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Discussion Starter #1
I dropped the 351 W 4v back into my 69 Mach this weekend, and have been trying desperately to get the starter to go in. Here is the deal - This is a 69, 351 W, 4spd. When I got the car it had a 74 FMX in it. I am going back original so I got the bell housing, flywheel, pressure plate, so I could go ahead and put the engine back in the car, and bolt the starter up. I got the correct starter (so I'm told) for the 69 351 4v manual 4spd application (I am also told that the 65-73 289, 302, and 351 all take this same starter). The bendix is recessed farther than the one in the automatic tranny starter, as it should be. I seem to have two problems though, 1) the "collar" at the base of the starter nose is about 1/16-1/32 too big to fit through the hole in the new spacer plate for the manual tranny, and 2) the nose seems to be too short to clear the ring gear. I tried the auto starter, and the "collar" does fit, so it is obviously smaller in diameter, but its the wrong starter for the application (Isn't it?) and the nose looks like it would clear the ring gear, but it probably wouldn't be able to disengage the bendix. HELP...I'm getting hacked off here! Have I not cussed this thing enough or what!?!?!?-Or do ALL of the local parts stores have it wrong?

thanks ya'll
ssscode
 

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...was believing that "Automatic Starter"/"Manual Starter" crap -- despite what the parts books say, there seems to be no correlation between your transmission type and which of the two Ford small-block starters to use. The best technique, of course, is to take your old starter in and match it up, but since you've apparently chosen the alternate "50-50 Chance" method, it's now time to go exchange your starter for the other one -- which, as you've noted, is the correct length and diameter. The alternative is to force-fit the shorter starter, which will not only require some enlargement of the mounting hole but will also quickly chip away the teeth on your ring gear until it can no longer find any with which to make contact (resulting in a grinding noise at first, followed within perhaps a month by an even more irritating whirring sound as you curse at the now useless starter on your suddenly immobile Mustang.)
 
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Do you think it would be ok if the bendix is not recessed like it is on the "Manual" starter? I was afraid the starter might not disengage if not recessed, but then again what do I know, I would not have expected to have had this much trouble with a starter in the first place?!?!
 

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I think you'll find that even though it's not recessed (and to be honest, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that), it will retract enough to clear the flywheel when not in operation. You might try using a ruler to measure the depth from the mounting surface to the ring gear and then compare that to the length of your current starter and the other one (which should be about an inch longer) just to make sure -- but even so, if the new one *doesn't* work, you'll know pretty quickly :)
 
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When I was sixteen I walked two miles with my starter in hand in order to exchange it for a rebuilt starter. The clerk at the parts store assured me it was the correct replacement, so I walked the two miles back home again with the rebuilt starter in hand. Guess What! It was the wrong starter! I was really pissed and learned that you never trust em when the "assure" you that it's the correct part.

'68 Coupe, Modified 289 w/ Holley blower
'65 Convertible (future 66 Shelby GT350 clone)
427 S/C Cobra Replica
 
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