Stock 350sbc with staggered bolts starter and 168-tooth flexplate - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-20-2004, 01:46 PM
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Stock 350sbc with staggered bolts starter and 168-tooth flexplate

Am I the only one that this seems odd too?

I had thought that only 400sbc and Big block Chevy’s had a staggered bolt pattern on the starter and had a 168-tooth flexplate.

Can anyone enlighten me on this subject???

406chevelle

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Old 06-20-2004, 01:49 PM
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Nope, other small blocks got them as well, almost every 350 truck engine I see did.
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Old 06-20-2004, 06:59 PM
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My 74 350 4bolt main motor has the staggered pattern as well as the straight across, ie three holes. This is good when you get your hands on a starter with the three bolt mounting block. Power Master makes one and it does not move when turning the higher compression motors.

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Old 06-20-2004, 09:18 PM
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It doesn't matter if it'a a big-block or a small-block, if the starter is block-mounted, the staggered bolt pattern matches the 168-tooth flywheel/flexplate, & the straight-across bolt pattern matches the 153-tooth wheel. The first I ever heard about an alleged "big-block starter nose" was on some message board within the past year. We didn't have such a thing at the Chevy place when I worked there in '71. Quite a few small-blocks used the larger wheel & staggered starter. 6-cyl's, 283's, & 327's with heavy-duty clutches generally had the larger wheels, as did the vast majority of 350's. Same syndrome with "11-inch flywheels", supposedly referring to the 168-tooth wheels. My '72 Nova came from the factory with a 168-tooth flywheel, staggered starter, & a 10.4" clutch, & the flywheel is not drilled for a bigger clutch.

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Old 06-22-2004, 02:12 PM
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Staggered is actually most common pattern. I think this became popular as the engine cubes got larger and the number of accessories the engine had to turn grew. The larger flywheel or flexplate used with the staggered pattern essentially geared the starter down so it was easier to turn over a large heat soaked option laden small block.

In the beginning the small block had a generator and a water pump to turn and maybe the optional power steering unit or the then quite rare air conditioner compressor. As the model yrs went by most engines had grown larger than 300 cubic inches and things like power steering, A/C and smog pumps bacame the norm rather than the exception making the staggered pattern with the larger flywheel almost mandatory.

I have owned/worked on several small block powered vehicles(1969-85 stuff) and none of them had the straight pattern block.
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