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Discussion Starter #1
Im going to put a mini starter on my 250/C4.

RockAuto lists the same starter for a 93 5.0 and a 04 3.8. No difference in manual or automatic.

My research suggests that there is a difference between a manual and automatic. IDK aboutany difference between a 157 or 164 tooth flex plate or flywheel.

Other people post that they grab one at the pull-a-part off any 90+ Ford 5.0 or 3.8 and it works fine.

Im most likely to find one on a New Edge 3.8 Mustang at my pull-a-part. Any guess as to compatibility?
 

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Just buy a starter from this company.
 

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It seems somewhere in the mid 80's or early 90's Ford seems to have standardize starters. From that point on they're using the 157 tooth style for both the 157 and 164 tooth flywheel. I went to the local junkyard and asked for a 97 Mustang 3.8 V6 5 speed since these days you have to give a specific application. It works great in my 66 Mustang. When I bought the GT40P for my 66, it came with the trans and starter. At the time I didn't even try to see if the starter would work. But it will. It looks like it won't fit at all due to a support wing that overlaps the block plate more.
 

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I've run the oem mini starter on an aod and my t5, and I let a buddy borrow it to try to start his '69 c4 302 car.
 

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Just bought one yesterday specifically for my 66 200/ 3 speed on amazon from BBB for 55$ I’ve gotten starters from them before a very reputable company.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can get one from Rockauto with a lifetime warranty and no core charge for $60. At the Pull-A-Part they are $30 + another $8 for a matching solenoid.
 

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I’d go with rock auto then because you know it’s new, you know it has the lifetime warranty and for the extra $22+tax I’d say it’s worth the piece of mind that you’re getting a brand new starter that if anything happens will be replaced for free.
 

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Im going to put a mini starter on my 250/C4.

RockAuto lists the same starter for a 93 5.0 and a 04 3.8. No difference in manual or automatic.

My research suggests that there is a difference between a manual and automatic. IDK aboutany difference between a 157 or 164 tooth flex plate or flywheel.

Other people post that they grab one at the pull-a-part off any 90+ Ford 5.0 or 3.8 and it works fine.

Im most likely to find one on a New Edge 3.8 Mustang at my pull-a-part. Any guess as to compatibility?
No difference between type of transmission..... ever. It's solely whether it's a 157-160 or 164-tooth ring gear. Where it became confusing was when they started cataloging parts by vehicle application that Ford primarily used the 157-tooth starter on Automatics and 164-tooth on Manuals and it became the de-facto "lookup" from then onward... and has been confusing ever since. After all, how many people go to buy a starter and know how many teeth are on the ring gear? Well, most of us do, now, but back then?
 

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No difference between type of transmission..... ever. It's solely whether it's a 157-160 or 164-tooth ring gear. Where it became confusing was when they started cataloging parts by vehicle application that Ford primarily used the 157-tooth starter on Automatics and 164-tooth on Manuals and it became the de-facto "lookup" from then onward... and has been confusing ever since. After all, how many people go to buy a starter and know how many teeth are on the ring gear? Well, most of us do, now, but back then?
Much of it stems from the failure of major parts corporations to correct their listings. Below is a snippet from the latest NAPA starter catalog. It lists the 68-73 302 starters correctly as Ford switched to the 164th flywheel with the introduction of the 302 in the Mustang. However, it also shows the 65-68 289 using the same starter applications, which we know is incorrect. The 289 only ever used the 157th flywheel in the Mustang so it would take the long nose "automatic" starter. The 164th flywheel was used during that time in other applications such as the Galaxie, Fairlane and Falcon.


745814
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I dont know enough about this to figure it out on my own.

This is my guess: Correct me if I am wrong.

The 157 tooth flexplate is 13.3" diameter. The 164 tooth flexplate is 14.23" diameter.

Tooth size on both flexplates is nearly the same, so the same starter will spin either of them.

The 157 and 164 have different bells that position the starter in the proper location. A 157 flexplate will not work in a 164 tooth bell and vice-versa.

If header and/or exhaust fitment is tight, the 157 bell is your best bet.

When doing a mix and match like Im doing, its either buy a bunch of parts and hope they work or pick the net for those who have already been down this road.
 

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I bought mine from Autozone for $55 with a lifetime warranty in 2010. Replaced it twice already free replacements. The first two lasted about a year each. Three times replacement must be a charm. This last one has lasted almost 7 years.
 

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This is my guess: Correct me if I am wrong.

Tooth size on both flexplates is nearly the same, so the same starter will spin either of them.
Okay, I'll correct you. The same starter will NOT spin either ring gear. Not only is the nose of the starter physically different between applications, when the 157-tooth ring gear is used it is offset toward the rear of the flywheel/flexplate while the 164-tooth ring gear is offset toward the front. Nor can you put a 157-tooth flexplate/flywheel inside a 164-tooth bellhousing and get a starter to do much of anything except spin freely.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Woodchuck, why do the parts websites list the same starter for both 157 and 164 tooth applications? Also bells have different depths, so are shims required to make up the difference?
 

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I updated my 1966 289 with C4 to an AOD and swapped the flexplate to the 28 oz 164 tooth. The original starter works fine. Is this thread saying it shouldn't work? Is it doing damage to the flexplate teeth? Sounds normal when starting. I would have said the only thing that matters is the length of the starter into the bell, not the number of teeth.
 

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Woodchuck, why do the parts websites list the same starter for both 157 and 164 tooth applications? Also bells have different depths, so are shims required to make up the difference?
All small block Ford automatic applications (and the 250-6 you are working on) use the same starter, the deep nose with a 3/4" offset.

157th SBF manual transmission applications also use the same starter as the automatic.

164th SBF manual transmission applications use the shallow nose 3/8" offset "manual" trans starter.

To answer your question directly, as to which gear reduction starter (or PMGR) will work, use one from a 94 5.0L Mustang, they only used the 157th flywheel/flexplate.

 

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Im going to put a mini starter on my 250/C4.

RockAuto lists the same starter for a 93 5.0 and a 04 3.8. No difference in manual or automatic.

My research suggests that there is a difference between a manual and automatic. IDK aboutany difference between a 157 or 164 tooth flex plate or flywheel.

Other people post that they grab one at the pull-a-part off any 90+ Ford 5.0 or 3.8 and it works fine.

Im most likely to find one on a New Edge 3.8 Mustang at my pull-a-part. Any guess as to compatibility?
Ford seems to have seen the light in the 90's and settled on one starter, the early 157 tooth. I'm using a $35 junkyard 97 Mustang 3.8 is what I asked for. I also have the starter from the GT40P that's on my car. It looks a little different as the face of it where it sits is a little bigger it has this offset flange for lack of a better description and looks totally wrong. But it fits and works.

I avoided the aftermarket replacements. I had one before and it didn't last long. OEM is going to be high quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
To further complicate this issue IDK what bell I have.

Two guys on Ford Six cant agree if its a 157 or 164 tooth bell. I have found two sources online that also disagree on which bell it is.

The flexplate I removed from the engine is a 157. I didnt get a bell.

The bell is RF D7DP 7976 AA
 

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D7DP-AA was used in 77 Granada w/302, 78-up Granada w/250&302, plus 78-up Torino/T-bird 302

All of those applications call for a 164th flexplate. The 164th flexplate for the 250-6 is C5TZ-6375-T


157th ring gear diameter is essentially 13 1/4", while the 164th is 14 1/4". From experience, the 164th ring gear will not fit inside a 157th bell.
 
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