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Question for Total Performance kit owners


I have a quick question about using a stock starter on a small block Chevy in a Total Performance frame. The TP bucket I recently bought has one of the small chrome performance starters which is beginning to give me problems. I can find a brand name and the solenoid is different than anything I'm finding for replacement. Since this is an everyday driver and not a show car I just want to put to replace it with a stock off the shelf type starter. However after all the problems I had getting a stock alternator to fit without hitting the frame I thought it might be a good idea ask. Has anyone had any clearance problems using a stock Chevy starter in the Total Performance frame?
I have a TP car with the usual 350/350 combo and the stock starter as supplied fits fine, no issue there. Low mount alternator and the stock fuel pump connections are a little close.
Thanks for the input guys. I thought it worth asking before I spent the dollars for a different starter. It's a pain going places and not knowing if the starter is going to act up sooooo it will be nice to get that taken care of.
Are you sure that it is the starter that is at fault? I have found on several occasions that the ignition switch was at fault. These after market switches are all made off shore, read that China, and the starting contact does not seem to be up to carrying the needed current to engage the starter at times.

You can check this the next time that you can not engage the starter by leaving the key in the on position and jumping across the battery terminal to the start terminal on the starter. If the starter engages, then the ignition switch is the culprit not the starter.

EX JUNK is totally right about the switches... I now always use a HD starter button, even use #10 wire to and from the starter, in all reality, a ford solenoid works great, that way the wire to the button is small... Hope you find a cure for your none starting problem, as that sucks for sure.. :D
I met a guy once that was going through starter switches on his hog like no tomorrow. I finally figured out whoever rewired it didn't use a starter relay. Burn baby burn,,,,
Thanks for the suggestion guys. The starter seems to be getting plenty of power, but the solenoid sticks and won't engage the gears. The wiring harness is new so the wires are in good shape. I've pulled the starter off a couple of times and checked, cleaned and reassembled everything. When this happens I can extend the started gear my hand a couple of time and it will fire right off. There is no brand identity on the starter or solenoid and the solenoid is not one I can find in the auto parts catalogs . . . and since I live out in the country finding anything locally hasn't proven successful. The strange thing about the solenoid is that it takes a large push on lug instead of a screw on terminal for the ignition wire which seems like poor design to begin with. This T-Bucket is a blast to drive and has been a pleasure to work on for the most part . . . but the unknown elements like this are just some of the things you run into when buying instead of rebuilding. Not a bad thing if you get the car at a really good price . . . which I think I did.
Have you tried jumping from the battery terminal to the start terminal on the starter as I suggested?

ExJunk . . . the car starts fine most 97% of the time so doing the jumper hasn't been an option yet. But since it happens at the most unexpected times, but always after driving, the idea about adding a ford solenoid makes sense. One question . . . the diagram shows all of the rewiring going from the Ford solenoid to the Chevy solenoid which to my understanding would mean you have two solenoids on the vehicle. Will this work if the problem turns out to be in the Chevy solenoid?
I believe that it is highly unlikely that you have a problem with your Chevy solenoid. I'm not saying that it is impossible, but rather it is unlikely. I put a relay in my starter circuit in my T and in our Bonneville race car and cured all starting problems. I say, give it a try, it is inexpensive and good insurance that you won't have any future problems.

Yes, as I stated above, I have a relay in both my T and the race car. As for pictures of the race car, here are a couple with it in the Road Race trim. It competed in the Big Bend Open Road Race in southwest Texas this past April. We are now getting it ready for The World of Speed at Bonneville this September



In case you may be wondering about the paint scheme, the car owner was a career U S Army pilot, a combat chopper pilot in Nam and an Army test pilot. Hence, the chopper silhouette on the side. He also patrolled the Berlin border for sometime and that is where the "Red Catcher" comes from, referring to catching the Russians who violated the border.


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