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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to replace my full size GM starter with a GM mini; having looked at the existing unit and the header alignment it doesn't look like the old, big standard will come out without dropping the header.
I measured the diameter of the starter and it looks to be about 4.25"; the clearance between oil pan and the header looks about 4.5 or slightly less. Looks like wrestling it thru that gap, past the old rusty tranny cooler lines (which will soon be replaced) will be a mutha'. I'm running 1-5/8" HedmannElites, 4.5" from the side of the stock replacement oil pan.

I'm going to try anyway since it looks like the worst that could happen is that I'll have to temporarily rehang the starter, loosen the collector, then go up and loosen the header manifold. If that's how it winds up, the worst of that is reaching that damn last 12 pt bolt against the firewall. I hate that long reach and getting a minimal bite on the bolt to make 1/16th to 1/8th turns. PITA.

Anyone have this situation before? Any suggestions appreciated.

Can't wait to get that mini in there.
I keep saying: I'd rather lay on my back with less than a foot of clearance and wrestle my El Camino than have to drive a smog-choked, catalytic converted, O2 sensing, CPROM dependant box full of lines, hoses and tubes xing each 5 times...and guess what?
Help.

Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Steve B.
From what I've read at this site (and a few others), it sounds like about early 90's or even as late as '95 it was the stock starter re-designed for anything 350ci powered (except maybe for diesels).
I think there are a couple of versions which vary by nose piece for accomodation of the various flexplate/flywheel diam. sizes; 12-3/4" (153 tooth) or 14" (168 tooth). I think there is a very hi-torq model as well. Bottom line is that these units weigh about 50% less than the last tooling and because they use planetary gear reduction they develop more torque with less current draw. Not bad,eh.
They've been classicaly referred to as one of the cures for 'header heated solenoid' start problems, but that's a whole seperate issue that you can do a search on here; it's almost a science unto itself. Wes Vann wrote a piece on it in the Tech ref. section. Anyway, back to the query: it is the modernized standard issue by GM that resulted from the need to lighten the vehicle for better fuel efficency. There is also a page link to one of our own members who explains with diagrams and pics the differences between old and new; he is a mechanical engineer and the site is awesome. I'll look his name up and post later- very worthwhile site he's developed.
Patrick
 

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Somehow I managed to get a full size starter up in my 64 with a 327 and Hookers on it. It wasn't fun but don't remember having to loosen the headers to do it.
 

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With my BB and Hooker Comps no way does the starter come out with the headers connected on either end. I believe you may need to disconnect the headers at both ends and jack up the side of the engine (remove the engine mount bolt on the passenger side) in order to gain enough clearance to remove the starter. I know when I installed the engine I attached the starter and had the headers in the approx. position while lowering the engine in.
Good luck!
 
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