Starter issue

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Starter issue

Postby Tomshemi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:40 am

Pleez help!
We have a 1975 Vega GT Kammback that I passed down to my son. I've had the car since 1976. The car has been completely stock until now. It had the durabuilt engine 2bbl (steel sleeves that still runs!) with a Saginaw 4 speed. It has factory air also. My son decided to go with more reliable power so we're converting it to a small block 350. So far it looks like it's going to be a fairly easy switch. We got a monza V8 bellhousing (part# 360162) The flywheel (153 teeth) and pressure plate from the 4 banger bolt right up to the 350. A 168 tooth flywheel won't fit the bellhousing. The problem is the starter. We can't find one to fit. So far we've tried 6 and still nothing. The way it fits in the bellhousing, there's about an inch gap between the starter and engine. What the heck did chevy use? Does anybody have an answer for this? I've been told to go with an aftermarket high torque starter but we want to keep it pretty much stock. I know chevy made small block 4 speed monza's, I've just never seen one. I had a 75 chevy monza town coupe with a factory 5.7 but it was an automatic. It was a beast! Any help and info/input will be greatly appreciated. We are learning as we go along all the while having fun. Once again thanks.
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Re: Starter issue

Postby spencerforhire » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:40 am

Strange; I've had a bunch of V8 Vegas with everything from 262's to 400's in them backed by 4 & 5 speeds and automatics. Never had a problem finding a starter to fit the 153 tooth flywheels. Maybe you have gotten a hold of an odd-ball 350 truck block that's not drilled for the 153-tooth compatible starter?
I'd still opt for the aftermarket high-torque starter; they do work better, plus they're smaller and lighter.
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.35@146.19)(5.94@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

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Re: Starter issue

Postby cjbiagi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:25 am

Does the starter you have use a straight across bolt pattern or is it staggered? Using the 4 cyl clutch and flywheel is not a good idea, it is too small to handle the torque of a V8. The 4 cyl used a 9 1/8" clutch which will end up slipping. What is the diameter of the flywheel? I believe 153 tooth flywheels are 12 3/4". There are two different starters, the one for 153 tooth uses a bolt pattern that is straight across from each other, the 168 tooth starter uses a staggered bolt pattern. This should not be a problem, I'd measure the flywheel diameter first, if you can post some pics of your starter and block where it bolts up maybe we can see something.
Also, when you say there is about an inch gap, what direction are you referring to? The gear does kick out about an inch when the bendix drive kicks in to engage the starter gear with the flywheel, the gears are not in constant contact with each other. Unless you are doing a concourse restoration there is no reason to use the big, heavy stock starter. The newer gear reduction mini starters are smaller, lighter and more powerful than the old style ones.
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: Starter issue

Postby duckblaster67 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:55 pm

Yes, pics of the bolt holes and starter would be great to help solve this! Also, the automatic and manual trans use the same starter on the V8! :wink:
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Re: Starter issue

Postby spencerforhire » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:04 am

Ditto what Clyde said about not using the 4-cylinder flywheel & clutch; it was OK with the smaller 262 & 305, but will last about 10 minutes behind a 350. Back in the day I managed to score a 153 tooth flywheel for a 10.5" clutch from an early Camaro, but nowadays the proper aftermarket is plentiful and relatively inexpensive.
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.35@146.19)(5.94@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
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Re: Starter issue

Postby 73astregt » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:50 pm

this is the clutch and pressure plate i used, http://www.jegs.com/i/Hays/490/85-102/10002/-1 . with the matching hays 10.5 flywheel and short throwout bearing . i use a cvr mini starter with it, works great! depending on what trans you use you might need a different hays clutch to match the spline count on the input shaft but thats easy and this type will work with your stock cable clutch setup. it will hold up to a 350 no probs. make shure you stick with the diaphram type pressure plate the borg and beck type wont work with your bell and clutch fork. here is the flywheel i used, http://www.jegs.com/i/Hays/490/10-330/10002/-1 .
73 astre gt 355 small block 435 hp 435 torque edelbrock performer rpm power package
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Re: Starter issue

Postby cjbiagi » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:17 pm

I use the same flywheel and same clutch with the exception of a different spline count on my trans. I prefer to use a slightly shorter "short" throwout bearing than what I got from Hays but otherwise I agree, great setup.
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: Starter issue

Postby Tomshemi » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:10 am

Ok guys, I really appreciate your help and advice. Believe me, it's very helpful and I now know what to look for or look into. I took pics but can't figure on how to put them here. I am not computer savvy so please bear with me.
Ok, the flywheel is 12 1/4" with 153 teeth. The clutch disc is 9 1/8", both off of the stock 4 banger. A 168 teeth flywheel will not fit inside the monza bellhousing. The 153 tooth flywheel barely fits.
The block is tapped for both a staggered and straight bolt pattern. What I meant on the having about an inch between the starter and the block is where the starter fastens to the block. When the starter drive is inserted into the opening in the bellhousing, there is about an inch gap between the top of the starter and the bottom of the block. I got 2 more to try but to no avail. I've tried starters for a 75 chevy monza from a 262 V8 to a 350 with a manual 4 speed saginaw transmission and still nothing. The starters are all too low. I've tried mostly straight bolt pattern starters also. I will look into a high torque starter that someone mentioned. I had not heard of them until now. Maybe that's the ticket! It also looks like we're gonna have to go to a longer clutch cable as the stock one appears to be too short. We are also going with Sanderson short headers so we don't have to hunt for the right exhaust manifolds to fit. We thought about going with cosworth power but finding parts may be worse and also the reliability issue arises. I wish I knew more about the little cars seeing as I've had 4 of em cause I really have enjoyed them. Tearing into ours is hard for me seeing as I've always had fun driving it. Maybe more fun with a bigger motor? Hmmm?
I will try to get pics posted or have my son do it. Once again thanks for your help and information as it is well appreciated and taken. We will take any help we can get.
Last edited by Tomshemi on Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starter issue

