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Hi guys:
My aluminum bellhousing has been cut to allow clearance for the starter. I have been told that this is because it is for a small block.
If it was out of the car right now, I could take measurements for comparison, but it isn't...how do I determine if I am looking a BB bell housing vs a SB if shopping at a swap meet?? Is there a specific measurement or ID# or?? TIA.

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Ron Cook TC Gold Member #1276
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if i am correct, and i belive i am, the SB & BB bells are the same but the clutch sizes are different, the correct #s for the 11" bell is a 621 that was the factory bell for just about all the 68/69/70 chevells and cameros

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I have explained the difference several times and I guess I will do it again.
There are only 2 types of bell housings, big and small. You don't need to know numbers or anything else (although the 621 housing is a common big flywheel housing). ONE QUICK LOOK WILL TELL YOU IF THE BELL HOUSING IS FOR THE BIG OR SMALL FLYWHEEL. PERIOD.

If both sides of the bell housing are straight, it is for a small flywheel (13in and uses a 10 1/2in clutch).

If the bulge for the starter nose (on the right, pass, side) sticks out about 1in, then it is for the big flywheel (14in and uses an 11in clutch).

The bell housings for ANY and ALL V-8s, since the 265 was introduced in 1955, were for the big flywheel UP TO 1962. In 1963, the the small flywheel/bell housing was introduced.

All BBs and the high horsepower SBs got big flywheels/bell housings and the lower horsepower SBs got the small flywheel/bell housing, such as a 307.

Now, if your engine DOES IN FACT HAVE A BIG FLYWHEEL, and the bell housing is for a small flywheel, and the bulge has been cut out to accomodate the starter, THEN THE BOTTOM OF THE BELL HOUSING HAS ALSO BEEN CUT OUT. Has the bottom of your bell housing been cut out? BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, if your engine has a big flywheel, the starter nose bulge has been cut out, ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND the bottom of the bell housing has NOT been cut out, then your starter nose IS THE WRONG NOSE FOR A BIG FLYWHEEL. BOTH the alum and the cast iron starter noses will engage with a big flywheel--------------BUT ONLY A CAST IRON STARTER NOSE WILL FIT INTO THE BULGE OF A BELL HOUSING FOR A BIG FLYWHEEL! The alum starter nose, for a big flywheel, only works with an auto tranny.
So, possibly, at some time in the past, someone replaced the starter (and bought the right one for a big flywheel, but didn't specify manual tranny) and when they went to bolt it in, it wouldn't go into the bell housing bulge. So they cut out the bulge, thus screwing up a perfectly good bell housing instead of getting the right starter with a cast iron nose (probably didn't know better). And, it sounds to me like this is probably what happened.

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Tom Parsons

[This message has been edited by DZAUTO (edited 07-08-2001).]
 

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Yes, this is a possibility. Look at the bottom of you housing. If it is rounded off, from front to rear, it is a passenger car housing. If it is flat, or squared off from from front to rear, then it is from a truck. But it will still work fine. Don't get in a big rush to change it. Just wait until you run across a good buy on a passenger car big bell housing at a swap meet. You should be able to pick one up for $25-40.

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Tom Parsons
 
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