Top Mount Starter
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Top Mount Starter

  1. #1
    AAARRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!! Motomatt68's Avatar
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    Default Top Mount Starter

    First I appologize for this question being low tech but I dont know where else to ask.

    I am about done with rebuilding my engine/boat and was about to do the electrical system and wanted to know about top mount starters. My bell housing has a mount for one but all I have ever used were the standard automotive style. My reasons for wanting one would be better access and it seems that it would raise all of the wires in my boat above the bilge. They seem more expensive but...its a boat. My motor is a 509 bbc with a flywheel and an American Turbine Jet. with the bottom mounts I know that there are two mounting positions and that covers everything. Is getting a top mount worth it. What do I need and what do you guys run?

    Thanks, Matt.

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    Senior Member nosfomoco's Avatar
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    Just from personal experience I will never run a top mount again. Had the Factory GM rebuilt twice in 3 years. If ANY water got in the bilge, the flexplate would sling it up and land in the starter and cause it to rust and Corrode(no way to drain out). I even tried a aftermarket one that would drop the gear off at random. Finally i ponied up for a new Late model style Mallory Marine starter( bottom mount), was probabley the best investment I ever made on that boat. Never let me down and I never had to worry about it. But hey thats just me, maybe others have had better luck.
    1978 Eliminator Sport Cruiser 20.5ft BBF 460!

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    AAARRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!! Motomatt68's Avatar
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    That is mostly what I found when I searched but people don't generally start threads saying "I really like my starter". Thanks for the reply. One of the reasons I wanted to use one was to keep it from rusting.

    Matt

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    Senior Member jimclauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motomatt68 View Post
    First I appologize for this question being low tech but I dont know where else to ask.

    I am about done with rebuilding my engine/boat and was about to do the electrical system and wanted to know about top mount starters. My bell housing has a mount for one but all I have ever used were the standard automotive style. My reasons for wanting one would be better access and it seems that it would raise all of the wires in my boat above the bilge. They seem more expensive but...its a boat. My motor is a 509 bbc with a flywheel and an American Turbine Jet. with the bottom mounts I know that there are two mounting positions and that covers everything. Is getting a top mount worth it. What do I need and what do you guys run?

    Thanks, Matt.
    I use them, a reverse rotation for for a start. one position is for 153 teeth and the other is for a 168 tooth ring gear,( i think) the small ones are nice
    Last edited by jimclauss; 02-07-2012 at 07:05 AM.

  6. #5
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    Default top mount

    I use one because that's all that will fit in a Daytona. I struggled with the normal starter on the bottom, having to use a mini and machining the ears off.... Much happier with the top mount.

    Jerry

  7. #6
    Senior Member carreradude's Avatar
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    Default Top mount starter

    I bought my boat in Oct 2006. Had a top mount starter on it and still has the SAME one on it today.
    Never had a lick of problems with it. (knock on fiberglass!)

  8. #7
    Grow it,Burn it,GO FAST ! DONZI's Avatar
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    Isn't the flywheel more offset for a top mount starter also ??
    Northeast Member

  9. #8
    Senior Member jimclauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DONZI View Post
    Isn't the flywheel more offset for a top mount starter also ??
    ring gear is on the opp. side of the flywheel, I have one on each motor in my cat and never had a problem either..
    Last edited by jimclauss; 02-07-2012 at 05:41 PM.

  10. #9
    AAARRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!! Motomatt68's Avatar
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    So do I need to have a different flywheel or is there a starter that will work with a standard flywheel?

    Matt.

  11. #10
    Senior Member nosfomoco's Avatar
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    Dont think there is a different flex plate ring gear, the top mount starter is reverse rotation. thats the only really weird thing. I ran both top and bottom with same flex plate.
    1978 Eliminator Sport Cruiser 20.5ft BBF 460!

  12. #11
    Senior Member tigertooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motomatt68 View Post
    So do I need to have a different flywheel or is there a starter that will work with a standard flywheel?

    Matt.
    Ring gear is the same. starter drive is cut on backwards bevel and starterturns opposite direction. get a late model GM gear reduction starter manufactured for marine use. put it in the standard low position and dont look back. Need help send me a pm.

  13. #12
    Platinum Member BigSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motomatt68 View Post
    So do I need to have a different flywheel or is there a starter that will work with a standard flywheel?

    Matt.
    you may need to flip the ring gear over they have a bevel on one side of the gear to engage better the starter gear

    I like top mounts easier to service, but would recommend pulling,cleaning and a little grease on the bendix drive.
    If you ain't the lead dog the view is always the same !

  14. #13
    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    Have ran top mounts for many years without issue. Use the thicker SFI flywheel, it reduces deflection upon bendix engagement. I bought my first set-up used from a guy that could never get it to work, got three starters out of the deal. The starter I currently use is the size of a beer can, propper set-up, and shimming goes a long way.
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
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  15. #14
    Senior Member jimclauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motomatt68 View Post
    So do I need to have a different flywheel or is there a starter that will work with a standard flywheel?

    Matt.
    Most Marine flywheels have a step on both sides you have to remove the ring gear and put it on the outside of the flywheel, or if you run a flex plate which I don't recomend it has to have a spacer behind it or the starter has to be moved in aprox, 3/8 of a inch, and shimed properly
    I personly use alu. flywheels.
    Last edited by jimclauss; 02-08-2012 at 08:05 PM.

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