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Old 11-19-2012, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default On going starter problems

I'm running out of ideas, need some new ones. Basics: 67 Mustang, 351C 4V, C4 trans. with the small bellhousing (case fill). It's always seemed to drag when starting. Awhile back it was dragging, made some noise and it locked up, found out it knocked several teeth off the flexplate. Changed flexplate, bought a late model gear reduction starter and put it back together. Same dragging with more noise like not meshing correctly. New battery, new cables, new solenoid and still the same. After a few starts with more noise, checked flexplate and noticed the teeth were starting to go. Ok, another flexplate and decided to try the Powermaster high torque. Still have the dragging and noise. This is starting to get very frustrating. I'm planning on going to an AOD soon, but would like to resolve this before that. So far, I've had a Hitachi hi-torque starter, late model gear reduction and the powermaster hi-torque starter and they all do/sound the same. I've measured the starter gear to flexplate as per the instructions with the starters and it's all good. I'm really beginning to think this thing doesn't like the small flexplate. Helllllppppppp!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67bluestang View Post
I'm running out of ideas, need some new ones. Basics: 67 Mustang, 351C 4V, C4 trans. with the small bellhousing (case fill). It's always seemed to drag when starting. Awhile back it was dragging, made some noise and it locked up, found out it knocked several teeth off the flexplate. Changed flexplate, bought a late model gear reduction starter and put it back together. Same dragging with more noise like not meshing correctly. New battery, new cables, new solenoid and still the same. After a few starts with more noise, checked flexplate and noticed the teeth were starting to go. Ok, another flexplate and decided to try the Powermaster high torque. Still have the dragging and noise. This is starting to get very frustrating. I'm planning on going to an AOD soon, but would like to resolve this before that. So far, I've had a Hitachi hi-torque starter, late model gear reduction and the powermaster hi-torque starter and they all do/sound the same. I've measured the starter gear to flexplate as per the instructions with the starters and it's all good. I'm really beginning to think this thing doesn't like the small flexplate. Helllllppppppp!
The first thing I would do is take one lead of jumper cables and connect to the Plus+ battery terminal and then connect the other end of the same lead to the terminal post on the starter*. If the dragging and noise go away then you have missed something in the starter circuit. If the drag and noise is still there then I would pull all the plugs and with the ignition disabled crank the engine from under the hood. Then you can hear better the noise and where it is coming from.

Ron

* Be very careful to avoid contact with anything else especial gas lines.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What flexplate and starter combination are you using? Here is an article on 157/164 tooth bells.... Small block Ford flywheel size compare

I've also read some info on stock-type starters not fitting properly (hitting oil pan rail) on 351C's with small bellhousing, requiring the motor to be "clocked" to clear or replacing with a mini-starter.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a kill switch for the ignition. If I leave it off, the engine spins over ok, just has the noise from not meshing properly.

I've got the small bell with corresponding block plate. I know stock starters will not fit on the 351C with the small bell. I've tried it. I also had that problem with the Hitachi starter because they used a larger aluminum block, not much but just enough. I did grind it down and the starter fit ok, but still had the noise from not meshing properly.

I've layed under the car and used a remote starter switch to engage the starter. It's really loud under the car. The depth of engagement looks good on the flexplate.

Still scratching my head.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 67bluestang View Post
I have a kill switch for the ignition. If I leave it off, the engine spins over ok, just has the noise from not meshing properly.

I've got the small bell with corresponding block plate. I know stock starters will not fit on the 351C with the small bell. I've tried it. I also had that problem with the Hitachi starter because they used a larger aluminum block, not much but just enough. I did grind it down and the starter fit ok, but still had the noise from not meshing properly.

I've layed under the car and used a remote starter switch to engage the starter. It's really loud under the car. The depth of engagement looks good on the flexplate.

Still scratching my head.
I work on kohler gensets, and the number one mistake peoople make is replacing the starter with something other than oem. Kohler changed the toothcount on the flywheel. Some of the older ford engines and gm engines do not use the same starter. So owners would stick a starter they know will fit a 460 or sb chevy engine. They rip the starter and flywheel to shreds in weeks. zi would compare the tooth count on your plate and compare it with the original. If they are not the same, then you have to find a starter that matches the pitch and tooth count, o go back to the right plate. Its either that or you have a shimming issue.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ivancaicedo237:
Ok, how do you shim a Ford starter? I haven't seen any shim kits anywhere. Only way I could see to shim them is fore/aft and that wouldn't move them into or away from the flexplate like shims do on chevy's.

The flexplates I've had are all 157 tooth because I've counted them. Didn't know there were any other than 157/164 tooth. Two flexplates were stock units and one was a TCI SFI flexplate. I also tried a different block plate.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A couple things to remember... if the starter is not sitting flush on the block plate and bellhousing the drive is going to engage at an angle which, obviously, is not good.

Hypothetically, if you can position it with one bolt so that it meshes "normally" and mark the bellhousing, you could drill the BH or the starter and install an offset bushing.

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Let me give you some similar experience I had with a chevy motor years ago.
Same situation. Shimmed the crap out of it, no good. BTW, you cannot shim a Ford starter. That's a GM thing.
I must have gone through 4 flexplates. I finally took the car to a transmission shop a friend owned to swap out #4 to #5. I asked him for a 7/8" wrench to remover the 6 flexplate bolts. he told me I needed a 3/4" for a GM. I told him my bolts were 7/8" and not 3/4"
He found my problem right there. I had used Ford flex plate bolts that have a thicker head. When I tightened down my torque converter, I was bending my flex plate away from the back of the block since the torqu converter was not coming forward far enough.
So make sure you have the correct flex plate bolts and the torque converter is setting properly in the back of the crankshaft. Also make sure that there is no pilot bushing in the back of the crankshaft if there was ever a manual trans on that motor.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ever check the bellhousing?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is the separator plate in the car?? And yes you can shim a ford starter, had to do it after getting a cheapo starter in my teen years (1983). washers between starter and plate. Forgot all about it until i did my resto in 2010!
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Check the bellhousing for what?

Block plate is in (actually 2 different ones). Shimming a Ford starter with washer's that way only moves the pinion gear forward. The depth of engagement is ok.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, moving the starter forward solved the problem. I used the shim supplied with the hi-torque starter that goes between the mounting flange and the starter body. I guess I should have tried that a long time ago, but just didn't think moving it forward would help the noise. Learn something new everyday.
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