by Jon Mikelonis
Have you ever read any of those famous CarTech books like
"How to Build Max Performance Ford V8's on a Budget",
"How to Build Big Inch Ford Small Blocks", or "How
to Build Horsepower"? If you are like any other do-it-yourself
Ford enthusiast then you probably have. All three titles are
aimed at the power hungry hobbyist in search of more horsepower
and torque. Between the covers, the reader finds information
on optimium component interchanges, proper cam selection,
proven engine combinations, dyno tests, and more. On the other
hand, these informative resources share similarities that
are a bit more discrete. Reading from beginning to end, you'll
encounter subtle tokens of
wisdom the seasoned technical authors have worked into the
copy.. Careful not to discourage you from purchasing the book
or straying too far from the title's original purpose, some
of the most valuable information is found in less prominent
areas, like the last chapter for instance. Shortly after learning
performance engine building tips, the reader is offered critical
but lackluster suggestions emphasizing the importance of braking
systems, cooling systems, and the quality of auxiliary equipment.
The kind of wisdom the budget conscious wrench tends to read
reluctantly, if at all.
On the last page of the last section of "How to Build
Max Performance Ford V8's on a Budget", author George
Reid provides advice on including a quality starter and alternator
in your performance engine build. Advice FordMuscle disregarded
when we built our Streetwise
460 for Project Torino. Yes, we figured we could "get
by" with a chain store rebuilt starter and a 70's era
60-amp Motorcraft alternator. While the factory alternator
was satisfactoy, when used in conjunction with a weak starter
we faced some problems.
In this article we'll show you how we honored the prophecies
of experienced builders and installed both a high torque starter
and 3G alternator in our early Ford. OK, let's get real. Perhaps
it wasn't so much about honoring those who travelled before
us as it was about preventing more public humiliation. You
see, it was rather embarrasing to find ourselves stranded
at a Summit Racing Equipment Show N' Shine this past July.
Stranded because we used a chain store non-PMGR starter which
was powered by a battery that was backed up by a weak alternator.
FordMuscle has installed high torque starters and high amperage
3G alternators on late model Fords in the past. Finally, because
of this article, we'll no longer have to apologize for neglecting
the early Ford set. When we discussed our Torino starting
problems with PA Performance, a FM sponsor, they helped us
out by providing their Mini-Starter and 95 amp 3G Alternator
Upgrade kit. In following pages we'll demonstrate the install
of both of these performance auxiliary components on our 70's
intermediate. Keep in mind that the procedure is much the
same for nearly all early Fords with externally regulated
Performance PMGR Mini-Starter
The unit shown here is the PA Performance PMGR (Permanent
Magnet Gear-Reduction) Mini-Starter. Our subject car was equipped
with a stock Postive Engagement starter. For background on
the operational differences between the Postive Engagement
and PMGR starters, see the article Gentlemen
Start Your Engines. View the following video clips for
a functional comparison. In addition to offering the twist
needed for our 460, the PA Performance Mini-Starter sounds
killer during the spin cycle.
failing stock "rebuilt" starter seemed to have an
axe to grind with us. Better yet, the starter had an axe to
grind with our flexplate.
only does the higher torque of the PA Performance Mini-Starter
offer the twist needed for our 460, but it sounds killer during
the spin cycle.
Installing the Mini-Starter is very straight forward. Follow
along here for a step-by-step demonstration showing every
bolt we turned and precaution we took.