Is there such thing as upgrading your starter and should i do it?

AyWoSch Motors

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It's an odd question, but I'm wondering if it would be an upgrade to change my starter.
I recently tore my truck apart, and am lining up parts to put it back together.
My old starter is original to the truck, 1986, and it works great for what it is, but I have 2 1997 starters that I've recently pulled out of different projects and are just laying around.
I was wondering, would it be smart to upgrade it simply from an age stand point, and also if it be a better starter?
Being off a 97 vortec, would it be stronger, handle more compression, use less amps/voltage, would it spin faster?
Or would it be exactly the same?
I have no clue.
Neither would cost anything, both work, both are sitting on a shelf in my shop.

Which would you choose?
 

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If I have a '95-up starter laying around, I'll always put it on something.
 

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Just be careful it hasn't been dropped or whacked hard, the ceramic magnets in the newer high torque starters can't take it.
Back in the day when a big old starter froze up, we slid under the truck and knocked hell out of it to get it moving. It worked more times than not. Do the same with one of the new little guys and you'll turn it into a core.
 

ali_c20

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I run a gear driven starter, cranks fast and engine starts up really quick. Plus I can buy it local in Austria which saves me a lot of taxes and shipping.
 

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I had to replace mine and I used one from a newer vehicle that was gear reduced and man it spins like crazy. ANd weighs less than half so install is much easier!
 

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Do it.
We put the 1997 starter on the 454 in the truck and it starts it right up.
Max also installed one on his buddies '76 Nova with the 250 and it spins right up.
They are a simple upgrade and you will never look back.
 

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@AyWoSch Motors,

When did GM go to the mini starter, yeah, gear reduction drive starters? '90's, like late '90's? That was one of the first things I had to do was get rid of my O.E. starter because the header tube on that side was ribbing up against the starter housing and frying the starter, even after I put a heat shield on the old starter on that side under the header tube. I chunked that big 'ol factory one after it fried the last time and warped the housing, and got a TCI mini starter. It worked great and I've been using them ever since. They are light and only take a couple of minutes to put in, even in the pouring rain and 2 inches of water under the truck. (Does that sound like a "been there, done that?)
 

AuroraGirl

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PG-260 is a fascinating starter motor, yes. The 10MT is not a bad thing but its definitely a big part of it is just the shear weight. You an ship and hold a lot more in a place than the bigger ones and you can have pencil thick arm ASE teens replace them even . Lol.
 

80BrownK10

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It's an odd question, but I'm wondering if it would be an upgrade to change my starter.
I recently tore my truck apart, and am lining up parts to put it back together.
My old starter is original to the truck, 1986, and it works great for what it is, but I have 2 1997 starters that I've recently pulled out of different projects and are just laying around.
I was wondering, would it be smart to upgrade it simply from an age stand point, and also if it be a better starter?
Being off a 97 vortec, would it be stronger, handle more compression, use less amps/voltage, would it spin faster?
Or would it be exactly the same?
I have no clue.
Neither would cost anything, both work, both are sitting on a shelf in my shop.

Which would you choose?
If it starts fine with a strong good battery I wouldn't worry about it. Chevy kind of had the starter down on these things.
 

AuroraGirl

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the pg260 is going to be the same across a lot of gm vehicles but it would have different solenoids and stuff for different vehicles flywheels etc. if those 97 vortercts have a same flywheel and your engine isnt a factory 400, I dont see whhy they cant work on bolt up, but if it requires any modifications, a new starter is just as expensive and they are made new. but yours works currently, maybe if they are the same, have the 97 repaired or rebuilt and put it on the shelf with a bright colored tag that says NEW STARTER and then when it dies (current) put it on and have the proper hardware ahead of time. You usually can cheat your starter failing once or twice and its cast iron so you just arent as worried about breaking it with the hammer in walmart Park lot
 

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Sorry I goita hijack this for a second, when did the starters get smaller, and what tooth flywheel do they work on. I have to pull 1 header and the starter at the same time, its a PITA, and next time I'll buy 1 for a whatever year truck, for the clearance.
 

SirRobyn0

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I will go down a different path than everyone else, has and give some different thoughts. If it matters to you, you'll loose the classic Chevrolet starter sound, it'll sound like the newer ones when cranking.

If you take a look at say Chrysler, their starters were ridiculously slow in the 60's and 70's and while they did get them to turn a little faster in 70's it still wasn't fast enough and their rigs often suffered from excessively long crank times because of it. A little hot percolation, meant holding it to the floor and cranking and cranking. Slow crank times made it much harder for the fuel pumps to draw up gas so if there wasn't any in the float bowl from the last time it was run, that meant cranking, pumping, cranking, pumping, cranking, and probably still more in hopes of getting some gas into the intake manifold to fire. Because of these extended crank times, those starters often lived shorter lives than they should have. Look I like Chryslers to, but my point is for those rigs, upgrading to the mini-starters from the magnum era meant very noticeable improvements in starting, cranking time, and longevity. On a GM not so much. To me it doesn't seem like it makes much of a difference. On the other hand if your starter has already failed or is going out then why not. The gear reduction starter draws less amperage as well.

My vote would be no, it is not worth the time, money (if you had to buy one which you don't) or effort on a GM product unless you need to replace the starter anyway in which case then my vote would why not since you have them on hand already.
 

AyWoSch Motors

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I will go down a different path than everyone else, has and give some different thoughts. If it matters to you, you'll loose the classic Chevrolet starter sound, it'll sound like the newer ones when cranking.

If you take a look at say Chrysler, their starters were ridiculously slow in the 60's and 70's and while they did get them to turn a little faster in 70's it still wasn't fast enough and their rigs often suffered from excessively long crank times because of it. A little hot percolation, meant holding it to the floor and cranking and cranking. Slow crank times made it much harder for the fuel pumps to draw up gas so if there wasn't any in the float bowl from the last time it was run, that meant cranking, pumping, cranking, pumping, cranking, and probably still more in hopes of getting some gas into the intake manifold to fire. Because of these extended crank times, those starters often lived shorter lives than they should have. Look I like Chryslers to, but my point is for those rigs, upgrading to the mini-starters from the magnum era meant very noticeable improvements in starting, cranking time, and longevity. On a GM not so much. To me it doesn't seem like it makes much of a difference. On the other hand if your starter has already failed or is going out then why not. The gear reduction starter draws less amperage as well.

My vote would be no, it is not worth the time, money (if you had to buy one which you don't) or effort on a GM product unless you need to replace the starter anyway in which case then my vote would why not since you have them on hand already.
I've thought about it since I posted this thread. I totally agree. I've thought the same thing, I love the way a classic old stater sounds.
Was in the Walmart parking lot the other day, and heard a truck start up. I could tell by the sound that it was a squarebody. Very unique. Also, I sold one of my 2 97 starters to a buddy. and the other I think I'm going to use on my suburban, because its 1992 starter is on it's way out.
This past few months I've grown the opinion of "don't fix what isn't broken".
Have too many things to do to be worring about things like that.
The old one worked great, never had an issue, so why change it. And if I ever upgrade, I'll spend a little extra and buy something brand new, maybe even a gear reduction. But I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.
 

idahovette

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My 22 year old Grandaughter, who is NOT a bit mechanically inclined, impressed her Dad when she told him that the rig that they just heard start was a Duramax. It was a couple of cars over and they couldn't see it. Then she proceeded to call off 2 powerjokes and another Duramax. Needless to say Tony was astounded. Kaitlyn has a good ear for starters evidently. Meanwhile I had to put a mini starter on Kooper's s10 cause there was no room!
 

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