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Do any other motors use the diagonal pattern starter?

What does a big block starter look like? How does it differ from small block starters? I have a 400 w/ the diagonal bolt pattern starter. I need to figure out what kind of starter I need. I need something without a nose-cone.



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Team Chevelle Gold
1965 406 6speed
 

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David,
There actually is not such a thing as a BB starter. There is a standard or low torque, and a hi torque starter. The difference is in the windings of the field coils and the armature is different. The size is the same. The way to tell them apart just by looking at one, is to look at the terminal end of the solenoid. Where the heavy copper strap comes out of the starter case and connects to the lower terminal of the solenoid is what is different between low and hi torque. The low torque has this copper strap connected right up against the terminal and the hi torque has about a 3/4in spacer between the lower terminal and the copper strap. Some of the older solenoids have a lower terminal that is about 3/4in long. This means that the hole in the starter case for the copper strap to come through is further away from the solenoid terminal on a hi torque than on a lo torque. Have I lost you yet? Basically, there are 2 different styles of starter noses. One with a straight across bolt pattern for the small flywheel and the other with a diagonal bolt pattern for the big flywheel.
Chev V-8s have 2 different sizes of flywheels. The big dia flywheel has 168 teeth, it is about 14in dia and uses the 11 in clutch. The small dia flywheel has 153 teeth, about 13in dia and uses the 10 or 10 1/2in clutch. The small/big diameter flywheels will interchange between all Chev V-8s and you just need the correct corrosponding starter nose. Small blocks use either the small or big dia flywheels (except SB400 which MUST use ONLY the special large dia flywheel). I have never seen a BB with a small flywheel.
You also must use the correct bell housing for the small/big flywheel and straight/diagonal bolt pattern starter nose. I always use a hi torque starter no matter what engine I have.
Now, one last thing. Even though there are 2 starter nose types, there are 2 styles with the diagonal bolt pattern to fit the large flywheel. There is an aluminum one for automatic flywheels which WILL NOT fit into a bell housing for a manual flywheel. And there is a cast iron starter nose which will fit the bell housing for a manual flywheel as well as an automatic flywheel.
So I guess to answer your original question, when you go to buy a starter for a BB, what you usually will get is a hi torque with a nose that has a diagonal bolt pattern and the copper strap which connects the solenoid to the starter case spaced about 3/4in away from the lower solenoid terminal. But hi/low torque starters and the different noses can be interchanged and you have to have the right nose to fit whichever flywheel you are using.

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Tom Parsons
 
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