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Thread: Starter to Flexplate Gap

  1. #1
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Starter to Flexplate Gap

    Hi,
    I have a 57 with a 327, and a full size Exide starter. I was checking the gap between the starter shaft and the flexplate, and find the gap greater than the recommended 1/8". I tried a 1/16" half-shim between the block and starter outer bolt, the gap seems unchanged, then tried two 1/16" half-shims on the outer starter bolt, the gap seems unchanged. I took out the shims, torqued the bolts again, and find a 9/64" drill bit has some slop in the gap, and a 10/64" bit is too big to fit the gap.

    I assume I need to get the gap down to 1/8"? The starter bolts are smooth shanked with no knurling. Is the lack of knurling maybe the reason why the shims don't close the gap?
    Thanks, Doug

  2. #2
    Registered Member scorpion1110's Avatar
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    I use a large paperclip unwound to set gear gap. I think its about 1/16th. I use ARP hardware to attach the starter. I usually bolt it up and check the gap and then start with the shims if needed. I dont usually worry about actual shim size as I am going off the gap. Used the paperclip method for years and its usually right on.

    I am using a mini starter currently, the gap was perfect out of the box. All I needed to do was reclock it.

    Scorp
    Scorp

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    Why aren't you using the stock type knurled bolts? I'd also recommend a real starter shim kit. Both are available at most auto supplies.

  4. #4
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_L View Post
    Why aren't you using the stock type knurled bolts? I'd also recommend a real starter shim kit. Both are available at most auto supplies.
    Rick, I used the bolts that were on the car when I bought it. I looked closer, and the knurls were worn down to the nub. I ordered up some new knurled bolts. The shim kit is real (for a SBC from NAPA).
    Thanks, Doug

  5. #5
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion1110 View Post
    I use a large paperclip unwound to set gear gap. I think its about 1/16th. I use ARP hardware to attach the starter. I usually bolt it up and check the gap and then start with the shims if needed. I dont usually worry about actual shim size as I am going off the gap. Used the paperclip method for years and its usually right on.

    I am using a mini starter currently, the gap was perfect out of the box. All I needed to do was reclock it.

    Scorp
    Scorp,
    Thanks for the tips. I did order the ARP bolts, and should receive on Monday. I will see what those do for me, and try again. I tried to lever the starter gear out with a screwdriver, but failed with the tight clearance from the shroud. That was why I used plan B and measured from the starter shaft to the flexplate.
    Thanks, Doug

  6. #6
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Well, I put in the new bolts, and tried various shim combinations, and the gap between starter gear shaft and flexplate was a tad closer. What finally worked was installing the bracket that connects the end of the starter to the side of the block (just below the head). Seems like that torques the starter enough that when I tighten the main starter mounting bolts, I get the required gap. Hope the 1/4-20 bolt (I think that is what it was, maybe 5/16") will be up to the job. That would be a tough spot to get to if the bolt ever breaks. Thoughts?
    Thanks, Doug

  7. #7
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    The brace from block to starter is an effective part. I've never seen one fail. The only reason the attaching bolt would fail is if you over torqued it at installation.

  8. #8
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Hi Rick,
    Was thinking the same thing: mores law, if some is good, then more is better, and too much is just enough.
    Think i will redo it with a new bolt, and torque it (assuming I can get in there with a torque wrench).
    Thanks, Doug

  9. #9
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    Really no need to torque it, just don't get carried away. Use a combination wrench and tighten it snug, not gorilla tight on such a small bolt.

  10. #10
    Registered Member scorpion1110's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair-o View Post
    Hi Rick,
    Was thinking the same thing: mores law, if some is good, then more is better, and too much is just enough.
    Think i will redo it with a new bolt, and torque it (assuming I can get in there with a torque wrench).
    Thanks, Doug
    Doug:

    I used the starter brace on my 66 Nova; little highwinding 327.

    Didnt use a torque wrench, as Rick said just tighten it snug and if you are concerned its going to back out; a drop of locktite might give you peace of mind.
    Scorp

    Rides:

    1955 Chevy 2-door Wagon
    1967 MGB GT
    1970 Honda Trail 70
    1974 Yamaha 175 Enduro
    2004 Tacoma 4x4

    I lost my best friend on 10/3/2018. Rest in Peace Dear Lucy. I miss you everyday.

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