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Starter For a Small Block 400

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by A&P, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. A&P

    A&P Registered Member

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    While Visiting a friend at college and helping him do a vortec head swap on his 81 blazer in the dormatory parking lot, a stranger approached us and started a conversation. It quickly lead to my truck, and my seemlessly neverending starting problems. About every month, I go through a pinion gear on my starter motor, and needless to say, my flywheel is wearing thin. He said that back in the day, GM made 2 starters for the small block motors. One for the 400, and one for the others. I'm just curious to know if anyone has any info on where to get such a starter (PN etc...) He said the bendix section of the starter sticks out about an inch further than the common starters found in part stores today. He only knows of one place that made them aftermarket in Corpus Christi, TX. He said they may have discontinued the production due to demand. If anyone has any info, please post it, it would be most appreciated... BTW, my truck is a 77 GMC Jimmy with a SB400, TH350, Fried NP203, and the usual 1/2 ton axle setup in those days. (D44 front, GM corp. 12 bolt rear.) Thanks.
    -Ben
     
  2. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    Not to my knowledge did they build 2 different starters, one for the SB 283-350 &amp; 1 for the 400SB. Sounds like you either have too many or not enough shims in the starter. A flex plate is easy to come by for the SB400, if you need a new one. Check Summit Racing <a target="_blank" href=http://www.summitracing.com>http://www.summitracing.com</a> out. I saw them there for under $50, a little more for a HP one.

    1 ton '87 Chevy SWB in the making!
     
  3. shoeless

    shoeless Registered Member

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    It wouldn't suprise me if there was another starter with a different length benidx out there. At the shop I used to work at, we used to run into that problem every now and again with different vehicles, mostly Fords though. As far as a seperate one for a 400 I really don't know, but might know where I can find out. I'll ask some people when I go to work tomorrow, and see if they know anything about this, and I'll let you know what I find out.

    Shoeless
    '88 K5
     
  4. shoeless

    shoeless Registered Member

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    It wouldn't suprise me if there was another starter with a different length bendix out there. At the shop I used to work at, we used to run into that problem every now and again with different vehicles, mostly Fords though. As far as a seperate one for a 400 I really don't know, but might know where I can find out. I'll ask some people when I go to work tomorrow, and see if they know anything about this, and I'll let you know what I find out.

    Shoeless
    '88 K5
     
  5. ricka

    ricka Registered Member

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    I just got through replacing my 1977 Chevy K-5 Starter. The first time I installed it, something was a bit haywire, as sometimes it made terrible noises during starter. When I reinstlaled it, I added a shim and the problem went away. Anyway, as near as I can tell, the parts store did not differentiate between the 350 and 400 application.

    Now, checking my 1977 Factory Service manuals, I see that the 350 V8 (LS9) had starting motor #1109052 and the 400 V8 (LF4) and the 454 V8 (LF8) has starting motor #1108776. I cannot tell what the difference between these is, but they do both follow specification number 3563, which makes me think they have all the same specifications, but there is some minor different, like maybe the one you mention. This is the only indication that they might be different. All the service, diagnosis and rebuild text treats the starters as the same.

    I wonder if anyone can track down those numbers somehow? I sure would like to know if there is a difference.

    Anyway, in th mean time, I do recommend you try some shims and see if that helps. Also, next time you might consider and aftermarket, high torque starter like Mean Green. Probably higher quality overall.

    -------
    Rick Anderson (rick.d.anderson@tektronix.com)
    Tektronix, Inc. Beaverton, OR 503-627-2630
     
  6. Redfrog

    Redfrog 1/2 ton status

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    I went throught a couple of starters on my 400 and I finally
    figured out that on the 350 starter the mounting surface on the starter was flat and on the 400 starter there was (for lack of a better term) a cast shim in on the mounting surface
    at a slight angle. once I put on the one with the cast shim,I have not had a problem since..... hope this helps

    *wink*

    my 79 rust bucket will run over your 2001 chevy 4X4 tahoe plastic wagon
     
  7. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    Isn't a LF4, a big block 400? Not quite sure though.......

    1 ton '87 Chevy SWB in the making!
     
  8. ricka

    ricka Registered Member

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    There wasn't a big block 400 in 1977 that went in Blazers to my knowledge. And since this is factory service manual specific to 1977 veichles, I'm pretty sure it is a small block.

    -------
    Rick Anderson (rick.d.anderson@tektronix.com)
    Tektronix, Inc. Beaverton, OR 503-627-2630
     
  9. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    There really never was a CHEVY 400 big block, it was either the original 396 or the later 402. Had one of those 402's in my '71 Camaro........good motors.

    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.blazzinor.rockcrawler.com>www.blazzinor.rockcrawler.com</a>
     

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