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broke my block where starter bolts up!!!!!!!

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Old 05-25-2009, 09:56 PM   #1
L-82kid
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Default broke my block where starter bolts up!!!!!!!

I just got my car back together and running first time in 8months. I had the motor and tranny out for new clutch and tranny rebuild, plus I cleaned up and painted the motor and rebuilt front suspension. I got everything back in this weekend and started the motor up a few hours ago. It ran for a minute and then I shut down to check for leaks. i was starting it up the second time to adjust the timing when I had a problem. The motor popped through the carb a little( timing wasn't set yet). no big deal just a little pop but When I tried to restart it the starter just spun and the flywheel didn't. I went under the car and found the starter was loose, then I noticed the block was flexing with the starter. The block cracked on the outside mounting hole for the starter. I pulled the starter down and the broken piece of block came off with it. its a small chunk of cast and there isn't any other cracks, it just snaped clean off. its .25" peice of cast. THe mounting bolts were torqued to 25'lbs as the 75 vette assembly manual stated.


I waited 8 months, spent my hard earned money, and spent the whole weekend wrenching just to hear my vette run for about 60 seconds!!


Can the block be welded somehow??? the inner starter mounting hole is fine and I still have the front mounting clamp. I hoping to find someone who can weld cast and do it with the block still in the car. Its the passengers side and with that header removed and on a lift there is plenty of room to work.


Has this happened to everyone here?? I don't want to trash the block and do a new motor.

I have some pictures I'll post up here later, I left the cam at my girlfriends house.

Last edited by L-82kid; 05-25-2009 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Did you have the starter brace on ?
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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yep the front bracket was bolted up. I was just searching on the net and found a few diff chevy forum posts and I guess this was a problem for alot of people. the casting is thin and weak in that spot of the block. Some people suggested a mini torque starter and then drilling and tapping new holes for it. Welding is possible but its hard to weld cast, I have to find someone whos experienced welding cast iron.

anyone have suggestions on another type of starter which uses different mounting holes or another option?? i would hate to pull the car apart and pull the motor out again. I really want to get back on the road soon.

Thanks
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
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The 400 block that I have in my Nova had the outer hole welded on it. I didn't have it done, it was like that when I bought it, but it can be done and it hasn't given be any problems
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
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The trick is getting to it. It can be welded and then drilled and tapped..but it's tricky.

Do you have a scattershield? Some of them have provisions to mount starter with 3 bolts into the scattershield itself like a '57 Chevy or a truck did. I done this several times over the years with no issues. You just need a stock GM starter with the 3 bolt style nose on it.

There are also the stock iron GM bellhousings with the same features that are pretty easy to find,...but a scattershield is obviously best for safety with a stick car.


JIM
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:13 AM   #6
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Can you drill and tap a deeper hole and use a longer bolt?
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:19 AM   #7
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my mate had a block like this damaged in transit once. the corner was just smashed straight off. there is still half the threads on that outside hole your talking about but unfortunatly he doesnt have the triangle piece part that snapped off. i believe they can be welded if you have a clean break. not the best but it will work. doing it in the car..mm..that i dont know. cant really tap and drill deeper- you need that flat surface for the starter and you will be into a gallery if you do.

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Old 05-26-2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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I also repaired one once in the car by using a stud.

This one was broken where half the threads were in the block and half were in the piece broken off. I layed a grade 8 stud in place and used some of the special cast iron rods with my arc welder. The rods actually welded great and left an unbelievably strong weld with a high nickle shiny look to it. I ground the weld down smooth and from that time on there was one stud and one bolt that held the starter on. No need for drilling and tapping and the smooth spot where starter goes against block was intact.

I found the rods at a great little local hardware store..but any welding supply should have them.

JIM
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerbreadman1977 View Post
cant really tap and drill deeper- you need that flat surface for the starter and you will be into a gallery if you do.
Looks doable to me...if it's a SMALL chunk, just 1/4" and at the hole only.

Last edited by KapsSA; 05-26-2009 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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I tried one of the cast iron welding rods on a exhaust manifold. Worked great so far. The only issue I see is the block will need to be hot if possible. This will prevent you from welding hot to cold, cast iron requires hot to hot to prevent cracking. Like Jim said, they work pretty good and leave a nice finish.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-82kid View Post

Has this happened to everyone here?? I don't want to trash the block and do a new motor.

.
You mean like this?





It was welded a couple of times but the repair never held. I'm told that welding cast is fairly specialized and is difficult. Much worse to do in place too.

This was my solution I'm afraid:

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 427Hotrod View Post
I also repaired one once in the car by using a stud.

This one was broken where half the threads were in the block and half were in the piece broken off.....

JIM

Thats where mine broke. also, I'm running the stock alum. bellhousing
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:13 PM   #13
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looks nice, doesn't start!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 05-26-2009, 11:47 PM   #14
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It is probably something that a skilled weldor can braze. I've seen bosses similar to that brazed successfully. Welding is very difficult on cast iron, but brazing is much easier.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:49 PM   #15
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Another thought- Assuming you tore it all apart again, and of course that's a painful thing to consider, a machine shop could carve that whole part of the block out and make a new portion that could be bolted on to your block since there is quite a bit of "meat" there. It would be a lot of work but it's possible.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:50 AM   #16
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Ouch!


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Old 05-27-2009, 06:32 AM   #17
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I've seen guys who have used bar stock that was cut in half and honed out, then a stud was welded in the new half then pinned into the block. Held for dirt track racing.......
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:33 AM   #18
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That's a perfect candidate for the stud setup. *thread* the stud into the 1/2 portion of the block and then weld it down both sides and buildup over the top of it with the cast iron welding rods. I'm telling you, these newer rods weld iron a lot better than the old days. In fact it was actually easier to strike an arc than with a regular 6013 rod. I did it with block cold and there is no way it will ever break off. I was able to grind it smooth and rounded and it even looked nice.

JIM
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #19
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you are going to have to take that block to a machine shop and have it repaired.
if they can. my block was cracked. the machine shop did some special welding to fix it.
they have to heat up the block before the repair. its a major pain.
Good luck. I feel your pain. Its like flushing money
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 427Hotrod View Post
That's a perfect candidate for the stud setup. *thread* the stud into the 1/2 portion of the block and then weld it down both sides and buildup over the top of it with the cast iron welding rods. I'm telling you, these newer rods weld iron a lot better than the old days. In fact it was actually easier to strike an arc than with a regular 6013 rod. I did it with block cold and there is no way it will ever break off. I was able to grind it smooth and rounded and it even looked nice.

JIM
Jim, when I went to pick up some rods at the local welding shop the guy smiled and gave them to me. He said, I can see charging you for these. I think there is just to many horror stories out there and most people are afraid to try them.

My little Millermatic suitcase TIG burned them without any issues.
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