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Discussion Starter #1
You bet they are. After going thru 4 re-built starters to get one good one on a previous car I decided to try one of the high performance models. I ordered it from one of the speed catalogs. It was $159.00 verses the $45.00 lifetime guaranteed model. This starter has all new parts, ball bearings instead of bushings, a 4 to 1 ratio that starts the car so fast, I just bump the key and the engine is running, its half the size and weight of the stock starter. I am very happy with it and recommend it over the re-built units any day. Has anyone else had any experience with these good or bad you would like to share?
 

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Which one did you get? I bought a CSI starter, it wouldnt line up for the life of me, no matter what I did, and it ended up stripping the pinion gear to shreds.
 

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Oh yes they are! I went through two failed starters in my camaro, finally got a good one, cost like $140ish, but it starts so easy now. I'd for sure get one.
 

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The one I have on my '33 Ford blown street rod I got about 11 years ago. Works perfectly. For the life of me I cant' remember the name but it is the company that originally invented the mini-starter and owned the market for several years until they got knocked off by somebody having them made in Taiwan. Now there are several companies making them off-shore and pretty much put the original company out of business because the off-shore ones are a lot less expensive.

Anyway, I wouldn't use anything but. I think some of the off-shore ones are very good quality.
 

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I bought a mini starter for an early/ mid-'90s Chevy pickup with a 454. Cost me about the same money as a Jegs starter, spins my 406 just fine and has a lifetime warranty.

Advance Auto Pn. P6449S

Larry
 

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Yes but be careful. On some applications you have to pay attention to how they line up. I just put one in my 53 Pickup that has a 66 283 in it. I had to use 2 shims to get it to work. The gear sat way too close to the flexplate even with the supplied shim, so I made one that was almost 3 times as thick, and now it works like a dream.
 

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HotRodMan,

What car/engine do you have? The Jegs page says that your starter draws 80-90AMPs. Can you start your car if the battery is somewhat drained? For example, instead of 12.6Volts, it is 12V?

Also, does it matter if this is for a 158 or 163 flywheel? If it is a different size, do you just rearrange the starter mounting holes?

Do these mini-starters require a remotely mounted solenoid gimmick on Chevy engines?

Thanks for your help!
Denis
'67 Camaro RS

PS I am almost done with a 383 project (1973 4-bolt block) and am looking for a reliable starter. I had hard time installing the stock one due to the header clearance.
 

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Keith Boisvert said:
Yes but be careful. On some applications you have to pay attention to how they line up. I just put one in my 53 Pickup that has a 66 283 in it. I had to use 2 shims to get it to work. The gear sat way too close to the flexplate even with the supplied shim, so I made one that was almost 3 times as thick, and now it works like a dream.
Yup, I had to use two shims on mine, 0.080" thick, to get it right.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I installed my starter in a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere with a 273 small block V 8 automatic transmission. The solenoid is included with the starter. There are no shims or different mountings, it only goes on one way with two bolts. I have not tried to start it with a discharged battery yet so I don't know how that will work out.
 

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I am running a late model Vortec mini starter on my turbo engine with an optima battery. It is definately worth the money. I got the starter, battery and an alternator at a local rebuild shop for less than $200. One of the best purchases I have made.

Chris
 

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Chris,

Do you use a remote solenoid hook-up to avoid 'hot start problems'?

Did late model trucks with Vortec engines use the mini-starters?

Thx,
Denis
 

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Well, the question isn't directed to me but I'll have a stab at it.

One of the purposes of designing a smaller starter motor was to move it and the solenoid further from the exhaust. That helped tremendously with hot-start issues. I don't use a remote solenoid because it isn't necessary. The motor and solenoid are far enough away from the headers to stay reasonably cool.

The starters were used on late model trucks, Impala SS, and a few others I'm not aware of I'm sure. Be certain the one you choose matches your flywheel. Some of the late models used the small diameter flywheel/flexplate and the starters won't interchange.

Larry
 

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Larry, thanks for your reply.

I noticed a lot of mini starters (on ebay, for ex.) feature a 4-terminal hook-up. What is the 4th terminal for?

What do you think about one of these deals? They are all new and offer a 1-or 2-year warranty. I found one vendor who sells mini-starters on e-bay with a lifetime warranty.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7927130272&category=33576

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7926548160&category=33576

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7927152741&category=33576

I like the last 7.5lbs one. Any good?

Guys, thanks again for your input. This is one of the best BBS on cars out there :)

Denis
'67 Camaro RS
 

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Larry is right. I think that all of the late nineties vortec 350s have the small starter. It works very well. I had heard that you had to change the gear on it, but the guy that I got mine from said you dont. Just make sure that the tooth count is the same as what you have.


chris
 

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Just another plug for the mini's ... I put a CVR protorque (Not a CSR) on my engine 2 years ago and it's been flawless. In addition, it needed no shims or alignment ... just bolted up and worked great.

A friend of mine had issues with his tow rig (454) burning up starters we believe because of exhaust heat and once the mini went in his rig problem was solved.

Rice
 

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If you are in the market for a mini starter make sure you check with Tommy Johnsons Motorsports. They have a mini starter for right around $120 I have been running it for over 6 years. Never hd a single problem. I have suggested it to many people and everyone has been very pleased. I was told back when I bought it that these are the same starters used by most NASCAR teams (this may or may not be true). It even works fine with my blown small block. It's out lived 4 engines so far.

Royce
 

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starter

Using block-hugger headers on an early Ford 289 which put the exhaust pipe about 1/4 inch from the outside edge of the stock sized starter and created a heat problem.
I put some interior under-the-carpet insulation 1/2 way around the exhaust pipe where it passes by the starter and held it in place with radiator hose clamps and so far it has cured the problem.
I did pull up the DB e-bay site and if the starter starts screwing up again I'll sure give them a call - thanks for posting their site.
Charlie Smith
 
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