Is there a difference between automatic and manual trans separator plates(between flywheel and engine). IS there a difference in thickness. :: I am having trouble with my setup. I have a 84 based 351w block with mid 80s bellhousing (the clutch is from an 84 f150, 351w, 11 in) I am using the origional 3 speed(for now). A old style manual trans starter doent fit and an automatic style needs shims to work. I installed an 84 f-150 starter today and when I went to crank, you hear grinding from the separator plate. Backing off the torque on the bolts stops the grinding, but then it doesn't always engage. I am using a verified automatic separator plate(78 351w). How can I tell the difference between an auto and manual plate? What do I need to do for the starter?