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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I was hoping to get the stang started this weekend, but I apparently have the wrong bellhousing (351W bell on a late-model 302/flywheel). My starter spins, but is spaced too far away for engagement with the flywheel. :(

My question is this: Is there any vehicle in particular I should seek the bellhousing from? I was curious about an aluminum bell vs. cast iron. I'm not too concerned with the weight savings, but if I'm looking anyways, thought I'd get you guys' input on the subject.

So my startup was scrubbed this weekend, but I plan to have found and installed the correct bell by next weekend for attempt #2.

I'll post pics soon on my progress.

Thanks again
 

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Just a "thot", but maybe swapping out the starter for one with a little more reach would solve the problem...??
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The starters I have reach out far enough, but are not close enough to the flywheel to engage.
 

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I think the bell housings for 351w and 289-302 are the same. The difference is the flywheel and starter combination. I ended up having to use a starter for a 66 with automatic transmission to solve the same kind of problem on my 289 with standard shift. I was grinding up ring gears on flywheels before I figured out trying to find a starter with a little more reach.
 

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Right.

The 289-302-351 bellhousings are the same.

The 289-302-351 to 5.0-5.8 liter engines are not the same. They bolt up but are longer to accept the T5 tranmission longer input shaft.

You need a starter from the vehicle the engine came from. Most likely a 5.0 mustang or Explorer starter will fit and engage just perfectly.

Just make sure you are running both the 5.0 157T flywheel and 5.0 50oz offset balanced harmonic balancer with the 5.0.

Ford also had two different starters for 302 engines. A 2 bolt and a 3 bolt starter.

HIH
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have 3 starters from different vehicles that I've tried--(1) the stock '69 351 starter, (2) a '79 starter from a 302 manual van, and (3) a '87 5.0 mustang starter. The snout on the 5.0 starter was a little too long to fit in the '69 bell, but it definately had enough throw to reach the flywheel, so I cut the excess off the end of the starter--still nothing. I've tested the starters out of the car and they all work, but just don't engage the flywheel. It is a new 157-tooth flywheel & I've measured the distance from the mounting surface to the back of the flywheel teeth and the starter gear has enough travel, but does not even grind on the flywheel, just spins. I really need to get to the bottom of this so I can get the car started. ::

I've run into conflicting opinions--one says I need to match the bellhousing with the flywheel, another says I just need the correct starter. If it is the starter, then what starter do I need cause the 5.0 starter with the 5.0 flywheel doesn't work in the 351 bellhousing and I checked a whole bunch of different starters at the local parts store and they all have 9 tooth gears.

I'm really stumped

Help me ::
 

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Typically.. 289s and 302s came with an aluminum bellhousing that had an associated flywheel/flexplate that had 157 or 160 teeth. 351Ws and 351Cs typically came with a larger flywheel/flexplate that had 164 teeth and consequently, had a larger bellhousing which was usually cast in iron. 5.0s come with a 157 tooth flywheel and the small bellhousing from the 289s/302s will match with this flywheel. However, if you use the larger 351W/351C bellhousing, it will not match to the 157 tooth 5.0 flywheel. To use your large bellhousing, you will need a 164 tooth flywheel; but then it would have to be rebalanced to 50 oz as they are generally balanced to the 28 oz spec. If you get a small bellhousing, you will need the correct (smaller) block plate too. The engine in the Fastback is based on a 5.0 block with a 157 tooth flywheel. The bellhousing is the small 289/302 type and the starter is a high-torque mini-starter from Ford Motor Sports. Back in the 70s, I did have a large (164 tooth) aluminum bellhousing welded up with new bolt bosses to move the starter inward to match the smaller flywheel. Thus, it could serve both small or large flywheels. I don't know if the cast iron bellhousing could have the same treatment.
 

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If you have a 5.0 engine from an 85 up.
and
you have a starter from a 5.0 engine 85 and up.
and
you have a flywheel from a 5.0 engine from 85 and up.
then
It should be working for you.

Are you sure the starter is engaging all the way. In other words, when the pinion throws to engage the flywheel are you sure it is engaging the teeth? The snub of the starter pinion may be hitting the flywheel prior the teeth ever getting there therefore causing the condition you have. /Maybe you need to shim the starter so it engages (if you had to this would surprise me).

The early bellhousing should work with the Toploader and that engine.

My next question is....are you sure your new flywheel is for a 5.0 and not a 302? Both had 157 tooth flywheels available and I am not sure if the mounting boss is the same (on the other hand I am not sure if it is not the same).

Did you count the teeth on the flywheel to make sure it is a 157 tooth unit?

Something is stinky.
 

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all of the above is either confusing or outright wrong. what you have is a 157 tooth flywheel 50oz. balance(I hope) what you need is a bellhousing from a 65-69 standard 289/302 for a 157 tooth(10" clutch) flywheel. the bellhousing you have is merely too damn far away from the starter ring gear(diameter-wise NOT depth-wise) part # should start with C5DA. the one you have likely is C5AA(for 11"clutch). all flywheels(289/302/351-W/C) have the same mounting flange and bolt patterns. they also have the same depth or distance from the block. and the block seperator plate MUST correspond to the bellhousing used. the "nose" doesn't really matter its the pitch of the teeth on the starter and the tooth count. and no small block ford starters ever had 3 mount bolts. only FE and 6cyl. engines(and maybe some 4cyl.)
 

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I think what the one guy posted about the difference in short terms is :
The diameter of the 302 flywheel does not match the diameter of the 351 fly wheel . So , you might have the through needed but the teeth are simply spinning beside the flywheel teeth and not touching at all . Have you tried measuring the diameter of the 351's starter bendex/ teeth to that of a 302 ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
sounds like berniefrank & fast 500 have it. I am definately dealing with a bellhousing prob. My '69 351 had an 11" clutch and moved the starter further away from the flywheel. I knew I had the depth & I couldn't find any starters that had more than 9 teeth, so it has to be a starter location prob & that can only be remedied with a 302 bellhousing.

In Search Of 289/302 bellhousing I go...
Thanks again!
 
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