View Full Version : Broken starter bolt update.

11-26-2001, 12:37 AM
I asked in an earlier post about trying to get a starter with a "staggered" bolt pattern to use instead of the "side-by-side" bolt pattern that is used in the original starter, because one of the bolts was broken off in the block and the block was already drilled and tapped with an extra hole that would probabley work with a "staggered" bolt pattern.
After checking around, I couldn't find a "staggered" starter that would work. (I still believe that such a starter might exist). The staggered starters that I found had the center line of the drive gear farther away from the flywheel so they would not work. Anyway, that left me with trying to remove the broken bolt.
The broken bolt is the one closest to the crankshaft.
At first, I thought there was a broken off "easy-out" in there, but it proved to be a broken tap. I got advice to just try to break the tap apart with a hammer and cold chisel. It took me quite some time, but it finally fractured and came out in pieces. (I had to use a long thin chisel so it would clear the bellhousing. This left me with a broken bolt that the PO had drilled a hole through. And not a very large hole at that. I drilled the hole through the bolt larger and larger until I thought I was right at the edge of the threads in the engine block. Of course no hole is drilled exactly through the center of the bolt, so I had to stop drilling at that point. I had to weld extentions onto my drill bits in order to clear the bellhousing.
The starter uses a 3/8 inch X 16 bolt. I bought a good quality 3/8 inch cold chisel from Home Depot. I found a nut which would fit on the starter bolt. The cold chisel was just a little too big to fit through the nut. I used my 6 inch bench grinder to slowly grind down the blade of the chisel so it would just fit between the threads of the nut. I then had to carfully grind farther back on the chisel so the the first two inches would fit through the bolt, very precisely. This assured me that the chisel would only follow the original tapped hole straight, and not dig into the threads.
I did all this so that when I hammered the chisel into the block, the chisel would not hit any of the threads in the block, only the remaining bolt. I first had to weld another old chisel to the flat end of the new chisel so that it would clear the bellhousing.
This chisel worked like a charm. After chiseling all the way through the remaining bolt, I turned the chisel 90 degrees and did it again. The remaining pieces of the bolt could then easily be "picked" out using a dental tool. It didn't damage any of the threads in the block that I could see, and when I put in a new grade 8 bolt, I could tighten it fully with no fear of stripping out the threads in block.
I have posted this because I was really bummed and couldn't figure out a way to get the broken bolt out while the engine was still in the van.
At least this method worked for me. Maybe it could come in handy for you in the future.

11-26-2001, 09:18 AM
Great job man;
I will add this to the Vanual.

11-29-2001, 07:39 PM
Hey Ross, you are the man!! Don't think
anyone will ever question your determination
-OR- ingenuity !
Great idea,

11-29-2001, 09:43 PM
You could've used a staggered starter, but you would've had to pull the tranny and install the bigger flywheel to go with it.
That must've been brutal, layin' on your back and doin' all that work! --- TV

12-04-2001, 07:38 PM
Yeah, well not only that, but I did it in my stone driveway! Lucky for me the weather held off. Hey, you do what you gotta do. I know what you mean about the flywheel swap, but as soon as I started figuring what I would have to do, well it would have ended up with a blown big block and me in jail. Well, that wouldn't have happened be cause we all know that I never would have gotten the van back on the road this decade. Yeah, I have learned my lesson from years past.

Ross in Boulder County Colorado.

12-05-2001, 07:51 PM
Kinda like when I took my 68 down to bare metal after finally getting it running after 10 yrs.....4 yrs now and still no paint!

12-05-2001, 08:16 PM
Now I don't feel so bad about it taking me
3 years to start on mine...

12-05-2001, 09:36 PM
Well, it's not like we're rich and retired, with plenty of time to burn, and no other life besides working on the van.
But I do have a suggestion.
When I was putting together the turbo system, I had one cardinal rule that I never strayed from: Be sure to do something, ANYTHING, every day without fail, no matter how little, and your project will eventually get done (and sooner than you think). --- TV

12-06-2001, 03:49 PM
That is excellent advice TV. It is amazing how much you can get done over the long haul with that attitude. Even if you only have time to put away a few tools, it keeps the project moving forward. Another thing that I like to do, when I can, is to never stop at a difficut spot. It makes it much harder to go back to. I worked my tail off getting that broken bolt taken care of, however, if I had stopped before I was finished, or at least seen the end in sight, I don't know when I would have gone back to it. It's always harder to go back to a difficult job than an easy job.



12-06-2001, 08:32 PM
Back when I was building my drag car(2 years
from scratch) I used to carry around a little
pocket notebook all the time. In it I wrote
down every little thing I needed for the car,
parts, stuff I needed to buy,find,make,beg/
borrow/steal or whatever. That way wherever
I was, I would always know what I needed, and
when I was in the shop feeling overwhelmed, I
could pick something off my list and do it.
After I started doing that, it started going
a little quicker.

12-06-2001, 11:57 PM
two great pieses of advice,do something everyday,and keep that list updated.ive done the list thing for years juggling various projects,ive kicked myself so many times coming home from the junkyard and realising something token but important was forgotten.
(things are alway cheaper by bulk at junkyards,not to mention time if your workin late)im like a kid at a toy store when it comes to junkyards,gotta check out everything and get easaly distracted from what im looking for in the first place.
doing something everyday is so important,not always easy to do though.i gutted out a dodge caravan this week.been toying with the idea of redoing the inside of the van with some of the stuff.im shure most of it will be thrown away latter,but alot of the stuff is at least giving me some fresh ideas and disposable templates to practice on.but the point is i have found at least a few hours in the day to mess with it,and hopefully ill have it all set up by new years.little by little
i did notice for the first time that the drivers side seat has more room than the passenger side at the doghouse