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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Brief description of the issue:

1. 65 Mustang that I drive weekly made a grinding noise when I tried to start it first time (for the week).
2. Second attempt to start it was successful and there was no grinding noise. Drove it to the store and turned it off. Nothing abnormal during driving.
3. Started it up to come home with no issue or grinding.
4. Park it in the garage and shut it off. Attempt to start it again and this time the starter spins but the motor doesn't.
5. Ordered new PA Performance PMGR starter and installed it according to instructions with extra wire and moving original wire to the positive side of the solenoid. New starter does the exact same thing - spins but doesn't engage.
6. Ordered new starter solenoid (fender wall) and installed it. Same exact results.

I've tested voltage on my battery and it is 12.5 Volts at rest. No changes to the vehicle recently. The starter and solenoid I replaced had been working for 10 years with no issues.

EDIT: checked flywheel teeth and they looked decent. Have rotated engine with a wrench in case teeth were bad in one area.

Any ideas?

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Appears that starter bendix gear is not engaging with flywheel gear. If you have replaced starter and still not engaging then pull starter and look at flywheel ring gear and see how it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry just edited my post to add that I inspected the teeth and also rotated flywheel manually in case one area was bad.

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I also had this problem in my manual shift 66. Very annoying and thought I would eventually ruin the ring gear on my flywheel if I didn’t fix it.

Went through a couple of starters listed for manual but problem continued. Finally I went to auto zone and asked for the starter listed for the automatic. Installed it and never had this problem again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I ordered the PA Performance 1881, but I think you are right. It isn't the correct depth.


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Discussion Starter #7
So it looks like the only other starter that PA Performance sells for older mustangs is the 1806.

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I looked at the 2 starters listed on the PA Perf site and these appear to be custom and I could not find any details regarding dimensions or starter drive action distance on the site.

In my case, I used the stock style rebuilt starters that auto zone showed at the time. I was only looking to solve the flywheel engagement/ grinding problem I was having.

In comparing the manual to the automatic starter on the counter at the store, it seemed that the nose on the automatic starter extended just slightly more than the manual. This is what made me try the one listed for A/T’s. Since you’re going the aftermarket performance route I can’t say definitively that either of the starters listed on their site are going to solve your issue. The other starter may be the answer I just can’t say for sure.

Might be worth a call to them to see if they can provide details that will confirm one way or the other. Sorry I’m not more helpful.
 

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I looked at the 2 starters listed on the PA Perf site and these appear to be custom and I could not find any details regarding dimensions or starter drive action distance on the site.

In my case, I used the stock style rebuilt starters that auto zone showed at the time. I was only looking to solve the flywheel engagement/ grinding problem I was having.

In comparing the manual to the automatic starter on the counter at the store, it seemed that the nose on the automatic starter extended just slightly more than the manual. This is what made me try the one listed for A/T’s. Since you’re going the aftermarket performance route I can’t say definitively that either of the starters listed on their site are going to solve your issue. The other starter may be the answer I just can’t say for sure.

Might be worth a call to them to see if they can provide details that will confirm one way or the other. Sorry I’m not more helpful.
The problem is Ford swapped starters around depending upon car lines, models, options and other factors, but a bigger problem is that parts have gotten mixed and matched over the last 50+ years.

From the factory, Mustangs are fairly easy - 65-68 289 used the deeper "automatic" starter for all transmissions as they both used a 157th flywheel/flexplate. Beginning with the 302 in '68, they used the 164th flywheel which used the shallower "manual" starter, as the ring gear was on the "front" of the flywheel. Automatics still retained the deeper "automatic" starter. This carried through '73 with all 302, 351W & 351C engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hemikiller, it seems that Powermaster is aware of this but PA Performance is not. Talked to them on the phone. Now will have to see what I have to do to get this problem resolved.

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Brief description of the issue:

1. 65 Mustang that I drive weekly made a grinding noise when I tried to start it first time (for the week).
2. Second attempt to start it was successful and there was no grinding noise. Drove it to the store and turned it off. Nothing abnormal during driving.
3. Started it up to come home with no issue or grinding.
4. Park it in the garage and shut it off. Attempt to start it again and this time the starter spins but the motor doesn't.
5. Ordered new PA Performance PMGR starter and installed it according to instructions with extra wire and moving original wire to the positive side of the solenoid. New starter does the exact same thing - spins but doesn't engage.
6. Ordered new starter solenoid (fender wall) and installed it. Same exact results.

I've tested voltage on my battery and it is 12.5 Volts at rest. No changes to the vehicle recently. The starter and solenoid I replaced had been working for 10 years with no issues.

EDIT: checked flywheel teeth and they looked decent. Have rotated engine with a wrench in case teeth were bad in one area.

Any ideas?

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How long was the original starter in the car ? Why not just change the Bendix (starter drive)?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How long was the original starter in the car ? Why not just change the Bendix (starter drive)?
I'd say around 15-20 years. I like the idea of shaving 12 pounds off the front of the car and it's much easier to install/remove the new style mini-starter when you have long tube headers. CJ Pony gave me a refund, so thanks to them I can order the right starter now.

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PA 1806 (auto) starter is the one you want. I recently installed one and it works flawlessly. Unfortunately for you, since you have installed and engaged the starter, they may not swap it out for you. Phone call is in order.
 

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It sounds to me like you have a starter for a 164 tooth flywheel installed on an engine that has a 157 tooth flywheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Stupid question. The Powermaster has a part listed for EFI engines only yet it appears to physically fit my application. What does EFI have to do with the starter?

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Discussion Starter #17
I don’t think the starter cares how many teeth are on the flywheel.
Agreed, I think hemikiller nailed the facts perfectly. What engine/transmission/year mustang do you have Patrick? Getting ready to order the 1806.

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‘66 289 (Mex 302 block) and Toploader. Previously with a stock Ford aluminum bellhousing, PRW SFI billet flywheel, and a stock Ford auto starter. Now with a QuickTime bellhousing, Centerforce lightweight flywheel, and PA 1806 auto starter.
 

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‘66 289 (Mex 302 block) and Toploader. Previously with a stock Ford aluminum bellhousing, PRW SFI billet flywheel, and a stock Ford auto starter. Now with a QuickTime bellhousing, Centerforce lightweight flywheel, and PA 1806 auto starter.
Hey Big Man, let me hold a dollar...

Allen
 

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Discussion Starter #20
‘66 289 (Mex 302 block) and Toploader. Previously with a stock Ford aluminum bellhousing, PRW SFI billet flywheel, and a stock Ford auto starter. Now with a QuickTime bellhousing, Centerforce lightweight flywheel, and PA 1806 auto starter.
Hopefully the 1806 will work with my stock bell housing, 65 289 and 4 speed toploader (previously a 3spd manual)... Because I just took a chance and ordered one.

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