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  1. #316
    Don Shillady's Avatar
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    Roger, Thanks for that reference. It is apparent that published HP numbers in advertising are subject to sloppy values. I have a worn out copy of "Speed and Power Handbook, Special High Mileage Library Edition" by Newhouse Automotive Industries published in 1952 and I literally wore the cover off the book in my teen age years. The best "absolute truth" I got from that book is the formula:

    H.P. = Torque(ft. lb.) x (rpm/5252)

    As far as I know a dynometer really only measures flywheel torque at various rpm and it is clear on every power curve that the H.P. curve and the Torque curves cross at 5252 rpm for whatever dress the motor has as far as accessories or not. Clearly advertised H.P. ratings are often infected with hype but the Torque at 5252 rpm is a clear measurement. Getting back to the CAFE standards which are arbitary political values, mpg can be measured as long as measured distances are available and accurate volume in gallons are known so the mpg numbers are then subject to gears, tire size, weather and driving habits but the measurement can be accurate. The point of my original message is that the CAFE mpg standards are continually being pushed higher and in the seminar I attended it was stated that a goal of 54 mpg could come in the near future. The amazing thing is that advances in fuel systems (computer controlled injection) and multi-speed transmissions have indeed pushed mpg values over 30 even on high powered cars but a goal of 54 mpg seems way to high to me unless a lot of small cars with high mpg values can be averaged in with powerful engines getting say 35 mpg. Averaging in smaller cars seems to be the only practical way to achieve a 54 CAFE in my opinion. And yet research in better lubrication may be worth 5-10 mpg improvement but it seems to me that the national average CAFE needs help from a lot of small engine cars to reach 54 mpg, although some sort of continuously variable transmission system may offer further mpg improvements. My main point is that ZDDP will not disappear entirely from motor oils but the concentration will still be too low to support flat tappet cam engines.

    I am always pleased to get a response from Jerry Clayton who has a great deal of experience and I am saving his previous comments regarding a later model SBC for factory FI. Over the summer I talked to several other owners of cars with SBC-FI at local meets and was discouraged by not only the cost but the need for a second fuel line for return since I have had my share of woes with a fuel line. Still, recent add-on FI systems without return lines are encouraging and maybe someday I can afford the sort of unit that just bolts on like a carburetor without changing the intake as discussed recentl by Tech1 on another thread. All I need is money!

    Don Shillady
    Retired Scientist/teen rodder
    Last edited by Don Shillady; 12-12-2015 at 08:48 PM.

  2. #317
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    Don-thanks for the comment
    As for return lines most of the newer systems don't have a return line as the fuel supply is managed at the tank.
    As for CAFE AVERAGE----------we just need the manufactures to have 10 models that do 60mpg and one at around 20?

    Anyway-there whole system is a guise for higher taxes on the non=compliant vehicles, remember the gas guzzler tax from early 90s?

  3. #318
    Don Shillady's Avatar
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    Just an optimistic update while the optimism lasts. I am now on my 5th starter and my third flex plate on my GEN 1 SBC 350! Education is expensive! When I first set up my Bebops roadster I naively thought of the engine as a rebuilt stock Z28 along the specs of a 1977 Z28 with just shaved 882 heads and a Z28 cam with an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and shorty headers so I set up an aftermarket flex plate and a stock 1976 Chevy starter ($35). First the starter was not enough to turn the 9:1 CR unless the cheapo battery was fully charged so a high torque starter (#2) was installed along with a high-tech battery. That soon led to chipped teeth on the steel flex plate so a new flex plate was installed with a new starter (#3) and that worked OK for a while last summer only to be replaced by a higher torque mini starter which lasted until it made a clang! That was replaced by another stock type high torque starter (#4) which lasted until this July 5 when I decided to take a local tour only to have a really loud clang again. Since retiring I have to wait until I complete a summer contract to teach again part time and get some extra cash so the car sat in the garage since July 5. Finally last week I finished my summer course with some cash in hand and had the car fixed again by ace mechanic Bruce Orlandi of Performance Transmission who installed starter #5 along with a BILLET flex plate. Of course each time a flex plate is replaced it is necessary to pull the exhaust system, the drive shaft and the 700R4 trnsmission so the labor costs are far more than the parts but Bruce showed me the flex plate was flexing too much and the last very loud clang was when the engine broke the nose off the starter (#4). Then after sitting in a hot and dusty garage for over a month the engine ran very rough and would not idle! Finally I added "Hy-per Lube" oil additive to the crankcase and Lucas top oil to the gas and at present (today) a test drive showed excellent idle has been restored and the starter seems good for now. What have I learned at the expense of twice replacing the starter and flex plate?

