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Starter Drive, lever type starter/153 tooth flywheel

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  • #16
    Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
    Ok, but I thought we were talking about a Squarebird retrofit. If the 1961 starter fits a 430 Squarebird, why don't the books say so? I would LOVE for this information to be true for the SB but test the waters before jumping in. - Dave
    Lincoln began using a 164 tooth flexplate and the later style starter in 1961 according to what I can find. Since all Squarebirds both 352 and 430 have the 153 tooth flexplate it certainly won't work without using TP's gear retrofit.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #17
      Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
      It is a small world! Who wudda thunk that Dave would be good friends with John!...
      Ray, don't be surprised. I'm in Detroit, spent my entire career at Ford Motor Co., and frequently rubbed elbows with many great restorers and hot rodders of all brands but mostly Ford guys. John Vermeersch and Ford are long-time business associates. This is convenient for both Ford, and John because when concepts lead to prototypes, the 'fit' is perfect. John has been in business for many decades, actively racing his cars at local and international dragways. He is also widely respected in Canada. Some of our Galaxie members live in Canada and come to John's monthly meetings. John's daughter runs the Total Performance website.

      Originally posted by jopizz View Post
      Lincoln began using a 164 tooth flexplate and the later style starter in 1961 according to what I can find. Since all Squarebirds both 352 and 430 have the 153 tooth flexplate it certainly won't work without using TP's gear retrofit.

      John
      John, I think the 'fit' issue revolves around the exhaust manifolds used. Where the new starters may fit a Lincoln, in the same years they will not fit a Squarebird. For instance, in 1960 neither Lincoln Continental's nor Squarebird starters were interchangeable (for the same 430 engine). It's all in the castings that fit the body. That's why we have such a hard time finding headers for a SB.

      So to the point, yes in 1961 Lincoln used 164-tooth flex plates and starters are readily available. The problem we are addressing is whether a 430 MEL Squarebird flex plate can use Vermeersch's Bendix gear. I seriously doubt the new style starter will fit a SB regardless of Bendix gear. The newer starters are listed for a 1958 Continental but not a SB. - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

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      • #18
        Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
        So to the point, yes in 1961 Lincoln used 164-tooth flex plates and starters are readily available. The problem we are addressing is whether a 430 MEL Squarebird flex plate can use Vermeersch's Bendix gear. I seriously doubt the new style starter will fit a SB regardless of Bendix gear. The newer starters are listed for a 1958 Continental but not a SB. - Dave
        I know the later style starter will fit a Squarebird with a 352. I've seen one that had the later flexplate and starter installed. Whether it will fit a 430 is another matter. I'll check the VTCI forum. Maybe someone over there has done it.

        John
        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

        Thunderbird Registry #36223
        jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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        • #19
          I spoke with John Vermeersch just now. He says his gear has actually been out for SIX YEARS! The magazine picked it up as a story but it all started out with disaster in Colorado, when John was stranded and couldn't get a starter motor to get him back to Detroit.

          Anyway, John doesn't think this short-nosed starter (and gear) will work on a Squarebird 430. He has not had an occasion to actually try it but that was his opinion.

          His gear is made from two different pieces (not available in stores) in Wisconsin. The price is $25. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          Comment


          • #20
            But it has been used successfully on the 352?
            Nyles

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            • #21
              Yes Nyles, very successful on all FE engines.
              My latest project:
              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
              --Lee Iacocca

              Comment


              • #22
                Just to follow up, John returned my call yesterday and I ordered up the part. Thanks for the tip!
                Regards,
                Don Vincent
                Amherst NY
                1960 HT 352
                TBird Registry 34042

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                • #23
                  Me too nice guy to deal with

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                  • #24
                    If you guys can let us know how the mod works out we'd appreciate it. There's a difference between "should" work and "does" work.

                    John
                    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                    Thunderbird Registry #36223
                    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hi All,

                      I just tried the starter mod this past weekend. This is the mod referenced in the Hot Rod Network article mentioned at the start of this thread.

                      For reference I have a 59 Bird with the 352.

                      This mod saved me a lot of time and hassle and is totally worth it.

                      Here are a few things I can second or third or fourth....
                      1.) John Vermeersch is as honset as they come. I like the fact that I had to call and leave a message and then talk to him a bit before placing the order. It's always a pleasure to talk to a car nut when buying a part rather than just clicking buttons.
                      2.) I went to my local auto parts store to pick up the compact lever style starter. I just said I need a starter for a 65 Bird. Not all of the local stores had it, but one was enough for me.
                      3.) The new starter + mod from Total Performance cost less than getting a Bendix style starter.
                      4.) I didn't need to remove anything else from the car to replace the original starter with the new setup. I did need to disassemble the original starter in place in order to get enough clearance to get it out. After realizing that I couldn't get the original out, I removed the two bolts from the back of the starter and slid it apart. This gave me enough room to get the long drive assembly out. But, oh man, putting that old starter back together was a PITA. I called it a few names and then a few more. The new starter was tough to get in there, but I managed.
                      5.) I kept my fingers crossed as I lit it up the first time. Worked great! Drank a couple beers to celebrate.
                      6.) I am leaving out most of the background story of getting into the mess that had me looking for miracle solutions. Finding this thread at the just the right time was a miracle.

                      Thank you all!
                      Last edited by kmack822; July 3rd, 2018, 09:02 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Thanks so much for letting us know that the conversion was a success. We have numerous members who have been looking for a cheaper and easier alternative to the Bendix starter for many years. If one of our members who has a 430 has success with it that will be even better.

                        John
                        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                        Thunderbird Registry #36223
                        jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I looked in the TRL and also through this thread, but didn't see contact info for John Vermeersch. Could you please post it?
                          Nyles

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                          • #28
                            Starter Drive, lever type starter/153 tooth flywheel

                            Contact information for John Vermeersch of Total Performance Parts, is found in the Advertisements Forum. I put it there about this time last year... Look in the T's, and I just made it a bit easier to find by adding his name after the Company name...

                            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                            "It's Hip To Be Square"
                            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by kmack822 View Post
                              ...
                              1.) John Vermeersch is as honset as they come. I like the fact that I had to call and leave a message and then talk to him a bit before placing the order. It's always a pleasure to talk to a car nut when buying a part rather than just clicking buttons...
                              John is a good friend of mine on a few levels. He has a deep love for Ford engines and has worked with Ford Racing teems, to prove performance ideas and products. Being a true 'Ford guy', John loves to discuss details regarding FE engine problems. That's kinda how he came up with his Bendix gear seven years ago.

                              John also runs our local Galaxie club. His wife and daughter both work with John in the club.

                              We have many Ford 'restorer' guys around Detroit, in common. I regard John as one of the premiere FE guys. He has wrenched on them for many decades, himself. Now, he has a staff of guys at Total Performance.

                              I also regard many of my other Ford friends as gurus for Flathead, Y-Block, SBF and BBF engines, here. (Then there's the Chevy, Pontiac and Olds friends...) John Vermeersch can do all the above but his forte is FE engines. John is active in the FE Power Forums and other Ford forums. We have many friends in common. - Dave
                              My latest project:
                              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                              --Lee Iacocca

                              Comment

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