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Discussion Starter #1
anyone ever break a mini starter, its less than a year old and one of the tabs on the mounting block broke off. it was an allstar performance mini starter, im tired of replacing junk parts so i decided to replace it with something nice.

Untitled by troyscars67, on Flickr


Untitled by troyscars67, on Flickr

got the new msd starter installed and works like a charm:D
 

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Not using "starter bolts" can and obviously will cause that.

It'll happen to that MSD starter too without the correct bolts.

I found that most of the aftermarket ones you buy in the parts stores are too long or too short so I get mine right from GM.
 

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Not sure how it could break there if it had a bolt all the way through it :confused:

I have real good luck running this one, but there is a no name cheapie on the Nova that has performed flawlessly for several years.

 

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Don't believe starter bolts would work with my TCI. I have had mine on for a year and it works great.
 

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I think all of those mini starters fail from the same design flaw. The front of the motor shaft is not supported. Any type of kick back from the engine due to back fire or if you accidentally disengage the starter while cranking then engage again while the engine is still turning will cause huge amounts load placed back on the starter. Getting one with a cast in nose cone will at least keep the shaft in line and reduce the movement. I bought one of The cheaper ones like the first one pictured and after messing around and modifying shims to get proper alignment and still running into engagement problems I bought a powermaster mini that has the front support. I ran it in my daily driver for 6 years and 50k miles. Then finally the nose broke when my engine kicked back one day and it broke in the parking lot. Still I think it was a worthwhile 175 dollar starter. Now if only they didn't cast the nose piece... But replacements for that piece are also available...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bolts were still tight, the old one's mounting block was not completely square , the hole used on the starter was just a small ear on the side, if that makes sense. I can take a picture after work to explain, plus the old starter was cast aluminum and the new one looks billet
 

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It's not a matter of the bolts being tight torque wise.

It's a matter of the bolts being tight to the holes in the block.

Ever wonder why there is that "knurling" on a GM starter bolt?

A starter does move without them.
 

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You may also find on the part that has broken off there is no radius on the under side of the tab where it fractured. That's a BIG weak point. Whats the new MSD look like under that little tab for the small bolt? Has it been machined square or has it got a radius-ed corner? Looking at the photo it looks like its solid, not like the old one that broke.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Im not mad, i did learn something. The allstar starter still technically works. I may just call up all star and see if i can get a replacement mounting block to fix the broken one and i will a have a good backup
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You may also find on the part that has broken off there is no radius on the under side of the tab where it fractured. That's a BIG weak point. Whats the new MSD look like under that little tab for the small bolt? Has it been machined square or has it got a radius-ed corner? Looking at the photo it looks like its solid, not like the old one that broke.
The msd is a solid block, no tab, so it should be MUCH stronger,.
The msd even came a. Dyno sheet!! Seem to be very high quality.
 

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The starter bolt fits the block tighter and when the correct length is used will work with any starter.
Yeah I know about the knurled starter bolts. I have actually drilled two of my 400 blocks(everybody should do this on the stand) on the engine stand for the straight bolt pattern. I drilled them and then recessed the first 3/16" threads for the knurled bolts. That way my 400 blocks could except either straight or staggered starters. By the way the straight pattern is lots of times like $20 cheaper than the staggered 400 starter.
 

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I think all of those mini starters fail from the same design flaw. The front of the motor shaft is not supported. Any type of kick back from the engine due to back fire or if you accidentally disengage the starter while cranking then engage again while the engine is still turning will cause huge amounts load placed back on the starter. Getting one with a cast in nose cone will at least keep the shaft in line and reduce the movement. I bought one of The cheaper ones like the first one pictured and after messing around and modifying shims to get proper alignment and still running into engagement problems I bought a powermaster mini that has the front support. I ran it in my daily driver for 6 years and 50k miles. Then finally the nose broke when my engine kicked back one day and it broke in the parking lot. Still I think it was a worthwhile 175 dollar starter. Now if only they didn't cast the nose piece... But replacements for that piece are also available...
Yeap kickback as in incorrect timing, loose bolts.
 

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I had a Tilton starter that wore out a ring gear and the teeth on the starter,prefer starters with the supporting nose cone.
 

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It's not a matter of the bolts being tight torque wise.

It's a matter of the bolts being tight to the holes in the block.

Ever wonder why there is that "knurling" on a GM starter bolt?

A starter does move without them.
I had all kinds of trouble getting my mini-starter into proper alignment until I replaced my starter bolts with knurled ones from the GM dealer. Those bolts are a little thicker and fit better inside the starter and the block. Never a problem since.
 

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FYI- if you are running a high compression race engine you should spin over motor and while spinning hit the ignition switch on to lessen any chance of kickback, also will save those teeth on flexplate.
 

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FYI- if you are running a high compression race engine you should spin over motor and while spinning hit the ignition switch on to lessen any chance of kickback, also will save those teeth on flexplate.
This ^^^ is what I did after breaking 2 or 3 starters on my old 383! I never broke another one after I started doing this.
 

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FYI- if you are running a high compression race engine you should spin over motor and while spinning hit the ignition switch on to lessen any chance of kickback, also will save those teeth on flexplate.
Yeap have the starter on a button while spinning engine over then hit the key.

With a good hi torque mini starter many won't need to do this though. Mine spins great, but I am only 10.7:1 compression.
 
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