    1. A stock steel flex plate may (will) flex too much with a high torque starter, so much as to twist the nose off the starter!

    2. The 1976 Corvette L48 block does not have a boss for a starter bracket on the side allowing the starter to possibly twist.

    3. I was previously "told" to pump the gas before starting, especially if the engine has not been running for some time. I think this led to a backfire that destroyed starter #4 so now I run the starter for a brief time before pumping the accelerator.

    4. Several searches on the Internet showed that a lot of SBC 350 owners have had trouble with starters even going so far as to say the starter is a "weak" feature of an otherwise tried and true engine design. The lack of a boss on the side of the L48 block for a starter bracket is also a problem.

    Thus I am presently happy that the new flex plate and starter work fine for the moment and I am really pleased with the effect of the "Hy-Per Lube" additive because the car idled nicely at stops today and the engine ran like a sewing machine without missing a beat! Thus I thought I would write up my expensive adventures while things are going well for the moment. In spite of the expense and the anguish over the engine it is really great to feel the engine running smoothly so that is the roller coaster emotions of hot rodding and when the engine purrs it is really great but if it breaks that billet flex plate it will have to sit until I can get another summer job next year. For now I can enjoy the ride! Until then I will take care starting the car and run it frequently to keep it going. Probably most of the readers of this Forum already knew most of this but it has been my expensive education that may help someone else.

    Best Wishes,
    Don Shillady
    Retired Scientist/teen rodder
    Last edited by Don Shillady; 08-28-2016 at 07:01 PM.

  4. #319
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    Wow, there's good and bad news in your update.
    Sorry it's become such an expensive lesson... But it sounds like you're on your way again. ( no pun intended! LOL)

  5. #320
    Don Shillady's Avatar
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    Good to hear from you 34-40! I have been busy making a little money over the summer but had to spend some of it already on the billet flex plate fiasco. How is your coupe running?

    Best Wishes,
    Don Shillady
    Retired Scientist/teen rodder

  6. #321
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    Don---got to ask a couple basic things---did you use new GM starter bolts on each starter? ( they have a knurled section that makes the alignment tight) and the flex plate wasn't on backwards???????? Was the main bearings align bored (changed centerline?)

    I'm dealing with gotta replace flex plate on my 1999 Ford F350 with 7.3 diesel --chewed up teeth after 320,000 miles showing on odometer but it didn't work for 6 years so probably 450,000 + miles

  7. #322
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    I don't understand, I'm pretty sure my stock engined 76 L48 Vette has the starter bracket and it's installed. I do have a TH 350 behind the engine with what I assume is the stock flexplate though the stater is not totally stock. The case is stock but the armature and bendix is from a 400 with new brushes and a new solenoid and any problem I've had has been heat related.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  8. #323
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    Is there a possibility that the flexplate was installed onto a crankshaft that had a clutch pilot bearing in the rear???that won't work

    Also-in this day and age of all these crate transmission deals and different stall rpm converters-----if the hub on the converter doesn't fit the crank hole EXACTLY your flex plate will difinately be short lived
    Last edited by jerry clayton; 08-29-2016 at 05:58 AM.

  9. #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Shillady View Post
    Good to hear from you 34-40! How is your coupe running? Best Wishes, Don Shillady Retired Scientist/teen rodder
    My coupe has been good, did a run with some Model A guys early in the season.. but other than that just some short trips goofin' off.

