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66 Chevelle SS396 & 66 Chevelle 327 Convertible.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
No matter what I do the starter gear does not engage the flexplate about 1/2 the time. New TCI 168 tooth. Tried three Delco starters that were working in other cars. Tried with and without shims fron no shims to 1/64 to 2/64 to 3/64.

it could only be the holes in the block, the starter, or the flexplate right? My guess is the flexplate, what’s your guess? One thing, I did not loosen the front starter brace , as I should have.
Should I have tested the starter- flexplate before bolting on the trans and installing everything in the car? Is there even a way to do that?
 

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66 El Camino 57 Chevy pickup 2004 Tahoe
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likely what you have is a bad Bendix drive. However, that doesn't cover why it's happening with 3 different starters.

Why is that starter bolt missing in the pic? Paint is not scratched around that hole.
 

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First thing, the bolts you have holding the starter to the block are not the right ones. They appear to be common hardware store bolts.
Number two, are you sure the flex plate was installed facing the correct way on the crankshaft?
 

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Ryan
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New starter bolts. Bent starter bolts can cause lots of issues.
 

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Number two, are you sure the flex plate was installed facing the correct way on the crankshaft?
Sort of looks that way in the picture but hard to tell.

Jim, Can you post a picture from the converter side showing where the converter bolts to the flexplate ?
 

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likely what you have is a bad Bendix drive. However, that doesn't cover why it's happening with 3 different starters.

Why is that starter bolt missing in the pic? Paint is not scratched around that hole.
His thumb is covering the other bolt. Looks like the starter has 3 bolt holes. Its using the staggered pattern.
 

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Sort of looks that way in the picture but hard to tell.

Jim, Can you post a picture from the converter side showing where the converter bolts to the flexplate ?
I agree, after looking at the picture, I'm wondering if the flexplate is backwards as well.
 
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don't forget it's supposed to have 1/8 in between the starter shaft and flexplate gear. jim
 

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I’d bet the comments about it being on the wrong direction are correct. If this is the same tci plate you have someone posted the stamp is on the wrong side.
Font Material property Rectangle Parallel Screenshot
 

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66 Chevelle SS396 & 66 Chevelle 327 Convertible.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I didn't install the flexplate. A friend did the and has done this multiple times over the last 55 years, maybe as many as 500 or more. But you never know. Thanks for all your comments. Yes that nose is the old nose with the 3 bolt holes. The other two starters I tried had the staggered holes. The bolts are reproduction from AMK. Is it possible to see if the flexplate is installed backwards?
 

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Some of my stash of Chevy "Mini" Starters have 9 teeth and some have 11 teeth. All of them are staggered bolt pattern.

The different number of starter teeth presented a problem on an SBC with a NEW 168 tooth flexplate.

So...count the teeth on the starter that is not working for you and try the other.
 

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Going by Bill's explanation, the flexplate would appear to be on backwards.
 

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Jim,
Like the others have mentioned, make sure you have the correct bolts with the knurled part that goes into the block to locate the starter. I have seen those bolts with all sorts of variations so check them carefully. If you can get the oem ones they are the best. Pretty sure they are still available from GM.

Also check the engagement like this picture shows.

I suppose it wouldnt be a bad idea to check the runout on the flexplate diameter even though it is kind of hard to do.
 

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Using the right bolts is critical, and the one bolt you can see in the photo doesn't look like any starter bolt I've ever seen.
 
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