02-23-2004, 03:36 PM
I bought a modified 1968 El Camino last summer. It is an SS 396 Clone, and a pretty good one at that. Since then, I have had starter problems and have replaced four starters. Something keeps eating them up.
The engine is a '70 402 and the auto trans was replaced with a 4-speed. Now the guys at the local repair shop (Pep Boys) are saying that it might be the front housing of the tranny is causing the problem because it doesn't line up right - they are having to use shims to get the starter lined up.
Previously it would start grinding and sounding terrible. This time it is missing. If you try three or four times, it will start - and it will often start right up if it is cold.
Any ideas on this? Thanks for your help.
02-23-2004, 04:14 PM
Are you running headers? If so, it might be a heat problem. You can try a starter heat shield or relocating the starter soleniod might work.
Check the negative battery cable. It should be connected to the engine block, NOT on the original location of the top of the alternator bracket.
Just my 2 cents worth
02-23-2004, 04:15 PM
Hello, The starter bolts to the engine block not the transmission bellhousing. If the bellhousing is in the way of the starter it may be loose. Check the six bolts at the back of the engine. Also Big Blocks require a bracket on the front of the starter. This is often left off when starters are replaced over the years. Also the missing engagement might be caused by damaged teeth on the flywheel ring gear from the earlier grinding.
02-24-2004, 12:15 PM
It sounds to me like you need one of the mini high torque starters. They require less amperage to work correctly, they are much smaller and so they are less likely to be affected by a heat soak condition, and since they do not have a support bearing in front of the starter drive they are much easier to line up with the starter ring gear. You should also check to make sure that there is no excessive ring gear runout which could indicate an improperly indexed bellhousing, however if it were bad eniough you would probably have clutch engagement problems with the pilot bearing wearing out prematurely. Also make sure that the ring gear is not so beat up that the starter drive cannot engage properly. I would certainly try a mini starter.
02-26-2004, 02:38 AM
I had the same problem .The Bracket was missing and ate a couple teeth on my flywheel had to keep Inspection cover off to manually turn it till I found some teeth, till I fixed it .Dont let it go that far.
02-26-2004, 04:48 PM
It's also very important to use STARTER BOLTS!!!!
There is a difference between them and standard 3/8 bolts. Correct starter bolts will be slightly larger and knurled on the unthreaded portion of the bolt.
02-27-2004, 01:46 PM
Yes using the correct starter bolts is very important, if you use regular 3/8" bolts they will allow the starter to move around and not line up correctly. Use the correct knurled bolts, shim the starter correctly for starter gear/ring gear clearance, use the starter rear support bracket when applicable, have a good ground and use the solenoid heat shield when applicable.