V8 starters, revisited

Discussion in '1974 - 1978 Mustang II Talk & Tech' started by Power Surge, Nov 25, 2007.


  1. Power Surge

    Power Surge Founding Member

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    Okay guys, what is the latest verdict on V8 Mustang II starters? IS there a II specific starter, or not? My brother has had constant issues with eating starters and ring gears for a while now on the Pro-Street 74. He's tried multiple starters, two bellhousings, two flywheels, and endless shimming and adjusting, and nothing helps. The starter makes the Chevy-like grinding noise on startup, and nothing seems to solve it.

    I just spent an hour doing searches on this topic. I found one post by Stewart where he went through the identical thing, and in the end, he said the II uses a specific starter drive that not many people know about and that fixed it. Then I saw references to a starter "comparision" done a while back by Dano (which I could not find) where he found differences in the II starter. But then I found a post from him last year saying there is no difference and any 302 starter will work.

    So what's the latest info here? Does anyone have any technical info on the "II specific" starter?

    This is for the automatic, BTW.
  2. THE COBRAMAN

    THE COBRAMAN pig 'rassler Founding Member

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    Couldn't find solid info on the 75 302, but MVMA specs show a D6EF 11001 AA unit for 76, a D6OF 11001 AA for 77, and a D8OF 11001 AA in 78. Looks like the regular pass car units.

    Personally, I have used the originals, and the generic Ford units with no problems. The OE unit on the car now, however, fits better (access to cable attachment), and sounds better than the remans.

    I do recall reading some time back that many of the reman units use remanufactured drives, as opposed to new drives. I guess we have the $19.99 "lifetime guarantee" places to thank for that.
  3. parthos

    parthos Founding Member

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    I never had a problem with starters, Ford starters are somewhat universal with automatics. Right now I've got one for a '94 mustang GT AOD in my II.
  4. Power Surge

    Power Surge Founding Member

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    Well, here's what we figured out today....

    My brother was running a Ford mini starter, which he purchased new. The motor, has a II auto flywheel, also purchased new. Looking at the wear pattern on the starter bendix and the ring gear, it looked like they were only contacting each other on the very end.

    So I pulled the bendix solenoid off the starter, and safety wired the bendix in the extended position. Put the starter back in, and checked the mesh through the inspection plate. My initial guess was right. The bendix drive was barely contacting the flywheel. Maybe about an 1/8" of contact patch. So the grinding we were hearing, was in fact the bendix skipping over ring gear teeth, which also is what caused the edge of all the teeth to be worn down a little.

    So now we had the cause. What would be the solution? Well, after last night's search, I still wasn't sure what starter could be the right one. One thing I DID know, was that no full size starter will fit his current pan setup, so a stock II starter was out of the question.

    He did have another starter that he bought for the car, but never used. It was a RobbMcC starter (same one I run in my Shelby). So I did the same thing with this starter, extending the drive, and checking ring gear mesh. The RobbMcC starter had almost full contact with the ring gear. So we installed that starter, and what do you know, it works like a dream and ZERO abnormal noise now.

    I guess the only thing we can learn from this, is that the Ford mini starters don't mesh properly with the auto flywheel. Some people may get lucky and never have an issue, but this is something to at least keep in mind.
  5. 2muchtime

    2muchtime Founding Member

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    i brought this up a couple yrs ago. i also showed a pic of 2 identical looking starters one from a II v8 auto and one from a 88 marquis 302 aod and the cone size was a 1/4 difference in length. i have found 5 different styles and shapes throughout the yrs between trucks, cars which does not include the mini starter.
  6. MUSTANG J

    MUSTANG J Member

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    A-MEN Brotha!! From my adventures a Mustang II starter is Mustang II specific. Now if someone could tell me if a Mustang II starer will work with a 50 OZ Art Carr flex plate the world would be my oyster!!
  7. Power Surge

    Power Surge Founding Member

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    The Art Carr felx plate is just a rebalanced stock MII flexplate.
  8. IICrazy

    IICrazy taken away

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    although a manual tranny the only problem I've had with mine is that they go bad every 4 or 5 months. Covered the newest one with a heat blanket havent had a problem in years. I can now change a II starter in less the 15 minutes.
  9. MUSTANG J

    MUSTANG J Member

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    Where were you when I was loosing hair from stress over this??:D
  10. Blue Thunder

    Blue Thunder Active Member

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    I've always had starter issues. Flexplate wears funny, a mild grinding sound when cranking, etc. I've tried a million different combos, too, and they all sucked. I have a Mcleod mini starter, brand new II flexplate, II bell, so it should be perfect, and it was, for about a week. Then it started making the stupid noise again. If you're right about the starter depth, perhaps it would help if you had the starter mounting surface turned down, so that the gear runs centered on the flex teeth? I don't know how feasible that would be. Next time I pull the motor and trans, I'll mess with it again.
  11. Dano78

    Dano78 Founding Member

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    I'll have to root around and find that picture.

