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I just purchased this mustang 289/c4 and I think it turns over a little hard. I noticed that the plate between the engine and transmission is not there. Could this be causing the starter to engage to deep? Is there a problem if this plate is not installed? Thanks for the help TCT
 

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The plate helps align the starter to the bellhousing. Yes it could cause the engine to crank over slow. Try 2 flat washers between the transmission and starter to space the starter away from the flexplate slightly.
 

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Check the timing..if it's to advanced it will cause a very slow cranking condidtion
 
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