Author Topic: Small block / 350 Starter difference.  (Read 374 times)

Offline 87_Rado

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Small block / 350 Starter difference.
« on: September 15, 2021, 12:26:11 AM »
Good evening. It's 1:00 A.M here in N.Y and I just got inside from working on my truck. This might be a little longer post but I feel the need to share this with others. Although this information may be posted some where else.. I seemed to have difficulty finding an answer untill I tested it for myself just now. So a little background.. Yesterday I had to have my 87 towed home due to a no start. I drove to work fine and has no issues. As I clocked out and went to leave, I turned the key, engine turns over and fires.. It fired for a split second and died, almost like I let go of the key to early. So I try to turn it over again and absolutely nothing. So my first instinct is my battery crapped out on me and I try to jump it. Still nothing, took the battery from the work truck out, nothing but a very slow sluggish turn. So it seems like something had the motor stuck. I did some looking and feeling around testing grounds and what not. And I realized my starter wire from the positive was alarmingly hot. So this was leading me to believe that something had my motor seriously locked up. So first thing I do is pop the valve covers and check for a bent push rod or valve. Nothing that I could see from the naked eye.. From there I got a breaker bar and tried to turn the engine over by hand and could not get it to budge. So my next idea is to pull the spark plugs and see if the engine will turn over without any compression building in the cylinders. Still nothing... so at this point I'm still in the parking lot at work and just completely fed up. Thankfully I have good friends and a buddy saved the day and gave me a tow. So after getting the truck home I dive back into it tonight.. First thing I did was think of how hot that wire was getting so I pull the starter, thinking maybe a tooth broke off or something. After getting it out and Inspecting it I notice that the starter gear is actually pressed all the way up against the front housing and the starter itself seemed bulged out. (I will Include pictures) So now after a failed bench test I feel like I'm getting somewhere and I remembered having a spare starter that I had gotten from an old co worker. So I rummage through and find that and everything matches up.. accept for the starter gear itself.. The original starter had 11 teeth and the spare one 9 teeth. After searching the internet and coming up shirt on a solid answer I just decided to slap it in being that the bolt holes where the same (Diagonal). After many hours of aggravation and trouble shooting, the starter turned out to be my problem all along. The 9 tooth worked great and I don't think the truck EVER started this easy as long as I've owned it. So for anyone else out there wondering if a 9 tooth starter will work in place of an 11. I say go for it because I'm my situation I couldn't be happier with the result and now I can drive my square to work tomorrow! 🤘
87 Chevy V-10. 350 TBI all stock. Wooden flatbed.

Offline 87_Rado

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Re: Small block / 350 Starter difference.
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2021, 12:29:35 AM »
Here's the starter
87 Chevy V-10. 350 TBI all stock. Wooden flatbed.

Offline fitz

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Re: Small block / 350 Starter difference.
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2021, 08:38:08 AM »
I'm  surprised that they enterchanged like that.
I always assumed that the differences in starters was for the different size flex plates.
Good job getting yourself out of a jam.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: Small block / 350 Starter difference.
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2021, 06:19:04 PM »
A couple of things:

1) There are many starters that will work for SBC. The main differences are the flexplate/flywheel tooth count (153/168) and the bolt pattern (staggered/straight). From there, there are clearance issues, gear reduction, high torque, mini's, clockable, different bodies, noses, etc etc.

2) When you were attempting to troubleshoot the no crank condition, taking the valve cover off was unnecessary. For future reference:

Check battery voltage and connection integrity, check for B+ at the S terminal during cranking and if those exist and are good, use a breaker bar to ensure the engine is not seized. If it moves, replace the starter.

3) As far as whatever starter you put in there, although it might work for now, it would behoove you to have a new or remanufactured, correct starter installed in its place, if you are relying on your truck to get you around.
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74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Small block / 350 Starter difference.
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 05:07:02 PM »
Amen!

Sounds like a shim would have got him out of the woods... ;)
1957 Apache 3100 235 Inline 6, 3 on the tree
1973 C-20, 3+3 454 4BBL TH400  Water Injection
1978 K-10, 350 4BBL TH350 NP203 M.M. Part time Kit/Hubs
1980 C-10 under construction