    I think the end result was that there are different starters out there for the SBF, but the vast majority of them are the same. Personally I feel that there is NOT a MII specific starter, however I have had really good luck with starters that utilize either a C8AE, C9AE, or D2AE starter cone. You'll see some starters with an ASF- prefix (or similiar) floating around or at your nearest Napa, and these starters I've had nothing but trouble with. Theae are aftermarket replacement cones. IMO- JUNK.

    The last Art Carr flexplate I installed I used a D2AE coned starter. Worked fine, sounded great. Using the same starter in my II fastback.

    I also think that the II automatic bellhousing might be part of the problem. Seems to be that there may have been a few that were manufactured a tiny bit out of tolerance. I noticed this while playing musical transmissions and starters.
  12. parthos

    parthos Founding Member

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    it could be a manual transmission designed starter... I just ran into this on my engine stand. I built an engine for an '86 F150, it's 50 oz and I only had a 28 oz flexplate. I use an old FMX bellhousing on my stand, most everything fits inside it. The manual flywheel did turn over using an auto trans starter, but would grind while running. Turns out the manual trans starter, the gear sits farther into the case. So I suppose if you're using a manual trans starter, it could possibly not be able to extend enough to get a good mesh for you with your auto transmission and flexplate.
  13. Blue Thunder

    Blue Thunder Active Member

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    The II is just a smaller starter, for more clearance with the pan.
  14. UnbridledFury

    UnbridledFury Founding Member

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    I forget where I got these pictures from, but I am glad I kept them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks to who ever made these pictures.
  15. Blue Thunder

    Blue Thunder Active Member

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    Damn, pics saved. Thanks.
    It makes you wonder what car engineers are thinking(or what type of drugs they're on) when they change stuff for no apparent reason.

    I thought I had installed a M II starter in my Bronco, but judging from that pic, it looks like it's from a 87 Crown Vic instead. Kind of rounded on the end and small. Works great in the Bronc, too, no grinding, and tons of clearance.

    The one thing I don't like about the pics is where it says "aftermarket cone" Hmm I wonder how accurate to factory specs those are.
  16. Dano78

    Dano78 Founding Member

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    That would be "I." You found them. :nice: Been looking for the originals in my computer since I seen this thread. I have no idea what happened to them. Glad somebody saved them. Quite awhile back I started snapping pics and cataloging II parts and other odds and ends. These pics should have been there with them but this being my 3rd computer now, it's possible that they could have been lost in the harddrive swaps.
    I was having the exact same problem others were describing. The starter that gave me the most trouble was that center starter, which sported an aftermarket cone. It was a brand new starter from Napa, said to be for the '78 MII V8 Auto. After doing a few depth measurements and comapring starterand wear patterns, I found that the center starter was just 'barely' grabbing the flexplate. Maybe 1/8" contact wear on the flexplate. I'm using a D2AE starter which, basiacally, is the same as the DO0E starter.

    That '77 starter never made noise either, even though it was an aftermarket cone. It came out of a running, drivng car.
  17. Wart

    Wart I'm Mad as HELL and I'M not Gonna Take it ANYMORE! Founding Member

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    Now Come On, Don't blame drugs for what engineers are inclined to do all by themselves.

    :rlaugh:
  18. Hefty

    Hefty New Member

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    There is a seret war being waged between engineers and mechanics. Not many people are aware of this but it's there all the same. Just look at the cars they're building today, it's escalated to really bizarr proportions. They really go out of their way to make things strange and difficult.
  19. Wart

    Wart I'm Mad as HELL and I'M not Gonna Take it ANYMORE! Founding Member

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    It's no secret that engineers are goofy to anyone who has done more than simply use something. Function aside and looking at the guts, not to say there isn't good design, but there is enough WTF! to go around.

    General Rule #1 is things are designed to be built. Not Maintained. Not even 'time change' items that are suppose to be accessed numerous times in the items life. Mind boggling! WTF?!?!?!
  20. LXXVICOBRA

    LXXVICOBRA Founding Member

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    Actually, while it would seem that making parts that fit several applications would make sense in helping to keep prices down on new models...the profit seems to be in parts replacement and service in the auto industry. So, it's little wonder these minor differences in parts occur. Things like this help the dealers as parts stores generally don't have ready access or inventory on hand for every application.

    What else explains why things like stock wheel bolt patterns were constantly changed over the years and so many other supposedly common parts are often model specific? Engineers may be idiots working with constantly changing criteria which cause things like this to occur, but marketing people probably have a greedy hand in it as well. And if China has anything to do with the manfacturing or remanufacturing process, there's probably no need to say more!

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