.??? Anyways i know the procedure on doing this,i just need a few opinions on the welding rods.

p.s. i've heard of people using 55rods, is this too soft?? thanks for the help.

Chipster 10-29-2010 07:09 PM

Starter Grinding Problems
Hey guys, Been reading the forum and all the great advice you have been offering regarding the GM 350 Starter grinding problems. Well, this is what worked for me finally, after months of disappointments:
1. Bought the expensive GM starter mounting bolts with the built in washers
2. Installed bolts and torqued to a full 45 pounds, further the bolts were a little longer than just the ones you get at Advance or Auto Zone, so they drove further up into the mounting pad which probably gave better stability.
3. Last and certainly not least, installed a starter mounting bracket. Probably the most important matter. There a number of different types and you must get the exact on for your application or make one that's really strong.
4. Measure the starter teeth and last distance from flexplate to exact what specified. Had to grind a little off the starter boss itself to get it closer and tighter to flexplate teeth.
By the way, my starter mount on the block is cracked a bit, so may have to weld in the future as Henry45 speaks of. But for now, I'm gonna enjoy.
There it is, started like a new car and thank God, no grinding as yet and it's been about 25 starts. Good Luck to you all, this is one of the most difficult issues I've dealt with in all my years of Hot Rodding and seems simple, BUT !

Hoolygone 11-10-2011 11:33 PM


Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
The required OEM rear support brace and correct OEM GM knurled starter bolts would have prevented all this. You get these from a GM dealer parts counter.
If / when you crack /strip out the end starter bolt hole on the block,
The fix is to converter to the old 1955 1956 era way of mounting the starter motor
on the first 265cid sbc's, with one of these starter mounting adapter and a 1955 era style starter.
Replace a chewed flex plate gear while you are in there.

PS this adapter also needs the support brace on the end of the starter motor.

Yeah, I tried the starter conversion plate. Does NOT work. And there is no way of adjusting the starter. No shims - nada. 200 bucks on a worthless piece of steel and a starter that wont fit anywhere. Do NOT buy that.

Have been trying to solve this effing starter problem for a long time. Its the worst problem Ive ever had on any car! Maybe tomorrow its fixed, maybe not. Some serious headache, two broken ribs and alot of time and money spent on this horrible idiotic construction.

DoubleVision 11-11-2011 12:19 AM

This thread has had a double life, it`s been revived twice. It started in 2004 and again in 2008 and now again in 2011.

TroyBoy 11-11-2011 06:17 AM

Lol, old post but a good one. I had the same problem with my block 5 years ago(didn't use the front brace) I had the block welded last summer. I made some starter studs out of grade 8 shouldered bolts and used Nylock nuts. After I re-tapped the bolt holes to clean them out, I rebuilt the engine then "locktited" them in . This is the engine that I put in my 86 GMC last year in August when I converted my truck from a 4.3/3-speed to a 350/350. I did use a front brace and a new starter with no shims and have not had a single problem since starting it over a year ago. This truck is a daily driver.

timothale 11-11-2011 06:47 AM

starter problems.
We have a SBC in our Farm Forklift, 2 years ago it broke the aluminum nose casting on the starter, I went thru the parts pile and found a cast iron starter and put it in and the old bolts were not the GM knurled ones. 4 chevy pickups parked out back all running, and lots of spare parts to pick from in the shop.

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