Postby cjbiagi » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:55 am

So exactly what is preventing the starter from going up against the block? Is it the hole in the inspection cover? You mentioned "the opening in the bellhousing" so I assume you are referring to the sheetmetal inspection cover. By the way, 360162 is technically the 4 cyl bellhousing. The V8 one is 354496 but the 4cyl one should work fine, the main difference is the V8 one is missing one of the bolt holes for clearance purposes. I don't think the inspection covers are the same, maybe that's where the issue is.
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: Starter issue

Postby Tomshemi » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:59 pm

Ok, the monza V8 bellhousing I bought has the numbers 360162 stamped on the back left bottom corner. It also has the bolt hole cast on it for the extra bolt. It bolts right up to the small block V8 and will not fit/bolt to the 4 cylinder engine. The opening in the bellhousing where the starter drive goes brings the starter so low that it won't snug up against to the block the way it should and that's where the inch gap comes in. I have a hitachi high torque starter on order so hopefully that will cure the problem but I am still curious as to what a factory V8 4 speed monza has in it. I went to buy brake pads for the front discs only to be told that those parts can no longer be gotten. What the heck is going on? Brake pads? Geez, I just don't get it! I knew H-bodies weren't very popular I just didn't think they were that bad! I have taken pictures but can't figure how to add them along with this message. I'll keep trying.
Well, as before, thanks for your info/input. It is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Starter issue

Postby spencerforhire » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:16 am

the 4-cyl(2.5 liter) Monza bellhousing you have should be functionally identical to the V8 one, except for that extra bolt hole. I'm pretty sure I've used a few of them on V8 Vegas. I still think the problem might be with your 350 block and not a bellhousing/flywheel/starter mis-match.
If you can't post pics, you could email them to me or maybe even Clyde(cbiagi). Just click on the name at the top of the post and it will take you to my profile where there's a tab for "email"
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.35@146.19)(5.94@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
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Re: Starter issue

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:21 am

They originally had a Vega 4, so thats why they needed a new bellhousing for the 151ci 4cyl/V8's.

The stock flywheel, from the 140 is the exact same as the one as used on the 305, so thats fine. It's the 262 flywheel you don't want to use.

As far as the starter issue, I can't say...but I would go with a mini-high torque starter all the way. It's hidden so it wont affect "originality" . And the first time a stock starter heat soaks, and wont let you start up for an hour or 2..(unless you can roll downhill) you'll be bummed that you didn't go with a high torque model.

I was a little disappointed that my monza wasn't as original with the new starter,(sounds like a motorcycle starter when engaged) but it's been so reliable...I don't mind anymore.
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Re: Starter issue

Postby cjbiagi » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:36 am

Marco, the 262 used the same 9 1/8" clutch as the Vega and utilized a recessed flywheel. If he's using the 9 1/8" clutch he needs to use the matching flywheel. The 305's used a flat flywheel for the larger 10.5" clutch. I am a little confused there?
A stock 75 Monza V8 used the same starter as every other smallblock Chevy whether automatic or manual. A 153 tooth starter is a 153 tooth starter, they are all going to mount up the same. Using a different brand or style isn't going to help your mounting issue, they are all designed to replace each other. We need to get to the root of this problem and I still am leaning toward the inspection plate since that is where the hole is that the starter nose goes through and appears to be the source of why the starter won't move up any higher. If you remove the inspection cover will the starter fit? The V8 bellhousing does not have the extra bolt hole on the drivers side, that is the main difference between a V8 and 4cyl bellhousing. You have a 4 cyl housing, I see these listed as V8 bellhousings all the time on ebay. If anyone is ever in doubt just ask here or email me before purchasing something that you are unsure of. This is one of those problems where a picture is worth a 1000 words. Please try to email them to one of us so we can post them.
If you need brake parts for the early brakes or a V8 inspection cover contact me and I will help. cjbiagi@yahoo.com
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Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: Starter issue

Postby Monza Harry » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:46 pm

I know for a fact that the General made two different starter "noses" with the same bolt pattern and that the one style nose will interfere with the trans. (not that common) and won't let you install. It has been at least 25 yrs since I ran into that, but the way I remember it is that my brothers spare starter (he bought stick shifts whenever possible) wouldn't go into my automagic trans car as the nose was interfering. It could have been the other way around it was a long time ago. Harry
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: Starter issue

Postby Len » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:40 am

I'm with Clyde !
Your description of a inch away from the block is up for interpretation ?
Is you starter bolting up but not engaging the fly wheel buy an inch ?
Is the starter 1 Inch to far away from bolt alignment ( ahead, back, left , right , up, down) ?

Where is the inch issue
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