Originally Posted by Gearhead9000
on my 1978 350 Chevy smallblock the flywheel is 14 1/8 diam and 168 teeth. starter is from same year motor but was on a manual transmission. starter gear locks in the flywheel and won't release. Can anyone help with this?
It's probably binding, check to see that the proper clearance between the engaged teeth exists, the crown engaged into the root of the gear teeth should have .060 inch clearance.
Also check for a twisted mounting. This can come about from the bolts being loose, the wrong type (do not have the factory knurl), missing or loose starter to block hanger, cracked thru the threads of mounting boss on the block are typical failures.
Manuals and automatics use the same starters. There are 153 and 168 tooth ring gears but they also use the same starter gear end. These starters just mounted more inboard with the smaller ring. The mounts are different between them so you can't screw it up, or at least that's GM's theory.