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Old 11-02-2013, 08:46 PM
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Starter bolts keep coming loose

Hey guys, 1980 454 motor, the starter bolts keep coming loose and letting the starter twist and grind on my flywheel. Im almost positive the block is a 1980ish but what year did they change to the 10mm bolts?

I even put lock tite on the bolts and that didnt last long, I have the rear brace installed also on the rear stud. Any ideas welcomed. Thanks

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Old 11-02-2013, 08:55 PM
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get one of these and use some Loctite!

this work on all 396, 427 & 454 blocks!

hit the link it is $12 to stop it from twisting.


66 67 68 Corvette 427 Camaro Chevy Impala Chevelle SS 396 GM Starter Bracket | eBay
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:56 PM
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I have that brace installed and used locktite. Any idea what year they switched to the 10mm bolt?
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:06 PM
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read this

454 Blowing out starters WHY???? [Archive] - Chevelle Tech
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:16 PM
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thanks I saw that same post earlier when I was searching I was hoping someone on here could tell me if the mid 80s had the 10mm bolts so I could justify possibly having a block with the 10mm holes. Maybe I just need to run a tap through it and use some new bolts with locktite
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:21 PM
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Blocks prior to 1982 are drilled at the starter mounting for 3/8-16

If you have a 3510 starter it is drilled at the block mounting face for 3/8
If you have a 3510M starter is it drilled at the block mounting face for 10MM

If you are using a metric starter on an SAE block.. it will slide around no matter how tight you get it.. the knurled section aligns the starter ...


This is the correct bolt type for your starter. Also, when applying Loc-Tite, it is very important that you clean, dry & prime the threads on the bolt and in the hole before applying Loc-Tite. Let cure before use.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:23 PM
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How would I know if I have the metric or sae block? I think ive used the 3510 and 3510M starters with the same bolts im using now. Right now I am using the kragen/oreilley 03-0367 starter
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:38 PM
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If you know for sure your block is prior to 1982, it is an SAE block so use SAE bolts. The first thing to do is make sure the starter bolts fit the starter you are using. They should not be "sloppy" when fit in the starter mounting holes. The knurling helps keep the starter aligned so make sure you check this out. You can also use a lock washer on the bolt if needed but if everything is correct and if you are torquing them correctly (30 ft. lbs.), they should not come loose.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:28 AM
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also are you using shims ,if not this could be part of the problem.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:30 PM
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Ok so I think I figured it out. I took the starter out, ran a tap through the mounting holes and cleaned out all the crap inside, sprayed the holes with carb cleaner, cleaned the mounting surface, and reinstalled the starter with new bolts.

I tried to start it and it would turn over but it would grind a little and was super super loud, I crawled under there and noticed the shaft that the starter bearing rides on was pretty far away from the flexplate, I shimmed it with 1 1/16" shim and it was a little better but still not great. I added all the other shims with the package (basically the entire shim package from the "help" package of shims at the parts stores) and it starts really quiet now and every time without fail, its never started this well but it also does have about 1/8" worth of shims on the outer bolt and none on the inner bolt.

A while back the outer bolt cracked the corner of the block off and I had it welded back on and ground down the area that was worked so im not surprised it needed shims but I definitely didnt grind down 1/8" worth of metal, you guys think its ok running approx 1/8" worth of shims on the outer bolt only?


FYI it is also utilizing the rear stud bracket as well but that bracket was added on after the outer bolt metal was rewelded (found out that the bracket existed after the fact the hard way)
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:12 AM
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Had that problem years ago, and actually broke off a tooth on the flex plate, and you know what trouble that causes. Found that the 'starter' bolts weren't really starter bolts. They were right size and length, but didn't fit snuggly in the starter housing. Had lots of wiggle room and wiggled themselves back out first chance they got. Never had any more trouble with it after 1) replaced bolts with actual 'starter' bolts for SBC, 2) replaced end cap (bendix housing) on starter for tight fit, and, 3) replaced broken flex plate. Hopefully, yours hasn't knocked a tooth or two offa the starter ring yet. Those starter bolts have to fit snug in those housing bolt guides or they going to wiggle loose. I might be johnny-come-lately here, but will never forget the heartburn and misery those wrong bolts created.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:41 AM
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they are starter bolts and fit snug inside the starter
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