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you can put a starter from the 4 cyl .nova engine on a 454 as long as the flywheel is the same dia. it will go on and work. it may crank slow due to a smaller wound motor but will engage correctly. for non ls motors there are two starter classes, stagered bolt ones for large flywheels and strait across bolt ones for the small flywheel. there are variations of both but they will all interchange within thier classes.if you are getting an ocational clunk it is a bad starter, the wrong starter wont engage even once

And you can add to this-----AUTO and Manual transmissions---there is also a difference in the nosecones.
Manual trans should be cast iron----and a bit smaller nose
Auto trans uses an aluminum nose that is physically larger.

AT starter will not go into the bell housing for a manual trans
 
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