Holey Starter

CopperNick

CopperNick

Greasemonkey
Feb 20, 2018
122
28
Canada
Cold weather for me means a sortie into the parts stash to locate parts for the next stages of my Monte project. When I bought my project it came with a motor that was not stock to the era. By this I mean that when I pulled it, I found that it had the one piece rear seal modification along with the matching crank and possessed center bolt rocker covers meaning that the heads were also different from 85 and older. What I did not particularly notice at the time was that the bolt pattern for the starter had changed too. Instead of a long and short bolt combination and a staggered pattern, what I had was two long bolts and an in line pattern. A quick pass through my parts exchange manual did tell me that the pattern difference was an indicator of the tooth count on the ring gear. Staggered meant that the ring gear had 168 teeth, a count that I had already verified through other means and which was correct for an 85 and back small block. The in line pattern, by contrast, supposedly indicates a ring gear with 153 teeth. So yet another change from generation to generation. Not a problem, more a nuisance, as it meant I had to pull a correct starter from the shelf. However, when I pulled that unit and took a peek at it, I noticed that, tucked under the solenoid cap, there was a hole in the starter body just behind the grommet that the copper tabs from the field windings come through, about 1/2 inch in dia, seemingly drilled, that was open to the world. Which immediately raised the question of pedigree since starters and their associated part numbers are about as many and as prolific as socks in a drawer. For the 85 Monte alone there are at least a dozen different numbers and two different production runs.

So my question to the forum is this: What is the purpose or reason for this hole? As mentioned it does not appear to be some kind of damage, too regular in shape. Should there be some kind of plug or cap inserted into it? This starter is not a new or reman unit, to borrow a phrase it is "barn-fresh", by which I mean it has been sitting on the shelf for a while. Probably got put there when I built the shop; a survivor of a salvage job or snagged from the yard when they were thinning out the herd. Not rusty or damaged, teeth on the Bendix are in good shape. Have not motored it to see if it will spin. That is the next thing on the list. The parts identifier doesn't make mention of this anomaly. Any ideas or suggestions?

Nick
 
CopperNick

CopperNick

Greasemonkey
Feb 20, 2018
122
28
Canada
Update. With the help of an obsolete parts guide I was able to identlfy the one starter as 1109056 which belongs to a 77 year 305 small block. It was probably the starter that I used when I dropped my 262 V-8 SBS into my 78 Monte Carlo 20 or so years back. Car is long gone; still have the motor, and yes it is an SBC; pistons are about the size of a small orange juice glass. Stuffed an Engle Cam in it a long time back and it loved that bumpstick.

The other starter, the one with the in line mounting holes that came along for the ride when I pulled the 86-88? 305 SBC mill out of my current Monte has an AC-Delco P/N of 1109072, which I can't find listed as a Chevy application starter. Google search says The number does appear as being used with the Olds Calais model cars so now thoroughly confused.
Anyone out there who can clear up the confusion? THX.

Nick
 
64nailhead

64nailhead

G-Body Guru
Dec 1, 2014
941
93
Upstate NY
No idea about the starter hole, but SBC starters are readily available. You're correct about the differences between the 153 vs 168 tooth flywheel/flexpate. Are you in need of a starter? If yes, then head down to the local parts store with old one in hand and have them start pulling starters for 350 Chebbies starting '72 or '73 and then have then look up the next one by adding 5 years to previous request.
 
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CopperNick

CopperNick

Greasemonkey
Feb 20, 2018
122
28
Canada
You're confused?? It's the 77 year starter that fits my mill but has the hole in it! I suppose I could just swap noses to get what I want. Think a picture or two may be in order to illustrate the matter. Any G-Body Olds Cutlass owners on the forum who have experience with a starter, AC-Delco P/N of 1109072, which the interchange suggests as being OEM for the Olds?
 
