Engine Starter Will Not Start!


Jun 7, 2013
Hey all,
This is my first post and my first project so please bear with me if I'm less than knowledgeable.
I've got a challenge today and I hope somebody has experienced the same thing, I've got a '76 coupe, she has a 302 bored 30 over, a 3 speed auto tranny, and not many more bells and whistles other than a new holley 570 street avenger and new holley fuel pump.
So here's where I'm at. About 3 months ago, my starter went out (or so i thought). apparently I had broken a tooth on my flexplate. I went through 3 more starters (for a grand total of four) before i figured out that the reason they werent working was because they had just happened to hit that dead spot. after that, while trying to line up a new flexplate, I would just get out and turn the crank pulley when it wouldnt start. We all know how things go when you find a way around pulling the motor, I ended up dealing with turning the crank pulley for another 2 months. about a month ago my little "fix" stopped working. So I bit the bullet and pulled the motor out so i could change the flywheel and paint the block and engine bay while i was at it. Unfortunately i never got around to painting a thing. I got distracted with the fact that there was an ungodly amount of metal shavings inside the bellhousing. So long story short i got the bellhousing cleaned out and the "new" flexplate put in and the torque converter locked in. she fired up on the first turn over and all was good.... Until I turned her off. Now the starter isn't wanting to engage the flywheel almost like the teeth on the bindex gear are too shallow. someone please tell me this is an easy fix as I have tried everything i know and have found nothing online about this particular problem.

TL;DR starter wont line up with flexplate?
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Welcome Buddha. My 302 and c-4 trans. came out of a 76 cobra.
I believe my flywheel has 141 teeth. I see on the Napa website two different flywheels.
One flexplate has 141 teeth and another has a ring gear of teeth ( 164 teeth ) and it has a larger diameter. Maybe different starter options for different amount of teeth.
Run this by the parts store in your area and see if there are any options.
Maybe your starter is going too deep into the flywheel. Between my trans. and engine block, mine came with a heavy guage steel plate. I'm going to guess it is 1/8" thick.
If yours dosn't have this, try shimming the starter with a flat washer between the starter and transmission.
Thanks Cobra, My local parts store has no earthly idea, i DO have that metal plate, I believe my flywheel is a 157 tooth, i dont think my motor came out of a II, (Mine wasnt a factory eight as far as i know) but i did pull the codes off the bottom of the block (d90e-6015-e3a) I got it started today, but its like it has to be in a sweet spot and its like the bindex gear is too small. any more ideas? My first project is turning out to be quite a headache....

EDIT: So the engine is a 1979,im using a 141 tooth flexplate, and i dont think it has a II bellhousing as it almost looks too big, should i try for a 157 tooth flexplate? or is there a starter that has a larger gear? the problem seems to be the starter isnt making a complete connection with the flexplate.
reman starters are mostly short lived. There has bee a lot of starter voes with our 302 IIs. There even been the theory that 302 IIs have a special nose for the starter. What Ive found to work is starter shims ,some need 1 others need 2 and so on. It seems the bendix wants to drive the stater gear too deep in the ring gear and shiming it out seems to help. Untill the reman starter takes a dump then its the 302 II starter dance again. Wait till your A/C ed heater core goes south, now theres a special II dance. LateTim
Appreciate that tim. What I had to end up doing is drilling the ear on my remanned starter so I can push it closer to the flywheel. add a couple of lock washers and its gravy. a starter now lasts me about 3 weeks, but at least now it starts every time while its there, lol.
funny you should mention the ac'd heater core as I was already planning on attempting to tackle that in the next couple days. any advice?
how much of a dance are we talking about here? are we talking :banana:, :trip:, or :riot:? lmao