Starter Bolts Came Loose '68 Ford Galaxie

Hello, my son installed the starter on his 1968 Ford Galaxie 302 V-8. Flash forward a few months: the bolts (there are 2 of them) came loose - luckily, no apparent damage (we turned off the motor immediately). So, now the question: should he 1. install the bolts with locktite, or 2. install the bolts with locktite & lock washers or 3. install just the bolts, but use a torque wrench & tighten to correct specs - Any opinions?

I would install new bolts with or without locktite and make sure they are properly torqued. Locktite won’t hurt anything but I think it’s overkill.

I’d just put some blue Loctite on the threads of the bolts and tighten them up. I had a 67 Ford V8 where the starter bolts would loosen up and had to be retightened every so often.

Boy! You can sure tell when those starter bolts lossen up can’t ya?


I flat don’t remember for sure on a Ford this old but many Fords use more than two bolts.
The third one (usually a stud and nut) attaches a support bracket to the end of the starter motor which then attaches to the engine block.

Failure to use this bracket can allow the starter motors to work loose even if the bolts are good and properly tightened.
If you’ve ever seen the TV show Pass Time, there have been at least 3 instances of Ford race cars shaking their starter motors loose and eliminating the contestant.
While they did not reveal WHY those starters were loose you can safely bet it was because that bracket was left off.

Look at the engine block around the end of the starter and see if there are any threaded holes in that area. If so, that’s where the bracket goes.

The upper starter bolt is in a difficult place to get a wrench on it and it certainly is prone to work loose. My best trick was to install a longer bolt and hold a nut at the bell housing and thread the bolt through to it, tightening it to jam the threads. Sometimes it requires 2 washers to hold the nut from burying into the bell housing as it tapers to the hole. And do you have a starter wrench for that top bolt?

Thanks, I’ll have my son look for another hole - don’t think there was a bracket, but you never know!

Yep, the upper bolt is a beeatch to get to - William (my son) used a box wrench to crank down on it - since the bolts never came loose the other two times he replaced the starter (rebuilt Kragen starters suck - now we know why they have a lifetime warranty!).

He put the bolts back on without locktite - but I told him “If they come off again, I’m buying you locktite and lock washers!” It’s actually an easy job: according to William, “The hardest part is climbing under the car!” (we don’t have a lift, so we use jackstands and the driveway as our “workshop”).

Holy cr#p! Yeah, the noise it makes, when those bolt come loose, sounds like the explosion of the Florida oil rig!!!

Thanks, everyone, for the comments - it took me awhile to get back - for some reason, CarTalk isn’t sending notifications to my email address - so I had to go back thru 200 or so letters, just to find mine! William is leaving for college in a couple of weeks - then, he’s on his own with the '68 Galaxie!