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I dont exaclty know why chevy made two different ones however I know they use two different starters that have two different mount patterns on the block. One is a 168 tooth and the other is a 153 I believe.

It would be interesting to know originally why they were designed like this.
 

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the bigger one acts as a high tork starter.it simply gives your starter a bigger boost.we didn't used to have the tork in our starters that we have now and back in the day we used to have stronger engines.
 
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