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Old 03-25-2008, 07:43 PM
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Need Help: Chevy starter housing

does anybody know where i can find a starter housing with 3 bolt holes? i got a chevy 350 and the outer bolt hole broke, luckily i got three holes on the block for the starter, i just need to find a housing that has three bolt holes on it.

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Old 03-25-2008, 07:53 PM
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Some of the old 427 truck starters had 3 mounting holes.......You are still going to have problems without that outer mounting point. Also, make sure you use the frint bracket to the block.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Some of the old 427 truck starters had 3 mounting holes.......You are still going to have problems without that outer mounting point. Also, make sure you use the frint bracket to the block.

Ok, what is a "frint bracket"?
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
Ok, what is a "frint bracket"?
A figment of my bad typing.......should be "front"......The "L" shaped bracket that goes from the starter motor to the bock by the motor mount. They come with them from the factory, but is the 1st thing not put back on when a starter gets changes....
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:07 PM
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alright, i looked around for days making a bunch of calls and i can't find it. i found one starter thats a high performance, it has three bolt holes but i don't need no high performance starter worth over 200 bucks. especially if it might not even work.

is it possible to weld a piece of metal to the block and make a new hole? somebody told me it isnt possible to weld the block. just to give you an idea, the hole isn't a hole anymore, its more like a C, a piece broke complete off the block. i don't think i can put a helicoil in there, unless its possible to weld a helicoil in there.

any ideas? thanks
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:25 PM
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starter

It has been a while but I believe I had a 400bb pontiac that had a 3 bolt starter. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:51 PM
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I suggest going to a old style, well established starter/alternator repair shop and ask them for one. Most older shops have a good supply of older starter cores and iron heads for starters. A decent shop will know what you are asking for. Paramount California is large enough to have such a shop. If not ... you are in one of the most densely populated auto type locates in the nation ... Los Angeles is only 12 to 15 miles away.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:02 PM
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Why not just go with the housing that has the staggered bolt pattern or is it the outside hole that is broken out. If so, the two in line inside holes are not going to do the job for you.

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Old 03-30-2008, 07:51 PM
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As far as welding that broken piece. yes, it can be done. When I worked for the Dept of Trans fleet, we had similar "half a bolt hole" broke off, at the cylinder heads on Ford 477 gas motors. That would be the ears where the manifolds bolt on. Those manifolds would run glowing red while pushing an 8" or greater snow layer, and the welds held fine. We would stick weld the missing area by using a piece of round carbon in what was left of the hole. As you build up the weld, the hole stays open and then rethread it.

We got the round carbon from a flashlight battery and turned it down on a lathe

I don't recall the rod type but maybe it was Ni-rod....ask OldRed
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:51 PM
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Dude! you suffered the exact same fate i went through, and it sucked hardcore until i found the cure!

Rebuilt a 79 Trans am. pretty much everything from fresh paint, interior, and a kick-*** small block chebby. Installed engine and installed a brand new starter to break in the engine. lone behold, outer starter hole casting around it broke. Figured that enough thread still existed for starter bolt to grab. problem i was having is the starter would mesh with flexplate niceley for about 5 starts the it would shift out of alignment even though both starter bolts seem to have remained tight.

Yes i purchased the front brace and went through shim after shim. bottom line was always the same. 5 good starts then out of alignment. it didn't matter how many different starters or brand names i tried. everything from high quality Bosh starters to EL' crapo CHAMPION starters all had the same result.

This was the ONLY thing that worked for me =

you have 2 options, either way you may have a bit of work ahead of you.
do you know what flexplate/flywheel you have attached to your block? 153 or 168 tooth wheel? As I've read. the STRAIGHT starter bolt pattern was designed for the 153 (smaller) ring gear wheel. the staggared bolt pattern (which is one of your broken outer bolts) was designed for the 168 tooth wheel. staggered pattern seems to be more common then straight as your finding out.

If you discover that you have the smaller 153 wheel on your block then your in luck. Power master makes a mini-starters that are quite universal as i discovered this week. the starter is sold and has the option for both the staggered 168 ring gear and the straight 153 gear.

QUOTE FROM ANOTHER POSTER:

"There's an aluminum block at the mount end of the mini starter which has the normal holes for a 153 tooth flexplate, but also has another set of holes that, when used, would move the starter out enough to fit the 168 flexplate.
You can't see the holes in this picture (BELOW), but you can see the aluminum block I spoke of"

as you see the problem here is if you already have the bigger ring gear on your flywheel then you are forced to use the mini starters staggered version. if your lucky and already have the smaller flywheel in your engine then just use a powermaster mini starter and use the aluminum block mount, your mini starter then becomes the STRAIGHT pattern which is what your probably after?

if you have the bigger ring gear (which you probably do because no one gets lucky in these situations) then your option is to switch flywheels/flexplates so a straight style pattern mini starter matches up eliminating the need to use that broken hole all together.

at anyrate changing a flywheel/flexplate while the motor is still in the car sucks bad! can be done but a few man hours are involved.

what i did (without changing my flywheel) as i had the bigger 168 ring gear and required the staggered bolt style was this.........

I took a 9/16 NUT and sliced it in half. Welded it to the missing cast and built a foundation around it. there is NO way to weld back the cast to original factory. impossible and i realized that, the ONLY point was to make a foundation around the missing chunck of cast. then using a mini grinder filed it down all nice and pretty. then using a grade 8 STUD. threaded it through the damaged hole. you may have to use the mini grinder and shave off a few inches around where the top of the bolt hole is to enable you to rest a nut in that area. I then climbed under the car and rested the starter through the stud and tightened the starter up using the proper starter bolt on the GOOD-NON-DAMAGED hole.

at this point i used another 9/16 NUT and attached it to the end of the stud that ran through the damaged hole. It may require an assistant to hold the top nut while you tighten the stud from the bottom. I also attached the starter front brace. if you dont have one you can probably get one from a bone yard for next to nothing or go to a GM dealership. very cheap part! The factory installed these for a reason and they should be there.

I then unplugged my distributer (+) wire so the engine won't fire when rotated and tested the starter. over and over and over. i let the engine rotate over 30+ times just to ensure the flexplate and starter were meshing nicely. ever since this horrible nightmare of a problem last summer it has been
working nicely. Is it 100% correct? no, but it solved the problem. It would be a shame to trash a freshly rebuilt engine because you can't start it due to a faulty starter hole. It doesn't exactly look sexy, a nut at the end of a stud where the out starter bolt through hole is BUT with headers on you wouldn't even know its there and can't even see it.

reading your post gave me goosebumps and painfull memories because i went through the same damn thing your about to go through and believe me its frustrating. i sure hope my post has offered you some sort of solution? It took me over a month to research my options and cure my problem.

i don't think i missed anything, PM me if you like? i may be able to provide you with some pics as i took some snap shots of my progress.

nothing worse sound then a chebby starter not meshing correctly. horrible sound. i wish you the best of luck
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