CopperNick

CopperNick

Greasemonkey
Feb 20, 2018
122
28
Canada
Ah, 64Nailhead, no availability isn't the problem; I do have other starters on the shelf. This is more a case of me trying to make sure that the starter that I do use doesn't bang up the teeth on my flywheel. I have NO desire to have to slither underneath Regress and tear down the t-mission and clutch to get access to that wheel; it was hard enough as it was just to find one that would work. They are not plentiful on the ground around here.
 
pontiacgp

pontiacgp

Canadian Prime Minister
Mar 31, 2006
25,940
113
Kitchener, Ontario
You're confused?? It's the 77 year starter that fits my mill but has the hole in it! I suppose I could just swap noses to get what I want. Think a picture or two may be in order to illustrate the matter. Any G-Body Olds Cutlass owners on the forum who have experience with a starter, AC-Delco P/N of 1109072, which the interchange suggests as being OEM for the Olds?
it doesn't take much to confuse me....:unsure:
 
CopperNick

CopperNick

Greasemonkey
Feb 20, 2018
122
28
Canada
So I finally was able to take some pictures just to show anyone interested just exactly what I was looking at. I still have to "motor" both of these units to see if they spin freely and easily under power. Since, apart from the nose castings, they pretty much mimic each other, the game plan may become a case of swapping the noses. That would give me an assembly that would be minus the extra hole

DSCN2427.JPG


Of all the shots that I did take, this one arguably shows the second hole the most clearly. When I spoke with one of the senior parts reps at my local parts yard, he suggested that it might have been put there by Delco as an alternative access hole for the field winding tabs that get connected to the solenoid. He thought that it probably would have had a plug of some kind just stuck into it. if so the plug is long gone and that makes the windings and armature vulnerable to crap and crud from road and climate.

DSCN2434.JPG


This is just a shot to show both the similarities and the differences. The 77 305 starter is on the left and you can actually see that second hole just a little bit more clearly than in the first shot. It is highly likely that this one came off the shelf at one point or another during a visit to the parts yard. It still has the stumps of the various wires attached to it, which to me means it was cut out of a clunker or pulled from a junk motor that was otherwise destined for either the rebuilders or for the scrap yard. It probably came into my hands during an inventory purge; yards typically do that when current stock becomes obsolescent due to changes in models and applications.

The keen eyed will have noticed the difference between the wiring on the Olds? starter on the right and the Chevy unit on the left. When Regress came into my possession, one of the major issues was the starter circuit wiring harness. The battery stud had had multiple leads originally attached to it and most of them were fried. As both a precaution and an upgraded I elected to introduce a relay into the starter motor circuit. By doing this, it reduced voltage drop to the motor and allowed it more power so it could spin more readily and easily. it also took the key switch out of the high voltage power circuit that fed the starter motor and moved it onto the low power side of the relay, meaning all it had to do was feed power to the relay to close it and the relay itself took care of the rest. For this purpose I actually set up a small sub-chassis adjacent to the battery that I could use to mount all the relays and breakers that I wanted and in doing so make them accessible instead of being buried under the dash or somewhere evil and nasty.

DSCN2433.JPG


Finally, in homage to the concept of a picture being worth a thousand words, this is a comparison shot showing the physical difference between the terms "staggered" and "in-line" as they apply to the location of the mounting bolts for GM starters in general. The staggered or offset pattern belongs to the 1977 date coded starter motor, the in-line or linear pattern, by contrast, belongs to the soi-disant called "Olds" version which has a date code that seems to translate out to 1988. Again, someone on the site with Olds Cutlass G-Gody experience, if you are out there, comments and clarification on this would be appreciated.


Anyway here they be.

Nick
 
CopperNick

CopperNick

Greasemonkey
Feb 20, 2018
122
28
Canada
Finally, an answer to the riddle, "When is a Chevy starter not a Chevy starter?" The answer, "When someone needed a Chev starter and all they had was a Corporate or BOP version." Summarily, the starter was identified as being from an Olds Cutlass based on the carcass ID number. However, at some point in its life, guessing as I go along, it got removed from an engine at the dismantlers, was put on a shelf, and then had its original nose casting removed and one for a Chev substituted. As far as where the noses mount, the starters are essentially the same design. it is the nose casting that dictates both what motor and what generation of motor the starter gets mated to. So I am now on the hunt for an orphan nose casting with the offset or staggered bolt pattern that I can swap the current casting for. Why, because even as a hybrid Chevy compatible unit, it still won't fit the early two piece seal block. And none of the small blocks I have in my running inventory are newer than 85. I still might leave it as is, simply because of Murphy's Law; need to think about that. Later


Nick
 

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