    Here's to hopin' yours is finally done eating starters!

    And thanks again for the update, it's good to hear from you!

  10. #325
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    Jerry and NTFDAY,
    Thanks for your interest. I am at the mercy of others for answers to your questions. I originally purchased the used 1976 Corvette engine from a guy who replaced it with a 383 and the serial number on the block checked out to 1976 and I assumed it was an L48 with an iron intake and a quadrajet carb but for sure it does not have a boss on the side of the block for a starter bracket. Then I have to rely on Bruce Orlandi who has a 706 cu in Cavalier funny car for my repairs since he has a clean shop with several lifts. All I can say is that the present crank in my engine was resized at rebuild time by a former circle track racer (Joe Butler of Ashland Va) and is from the Corvette engine. I wish I did have a way to mount a starter bracket! I used to stay close to any repairs from under the lift but have been encouraged to let the mechanic do the work without interference so I did not see the flex plate installation either time. Bruce did show me the "oil can" flex of the recent plate and it seemed to be a displacement of about 1/8" from the center, perhaps enough to slide out the bendix gear which is slightly tapered anyway. I can only hope the billet plate will not have the same problem. The flex plate is supposed to have some hard grease on the gear teeth but maybe regular servicing should add chassis lube on the ring gear teeth from time to time???

    Don Shillady
    Retired Scientist/teen rodder
    Last edited by Don Shillady; 08-29-2016 at 08:13 AM.

  11. #326
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    That sure seems to be quite an amount of flex. Is that with or without the torque converter bolted on? IMHO, probably one of the worst ideas Chevy and/or GM come up with was bolting the starter to the block. Never seemed to have all these starter issues when they were bolted to the bellhousing.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  12. #327
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    The last time I personally saw that much lateral deviation it was resultant from main bearing wear, (thrust bearing) allowing the crank to shift position. Probably not your trouble, but perhaps something to consider.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

  13. #328
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    NTFDAY, I checked the first three letters of my engine block serial No. and they match up to the L48 series. My block definitely does not have a boss on the side of the block for a starter bracket but I found a picture on the Internet that shows the upper mount hiding behind the stock cast iron exhaust manifold. Is there any chance you can send a picture of how your upper mount of the bracket is bolted on, maybe to the back of an exhaust manifold (unlikely due to heat transfer)? Maybe you could just feel for the upper bolt when the engine is cold if a photo is too difficult? I would like to add a steel strap from the starter to my block somehow to triangulate the starter mount but I have shorty tube headers. Attaching to a pan bolt just asks for a leak but maybe a strap to the forward valve cover hold-down or to a header bolt would work. My intuition is that the lack of a starter bracket is probably 75% of my problem but there are few attachment points.

    Don Shillady
    Retired Scientist/teen rodder
    Last edited by Don Shillady; 08-31-2016 at 10:34 AM.

  14. #329
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    As soon as I get a chance I'll jack up the right side and see if I can get a decent picture of how mine is mounted.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  15. #330
    Don Shillady's Avatar
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    Well the only thing left to try was to look at the PowerMaster 9002 starter with three holes for either starter mount but I had a good chat with the tech guy at PowerMaster. He claimed my problem was ignition timing so I postponed the 9002 starter and I checked out several Internet sites on timing a SBC 350. Bruce Orlandi checked the timing and retarded it to 12 degrees static which agrees with other sites on the Internet and which retards it a few degrees from what it was. The PowerMaster tech guy said 19 degrees static was the maximum to avoid backfire. Bruce had to time it from underneath on the rack because the Jones pulley for the alternator covers up the access to the crank pulley from the top but it improved the running with all the advance in by 2000 rpm. Another interesting thing is that the billet plate has a 168 tooth ring gear on the older two piece rear seal but it bolted right up. I'm hoping this setup will last for a while and it "runs good" for now.

    Don Shillady
    Retired Scientist/teen rodder
    Last edited by Don Shillady; 09-27-2016 at 02:32 PM.
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